The Best Crispy Fried Shallots
I have been sprinkling these crispy fried shallots on EVERYTHING lately. All you need is three simple ingredients to turn a basic shallot into a super addictive, crunchy, sweet and savory topping. This is my favorite way to elevate pastas, salads, and more!
My friends call me the Shallot Queen which is a badge I wear with pride. As a total onion hater until the age of like, 18, shallots were the gateway of the allium world that got me on good terms with onions. Still, shallots are my go-to, so when I tried them in place of crispy frizzled onions on homemade green bean casserole a few years ago, I became, to put it lightly, obsessed.
I now have a jar of these shallots on hand at all times, and they feel like a little treat when I sprinkle them on my morning eggs. They’re crispy, crunchy, salty, savory, and have just a touch of classic shallot-y sweetness. I highly recommend taking 30 minutes today to make them. Future you will be grateful.
Why you should always have crispy fried shallots in your pantry
When I tell you that I put these shallots on everything, it’s accurate. Yes, you can buy them at the store, but the homemade pan-fried version tastes so much better. Here’s why you’ll love them!
- The homemade version stays much crisper than the store-bought.
- You get to control the ingredients. No preservatives or too much salt!
- They’re honestly so easy to make. And much cheaper.
- They stay crispy for a few weeks so you can make them in advance.
- They’re vegan and gluten free!
Fried shallots vs. fried onions
Shallots and onions are both from the allium family, but they taste a bit different. Shallots are a bit more sweet and delicate, where onions usually have an intense, sharp flavor. Also, shallots have much less liquid in them, so when they’re fried, they crisp up without batter. Onions, on the other hand, typically need some kind of batter like if you make French-style fried onions or shoestring onions.
You only need three things to make these shallots! No flour or cornstarch required.
- Shallots – obviously lol. I prefer shallots that are a bit thinner in so they fry up evenly.
- Oil – canola or avocado are perfect for frying. You want something with a high smoke point. Don’t use olive oil or coconut oil, or the shallots will end up soggy.
- Salt – Kosher salt always! I use Morton’s.
How to make this recipe
- Start by evenly spreading the shallots in a shallow sauté pan. Fill with oil, just until the shallots are covered.
- Next, set the heat to medium-low and cook until the shallots are golden-brown.
- Drain the shallots through a fine-mesh sieve or use the tines of a fork to remove them from the oil. Place the shallots on a paper towel to drain. Finish with a sprinkle of salt.
How to prevent burning
These shallots can burn quickly if you don’t keep a close eye. But don’t worry, as long as you pay attention, making crispy fried shallots at home is super easy! Here are a few tips to keep them from burning:
- Evenly slice the shallots – you want them to be a uniform thickness so they fry evenly. I recommend using a mandolin so they are all the same thickness!
- Fry them at medium-low – if the heat is too high, the shallots will get brown but will be soggy instead of crispy. Cook them low and slow for the best crunchiness.
- Stir the shallots – while they’re cooking, gently stir the shallots with the tines of a fork to evenly distribute them around the heat.
- Take them out sooner than you think – they will be light golden-brown when you pull them out, but they’ll keep cooking as they cool. I like mine to be a little extra “done” but that’s just my personal preference!
Storing the shallots
To store the shallots, place them in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 2-3 weeks. After a few of weeks, they will start to soften and may taste a bit bitter from the oil.
I honestly put these shallots on anything savory, but I especially love them on pastas, salads, and eggs! Here are some of my favorite dishes to top with crispy fried shallots:
- On top of pasta dishes
- As a topping for burgers
- Buffalo chicken pizza
- Over fried eggs
- Roasted veggies like Brussels sprouts or broccoli
- Avocado toast
- Reverse seared steaks, especially with some blue cheese!
- Green bean casserole
Save the oil!
After you drain the shallots, let the oil cool completely and then store it in a jar. Not only can you use the oil for frying more shallots in the future, but it’s also great mixed into dressings and sauces! Here’s how to use it:
- To coat roasted veggies
- In salad dressings
- For stir fry – either veggie or meat-based
- As a finishing oil for soups, rice, pasta, or meat dishes
- Basically anywhere you would use oil and want an onion-y flavor!
Tips & tricks
- Use a mandolin to ensure that the shallots are evenly sliced. This will help them cook evenly!
- Spread the shallots out evenly in the pan to make sure they don’t clump together while they’re frying.
- Separate any clumps of shallots with the tines of a fork.
- Use the right oil, like canola or avocado, so the shallots crisp up. Using something like olive oil will lead to soggy shallots.
- Go low and slow while frying to make sure the shallots get nice and crunchy. Cooking them in super hot oil will make them brown and soggy.
My favorite dishes with fried shallots
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Homemade Crispy Fried Shallots
- 4 large shallots, peeled
- 2/3 c canola or avocado oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice the peeled shallots until they are about the thickness of a dime.
- Next, place the shallots in a shallow sauté pan and fill with just enough oil to cover (about 2/3 cup). Use a little more if you have to!
- Set the heat to medium-low. Then, cook until the shallots are deep golden-brown about 20-25 minutes. Stir often with the tines of a fork to separate the shallot rings. Keep an eye on the shallots, especially towards the end. Once they start browning, they will brown quick.
- Drain the shallots through a fine-mesh strainer or remove the shallots from the oil with the tines of a fork. Place the fried shallots on a paper towel to soak up any extra oil. Season with Kosher salt and let them cool completely. Store the shallots in an airtight container for up to three weeks.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Portland by Mac DeMarco