Crispy Baked Onion Rings

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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 }

Laura@mypurposefullife March 1, 2012

Oh wow, these look so good! I have always loved onion rings, but rarely get them since they’re usually so greasy. These, however, look perfect. I’m off to read you interview for ED week now! You played a pivotal role for me learning a lot about myself, so I can’t wait to read what you have to say.

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Sam@I Tell Stories March 1, 2012

I never really cared for onion rings until I got pregnant and then I ate them straight for the first three months. Can’t wait to try this recipe :)

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KellyB March 1, 2012

Like the new header!

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Jennifer March 1, 2012

Another amazing recipe. My sister is a recent vegan, so I love getting recipe tips from your blog.

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Susan March 1, 2012

Although onion rings aren’t something I generally eat or even have a desire to eat these look delicious and i may need to find an excuse or event for which to make them – inspirational as always!
Love the updated banner/header on the website – it looks so fresh, colorful and healthy.
Also really liked your interview on the NEDA website – I admire your ability to speak so openly about your past and your triumph over DE

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Laura@mypurposefullife March 1, 2012

I already commented, but just wanted to tell you that I just read your interview and absolutely LOVED it. Congrats on getting to a place where you can discuss your eating history in such a down-to-earth, inspiring way.

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Amanda March 1, 2012

Love the new look of your blog!! So colorful and fitting.

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jenna March 1, 2012

I’ve never had luck with vegan baked onion rings, but your recipes always work out for me, so I’m planning to try these ones. I LOVE your bright, beautiful winter fruits and veggies masthead/banner!!

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Cara Craves... March 2, 2012

Lovely new header! I love it!

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Charlotte March 2, 2012

I made this yesterday with asparagus, mushrooms and red bell peppers, and it was delicious! But as you have mentioned, there is a lot of batter and coating leftover. I am not worried about the coating, but I put the batter in the fridge, do you think I have to use it up fast? How long should it last?
Thank you!
…and I love your blog, by the way, it has been very helpful since I turned vegan a few weeks ago (I was a vegetarian for 6 years), you are so creative and your recipes are inspiring!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 2, 2012

I would imagine it would last a few days or so. :)

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Kathy March 3, 2012

I’ve never been a fan of onion rings and have had them only a handful of times, and during all those times, I ate the fried batter around it instead!
Now this is guilt free AND tastes good!

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Jennifer March 3, 2012

Wow! These were amazing! We made them the day you posted them and I am now in the process of making them again. My boyfriend is making them at the firehall tomorrow night for the guys and when I asked what else he was serving with them he said he didn’t need anything else just endless pans of your onion rings! We made extra the first time and so I took a few leftovers for night shift as I crave crunchy, salty ect. on nights and they were STILL crunchy 5 hours later! SO good! Thanks so much:)

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glidingcalm March 4, 2012

Wow! These look amazing, Angela!! I love onions, I really do.

Hope all is well! :D
-gliding calm

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Carrie March 5, 2012

Oh wow, these look so tasty. I’m just doing some menu planning and trying out some new recipes and I can’t wait to try these! I linked to this recipe on my blog today, too.

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Donna March 7, 2012

I tried these last night and had a bit of a culinary disaster right from the start. I think cornmeal must be different in the US to the UK (despite wikipedia stating it is the same as cornflour) because my first attempt at batter turned into a dough. I then ended up with a gloopy dough when trying to coat the onion rings in the dry mix.

Would this work without the cornflour/cornmeal?

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Kristine April 11, 2012

Sounds like you just needed more liquid in your batter to thin it out. Like any flour, the amount of liquid you need to add is highly variable based on weather conditions, age of the product, and a gazillion other conditions. You probably could have almost doubled the liquid; don’t be afraid to modify the recipe- it’s very forgiving! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

Hey Donna, I’m not sure about making substitutions as I havent tried it. But yes it can be a messy process and takes a bit of getting used to. I agree that more liquid might be needed if your dough is too thick. Goodluck if you try it again!

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geosomin March 12, 2012

Made these on the weekend along with your crunchy baked tofu from a few days back.
AMAZING!
Thanks :)

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Kristen March 24, 2012

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while and decided to try it tonight. Result: they were fantastic!!! So crispy, and they tasted both healthy and delicious. I recommend only making half the necessary crumb coating – and I didn’t even use all of the halved recipe. For the batter, I did follow the full recipe and used nearly all of it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I really love your blog!! I also made the salt & vinegar roasted chickpeas tonight and they’re also excellent.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 25, 2012

Thank you for your tips, I will be sure to try that next time I make them!

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Kevin (Closet Cooking) March 25, 2012

Nice looking onion rings!

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amanda March 28, 2012

oh wow! i looooove onion rings. Have you ever tried using a cereal based ingredient? I found one here and looks goooood. http://www.thebakingbeauties.com/2012/03/recipes-using-kelloggs-gluten-free-rice-krispies-brown-rice-cereal.html

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Kristine April 11, 2012

Omg, I made these last night (with a few changes based on what I had in the house) and they were INCREDIBLE!!! Made a double batch for the 2 of us & we still could have eaten a lot more of them! After dipping them individually for a while (used chopsticks to dip them in batter & crumbs), I decided to drop the whole lot of ‘em into the batter, then pick them out & drop them into the pan of crumb mixture & shake ‘em around. MUUUUCH faster if you’re making a bunch of them, although you waste a bit more topping this way. That said, the little chunks of breading that ended up on the pan were FABULOUS… I called them “crispy bits” & will make more of them next time! THANK YOU for this healthy alternative to traditional onion rings, these ROCK!! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

Glad to hear that, great idea too!

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Susan May 15, 2012

Angela….HELP!! My batter looks nothing like yours does in the picture. Are the measurements listed correct or am I doing something really wrong? 2/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup + 1 Tbsp broth, and 2 tbsp corn starch? I kept having to add more broth to it and it still didn’t look anything like your photo. Any suggestions? Thanks so much; I LOVE your website!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 16, 2012

Hey Susan, Sorry to hear that! I wonder if the type of flour used impacts the consistency of the batter? What kind of flour did you use?

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Susan May 16, 2012

I used coconut flour…so now I’m wondering if I should just have used white flour. I had used sweet Vidalia onions so I was thinking a little extra sweetness from the coconut flour would be good. Perhaps not! I’ll have to try it again with a regular flour! Thanks!

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Radhika Sarohia August 17, 2012

This is a fantastic recipe!:)
(Only change I made was to use slightly lower-carb flours/coating materials because I’m on a low-carb diet)
Made these twice now and they were terrific, will be making them again soon

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Vegan Radhika Sarohia January 4, 2013

Well over four months later and I had to revisit this post to say I have a huge soft spot for these onion ring
They were the first OhSheGlow recipe I ever tried–they’re how I found this blog:)–and they came out delicious
Have happily made them many times since
[Though I have made the avocado chocolate torte even more times hahaha]

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Terri March 2, 2013

Ohhhh I LOVE Fresh’s quinoa battered onion rings!! Theirs are exactly what I was thinking of when I decided to look up a recipe and because I saw you mentioned Fresh, it was the first recipe I clicked on. Unfortunately, we have no such restaurant here in Bermuda, so I will be trying to make my own very soon. Maybe start a local trend, since I cannot make it to TO very often. MMM!!!

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Victoria March 20, 2013

I’ll try them soon

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Genevieve March 22, 2013

I was compelled to comment here because I was so happy with how these turned out! Even my 91 year old grandma couldn’t get enough of them!
The flavour combo was just awesome, you really nailed it with this recipe.
So simple and was such a breeze to whip up because I had all these ingredients handy in the pantry.
Keep up the awesome work Angela, love what you do!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 23, 2013

Aw I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for sharing. :)

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Aira May 20, 2014

These are fabulous! I was worried about flipping them and the coating coming off but I had no problems! This would be a great recipe to “revive” before Canada Day/Forth of July! Paired with black bean burgers and a tangy salad possibly?

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Natalie July 27, 2014

Great flavor! Put this same recipe over green beans and the kids will eat their veggies! Even my husband loved them, but ha no one got the Onion Rings but me! So don’t feel bad.

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