Baked Onion Rings are a delicious, healthier version of everyone’s favorite appetizer. Made simply with onions, all-purpose flour, and egg whites, these homemade onion rings are baked to perfection in just 20 minutes.
For as long as I can remember, onion rings have been one of my favorite restaurant appetizers. They’re handheld, crunchy, and packed with delicious flavor. Making my own healthier onion ring recipe so I could enjoy them whenever I wanted seemed like a no-brainer.
This Baked Onion Rings recipe is a healthier version than the deep-fried onion rings you can order at restaurants. They’re just as delicious as the classic, but by making onion rings from scratch, you can control exactly what goes into them.
These homemade onion rings are made with onions, all-purpose flour, egg whites, and Italian bread crumbs to create a delicious, non-greasy alternative to one of the most iconic side dishes in America. Baked instead of fried, these onion rings have half as much fat and sodium as traditional ones, and are ready in under 30 minutes.
I recommend pairing this tasty dish with a burger like my Chickpea Feta Burger or these Crispy Chicken Tenders. Alternatively, you can serve them on their own as a delicious snack or appetizer with a side of homemade Skinny Ranch or Creamy Chipotle Sauce.
However you choose to enjoy these onion rings, I guarantee you’re going to love them!
To make these healthy onion rings, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Vidalia onions: These onions have a mildly sweet flavor that works perfectly in this dish. If you’re having trouble finding this specific variation, you could substitute them for large, sweet onions.
- All-purpose flour: Dipping your onion rings into seasoned flour helps them hold onto the egg mixture, which in turn helps to secure the breading.
- Egg whites: Egg whites are rich in protein and virtually fat-free, making them an incredibly healthy base for the onion ring breading. They also help to create a sticky surface for the breadcrumbs to hold to.
- Italian bread crumbs: You can use either whole wheat or regular bread crumbs, depending on your preference. If you’re using plain bread crumbs, simply season them with garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, salt, and pepper. Panko breadcrumbs are another great option.
- Hot sauce: This recipe calls for a bit of hot sauce to mix in with the egg whites. This gives the onion rings a subtle, spicy flavor that brilliantly compliments the natural sweetness of the onions. However, if you don’t like spice, feel free to leave this out.
Baked Onion Rings Recipe Tips
Here are my top tips for bringing these healthy onion rings to life:
- Slice your onions into ½ inch rings. This gives them enough surface to hold onto the breading, while ensuring that they are still thin enough to bake quickly.
- To make onion fries instead of rings, simply cut the onions into ½ inch strips and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- For softer onion rings, try soaking the onions in buttermilk. This will help keep them tender inside their crispy outer coating.
- For an entirely whole-wheat dish, try swapping the all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour. For gluten-free onion rings, make sure to use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs.
- For an extra kick, try sprinkling the onion rings with chili powder or cayenne pepper before baking them.
- When lining the baking sheet, make sure your onion rings are spread out in a single layer. If there is overlap, then the onion rings won’t be able to cook fully or properly.
- For some delicious cheesy flavor, sprinkle some mozzarella or parmesan cheese on top of the baked onion rings just before serving them.
How to Serve Baked Onion Rings
Baked onion rings are the perfect side dish for burgers, sandwiches, or any other type of finger food. They also work great as a burger topping! Here are some of my favorite burgers to serve with onion rings:
- Cowboy Turkey Burger
- Barbecue Cheddar Turkey Burger
- Jalapeno Cheddar Black Bean Burger
- Healthy Ranch Turkey Burger
- Jalapeno Popper Burger
Dipping Sauce Ideas
Baked Onion Rings also taste amazing on their own as a quick and easy snack or appetizer, and they are the perfect size for dipping. While ketchup is an easy option, here are some of my favorite dipping sauces to add even more flavor:
Baked Onion Rings Storage Tips
These onion rings are great for storing and reheating throughout the week. Just allow any leftovers to cool down, then seal them in an airtight bag or storage container. Then, you can store them in one of two ways:
- In the fridge for up to a week.
- In the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish:
Are these onion rings healthy?
Traditional deep-fried onion rings are loaded with saturated fats, grease, and unnecessary calories. However, these onion rings are breaded at home and baked in the oven for a much lighter option. This dish is perfectly healthy, as long as it’s consumed in moderation.
How to prevent onion rings from getting soggy?
Before coating your onion rings, chill the raw onion slices in cold water. Allow them to sit in the bath for at least 10 minutes to help them get nice and crispy while baking. However, make sure that you dry them completely before dipping them into the batter, or else you risk them not sticking to the batter.
Can I use Panko bread crumbs?
Absolutely! Panko bread crumbs are Japanese-style breadcrumbs with a light and airy texture that tend to crisp as they cook. For that reason, they work great in this dish for extra crispy rings, so you can definitely swap them out if you have some available.
How do I get the breading to stick?
If the onion ring batter isn’t thick enough, the breading might have trouble sticking to the rings. In the event that your batter does not seem thick enough, add a bit of milk or some extra flour.
Do I need to soak the onions in buttermilk?
Some homemade baked onion ring recipes call for soaking the onions in buttermilk before breading them. Soaking the onion in buttermilk does two things. First, it softens the onions slightly and mellows out the raw onion flavor. It also helps the breading to stick to the onion.
Personally, I love the flavor of onions, so I skip this step and still love the results. Plus since the onions need to soak for 4-6 hours, it takes a lot of advanced prep work that I don't always remember. If you want to add this step, just cover the onions in buttermilk after slicing them and keep them in the fridge overnight.
Can these be made with other kinds of onions?
Sure! I like to make onion rings with Vidalia onion since they are sweeter and have less bite than a yellow or white onion. However, you can bake any type of onions to make onion rings.
Can I make these in the air fryer?
Yes! These come out great in the air fryer but if you are using a basket air fryer, it will take quite a few batches to cook all the onion rings. Cook them at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until browned and crispy. Make sure to keep them in a single layer otherwise they won't get crispy.
More Healthy Side Dishes
Liked these lightened-up onion rings? Try these healthy alternatives to french fries next:
Baked Onion Rings
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2 sweet Vidalia onions (sliced into ½ inch rings)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp seasoned salt
4 egg whites, whisked
1/16 tsp hot sauce
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (whole wheat or regular)
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Dip the onion rings in the flour, then the egg whites letting any excess drip off, and then dip into the breadcrumbs. Place on the baking sheet in a single layer. You can speed this process up by adding the breading to a Ziploc bag and then adding the coated onions there. Shake the bag to coat. The coating won't be quite as even, but it is significantly faster.
* 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.
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