Crispy Baked Onion Rings

190 comments

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When it comes to onion rings, I’m a bit of a late bloomer.

I don’t think I tried my first onion ring until I was in my twenties, and when I did, I can’t say I was blown away. They were a bit bland and I could think of a million other foods I’d rather eat.

However, I soon realized that not all onion rings are created equal.

Years later, everything changed when I tried Fresh restaurant’s quinoa-battered onion rings. Their onion rings have been celebrated as some of Toronto’s best and I quickly agreed, being the onion ring connoisseur that I was…not.

But I do know good food when I taste it. You too?

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Deep-fried, crispy, thick, and flavourful…they made me an instant onion ring fan for life.

Not long after, I was in the kitchen trying to make my own onion rings, only these would be baked instead of fried, more of an “everyday” onion ring, if you will.

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My first few trials were decent, but still a far cry from what I hoped they’d taste like.

The problem? Too many breadcrumbs and not enough other goodies!

One of my first trials, heavy on the breadcrumbs:

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I experimented with a few different coatings and batter mixtures until I found a combo that I loved. My first winning combo involves breadcrumbs, cornmeal, nutritional yeast, dried herbs, and black sesame seeds. Don’t fret if you don’t have one of these ingredients because they can be adapted very easily.

Oh boy, I. could. not. stop. eating. them.

The photographic evidence…

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I thought I could sneak an onion ring before the timer ended and the camera fired, but I guess I wasn’t quick enough. The camera sees all!

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Crispy Baked Onion Rings

Crispy, flavourful, and good-for-you, these onion rings make a great snack or addition to any meal. I could also see a big batch of these being made for a party served with a homemade dip. To make these gluten-free, use gluten-free bread crumbs and gluten-free flour (and of course, double check the rest of your ingredients). Also, keep in mind, you’ll have coating leftover that isn’t used up.

Inspired by Fresh and my Crispy Tofu Strips.

Print, Text, or Email this recipe

Yield: ~ about 15-22 onion rings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2/3 cup flour of choice
  • 2/3 cup + 1 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot flour)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but recommended)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1-2 tbsp black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried herbs (I used 1tsp each basil & oregano)

 

1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking oil. Slice onion into rings, 3/4 inch in width (larger than shown in pictures as I made mine too thin), and reserve about 15-22 or so, wrapping up the leftovers for another use.

2. In a shallow dish, whisk together the batter ingredients (flour, broth, cornstarch).

3. In another shallow dish, whisk together the coating ingredients (cornmeal, breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, salt, sesame seeds, garlic powder, and herbs).

4. With a fork, dip an onion ring into the batter, coating all sides. Now transfer it to the coating mixture and toss it around a bit. Use a clean & dry hand to scoop up coating and sprinkle it all over the ring. If at any time your hands get sticky or coated, simply rinse and dry before starting again. Place onion rings on prepared baking sheets and repeat for the rest. Don’t worry if things get messy or they don’t coat “perfectly”…just consider them rustic and call it a day! You will have coating leftover that isn’t used up.

5. Bake for about 18 minutes at 425F, flipping once after 10 minutes. You can broil them for a minute or two at the end to brown. Serve with your favourite dip or ketchup. These are best served immediately.

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You’ll want to create a workstation with everything set up before you begin. Also, note that I sliced my onion rings too thin and they were much better at thicker widths of about 3/4 of an inch. The thicker you slice them, the juicier and heartier they will be!

Workstation order: Onion rings, batter, coating, pan…also use shallow dishes if possible. A narrow bowl was awkward.

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I tried out all kinds of batter/coating methods because the process can be a bit tricky to get right.

My favourite method was using a fork to dip the ring into the batter and transferring it to the coating mixture.

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Then I used my dry hand to grab the mixture and sprinkle it over the ring, over and over. Once it was coated, I’d flip it and repeat on the other side. If my fingers got wet and covered, I would stop and rinse them off and quickly pat dry before starting up again.

Above all, don’t worry if things get messy or they don’t coat “perfectly”…just consider them rustic and call it a day! They will taste good regardless.

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I loved the look of them with the black seeds.

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Once I filled my pan, I cooked them in two batches since I only have 1 large baking sheet. Of course, you can use two baking sheets and cook them at the same time, rotating the pans once half way through baking.

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After about 18 minutes of baking, I broiled them for a couple minutes to brown them up.

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Ding, ding, ding…we have a winner!

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I devoured the entire batch..all while telling myself I should “save some for Eric”.

Oops.

But everyone knows onion rings are best served immediately anyways, right?

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I’m pretty pumped to experiment with different flavours and coatings for these bad boys. I have several flavour ideas up my sleeve, including beer batter, pizza, and nut butter coatings!

Or maybe I should just re-create a Bloomin Onion a la Outback Steakhouse?

 

Link Love

+ Did you know that it’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week in the US? I recently had the pleasure of connecting with Blisstree for an interview on my past struggles with disordered eating and road to recovery. You can check out the interview here.

+ The Homies 2012 blog nominations are going down over at The Kitchn. Nominate and vote for your favourite blogs (including your own!) until March 1st.

Have a great Tuesday!

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{ 190 comments… read them below or add one }

Kris | iheartwellness.com February 28, 2012

AMAZING!!!! These look amazing and I am such an onion ring lover :) I can’t start or I wont stop eating them!

YUM!

xxoo

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Willow February 28, 2012

These sound so good! I’m a huge fan of onion rings – huge – but I virtually *never* eat them because A. they’re usually so unhealthy, and B. it’s hard to find good ones. So many restaurants either over/under batter them, or the onion turns to mush, or they’re way too salty… such a shame! This is going on my list of must-make-recipes, for sure. Thanks for sharing, as always!

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life February 28, 2012

Haha I love that shot where you’re trying to sneak one before the timer went off lol! Can I ask what lens you use? I was just curious :).

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Angela February 29, 2012

I usually shoot with a Canon 1.4 50mm lens :)

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Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon February 28, 2012

Eek these look awesome! Finally, a use for my large bag of black sesame seeds!

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Karen February 28, 2012

I normally wouldn’t go through this bother for onion rings, as I’ve never been a huge fan. But, armed w/your super detailed directions, I may just cave. Ange – Though I am fairly experienced in the kitchen, I still appreciate that you take such pains to provide super detailed directions to ensure we succeed in replicating your recipes at home – e.g.: warning us when to cut carefully to avoid losing a digit ;)

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Angela February 29, 2012

I’m glad you find the directions helpful :) Enjoy them if you make them!

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Cara Craves... February 28, 2012

So funny that you posted this today… As I mentioned the other day, I am heading to Fresh today, and have been anticipating their onion rings…though deep fired, I think I still must try them. The quinoa batter intrigues me. I have read their recipe in the latest Fresh cookbook, but have not made them myself.

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Caitlin @ Cake with Love February 28, 2012

I love onion rings but dont like the calories that come when you fry them, this recipe is a winner, I will give it a try!

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Rebecca February 28, 2012

Ah! I absolutely love Fresh. In fact, I’m heading there tonight and now I know their onion rings will be ordered!

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kaila @ healthyhelper February 28, 2012

Confession: I have never had an onion ring! But I have always wanted to try my hand at making homemade ones! It just seems so time consuming!! But this recipe actually seems relatively easy! Can’t wait to experiment!

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Sally @ sally's baking addiction February 28, 2012

angela, these look incredible! i love all of your healthy alternatives to sometimes indulgent recipes.

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 28, 2012

I’ve been on a “fry” kick recently. Eggplant, asparagus, squash…must do these next :)

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Melinda February 28, 2012

Hi Ange

Can one substitute normal sesame seeds for the black sesame seeds? Do they taste different?
It really looks delicious!!
Melinda

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 28, 2012

Yup you can use any kind you prefer! I didnt notice much of a taste difference, although I wasnt really paying close attention. :)

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Beylah February 28, 2012

Sounds DELICIOUS! Already Pinned this to my cooking inspiration board! Any thoughts on cutting back on cornmeal, flour or breadcrumbs to make it a little bit less calories/carbs? Where do you think you could be the most flexible and still get a great, crispy onion ring? Trying to lose weight need to cut back a bit, and knowing me, I’d eat half the batch! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 28, 2012

Hey Beylah, Keep in mind that there is quite a bit of coating leftover (this is needed because you need a thick base to dip and coat), so you technically aren’t eating all of the dry mix. As for reducing it, you could probably get away with reducing the cornmeal and breadcrumbs and increasing the nutritional yeast (I think nooch is less calories per tablespoon). Let me know what you try out!

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K February 28, 2012

Definitely making these! Thanks!

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Jodie February 28, 2012

These look delicious, I shall definitely be making these soon!

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Amber K February 28, 2012

These look amazing!!! I’m totally going to try this with another veggie – cooked onions are murder on my stomach. But I can’t let this recipe go to waste!

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StoriesAndSweetPotatoes February 28, 2012

Oh these sound amazing and I have been eating a ton of onions lately. You could put all kinds of stuff in that batter.

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Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free February 28, 2012

These look so good! I absolutely love onion rings but haven’t had any in years since I went gfree.

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers February 28, 2012

These look great to me! I’m normally not a big onion ring fan, but it’s mainly due to the grease.

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susan February 28, 2012

This will win huge brownie points with my kids. I am so making these! Do you think alternative flours will work( oat or brown rice)?? Looks yumm!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 28, 2012

Yes I would think that most flours would be fine. Let me know what you use and how it turns out!

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie February 28, 2012

Oh there is just nothing like a well done onion ring! You’re killing me with these right now! A pregnant lady doesn’t need to be seeing this sort of lovely stuff.

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Alyssa Deggan February 28, 2012

Hi Angela,

I just wanted to say that I discovered your blog through pinterest a few months ago and ever since I check it regularly. Not only does your food inspire me to cook but you inspire me to embrace my body and be happy with who I am. Your story and your success is quite beautiful and I can resonate with it on some degree. Thank you for your amazing recipes, your genuine, bright, cheerful and honest personality, your strength and your willingness to share your life with us.

Much love,
Alyssa

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 28, 2012

Thank you Alyssa, that is so nice of you to say! :) Thanks for reading!

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TeenyLittleSuperChef February 28, 2012

Gahhh, I love onion rings! Unfortunately, the ones that are usually served at restaurants are so unhealthy and fried. I love the idea of baking them. Totally gets rid of all the grease but not the taste. Once again, thank you for an awesome recipe! I can’t wait to give these a try tonight along with some of your best-ever veggie burgers. I’m excited just thinking about those!

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Kelly February 28, 2012

I just read your interview…it was wonderful! My comment is on what you quoted:

“Beauty is how you feel inside and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” ~Sophia Loren

Your beauty is absolutely seen in your eyes, along with your smile & your sense of humor! Congratulations on your constant recovery. I hope I can some day get to that point.

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Angela February 29, 2012

Thank you Kelly :) I can “feel” your beauty just through your comment. I wish you all the best!

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Joann@womaninreallife February 28, 2012

Very intriguing idea. I should try it. I haven’t had onion rings for more than 20 years, since I got sick once and associated them with the illness. Funny how you can hang on to something like that for so long!

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Ashley February 28, 2012

Hi Angela!

Your recipes always look so yummy! Do you ever submit them to findingvegan.com?

I have a great Chipotle Ranch recipe that would go with your “Outback” Blooming Onion!! Well actually it’s a recipe from “Vegan Family Meals” cookbook. Blend 3/4 cup veganaise, 4 oz silken tofu, 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk (or any vegan milk. I used a tiny bit more because I like it more runny like the ranch in a bottle) lemon juice, 1/3 cup onion, 2 teaspoons chipotle in adobe (I use 2 Tablespoons because I like it SPIC-AY!), 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, S&P, chives, and 2 teaspoons dijon mustard. It’s so yummy! My husband and I keep this in the fridge for dips and salad dressings.

Thanks for all of the great recipes!

Ashley

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Angela February 28, 2012

Definitely try beer batter onion rings as they are amazing. I could eat them all day but my jeans would prefer it if I didn’t!

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jen February 28, 2012

i have tried baked onion rings SO MNAY TIMES before, and heres my issue: my coating slides RIGHT off, and im left with a pile of smushy looking onions sitting on top of breadrumbs..what am i doing wring here?

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Angela February 29, 2012

hmm What ingredients did you use for your batter?

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jen March 2, 2012

well it was back in my “low calorie but not actually real food” time, so it was eggbeaters for the batter and dipped in ground bran cereal…i remember losing all patience. maybe it was just the eggbeaters?

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 28, 2012

YES! Onion rings were always my biggest weakness growing up. There’s something just so satisfying about the crunchy exterior and the sweet mushy interior. Thanks for this recipe! :D

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Jenny@vegetarianhatesvegetables February 28, 2012

I’ve never heard of that type of batter! I’ve had horrible luck with many vegan batters. I will have to give this one a try. Good call on the sesame seeds!

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Yellow Haired Girl February 28, 2012

Yum yum yum! Nothing screams summer more than a handful of onion rings, a burger, and some sort of cool beverage (right now I’m picturing a chocolate shake). Thanks for sharing!!

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Christina Beard February 28, 2012

Love this recipe. I have been working on a few onion rings recipes and I would have never thought of this tasty way. Will most def try and very soon! :-)

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Gena February 28, 2012

Thanks for mentioning NEDA week! I almost forgot this year. And these rings look stupendous.

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Char @ www.charskitchen.ca February 28, 2012

I loooove the quinoa onion rings at Fresh restaurant! I will totally be making these :D

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Raquel @ Ovenmitts Vegan Blog February 28, 2012

I used to HATE onion rings. In fact, I hated anything that had onions in it! But now? They’re a part of nearly every single dinner I make, and I can’t get enough. These are on the to-do list!

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Angela February 29, 2012

I used to hate onions too!

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Sarah @ The Healthy Diva February 28, 2012

If I weren’t allergic to onions I’d so be trying this right now! looks so appetizing

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Silly Sally February 28, 2012

Makes me drool! Definitely trying it sometime this week! :D Great option for pescetarians and vegetarians too ;)

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Varsha February 29, 2012

Delightful!!
Now who dare say ‘that’s bad for you’ ????

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Katie February 29, 2012

Those look amazing! I love how they look with black sesame seeds, and I imagine the panko / nutritional yeast / sesame flavour is incredible. Thanks!

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Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com February 29, 2012

Delicious! One of my the most favorite things ever!

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