Vidalia Onion Strings with Horseradish Aioli

Vidalia Onion Srings with Horseradish Sauce 2

Vidalia Onion Strings with Horseradish Aioli might just be the world’s most perfect appetizer, these thin sweet onions rings are fried to perfection in minutes!


Vidalia onion strings are the ultimate fried onion snack!

Onion strings are such fun. They’re kind of miraculous, actually. One lone onion will explode into enough crispy strings to satisfy a hungry foursome. Add a  few cold beers and you’ve got a party. Use a sweet Vidalia onion and make a peppery horseradish sauce to go alongside them, and you’ve got an even better party.

Sweet Vidalia Onion Strings with Horseradish Aioli dipping sauce

My fried onion recipe is simple and foolproof

Onion strings are so thin that they don’t need a lot of batter or complicated frying to make them come out light and crispy. I use a simple buttermilk soak and seasoned cornmeal dusting before they go into the hot oil. They fry up in about a minute and a half. The other nice thing about onion strings is that they don’t get soggy if you have to make them ahead of time (like thicker onion rings sometimes do.)  Reheat them in a warm oven and they’ll be perfect.

Vidalia Onion Strings with Horseradish Aioli

Dipping sauce ideas for fried onion strings

Anyone who loves onion rings knows you don’t need anything to go with them, they taste just perfect on their own. But I always like to take it a step further and serve them with a creative dip of some sort. It helps to reinforce the feeling that I’m in a fun bar or pub somewhere, getting away from it all, even if I’m actually watching the 6 o’clock news on the couch. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I am a huge fan of horseradish. I keep a bottle of this amazing horseradish cream in the fridge at all times. For this dip I mixed it with some of my HOMEMADE 30-SECOND MAYO (or mayo from a jar) a squeeze of lemon, and lots of fresh cracked black pepper. That basic concept can be tweaked to make a sauce for steak or beef, a sandwich spread, and even a zesty salad dressing. I use it a lot when I want a real punchy flavor.

If you love Vidalia onions like I do, try some of my other favorite ways to use them —

3.35 from 41 votes

Vidalia Onion Strings with Horseradish Aioli

Vidalia Onion Strings with Horseradish Aioli might just be the world's most perfect appetizer, these thin sweet onions rings are fried to perfection in minutes!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • vegetable oil for frying to a depth of at least 3 inches
  • 1 good sized Vidalia onion
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

horseradish aioli

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp horseradish cream
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • a dash of salt
  • lots of freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • Peel and thinly slice the onion. I use my mandoline slicer set between 1/8 and 1/4 inch.
  • Pour the buttermilk into a large bowl and add the onions, carefully separating the rings with your fingers.
  • In a pie plate or similar dish toss together the cornmeal, salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot to a temperature of 340-350F. A clip on thermometer helps.
  • When the oil is hot, grab a handful of rings from the buttermilk and let the excess drip off. Toss them in the cornmeal, coating all surfaces. Shake off any excess before dropping them in the oil. Fry for about a minute and a half, until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels. (Fry the onions in batches to avoid crowding the pan.)
  • Mix the horseradish aioli ingredients together and serve with the onion strings.

Cook's notes

  • Double or triple the recipe if you like, but make separate batches of the cornmeal mixture because it will get increasingly clumped as the wet onion rings are dredged in it.
  • It's important that you get your oil hot enough before frying your rings.  I use an inexpensive clip on thermometor to insure I get the right temperature.  You can find them on Amazon.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Don’t forget to pin these Vidalia Onion Strings!

Vidalia Onion Strings with Horseradish Aioli pin

You Might Also Like


    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Judy Crist
    October 26, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Can these be done in an air fryer?

    • Reply
      October 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      I don’t have an air fryer, Judy, but from what I understand they will not work with anything that has a heavy batter on them. These have a very light coating, so they might work ~ be sure to update us if you try!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 9:20 am

    5 stars
    Hi! I just wanted to let you know I made these yesterday and they were delicious! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

    • Reply
      November 28, 2014 at 9:30 am

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know, Karishma!

  • Reply
    Patricia @ Grab a Plate
    September 18, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Oh wow! A favorite of mine, and these look amazing! Love the aioli, too!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Thanks Patricia — the dip is so good!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I was wondering if you could use Pando bread crumbs instead of corn meal? Do you think it would be too heavy for the delicate onions?

    • Reply
      September 18, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      That would be Panko….of course ????

      • Reply
        September 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm

        You know, Paul, I think the panko crumbs would be a little too heavy, and they might actually burn in the hot oil. You could use plain flour if you don’t like or can’t use corn meal.

        • Reply
          Paul Barron
          September 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm

          Corn meal will work just fine. Being a Southern Boy, corn meal is good in just about everything ????
          I’ve just been on a Panko kick lately.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann Brown
    August 16, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Once I get settled into the new place, I’m going to give these a try. I still have some Vidalias in the basement that have held up quite well, and with the mandolin trick I look forward to these. And did I mention how much I love horseradish??? Thanks for sharing and pinned.

    • Reply
      August 16, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Glad to meet another fellow horseradish lover!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    July 27, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I just saw a picture of a dish that had onion strings on top that looks so good, and I thought “but I don’t know how to make onion strings”. And then your recipe showed up in my feed reader! And now I know 🙂 These look delicious!

    • Reply
      July 27, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Thanks, Jennifer— I started making them after I had an amazing steak salad that had them piled high on top…they are addicting!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    July 26, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I haven’t had onion strings in years but these look fabulous!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    I never had good success with homemade onion rings but these really make we want to give them another try! I think my husband would marry me all over again if I made these for him 🙂 Love the horseradish aioli too!

    • Reply
      July 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      I find that the really thin cut ones, like these, are much easier to make, and you’re right, these are definitely man magnets…

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    July 25, 2014 at 11:11 am

    These are dangerous just to look at! i love anything onion!

  • Reply
    Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine
    July 25, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Yum! I’ll have this for lunch please!! They look amazing Sue, I don’t usually fry anything but I would make an exception for these.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    July 25, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Sue, these onion strings look very inviting. One onion won’t be enough for us as we LOVE onions!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2014 at 8:30 am

    How totally divine looking, Sue. Wow. I wish I could eat these….a couple will be all my old tummy allows. Next time the kids come, I’m going to make them and steal a few away. Your photos are so tempting! What a fab aioli!

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!

Grab my latest e-book

for free!

Subscribe to get first dibs on all my new recipes, plus extra subscriber only benefits!


You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

You have Successfully Subscribed!