Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside without getting soggy. You won’t even realize these onion rings are baked!
- 2 large sweet onions, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 quart (950ml) low fat buttermilk*
- 4 egg whites
- 2/3 cup (85g) whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 3/4 cup (125g) ground cornmeal
- 1 cup (60g) Panko bread crumbs*
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- nonstick spray like PAM, olive oil spray, or coconut oil spray (found mine at Trader Joe’s)
- At least 4 hours ahead of time, place the sliced onion rings into a large dish and pour buttermilk overtop. You don’t have to drown the onions, just make sure they are somewhat submerged. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. In this step, you are soaking the onions, which will tenderize them. I strongly suggest soaking them for at least 12 hours for the best taste. I soaked mine overnight.
- Once the onions have soaked, remove from the refrigerator. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites. Set aside. In a large shallow dish (I used a pie 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 like mine. 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. A note about bake time: all ovens are different! And everyone likes a different level of crispiness. I baked my onion rings in my oven for 30 minutes, rotating and flipping once, and they were perfectly brown and crisp. Just bake the rings until they reach your desired level of brownness.
- Allow the onion rings to sit out for 10 minutes before digging in. Enjoy immediately.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Begin the night before by soaking your onions overnight in step 1. You can freeze baked onion rings for up to 2-3 months. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Glass Mixing Bowls
- Buttermilk: Real buttermilk is best, but you can make your own DIY sour milk if needed. Measure 1/4 cup of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice in a quart-size measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 quart. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
- Breadcrumbs: Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for fried or baked foods. It’s available in most major grocery stores near the stuffing. Panko is heavily preferred opposed to regular bread crumbs because they tend to stay crispier longer. You may buy seasoned or unseasoned and then add more/less seasonings to your breading if preferred.
- Seasoning: You can flavor the breading with the seasonings listed or use more/less pepper, paprika, and salt. The recipe is written as if my breading was not seasoned. Some other seasonings to try? Lemon pepper and/or garlic powder. Whatever seasonings you prefer.
Keywords: crispy baked onion rings