The crunch, the flavored breadcrumbs, the sweet onion, the pairing with ketchup. Baked onion rings are the “healthy” alternative to your typical fried and true restaurant-style rings. You don’t have to waste half a roll of paper towels cleaning up your hands from the oil and grease residue. Just bake, dip, and hear the crisp snap of the ring on your first bite.
One of my favorite characteristics of these baked onion rings is their lightness. They don’t sit heavily in your stomach like deep fat fried rings and they definitely don’t leave you with an upset stomach. You know you’re going to have a bad time when you get a plate full of onion rings where half the plate is oil. These rings aren’t full of thick breading either. They’re crunchy yet not 90% breading and 10% onion.
The freshness can’t be matched either. I’ve had some great onion rings that taste like they were just grown in a fried onion garden, but these rings with their bite of the still crisp onion are perfect for your summer barbeque or a junk food night in. The recipe does call for soaking for 4-48 hours in buttermilk to help tenderize the onion but the onion slices are still snappy when you take your first bite.
To note, I love soaking mine for 48 hours. I have never tasted much buttermilk on the rings when I soak them for 4 hours. I love that the buttermilk leaves a great creaminess to the onion rings and if you want extra buttermilk flavor, soaking/marinating for 48 hours is best. I didn’t really noticed that much difference in tenderness between the 4 hours and 48 hours of soaking so no need to worry about slimy onions if you soak for longer.
Another item to note: this recipe comes courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction; one of my favorite sites for great treats. Sally uses Panko breadcrumbs while I used the traditional breadcrumbs from Progresso. I definitely agree with her that Panko gives you a fluffier outside crust, but I typically prefer a more dense crust on my rings. Depending on how you like your onion ring texture and lightness, you can choose between traditional Progresso breadcrumbs and Panko.
Additionally, I find that these baked onion rings really hold up better than the fried when it comes to dipping. I love ketchup or Cane’s Sauce with my rings and fried rings always have the breading falling off into the sauce. I’m happy to say that these rings did not have that issue at all. I could single, double, or even triple dip the rings to get every last bit of sauce and no falling apart or little pieces swimming in the sauce that I have to fish out.
If you’re like me, you have one cheat day a week where you can eat junk foods like pizza, burgers, Chinese take-out, Jimmy Johns, or whatever else you want to junk-out on. These rings will quell your inner fat kid/junk food nerd while not actually being super horrible for your body. You can enjoy the facets of the food you love like crunchiness and onion snap while not having to suffer the exorbitant calories or fat. Baked onion rings are perfect for your upcoming summer fiesta, a junk food crash day, or if you’re trying to change your habits to be more healthy without going cold turkey, these are a perfect stepping stone.
- • 2 large sweet onions or 3 medium sweet onions cut into ½-inch slices
- • 1 quart of low fat buttermilk
- • 4 egg whites
- • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- • ¾ cup ground cornmeal
- • 1 cup breadcrumbs
- • ¾ TS (Teaspoon) salt
- • ½ TS pepper
- • ½ TS paprika
- • Cooking spray
- For the onion rings: Cut the onions, soak them in the buttermilk, preheat the oven, scramble the eggs whites, mix the breadcrumbs, coat the onion rings in egg whites and breadcrumbs, bake, and enjoy!
- Note: The recipe may not take 48 hours. You can soak/marinate the onion rings for as little as 4 hours. I would suggest 48 to get the ultimate buttermilk taste, however.
Recipe Category: Appetizer, Side Dish
Recipe Cuisine: American
Nutrition Facts from Skinny Taste :
- Calories: 74.7
- Fat: 0.6 g
- Carb: 14.7 g
- Fiber: 1.6 g
- Sugar: 1.7 g
- Protein: 2.9 g
- Peel and cut the onions into ½-inch slices
- Place the onion rings into a medium-sized bowl and cover with the quart of buttermilk (Make sure all of the onion rings are submerged to allow them to tenderize properly.)
- Cover the bowl with saran wrap and place into the refrigerator for 4-48 hours (I like to soak mine for 48 hours so they soak up more buttermilk flavor.)
- When you’ve reached your desired tenderness, remove the onion rings from the refrigerator and place them on your counter
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites then set them aside to rest
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and paprika until all ingredients are combined
- Remove the rings from the buttermilk one by one and dip them into the egg whites and then the breadcrumb mixture (Make sure the onion rings are completely coated on all sides. If you’re having trouble getting the breadcrumbs to stick, dip the onion ring into the egg whites again and then the breadcrumbs.)
- Place the onion ring on the parchment paper on the baking pan
- Repeat this process until you have coated half the onion rings (You will bake the other half of the rings when the first batch has finished cooking. Some onion rings can be quite large and take up a lot of the baking pan surface area so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to fit all of your onion rings on the two baking pans in the first cooking time.)
- Spray the onion rings on the baking pans with cooking spray to seal the breadcrumbs to the onions
- Bake the onion rings for 15 minutes per side (30 minutes total) (When you remove the onion rings from the oven after the first 15 minute, flip them, coat the other side with cooking spray, and return them to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.)
- If you want a crispier onion ring, cook them for 20 minutes per side or until you feel they’ve reached your desired crunchy texture
- Repeat the egg white and breading procedure for the other half of the onion ring batch and repeat the cooking instructions for 15 minutes per side (30 minutes total)
- Let the onion rings rest for 10 minutes before consuming
- Serve with a side of Cane’s Sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, whole grain mustard, bbq sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce for a truly crunchy yet not-so-horribly-bad-for-you treat!