Crispy and Crunchy French Fried Onion Chicken

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

French Fried Onion Chicken is a quick and scrumptious dinner that no one will fuss about — I promise! After all, you have chicken that’s as moist as it can possibly be underneath an irresistibly crunchy coating flavored with everyone’s favorite French fried onions! Crunchy onion chicken is salty, crispy, tangy, and juicier than you can even believe!

titled: French Fried Onion Chicken Air Fryer


French Fried Onion Chicken

This 30 minute onion chicken recipe has saved my life on multiple occasions.

It’s so delicious that everyone thinks it’s this complicated, drawn-out recipe. They don’t need to know that it’s so easy to make. Let them stay impressed!

As far as chicken goes, I’ve been known to go with the air fryer to get maximum crispiness with minimum oil — and effort on my part, to be honest. 

Parmesan tenders, whole chicken legs… What can I say? I love delicious food that’s easy to prepare!

ingredients needed to make air fryer onion chicken

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • French Fried Onions – I always go for the Durkee French fried onions brand because it tastes great and has plenty of crunch.
  • Flour – All purpose suits this purpose just fine! It doesn’t have a strong flavor and browns just beautifully in the fryer. 
  • Salt & Pepper – Since the crispy onion chicken coating has so much flavor on its own, we can take it easy with the spices!

    If you’re looking for a little more kick, though, check out some other spice combinations you can try in the “Tips & Tricks” section.
  • Egg & Milk – You really can’t get the coating to stick without eggs, though the milk can be swapped out with a non-dairy substitute.

    I’ve also seen mayo, a bit of melted butter, and even Greek yogurt used instead, but none hold onto coating the same way that egg does. 
  • Chicken – I built this French’s fried onions recipe for 1 ½ lbs of chicken tenders, but there’s wiggle room for different cuts and even larger amounts.

    Just adjust the other ingredients for the coating in kind.
plate of chicken tenderloins next to bag of french fried onions

Tips & Tricks For Flawless Crunchy Onion Chicken

  • Switch the seasonings

Let’s get creative! Opt for Southern style flavor with paprika, cayenne, and garlic.

Or add lemon pepper for just a bit more acidity, and pair it with dried thyme for a savory citrusy finish!

Just be sure to choose a set of seasonings that pair well with the oniony flavors we have here.

  • Adjust cook times for thicker cuts

This French’s fried onions recipe can be used to make air fryer chicken nuggets, breasts, or even boneless thighs! You’ll just need to cook the meat a bit longer.

For example, breast meat needs closer to 17-20 minutes to reach that safe internal temperature of 165°F.

Let that temp be your guide as you make adjustments.

  • Delicious dips

We’re a ranch family all the way, so it’s a must-have with crunchy onion chicken for us!

BBQ sauce, honey mustard, a barbecue ranch that’s absolutely to die for, and plain ol’  ketchup and mustard are all good on the side. 

breaded chicken pieces next to bowl of egg and milk mixture

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Air Fryer – Different brands and sizes may require different cooking times, so be familiar with your model and make adjustments as needed.
  • Spray Bottle of cooking oil – Just a spritz ensures that French fried onion chicken gets extra crispy!
  • Tongs – I love this set of 3, and I use every pair of them. They are so handy and grip amazingly well!
spraying onion chicken in air fryer

French’s Fried Onions Recipe FAQ

Do you have to cook French’s crispy fried onions?

You don’t have to, no. Cooking them in the frying or oven does make them even crispier and crunchier, though!

Feel free to add an extra crumbling of fried onions to your chicken before serving — and even on top of your mac and cheese, casseroles, soups, and really anything that could use a little texture!

What does it mean to dredge chicken?

“Dredging” means covering the meat in flour and egg before applying the coating.

In this case, we’re using an egg and milk mixture and then the flour mixed with all of our other seasonings and crust ingredients — including the crumbled onions!

Really take the time to dredge the meat, regardless of the cut you use or the coating you want. It makes a big difference in whether or not the crispy onion chicken coating sticks to the surface.

How to make crispy onion chicken in the oven?

To make French fried onion chicken in the oven instead of in the fryer, you’ll need a bit of extra time.

However, the one benefit is that you can lay more chicken on your baking sheet than in the fryer at once.

Preheat your oven to 350°F and bake for at least 20 minutes, with more time needed for thicker cuts.

Storing and Reheating Fried Onion Chicken

French fried onion chicken can be made up to 4 days in advance — lucky for all the meal prep fans out there!

There isn’t too much prep-ahead work to be done here, though you can go ahead and crush up those onions and add the seasonings if you want to save a bit of time.

Reheating is easy! Just throw any leftover onion chicken back in the air fryer at 400°F for just a few minutes.

close up: air fried onion chicken strip with bite taken out of it

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter Pinterest | Instagram 

air fryer onion chicken strips

french fried onion chicken.

Crispy and Crunchy French Fried Onion Chicken

Donna Elick
French Fried Onion Chicken looks, tastes, and even sounds delicious — and mine is the ultimate juicy, crispy crunchy onion chicken recipe!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Air Fryer
Servings 5



  • 2 cups french fried onions, such as Durkee
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or non-dairy substitute
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders


  • Set the air fryer to 400°F to preheat.
  • To a gallon sized zip top bag, add fried onions, flour, salt, and pepper. Seal the bag. Run a rolling pin or your hands over the bag to crush the onion mixture. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl or pie plate, whisk together the egg and milk.
  • Working in batches if needed, dredge chicken tenders through the egg mixture, then place them in the bag of onion breading. Seal the bag closed and shake to coat the chicken.
  • Place the chicken in an even layer inside the air fryer basket. (Depending on the size of your basket, you may need to cook in batches.) Spray each piece lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Bake in the preheated air fryer for 12 minutes. Remove the cooked onion chicken tenders and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Donna’s Notes

Boneless skinless chicken breast may be substituted for tenders. However, you will need to increase the cooking time to 17-20 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
You can make this recipe up to 4 days ahead. To reheat, place the chicken tenders back into the air fryer at 400°F. for a few minutes.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 334cal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 593mg | Sugar: 0.2g | Fiber: 0.2g | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): French fried onion chicken air fryer

Originally published December 2022, updated and republished January 2024

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.

The Simple Kitchen cookbook affiliate linked banner


  1. I don’t have an air frier, is there a way of doing this on the stove top, or with a convection oven setting?

  2. Can this be done in a convection oven? My air fryer makes everything taste like plastic, I’m so disappointed. I bought an expensive one off TV and thought it would eventually stop, but no luck. How can this be adapted for convection oven???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating