Onion rings, to me, are one of the most undeniably delicious snacks. They are usually fried and dripping with oil – do healthy onion rings even exist? I didn’t think so – so I was really excited to try these crispy baked onion rings and see if they could really compare to the fried ones. They are a bit different, but they are certainly good and have a crispy exterior.
I accidentally used medium ground cornmeal though, which was NOT a good idea. My grocery only had medium grind, but it is way too big to work well in this recipe. So I think buying a finely ground cornmeal is a total necessity in this recipe. The medium ground cornmeal was too big and tough to be used for this.
The onions first get an overnight soak in buttermilk to tenderize them:
And the next day you dip them in egg white, dip them in their breading, spray with olive oil, and bake away.
As I said, they aren’t *exactly* the same as their fried cousins, but they are definitely healthier and tasty in their own right. I love roasted or baked veggies of any kind, so I’ll probably add these to my lineup for yummy baked veggies. Let me know if you try it!
Baked Onion Rings
original recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction
2 large sweet (Vidalia) onions, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 quart (950ml) buttermilk
4 egg whites
2/3 cup (85g) whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
3/4 cup (125g) ground cornmeal (make sure to get finely ground, not medium ground)
1 cup (60g) panko bread crumbs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
nonstick spray like PAM, olive oil spray, or coconut oil spray
At least 4 hours ahead of time, place the sliced onion rings into a large dish and pour buttermilk over them. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. They can be soaked from 4 hours to overnight – mine soaked for almost 24 hours.
Once the onions have soaked, remove from the refrigerator. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (if using tin foil the onions will stick). In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites. Set aside. In a large shallow dish, mix the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, bread crumbs, and the seasonings together until combined.
Remove each ring from the buttermilk and dip in egg whites. Immediately submerge in the bread crumb mixture, mixing around to coat the onion well. If the bread crumbs won’t adhere, dip in egg whites and then the breading again. If you find you need more breading, make more.
Lay each breaded ring on the baking sheets in a single layer. You’ll have two batches if your onions were quite large. When all the rings are breaded, spray each with nonstick spray to “seal” the breading, which will prevent the breading from staying raw and allows it to bake onto the onion rings.
Bake each batch for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and flip each ring using tongs. Spray the other side with nonstick spray. Then bake for 15 more minutes. Oven baking time may vary – keep an eye on the rings and check to make sure they are not becoming too dark brown.
Allow the onion rings to cool a bit and enjoy with ketchup or ranch dressing. If desired, sprinkle with a little bit more salt.