I don’t really know how I feel about onion rings.

I just… don’t know. Or at least, I didn’t know before I made these. Now I know. And you need to know.


Talk much?


I used to highly dislike onions. I was weird. And missing out. Onions are like… one of the best flavor enhancers in the universe. Not even joking. I thought I didn’t like them, but then my husband went through a phase where he ate caramelized onions everyday for 67 straight days. Looking back, that was lovely. It taught me to love onions. And air fresheners. And breath mints.

Turns out I wasn’t really utilizing them to the best of their ability. Now don’t even tell me that I’m not cooking broccoli slash cauliflower slash carrots slash zucchini incorrectly people. I don’t want to hear it.


FYI: I do not consider onions a vegetable. I mean, they are a vegetable, they grow in the ground (I think?) but whatever… they are not a real vegetable. They are not like spinach and broccoli that I should be consuming with regularity so I can chew vitamins and see more clearly and keep my skin soft and peachy creamy. They are just… there. For my taste buds. To make them happy.


So. Onion rings. I made these one weekend. I do really important things on weekends. Bake cupcakes for breakfast, avoid cleaning any and all bathrooms in my general surroundings, plow through the US Weekly that I strategically hid in shame from my husband, but that he found anyway because he loves trash as much as I do… you know. Things like that. And sometimes we watch TV. We once watched an entire marathon of America’s Next Top Model the first year we were dating. 12 hours. 12 hours of my life I will never get back. The only redeeming quality to come from watching trash TV marathons is that they occasionally involve food. And last week Ina made Jeffery some fried onion rings and juicy filet with creamy blue cheese sauce so rich that it could instantly induce a heart attack. I LOVE that!

We could not stop thinking about that meal. Seriously. It was all we talked about. We almost ate it on Memorial Day at 10 am. This is my life.


I figured I could bake the onion rings and make them super crispy and crunchy, much like the chicken fingers we love. Success! And a bonus? They don’t get soggy like deep fried onion rings do. Not.at.all. They stay super crunchy and sweet. Just how I like them. I like my onion rings like I like my… apples slash granola slash other inappropriate phrase that has no relevance to this recipe.


These are currently the best thing in my life. Ever.

Healthy Crunchy Onion Rings

serves 2-4

2 large vidalia onions

1 quart of buttermilk

4 egg whites

1 cup medium ground cornmeal

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

12-24 hours ahead of time, slice onions into 1/2-inch thick rings. Season the onion rings with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper each. Place in a baking dish and pour buttermilk over top. Let soak for 12-24 hours.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour and panko with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon paprika. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the wire rack with non-stick spray.

Remove each onion ring from the buttermilk and dip in egg whites. Immediately dip in the breadcrumb mixture and press to coat. If bread crumbs won’t adhere, dip in egg whites and try again. Lay each ring on the wire rack. When all rings are ready, give each a quick spritz with olive oil or non-stick spray. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip with tongs and spray again with olive oil or non-stick spray. Bake for 10 minutes more.


Grilled Flank Steak

serves 2-4

1 pound flank steak, about 1 inch thick

1/3 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup sherry wine

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

12-24 hours before grilling, combine olive oil, sherry, soy, ginger, garlic and sugar in a baking dish and whisk. Place steak in the dish and flip a few times to coat. Let marinate for 12-24 hours, turning every so often.

When ready to cook, preheat grill or grill pan. Grill steak about 6 minutes on each side for it to be medium/medium well. Remove from grill and let sit for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain to ensure tenderness. Serve with onion rings!

Oh, I made that steak too. It was fancy fancy and fabulous. You should try it.

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163 Responses to “Healthy, Crunchy Onion Rings [& Grilled Flank Steak.]”

  1. #
    shannon — June 9, 2011 @ 11:27 am

    i didn’t read all the comments but i wonder if i could cook these on the grill while i’m making my burgers instead of heating up my kitchen?


    • Jessica — June 9th, 2011 @ 11:29 am

      Hmmm, Shannon I honestly am not sure. I would think not, because they really need that super high heat in the oven, combined with the non-stick spray… but I’m not familiar with the grill much – do you think they would “crisp” up on the grill??


  2. #
    jess — June 9, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    Yep, definitely a huge hit! I may or may not have eaten the entire onion I made last night….Awesome recipe, Jessica! I can’t get enough of your recipes :)


  3. #
    Sorawritea girl — June 9, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

    I am absolutely In LOVE with you’re blog! You get me so excited about cooking everyday and your recipes are so creative! I’m sure you hear that all time time, but you’re truly inspiring :) my boyfriend loves the recipes I use from your site and I get excited just thinking about making them for him! Thank you for entertaining and teaching me :)


    • Jessica — June 9th, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

      Thank you so, so much!


  4. #
    Natalie | FrizzyDizzy — June 9, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

    This is what I want to eat… right now!
    P.S. I love the new look


  5. #
    Holly — June 9, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

    oh wow those look good! We have been on an onion ring kick here! I cant wait to try them!


  6. #
    Katherine — June 10, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    when you say “wire rack”, is that like a cooling wire rack? It probably is what you’re referring to, but I just wanted to make sure!


    • Jessica — June 10th, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

      You could use a cooling rack – the wire rack I have has closer grates and actually came with a baking sheet I bought!


  7. #
    Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous — June 10, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    Healthy, crunchy onion rings?!? I think I love these even better than the green bean bacon bundles! (You can tell I’m reading posts in reverse.) These have to be made ASAP!


  8. #
    Courtney — June 10, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    I didn’t read through all the comments so someone may have suggested this already… my husband and I make baked onion rings all the time and tried subbing the cornmeal for crushed salt and pepper potato chips last week (we used Kettle Chips) and it made them so much better.


    • Ally — March 15th, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

      Hmmm… The onion rings were definitely a miss, the cornmeal makes them way too grainy. Maybe I’ll try making them next time with crushed potato chips instead….so bummed!


  9. #
    Aileen — June 10, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    Yum! I can’t wait to make these this weekend. I love your new blog layout. It’s simple & looks great!


  10. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — June 11, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    Can you please come over and make me dinner? I can pay you in frosting…sound good?


  11. #
    marla {family fresh cooking} — June 11, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    Would love this for dinner tonight!


  12. #
    snowflakes2hotcakes — June 11, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    Made these for dinner last night. The flank steak? To. die. for. Handsome, the pitmaster, has deemed the marinade brisket-worthy, which is high praise. I have never done flank steak before, and was amazed at how flavorful and tender it was. The onion rings got mixed reviews – I liked them a lot, but Handsome not so much. The breading just didn’t stick consistently, which was okay with me b/c I like the flavor of the onion on its own, but Handsome wanted more breading. Either way, though, I enjoyed it. :) Thanks for posting! I’m posting about making the flank steak on my blog and linking back to you and giving you credit. Hope that’s okay:)


  13. #
    Courtney Vermette — June 12, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    I just made this for my bf for dinner, and he can’t stop raving. Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes! I’ve hated onions my whole life, and I’ll eat these yummy things. Thanks so much again!!!


  14. #
    Lacey @ dishfolio.com — June 13, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    Yummy! We’d love for you to share this over at dishfolio.com!


  15. #
    Skinny Fat Kid — June 13, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    I can never get my batter to stick like that! Your onion rings look perfect! I will have to try the long term soak next time…


    • aint my first rodeo — July 1st, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

      I am sure these taste good but I soaked the dang onions for 12 hours and nothing would stick to them. At all. I don’t think egg whites are correct for this. Would never make this again after tonight’s fiasco.


  16. #
    Issy — June 13, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    Honestly, i just had dinner but this really made me wonder why i didn’t come across a couple of hours earlier so that i could cook it!
    Love Love Love it!!


  17. #
    beril — June 13, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    So I just tried to make these (they are still in the oven) and the onion rings are completely naked! Maybe the trick is to let them soak for a full 12-24 hours…I did about 7 hours and it was not enough. I will try again tho!


    • Jessica — June 13th, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

      Did you coat them in the egg whites? That is what really gets the coating to stick.


  18. #
    Molly — June 14, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    I made this last night and my boyfriend declared his enjoyment in expletives — it was so good. He also gave me two high fives, haha. We both loved the onion rings and the steak. And they were both really simple.


  19. #
    sophistimom — June 17, 2011 @ 1:11 am

    I love this idea. I never ever thought of baking onion rings before. I am so doing this.


  20. #
    Lauren — June 17, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    I have been following your blog for a while and I think that I might love you. Seriously. I have tried several of your recipes and all have turned out to be easy and delicious! You are with out a doubt my go to recipe source, not to mention I enjoy the pictures and commentary every day :) I tried these onion rings and WOW! So so good. Thanks for being funny, taking great pictures, and most of all coming up with great recipes for me to share with my family.


    • Jessica — June 17th, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

      Thank you Lauren!


  21. #
    Rachielle — June 21, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    *drools* i love the idea of baking these, seems so much easier than messing with a big pot of oil and frying them. but these could be fried, right? just wondering if the crunchy texture would hold up if i decided to toss’em in the oil. love your blog btw!


    • Jessica — June 21st, 2011 @ 10:29 am

      Yes, I think so!


  22. #
    Amy — July 6, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

    What does soaking the onions in the buttermilk for so long beforehand do? Make the onions soggier and less slick so the breading stays on them? I’ve tried a similar recipe and the breading did not stay on AT ALL. I think I also used egg as part of the process…maybe that was dumb. Well, no…cause your recipe calls for egg whites….hmmm….


    • aint my first rodeo — July 1st, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

      Didn’t work for me either beyond one or two rings. And I did soak the onions for 12hours.


  23. #
    megan — August 7, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    Yippee, a new way to eat flank steak and a terrific side. I can guarantee I’ll be making this one!


  24. #
    Irmak — August 14, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    Can I sub milk for buttermilk?


  25. #
    Kira Nathan — August 13, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

    The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and the bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached. In the autumn the foliage dies down and the outer layers of the bulb become dry and brittle. The crop is harvested and dried and the onions are ready for use or storage. The crop is prone to attack by a number of pests and diseases, particularly the onion fly, the onion eelworm and various fungi that cause rotting. Some varieties of A. cepa such as shallots and potato onions produce multiple bulbs.,:…

    Our very own web site



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