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.

share:    Pin It    

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

  1. #
    Shugary Sweet — June 8, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    I love the idea of baked rings! My first job at 16 was at a local roast beef and chicken joint, and my job was to fry up the onion rings. I sitll have scars! These look delish, thanks for sharing.


  2. #
    Beth — June 8, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    I don’t know how you do it, but every post is seriously so awesome :) out of curiosity, when you encounter recipes that call for egg whites, what do you do with the yolks?


    • Jessica — June 8th, 2011 @ 10:21 am

      Thank you! It really depends. Lately I’ve just been using the whites because I feel it prevents the “eggy” taste when baking things like this. Sometimes I save them for other recipes but sometimes I just throw them away… I know that’s wasteful – it really just depends on the day and what else I may be cooking that week!


      • Erin — June 8th, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

        Dogs love them! :)

      • aint my first rodeo — July 1st, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

        Steak tartar. With capers and red onion.

  3. #
    Shannon — June 8, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    Oh my! Everything on the plate looks absolutely wonderful. It’s 9:30 am here and now I’m craving steak and baked onion rings.


  4. #
    Meghan McCann — June 8, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    yum yum. I’ll have 100.



  5. #
    Nancy — June 8, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    I seriously love your blog, and now I am addicted to it, waiting not so patiently for tomorrow’s post. We are having some friends over for dinner on Friday and this looks like a perfect easy recipe I can marinate ahead and have ready in 1/2 hour. I’m adding a salad and salt potato’s to complete the meal. Maybe she can bring us a berry treat for dessert :)


  6. #
    NAOMI(onefitfoodie) — June 8, 2011 @ 10:34 am

    OH MY GOD! i want steak tonight and thats that…i am going to have it…and my dad loves onion rings and is super healthy so he would LOVE those!!! YAYAYAYA


  7. #
    Shanna, Like Banana — June 8, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    I have a love affiar with onions. I truly do. Stinky breath and all. But I could pass up an onion ring any day. Weird huh?


  8. #
    Brindi — June 8, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    I’ll have to try these, my husband would love this! We also had your asiago chicken nuggets the other night and they were quite tasty! thanks :)


  9. #
    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio — June 8, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    Oh man! I would LOVE a big piece of steak right now. This dinner looks fantastic!


  10. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 8, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    I love onion rings but haven’t had success with them at home yet so I’ll definitely have to try a baked version. Love panko – so good and crunchy. Gah… you’re making me want onion rings and it’s not even lunch time!


  11. #
    Alison (Fueling for Fitness) — June 8, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    oh my gosh….. i could eat those right now. i want to eat those right now. and now i’m sad because i’m at work and it doesn’t have a kitchen (nor does it afford me the time to make these…. crazy, right). the end.


  12. #
    Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! — June 8, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    THANK YOU for this recipe. I am a big fan of pretty much all foods of the fried kind. So, being able to create the same general taste & feel with slightly less guilt? That’s just gravy, man! Can’t wait to make these. PS – this is the first time I’ve clicked through from my reader in a little while — the new site layout looks AWESOME. So classy. Lovelovelove.


  13. #
    Kellie — June 8, 2011 @ 10:49 am

    yum! sounds so great! We just had flank steak on Sunday and we use *gasp* Montreal’s Steak Seasoning! We just love the flavor of it! After grilling, I melt a bit of butter on top & season with some garlic… so good!

    By the way, last night I made your roasted potatoe wedges… OMG. I’ve made many a roasted potatoes before, but I am a convert! All those seasonings… get in my moouth! Also, I’ve beeen roasting at like 400… 450 made a huge difference and much crispier.
    Thanks so much!


  14. #
    Jordana R — June 8, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    Ewww I hate onions!!! But I must say, they look.. interesting. I’ll take the steak though :)


  15. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — June 8, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    True confession: I have never tried an onion ring. …Like, not even a deep-fried one.

    …But now I might have to. :)


    • Jessica — June 8th, 2011 @ 11:21 am

      Might? You definitely need to!


  16. #
    my little celebration — June 8, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    Yummy! I love onion rings but they’re always so heavy and greasy! Thanks for the lighter recipe!


  17. #
    Tanya Hollas — June 8, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    I’m trying these onion rings… SOON!

    And yes, onions grow in the ground… in my world they come in 18 wheelers. :)


  18. #
    Christina @ This Woman Cooks! — June 8, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    There was a time when I despised onions too. And then I got old. Now I like onions. Especially caramelized onions!


    • aint my first rodeo — July 1st, 2013 @ 9:37 pm

      Try Spanish sweets instead of Vidalia. It is a superior onion and what restaurants use for commercial onion rings.


  19. #
    Jessica — June 8, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    I used to feel the same way about onions. Now, I love them. Sadly, my children have an aversion to them. Then again they are 4 and 2 and only want peanut butter or chicken nuggets for every meal. I might be able to get them to eat these though.


  20. #
    lynn @ the actor's diet — June 8, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    those rings look epic! i still am clueless how to cut them so they look like that…


  21. #
    d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo — June 8, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    I LOVE onion rings but I refuse to fry at home – thanks for an alternative that I can’t wait to try!


  22. #
    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — June 8, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

    Vidalia onions cannot be beat. Except of course by Vidalia onion rings. So good.


  23. #
    Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie — June 8, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

    Onion rings are awesome! I love how crispy the baked ones are!


  24. #
    jess — June 8, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

    DONE! Making these tonight! Can’t even wait :)


  25. #
    janetha @ meals & moves — June 8, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    Oh man. I don’t remember the last time I had an onion ring. Yum!


  26. #
    Stephanie — June 8, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

    so i literally have nothing to do at work. i’m between projects and bored out of my mind. my cousin recently linked me to your blog, and now, with all my free time, i’ve gone back and read most of it. yes, i realize this might make me sound like a stalker, but you’re keeping me entertained while i’m stuck in my cubicle and i can’t thank you enough for that. i must find a way to cook my way through every scrumptious thing here without gaining a pound. thank you Jessica, you are my new favorite blog. tell your hubby and brother i said Go Devils!


  27. #
    Cassie @ Back to Her Roots — June 8, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

    Oh my gosh. I don’t even really like onion rings and these look like the most amazing things ever created. YUM.


  28. #
    Robyn {Planet Byn} — June 8, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

    it’s currently 108 degrees with the humidity here in toronto, so i don’t think i’ll be turning on the oven tonight, but i’m bookmarking these!!


  29. #
    Gina (Yogattude) — June 8, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    The steak looks perfect! I didn’t think I could love an onion recipe more that straight carmelized onion, but this may be close!


  30. #
    Gorgeousglam — June 8, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

    oh my gracious!! wow these look outta this world! xo


  31. #
    Casey — June 8, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    Oh my gosh! These onion rings look to die for..definitely gonna make them soon


  32. #
    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — June 8, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    I am obsessed with baking things that are supposed to be fried. It’s like suddenly I’m allowed to eat these delicious things! Last night I made tortilla chips and my life got a little better.


  33. #
    thehealthyapron — June 8, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

    If it wasn’t so freakin’ how I would make these tonight!! They look awesome! How clever! Bookmarking for sure!


  34. #
    thehealthyapron — June 8, 2011 @ 3:19 pm



  35. #
    christa — June 8, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    This sounds like such a great meal! Thank you for sharing it! Im going to put flank steak on my grocery list!

    The other day you mentioned you dislike photography, but I just want you to know that your pictures are one of the best I see on my whole google reader! They are beautiful!


  36. #
    Jesse — June 8, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    i make my onion rings like that too, so good and no guilt!


  37. #
    Claire — June 8, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    See, I love onion rings. They trump french fries. In my mind :)


  38. #
    Michelle @ KissedBySweets — June 8, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

    Yum!! I love Onion Rings! And Paprika!! I definitely need to try these!



  39. #
    Jordan P @ food, sweat, and beers — June 8, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    I want to spend loads of time with these, and all “faux fried” things.

    Once I did baked “fried” green tomatoes. I felt as though an angel had baked me a treat and delicately whispered in my ear how life would be good as I ate them. Mmmmm….


  40. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — June 8, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

    Oh, I could really go for some onion rings and steak tonight for dinner.


  41. #
    Alexa @ Simple Eats — June 8, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

    I’ve always been kinda “eh” about onion rings, but these look fantastic!


  42. #
    Ashley — June 8, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    Wow, they look insanely perfect!!! Love that last photo with the big bite taken out. :) Gorgeous!


  43. #
    Tracy — June 8, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

    I am totally making these! They’re one of my favorite appetizer to order out!


  44. #
    Brynne — June 8, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

    Please open a restaurant.


  45. #
    courtney @ cupcakedynamite — June 8, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

    Is Mr sweet eats enjoying your food as much as he “could” be with all these so called vegetables involved? I think if you needed someone to take over for a little while as a partner in your food crimes, I’d be completely willing to fill that position. In fact, I may already be on the next train to PA just in case you say yes. ;)

    ps, if this was 1995 i’d tell you those onion rings look like the bomb.


  46. #
    Honey @ Honey, What's Cooking — June 9, 2011 @ 12:51 am

    i love the new blog look. I also love the healthy twist on the onion rings, sounds fabulous. My husband is such an onion ring guy, he orders them the 3 times a year he goes to Burger King. Maybe I’ll make these for him… THANKS!
    Love love love your blog! really do, keep up the great work.
    You are such a pleasure to read when I am so bored at work. :-)


  47. #
    Jillian — June 9, 2011 @ 2:27 am

    I have wanted to make onion rings for so long and these look great! One day soon for sure.
    I must say…. onions do grow in the ground….you made me cringe there.


  48. #
    Maggie @MaggieCooks — June 9, 2011 @ 2:52 am

    My mom she has been searching for onion rings recipes and nothing has convinced her.
    But this one looks perfect! I think she’ll love it!
    thank you for sharing this recipe!
    I like your blog! :)
    cheers from mexico!


  49. #
    Dawn — June 9, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    This combo sounds fabulous! I can’t wait to try the onion rings! YUM!


  50. #
    Marilyn — June 9, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    I love your recipes and was really getting into the onion ring one until I read the name Ina. Ever since she blew off the little cancer child for his make a wish wish not once but twice and the only reason she said she would see him was when it hit the press. My nephew turned 6 on July 3, 2010 and died of cancer on July 4, 2010. Just thought you should know.


    • Jessica — June 9th, 2011 @ 9:42 am

      I’ve never heard of that Marilyn! Off to research it now. I’m so very sorry about your nephew. 10 billion obscenities could fly out of my mouth right now about my feelings towards cancer. Horrendous.



Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *