Photo credit Shannon Sarna
Prep Cook Yield Ready In
20 minutes 5 minutes 2-4 servings 25 minutes

Falafel Crusted Bloomin’ Onion Recipe

Even if you’ve never been to an Outback Steakhouse (confession: I have not), you know what a bloomin’ onion is, and you know it’s delicious. The onion is cut all down the sides, while keeping the bottom intact, breaded and deep fried, allowing all those individual little onion”petals” to get torn off, dipped and devoured. This recipe uses Trader Joe’s falafel mix instead of bread crumbs as a fun Israeli twist on the original, although you could stick to the more conventional recipe and use seasoned flour and bread crumbs.

I’ll fully admit that this recipe can be a little tricky to execute, so here are a few tips:

  1. Keep a little space at the base where you are cutting do the onion “petals” don’t flop all the way down making it more difficult to keep intact.
  2. Soak the onion in a cold water bath for 10 minutes and then drain well before proceeding with the breading.
  3. After the onion has been breaded, pop it into the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to allow that breading to really set.
  4. If you are deeply committed, buy yourself one of these relatively cheep blooming’ onion sets to make the cutting and prep just that bit easier. (Also makes a fun gift for that Outback lover in your life).

Make sure to check out our video tutorial on instagram to watch the step-by-step!


For the onion:

  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups Trader Joe’s Falafel Mix
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying (you will need a lot)

For the harissa mayo:

  • ½ cup mayo with
  • 2 Tbsp harissa paste

For the tahini sauce:

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • Juice of half lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp cold water


  1. Peel and cut off the top of an onion and place it cut-side down.
  2. Using a sharp knife make 8 cuts all the way around the onion, leaving bottom intact.
  3. Flip the onion over and gently pull apart its layers.
  4. In one large bowl combine the milk and egg.
  5. In another large bowl combine the falafel mix and flour.
  6. Place the onion into the wet mixture, coating every piece with egg wash. Then place the onion into the dry mix. Repeat.
  7. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 375ºF in a large pot (or deep fryer).
  8. Pop the onion in the freezer for 10 minutes while oil is heating.
  9. Using a metal spider or tongs, gently lower the onion into the oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes until brown and crispy all over. Allow to cool 5 minutes.
  10. To make the harissa mayo: Combine ½ cup mayo with 2 Tbsp harissa paste (or more to taste).
  11. To make the tahini sauce: Combine 1/3 cup tahini, juice from half lemon, ½ tsp salt in a bowl. Add 2-3 Tbsp cold water and whisk until smooth.

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