Baked Barbecue Onion Rings

Baked Onion Rings that come out crispy and crunchy every time and are made with a spice blend that makes them taste like barbecue potato chips. These are so good and are actually goof for you! Jump to Recipe

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This Baked Onion Ring recipe has the best crispy and crunchy coating and is served with a quick and easy barbecue dipping sauce. We love serving it with Tilapia Fish Burgers or Healthy Ranch Turkey Burgers.

I have a serious onion ring addiction and have a really hard time not immediately ordering them anytime I see them on any menu. But here is the thing, I am super picky about the actual onion ring. I want a thin coating of batter, I don't want the onion rings to be too thick, they need to be crispy without any hint of sogginess. Otherwise, it just isn't worth it, in my opinion. Too many calories for something that doesn't even taste that good. But these healthy baked onion rings? That is a whole other story. I could eat the whole tray. They are just so good and meet all my onion ring expectations.

These easy baked onion rings are all part of a new plan to make some of my favorite foods at home in a healthier way. I have been making tons of these Baked Skinny Fries, but these are the new favorite in our home. Now they are a bit of a labor of love, but they are worth it. There is just no easy way to coat a bunch of onions in breading, unfortunately. If you know a quick tip, please let me know!

How do you make onion rings without frying them?

The best way to make onion rings without frying them is to bake them. When they are baked at a high temperature, they can turn out nice and crispy just like if they were fried. To bread the onions rings, first dip them in an egg wash and then into Panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs will provide more crunch than traditional breadcrumbs. You can also dip them in flour before the eggs to add even more crunch. To get the most crunch, cook them in a single layer on a wire rack. Cooking them on a wire rack allows the air to circulate all around the onions and helps them to crisp up.

How long does it take to cook onion rings in the oven?

The exact amount of time to cook onion rings in the oven will vary based on the thickness of the onion slices. However, generally they will take about 10-12 minutes per side at 400 degrees. This will be shorter for thin rings and longer for thick cut onions.

How do you air fry an onion ring?

Cooking onion rings in an air fryer is a great alternative to baking them and can create the same crunch. For most onion rings, they will take about 3 minutes per side at 400 degrees. This also works with store bought frozen onion rings and generally they will come out much better.

How do you keep onion rings crispy?

There are a few tips that can help keep baked onion rings crispy:

  • Single layer: It is extremely important to cook the rings in a single layer so that they don't steam. When the onion rings overlap, they tend to turn out more mushy and the coating may come off. That means if you need to pull out two baking sheets, don't hesitate. 
  • Wire rack: Placing the onion rings on a wire rack while they are baking ensures that they don't get mushy on the bottom, which can sometimes happen with baking. It also lets the heat circulate evenly around the onions while they bake.

Baked Onion Rings Recipe Ideas

This recipe is for a barbecue chip inspired onion ring. I mean is there really anything better. However, there are all kinds of different ways to season these rings to make a delicious side dish.

  • Garlic: Add garlic powder or grated garlic to the Panko breadcrumbs to create an onion ring with tons of garlic flavor. Plan on about one teaspoon of garlic powder per onion.
  • Old Bay: Old Bay is one of the best spice blends out there in my opinion. Adding a few teaspoons of Old Bay to the Panko breading is a great way to add flavor.
  • Honey mustard: If you love honey mustard, replace the barbecue sauce with honey mustard for a yummy sauce.
  • Buttermilk: If you love buttermilk onion rings, soak the onions in buttermilk for at least 1hour before cooking them.

Onion Ring Sauce Recipe - Lightened Up

Although I am sharing a fun barbecue yogurt sauce with these onion rings, I always get questions about how to make classic onion ring sauce. Here is a lightened up version of the classic sauce and it's delish!

  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 tbsp horseradish sauce 
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Directions: Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight if possible. This gives the flavors time to meld together and deepen.
The Recipe
Baked Barbecue Onion Rings

Baked Barbecue Onion Rings

Adapted from
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  • 2 U sweet onions, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 U egg whites
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/16 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.


Whisk together the flour, salt, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.


In another shallow bowl, whisk together the egg whites, buttermilk, and a dash of hot sauce.


Add the panko bread crumbs to a plate or shallow bowl.


Dip the onion ring in the flour mixture, then the egg, then the panko bread crumbs.


Repeat until all the onion rings are coated with bread crumbs. Lay in a single layer on two baking sheets, ideally on top of a wire rack, with foil underneath for easier clean up.


Bake for 12 minutes and then carefully flip and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.


While the onion rings are baking, mix together the barbecue sauce and yogurt to make your barbecue dipping sauce.

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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 15 + rings and 1.5 tbsp. sauce (94g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 142
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 350mg
Total Carbohydrate 29g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 9g
Protein 5g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

† SmartPoints™ calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
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About the author Meet Kristen Mccaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tired and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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