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There is something about caramelized onions that significantly appeals to me.  And, as I mentioned in previous posts, it’s one of those foods that I would never consider eating or cooking with until a few short years ago.  In fact, when I used to prepare recipes that required onions, I would always opt for onion powder or dried onion flakes.  I’ve always liked the taste and flavour of onion, but I completely despised the texture in any food.

Caramelized Onion Fritters with Spicy Aioli Dipping Sauce

I can recall making salsa a few years back, and as you know, onion is one of the main ingredients in salsa.  I would get out my trusty blender and puree the heck out of the onion before adding it to my salsa recipe.  And, whenever I would need to use red onion, I would slice it paper thin and soak it in water for as long as possible to soften it.  Little did I know that soaking it for so long was ridding the onion of its flavour completely.

Caramelized Onion Fritters with Spicy Aioli Dipping Sauce

When I finally learned how to caramelize onions though, a whole new world opened up for me.  You might think that caramelizing onions is easy, and it is, but it takes patience and time.  To properly caramelize onions, in my opinion, you cannot do it without a cast-iron skillet, good butter, and a medium-low heat.  Slow and steady heat turns the bitter, crunchy raw onion into a sweet, silky delicacy.

Caramelized Onion Fritters with Spicy Aioli Dipping Sauce

Fritters are one particular food that I love, but it’s not something that I tend to prepare regularly.  I had this idea to combine caramelized onion into a light batter and pan fry it into a fritter format.  And, I’m so glad I did!  This recipe was fantastic; we both loved the taste, texture, and definitely, the mild spice from the aioli dipping sauce.

Caramelized Onion Fritters with Spicy Aioli Dipping Sauce


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Caramelized Onion Fritters with Spicy Aioli Dipping Sauce

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Author Lord Byron's Kitchen


For the Fritters:

  • 2 large onions, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the Aioli:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes


  • In a large cast-iron skillet, bring the olive oil to medium low temperature, and add the onions, salt and pepper
  • Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, wilted, and have turned a deep brown colour (be careful to keep an eye on the heat; you don't want to burn the onions - nice and slow is the way to go!)
  • Once the onions are caramelized, transfer to a small bowl to cool completely
  • In the meantime, prepare the spicy aioli dipping sauce be combining the mayonnaise, ginger, dried red chili flakes, and garlic in a small bowl - cover and place in the refrigerator
  • Now that the onions have cooled, prepare the batter for the fritter.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, paprika, egg, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk until smooth and frothy
  • Add the cooled caramelized onion to the flour mixture and lightly stir to combine
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet
  • Using metal tongs, gently pick up a small portion of the onions from the batter - aim for tablespoon size, and gently place in the hot oil
  • You can fry three or 4 at the same time, but don't overcrowd the pan
  • After two minutes, gently lift one of the fritters and check for a deep brown colour; if done, flip to cook the other side, otherwise, leave to continue frying for another minute
  • Remove fried onion fritters and place on a paper towel-lined platter
  • Continue frying until all onions/batter have been used
  • Serve the onion fritters at room temperature with the chilled aioli dipping sauce


Caramelized Onion Fritters with Spicy Aioli Dipping Sauce 2

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This Post Has 39 Comments

    1. Thanks, Marisa. I've been working on my photography skills for a while and I learn something new with every post. :)
  1. Love, love, love caramelized onions. (Just used them in a chutney - fabulous and quite different from adding non-caramelized onions.) Your fritter take on them is so inventive. From the looks of the onions, when you caramelize them, you're not moving them around too much - they're keeping their shape as thin slices. Is that right?
    1. Thanks, Laura. Truth be told, I'm one of those home cooks that can't let things sit still in the pan. I stir quite often. Just use a really good pan (non-stick) and all should be fine. :)
  2. These look out of this world amazing! I used to be the same with onions - something about the texture threw me off, but I'm glad to say that I've gotten over that aversion over time. And thank goodness because I wouldn't want to pass by something as good as this!
  3. Hi Bryon, I have to say I love onion any way, but yes caramelized are the best and this recipe sounds terrific, I will try it on the Italian who probably loves onions more than anyone I know.
    1. Haha - I love how you referred to them as The Italian, much the way I refer to John.e as The Vegetarian. :)
  4. I'm glad you found a way of eating real onions. I'm not a fan of either garlic or onion powder. Caramelised onions are delicious of course, but I love them pretty much anyway - as long as they are fresh. Your fritters and dip sounds delicious.
    1. Thank you so much; I'm glad I learned to like them too. Can't believe I missed out all those years. :)
  5. I love anything battered and fried, especially fritters. What a creative use of onions too! Caramelizing them totally changes the flavor. Although I love the pungent flavor of onions, I like to caramelize shallots because they get even sweeter! Great recipe:)
    1. Thanks, Leslie! I'm new to the world of fritters; they are not a regular part of my meal options. But, I'm certainly going to give other flavours and ingredients a try! :)
  6. I feel like I said this before, those colors have my heart. The blue with the golden rusty color, such a show stopper !
  7. I'm with you -- raw onions are not my favorite, but I love caramelized onions. These fritters are so fun and look delicious!
  8. Oh man, it cannot get better than onion fritters and that crazy good looking aioli! Maybe a beer next to it :)

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