Vidalia Onion Strings

Vidalia Onion Srings with Horseradish Sauce 2

Vidalia onion strings 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!

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 a full-on deep fryer to make them fry up light and crispy. Pick a frying pan or Dutch oven and heat up several inches of oil. You’ll get delicious homemade onion rings without a huge amount of oil to dispose of.

what you’ll need

I use a simple buttermilk soak and seasoned cornmeal dusting before the onions go into the hot oil (it’s a nod to their Southern heritage.) They fry up in about a minute and a half.

  • a large Vidalia onion
  • buttermilk
  • cornmeal
  • salt and pepper
  • plus vegetable oil for frying
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 mayonnaise (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.

the nice thing about onion strings?

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.

Homemade Onion Strings ~

do you love Vidalias?

3.70 from 52 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
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • vegetable oil for frying Note: you'll need enough to fill your pan to a depth of at least 3 inches.
  • 1 large 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 prepared horseradish or 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. Note: make sure to bring your oil up to the correct temperature for best results.
  • 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. Note: 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.

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    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!

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