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Baked Blooming Onion

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Baked Blooming Onion |

One of my favorite memories with my grandma back in the day was going to dinner at Chili’s. My mom would order a salad, my sister would order chicken fingers, and my grandma and my dad and I would all order the baby back ribs, which inevitably brought on a rendition of everyone singing the famous jingle (with bar-be-que sauce!).

But before we dove into our messy main courses, every now and then we would treat ourselves to their famous “awesome blossom”. Or as other restaurants call it, a blooming onion. I found out later that this deep-fried onion topped the charts at the time for the most unhealthy thing you could order at the restaurant, but boy was it good!!! We all loved dipping those onion petals in that heavenly sauce — so much so, that we were often completely full before our entrees arrived! Oh, to have the metabolism of a kid. :)

I admit I haven’t had a blooming onion in at least a decade. But when I recently posted a lightened up version of another restaurant favorite, it reminded me of the famous awesome blossom. And I got to thinking what it would take to lighten it up! Sure enough, my favorite way to “oven-fry” other dishes worked like a charm with this dish, and my baked blooming onion was born! Just coat an onion with a heck of a lot of seasoned panko, bake it in the oven, and you’re good to go!

It is definitely different than the deep-fried effect. But the panko made this blooming onion crispy, flavorful, and made for a really fun appetizer to share with friends. And I guarantee that everyone will be so impressed with how you got the onion to “bloom”! Definitely a timeless treat, made all the better when it’s not loaded with a gazillion calories. Enjoy!

Baked Blooming Onion |

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Baked Blooming Onion

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 3 from 4 reviews
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 blooming onion 1x


A healthier and baked version of the classic blooming onion.



For The Blooming Onion:

  • 1 large Vidalia onion (or any yellow onion)
  • 2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. Cajun or blackening seasoning (**see alternate seasonings below**)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • optional sides: ketchup, spicy dipping sauce (see below), ranch dip, honey mustard

!For The Spicy Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or mayo)
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. horseradish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. oregano


To Make The Blooming Onion:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a cutting board, use a knife to cut off the top (not the root) 1/4-inch of the onion until a few of the inside layers are exposed. Peel the outermost layer of the onion down to the root, but leave the root intact.
  3. Lay the onion on the cutting board so that the flat side (that you just cut) is facing downward. Then use a knife to section the onion into 16ths, beginning with your knife 1/8-inch away from the root and cutting straight down. Once all cuts are complete, turn the onion over and set on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Then use your fingers to gently spread apart the petals. If any of your cuts did not go all the way through, you can use a paring knife to be sure that the entire onion is cut into 16ths.
  4. (Update: I have had readers give the tip that if you soak your sliced onion in cold water overnight, it will open up naturally on its own.)
  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the Panko, Cajun seasoning and salt until combined.
  6. In a separate (additional) bowl, whisk the eggs until combined.
  7. Beginning with the lowest (bottom) layers of the onion, brush the top of each petal with the egg mixture until coated, then immediately sprinkle with the Panko mixture. Repeat until all petals are coated. (The panko won’t totally “stick” when the egg is wet, but just press it on with your fingers.) It is kind of tedious, but worth it!
  8. Carefully form a tent with aluminum foil over the baking sheet until the onion is completely enclosed. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove tent and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the onion is soft and the tips are lightly crisped.
  9. Remove and serve with desired sauces.

To Make The Spicy Dipping Sauce:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.


**Instead of the Cajun seasoning, you could substitute in Italian seasonings or whatever you love best.  Just taste a pinch of the dry seasoning before applying it to the onion to see if it needs to be seasoned with salt and pepper.

Baked Blooming Onion |

Baked Blooming Onion |

Baked Blooming Onion |

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108 comments on “Baked Blooming Onion”

  1. Thank you for a wonderful recipe – can you tell me if you think this would work with another onion type as we dont have vidalia onions in Australia.

  2. Made this tonight ……very scrumptious ….thank you from UK

  3. Mmmm this just looks super yummy! I can’t wait to try it (mine is in the oven as I’m typing this)

  4. I haven’t had one of these in YEARS!! But it used to be my favorite appetizer ever! Love that you found a way to lighten it up, and my husband will love that you made the sauce.

  5. Are there any other onions that would work besides a vidalia onion? I can’t seem to find a vidalia onion at my local grocery store.

  6. Could we get a few more pictures to show how you cut it? Maybe even a video? That would be helpful! I so want to try this, but I’m worried I’ll mess up the cuts!

  7. I thought your cutting instructions were great, mine came out lovely. I left mine in for the whole 15 and sprinkled more crumbs on it half way thru when the moisture started coming out. It was great. Iixed hot sauce with sour cream and Cajun seasoning.

  8. Go on Google and type in how to cut onion for blooming onion
    you will find how too. enjoy

  9. I love that it’s baked! I’ve had deep fried before, but now I’m going to try this. Beautiful photos.

  10. This is just great, baked not fried and the variety of seasonings are incredible… trying this ASAP.

  11. I’m sure this will be just yummmy.

  12. I wish the comments were more helpful. Want to know how it turned out for others, if they liked it or not. mostly it’s just inane “looks pretty” or “can’t wait to try”. Yeah, we can all see how nice it looks, now if someone can just let the rest of us know how it’s worked out for them. I would have been more apt to trying this over others if people spent less time making flattering remarks about the photos.

    With apologies to Ali, it’s not your fault, I’m just frustrated by the glut of unsubstantial comments. With so many different recipes out there user comments can be helpful when they offer more than “it looks so pretty”.

  13. Giving this a bash tonight for dinner club…. will post feedback!!! Can’ wait to taste the finished product!!!

  14. What happens if you dip the whole onion in the egg mixture? Too much goo?

    • Probably too much goo. I found it was easier to brush it on (although it does take an extra minute or two).

  15. This looks like it’s going to be good. I’m going to make one tonight to try it. Then I’ll make another for the Super Bowl!!

  16. This is the best the best Blooming Onion takes a little time but well worth it.

  17. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this — love onions, love the presentation and love that it’s baked. Thank YOU!

  18. I just got the panko breadcrumbs! I’m making it tonight. So excited!!

  19. what can i use as a substitute for the eggs to coat the onion? i just don’t like eggs at all ;(

  20. Ha! Autocorrect… PANKO mixture, not Pablo mixture. ;-)

  21. Ohhhh,I’m all about healthy recipes! I can’t wait to try this for our SuperBowl party this afternoon. Thanks for the great idea. I can’t wait to tell all my friends that it’s actually healthy!!
    I even shared it on my Instagram page…and sent everyone to this page for the recipe.
    I hope you get alotta new followers.

  22. great and easy!! oh and healthy. Altered it a bit to be no carb and was still great

  23. I am in love with the blooming onion, but am trying not eat less fried foods. Thanks for this.

  24. Just made this with my pita pizzas amd it was delish! Husband was very impressed. Thanks!

  25. You’re my hero. I LOVE blooming onions but have no idea how to make one myself. Especially appreciate the healthy take on this as well. Thanks for sharing.

  26. It looks stunning, I must put it on my menu.

  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have a beautiful large sweet onion that Just insisted it wanted to become a BLOOMING onion. I started looking for recipes–looked and looked and was about to give up because all the recipes called for deep frying. Then I found your recipe! The onion is soaking in ice water as I type. We will be chowing down very soon!

    • I read your remark about the blooming onion. I have never made this dish, but read that the onion is to be soaked in ice water before preparation. However, I didn’t see this step in this recipe’s instruction. Should it be done anyway?

    • This is another alternative to help the onion “bloom”, but it’s not required.

  28. Love that there is a way to make this without oil!

  29. These are great!!!!!

  30. Wow, this looks fabulous! Any suggestions on making the blooming onion non-gluten? I want to make this for a Superbowl party, but half of them can’t do wheat.

  31. Oh wait! I just found a recipe that used crushed non-gluten Rick Chex cereal as a substitute for panko crumbs. Gotta try this!!

  32. Amanda — September 29, 2013 @ 8:13 pm (#)

    Are there any other onions that would work besides a vidalia onion? I can’t seem to find a vidalia onion at my local grocery store.

    . . . . . . .

    I tried using a white onion, but I hear yellow onions can work too.

  33. Please describe “making a tent with aluminum foil”, completely enclosing the onion…. Is the tent only 2 sides, or all 4 sides, totally enclosing the onion ?


  34. This is a great recipe. I made it for a nosh mid-afternoon because supper was a few hours off and we really enjoyed it. I baked it longer than the recipe said because I don’t like raw onion and it was perfect. I did add a couple of tsp of lemon juice to the sauce. Thanks for a fun appetizer!

  35. I just made this and took one bite….DELICIOUS!!!

  36. I used both Yellow Onions and Purple Onions, and both dishes “blossomed” beautifully.

    I also lightened up the marinades by using 2/3rds olive oil to 1/3rd balsamic vinegar and some garlic and pepper for a Mediterranean taste. Tasty! I went Cajun with just grapeseed oil and a Creole powder mix. Tangy!

  37. Sooo I worked at Outback (home of the blooming onion for years). Here are some tips you can apply. 
    Yes they do soak it in water, with a little salt (brine it) for 24 hours. This is done after its cut. Upside down so the petals get most the loving. Don’t feel bad if your cuts don’t look like the restaurant. Kingston onions are used and a special cutting tool patented just for Outback. 

    Other trick is its coated in buttermilk mixture special to Outback tossed into a liberal seasoning mixture (which is secret but I know very similar to the sauce. Your sauce is pretty on point, plus the Panko for home baking). Paprika in the seasoning is key! 
    Then it’s dipped again in the buttermilk and into seasoning. 

    So for some if you’re looking for a thicker coating like the original you might wanna do a second coating of eggs and seasoning. Once it’s recovered in seasoning it’s gently shaken to knock any thick excess off. Of course you’d vary it for this healthy recipe. I’m excited to try it because I have loved this onion for years! 

    Also Outback occasionally serves just plain petals, done the same way as the onion. (Individual onion strings). Texture sometimes varies but is another yum option! 

    Thanks for the healthy option! 

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to share these helpful tips with us Samantha – you sound like a blooming onion queen! :)

  38. This sounds amazing and I’m glad it’s a healthier option! Do you have any idea what the nutritional information surrounding this recipe is? Thanks in advance!

    • Thanks Destinee, we hope you enjoy! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  39. Did not really grab me

  40. Meh. Won’t make it either. Does’t sound as if you would feel good after eating. Maybe a fresh herb yoghourt dip and some other roasted veggies to create some diversity could rescue this poser.

  41. Why can’t I just pour the egg over the onion (may want to do it over a large bowl because you may want to repeat the process and reuse the egg) and then just sprinkle the Panko over the onion (maybe even the bottom sides? Would this work? I like Panko bread crumbs.

    • Hi Phillip! We haven’t tried it that way but you’re welcome to give it a shot!

  42. Epic failure! In my opinion was not done in 20 minutes, mine is still baking an hour later!

  43. thanks for the great onion …

  44. So excited to try this! Thanks for the tip of soaking the onion first!!