Not so fried crispy onion snacks

Like many, I like crispy fried onions, & like many, I’m not supposed to have them (much). Soooooo I make my own & “doctor” them up-duh. For many years I have been dehydrating, & these onions are one of the first things I started dehydrating.

I found that they make a great “fried” snack, with out frying.

The secret is to dry them so they are brittle, not leather. For this, I crank my (Nesco) dehydrator to 155F° & let it go for about 6-8 hours. Six hours usually does it.

onions postP

Now the “trick” to dehydrating is the air needs to be dry. I have read a few reviews & articles poo-pooing the dehydrator, when it’s (as usual) user error. The air is too moist to dehydrate properly.

I like my Nesco Snack Master, & use it for all of my dehydrating & have for uhm, like 20 years (same one). I don’t use it daily, but more like 6-8 times a month. The thing is, it gets the job done. Use whatever dehydrator you own.

For dehydrated “fried” onions the recipe is of course “very complicated”.

Onion-yellow, sweet, red, purple whatever you like yellow is the regular


Slice the onion as thin as you can. You can use a mandolin (not the musical one), or a knife. If you have one of those home (electric) slicers, set that bad boy to nearly shaved. Shaved will probably take 4 hours or less.

Lay out the onion on your trays, add salt & pepper. If you aren’t a pepper fan, omit that. Now, on my Nesco, it’s 155F° for the max (nuts-sticks, rocks the tough stuff); your dehydrator may be different.

Of course I can’t just leave it alone. I check (on things) them around 4 hours, when I’m near them, so best done on the way to work ;}) for 6 (at least) hours. Adjust accordingly.

Again, you want them dry & brittle.

The “secret” is thin slicing, not thick slicing. Get that ‘needs to be thick to dehydrate” phrase out of your head. You can use thick slices, for your “regular” dried onions, this is a crispy snack. I show a mix here.


Home version of a slicer. I prefer blades not to have serrations & (actually) be sharp.

You can use an oven (regular or toaster oven is fine), as long as it will get a temp to 170F° or 150F°. For safety reasons, you don’t want to leave it unattended. Dehydrators (most) can be.

That’s it. You can dry store them in a jar & snack on them as you like. These are great in the salad, on top of your burger, & certainly as a snack.


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