Oven-Fried Onion Rings, Take II

Oven-Fried Onion Rings

So, back in February, I made some oven-fried onion rings, along with a killer dipping sauce. It tasted just like the sauce you get with an onion that has been bloomin’. The onion rings were absolutely delicious – crunchy and full of authentic fried flavor without needing to actually boil a vat of oil and smell up the house. The recipe wasn’t without its faults though – the crushed potato chips seemed to have a hard time adhering to the batter because they were in such large chunks. Some readers reported that their potato chip mixture ended up thick and gloppy from the batter sticking to clumps of chips. The reviews were decidedly mixed, and I had added reworking the recipe to my list of things to do this summer.

Well, imagine my surprise when I strolled into Sam’s Club last week, walked past the magazine stand, and noticed a “Summer Entertaining” issue from Cook’s Illustrated that included a recipe for oven-fried onion rings! I took it as a sign, bought the book immediately, and as soon as I got home got to work checking out the differences in the recipes.

Oven-Fried Onion Rings

The biggest difference between the two is that this one adds saltines to the potato chip coating, and both are ground together in a food processor so that a finer crumb is produced, which really worked wonders when dredging these. The saltines also help to absorb extra grease from the potato chips, which keeps them from becoming too oily while still retaining a great “fried” consistency and flavor.

Another difference is that the seasonings (cayenne, salt and pepper) are added to the buttermilk mixture instead of the initial flour dusting. I think this helps give the onion rings great flavor, as the buttermilk batter adheres in a much more pronounced way than the initial dusting of flour does. The cayenne is great, not over-powering, and gives the onion rings a fabulous kick.

Just a couple of subtle differences, but they make a huge difference. I would definitely recommend this recipe, and will be putting a note on the previous recipe to refer to this one from now on. But, you should definitely not make these without the awesome dipping sauce. It’s money, and we all know the dipping sauce is what makes onion rings.

Next I think I will try beer-battered, deep-fried onion rings, look out!

One year ago: Chocolate Espresso Semifreddo

Oven-Fried Onion Rings

Yield: About 24 rings, serving 4 to 6

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 23 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


For the Onion Rings:
½ cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 large egg, room temperature
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ ground black pepper
30 saltine crackers
4 cups kettle-cooked potato chips
2 large yellow onions, cut into 24 rings (see note)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Dipping Sauce:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 tablespoons horseradish
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper


1. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees F. Place ¼ cup flour in shallow baking dish. Beat egg and buttermilk together in bowl. Whisk remaining ¼ cup flour, cayenne, salt and pepper into buttermilk mixture. Pulse saltines and potato chips together in food processor until finely ground; 8 to 10 pulses.

Oven-Fried Onion Rings: Processing potato chips & saltines

Place crumb mixture in second shallow baking dish.

Oven-Fried Onion Rings: Dredging station

2. Working one at a time, dredge each onion ring in flour, shaking off excess. Dip rings in buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl, then drop into crumb coating, turning rings to coat evenly.

Oven-Fried Onion Rings: Dredging

Transfer coated rings to large plate or tray.

Oven-Fried Onion Rings: Ready for the oven

3. Pour 3 tablespoons oil onto each of two rimmed baking sheets. Place baking sheets in oven and heat until just smoking, about 8 minutes. Carefully tilt heated sheets to coat evenly with oil, then arrange onion rings on sheets. Baking, flipping onion rings and switching and rotating position of baking sheets halfway through baking, until golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes. Briefly drain onion rings on paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately.

* Note 1: Slice the onions into ½-inch-thick rounds, separate the rings, and discard any rings smaller than 2 inches in diameter. It will depend on the size of your onions, but both of mine ended up being sliced into 4 to get the ½-inch-thick rounds.

Oven-Fried Onion Rings: Sliced

* Note 2: The onion rings can be breaded in advance and refrigerated for up to an hour. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking them; if baked while still chilled from the refrigerator, the onions will not cook enough to soften and will remain crunchy.

4. To make the Dipping Sauce: Combine all ingredients and refrigerate.

(Onion Ring recipe adapted from Summer Entertaining from Cook's Illustrated, Dipping Sauce recipe adapted from CopyKat.com)



69 Responses to “Oven-Fried Onion Rings, Take II”

  1. Mansi on June 16, 2010 at 1:05 am

    those rings look absolutely gorgeous! and I love the idea that they are baked:)

    It’d be great if you could send these in for the Magic Bullet snack recipe contest/giveaway hosted on my blog!


  2. Jessiker Bakes on June 16, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Fabulous! I love onion rings! (my guilty fried pleasure 🙂


  3. sana on June 16, 2010 at 5:13 am

    i made the first recipe and it was soooo good that hubby and I polished off the whole thing in seconds 🙂 the prep is a lil time consuming and the chips get soggy and do not stick to the rings in the first recipe. I will surely try this method coz these rings are to die for!!


  4. Sinful Southern Sweets on June 16, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Oh that looks fabulous!! Definitely making that sauce ASAP!


  5. Katrina on June 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Thanks for posting a new and improved recipe! These look so tasty.


  6. Marty on June 16, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I am anxious to try this…we love onion rings. I look forward to getting your emails. You have helped me a lot. Thanks!


  7. Barbara on June 16, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I really enjoyed Onion Rings Part I ( http://blessusolord.blogspot.com/2010/04/oven-baked-onion-rings.html ), although I did find the chips needed to be crushed in the processor. Will give Part II a try soon! Thanks.


  8. Kathia Castro on June 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Those onions rings look absolutely delicious!


  9. Island Vittles on June 16, 2010 at 10:44 am

    These look great! A little more work, but as you say, without the grease smell throughout the whole house. Great pics!


  10. Amanda on June 16, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Goodness, those look so delicious. They look nice and crunchy, just the way I like them!


  11. Jen @ How To: Simplify on June 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Wow, these onion rings look amazing! I’m in love with the coating!


  12. Shanon on June 16, 2010 at 11:20 am

    these look so so so good. i can’t believe they are baked! i saved this recipe and will probably make it immediately!


  13. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot on June 16, 2010 at 11:22 am

    These look amazing! I’ve recently discovered I love A&W onion rings and I’d love to be able to recreate them myself. Thanks!


  14. Heather (Heather's Dish) on June 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

    oh my word, sign me up for 100 lbs of those! i really think i could eat about 100 lbs in one sitting…that’s normal, right?


  15. Krystle on June 16, 2010 at 11:35 am

    These look and sound amazing! Now I think Ill have to have some onion rings with my lunch! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  16. Eliana on June 16, 2010 at 11:48 am

    These look perfect Michelle.


  17. Shelly on June 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Michelle, thanks for re-working this recipe, they sound great! My family can’t wait for me to try them…ooohhh…Father’s Day sounds like a good occasion!


  18. michelle on June 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    YUM! I never thought of using potato chips as coating. I’ve done panko and I think cornmeal (that was some healthy version). The sauce looks ahhhh-mazing too!


  19. ashley on June 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    i’ve been wanting to try baked onion rings! can’t wait to whip these up!


  20. Laura Mitchell on June 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    This looks great, I am trying it this week! Maybe again on 4th of July weekend! YUM! Love the potato chips and saltines!


  21. Maria on June 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I love that these are baked and not fried!


  22. Heidi on June 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I love recipes where saltines and Rizt are the secret weapon. I always have a stash in my pantry. . . unless one of my little crumb snatchers scarfs them down:)


  23. Tracy on June 16, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    These look amazing! Even better that they’re baked instead of fried!


  24. Julie M. on June 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Yummy! Your beautiful photos of them don’t hurt at all either. They look absolutely delicious!


  25. Tom on June 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    These look great M will have to try your version when I get a chance still redoing my kitchen. Funny how everyone has their own ways of making these jewels. I tried to copy dairy queens recipe and used vidalia onions, buttermilk, ritz, corn flakes, saltines crackers, corn meal, few other spices & egg whites.


  26. Wenderly on June 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    O.k. -I now give myself full permission to indulge in one of my VERY favorite things!!


  27. Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes on June 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    This is going straight to my bookmarked list. I like that I can pretend these babies are healthy since they’re not fried. xxSAS


  28. LB on June 16, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    If you don’t have a food processor, what is the best way to chop up the chips?


    • Kacer on May 10th, 2011 at 9:31 am

      If no food processor place in heavy freezer ziplock bag or a paper bag (or 2) and use a rolling pin (or heavy drinking glass) and crush them into tiny pieces that way.


  29. Belinda @zomppa on June 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    The cayenne is a nice way to make these “grown up!”


  30. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } on June 16, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    WOW – these look incredible and a must make! I too browse the magazine section at Costco (like sam’s club) and always pick up one or two, maybe three magazines. I have a little obsession with food magazines. 🙂


  31. Baking Serendipity on June 17, 2010 at 12:36 am

    I love the alternative to deep fried onion rings you’ve posted here. My husband would love these and I love that they are (maybe?) a little healthier than the fried version. Thanks, as always, for sharing!


  32. Cookin' Canuck on June 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

    It’s always disappointing when a recipe doesn’t turn out exactly how you want it, but so gratifying when you can re-work it into something as tasty-looking as these onion rings. I love that they’re oven-fried.


  33. shannon abdollmohammadi on June 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I love onion rings but always feel guilty about all the oil…thanks for this healthy recipe!!!


  34. Mary Lynn on June 17, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Healthy onion rings!!? Can’t wait to try this one. We try to stay away from fried foods. Thanks for the recipe.
    Also, I like the Autumn Leaf – Jewel Tea dishes. I received some from my Mother years ago, then I started, little by little to collect.


  35. Rachel J on June 17, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing this post-sometimes the little things make all the difference in the world and the rings look terrific!


  36. Fuji Mama on June 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I haven’t had onion rings in forever, but now, for some odd reason I have an intense craving for some! 🙂 These look awesome!


  37. Sophia on June 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve always been too intimidated to try making onion rings. Usually if I am craving them, I’ll just go out to Burger King. I thought you might like this recipe to go with the onion rings: Burger King Onion Ring Sauce. Keep up the good work!


  38. Chef Chuck on June 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I love crunchy “Onion Ring!!” Looks delish:)


  39. Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking on June 18, 2010 at 8:00 am

    That looks like the crispiest onion rings I’ve seen! I so much wanna try to make them. Thanks for inspiration!


  40. LMC502 on June 18, 2010 at 10:45 am

    These look EXCELLENT! I’d been thinking a little absently about onion rings in the past few weeks, and this reminded me that I wanted to try some. Hope to get to this recipe this weekend!


  41. LMC502 on June 18, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I forgot to add – I wanted to say how much I absolutely love your blog in general. I find myself coming here on a regular basis, and always finding something that I just can’t wait to try. So kudos 🙂


  42. Rachel @ WOW on June 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    WOW! These look great. I think I’ll try them next week after a get a couple of the ingredients I don’t already have in the pantry. I’ve never made onion rings before, and I’d love for my first try to come out delicious, haha 😉


  43. sensiblecooking on June 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    You had me around oven fried instead of boiling in van of oil. But when i read the ingredients I was jumping with joys. Crackers and chips. Everything goods in one recipe.


  44. She's Cookin' on June 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I’m always looking for ways to make lower calorie versions of deep-fried favorites – and onion rings are definitely one of my faves. Thanks for sharing!


  45. Magic of Spice on June 18, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Those look perfectly wonderful!


  46. Andrea on June 21, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    My husband and I made the Take II recipe and LOVE IT!! These are so delicious and much better the second time around…thanks Michelle!


  47. Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on June 22, 2010 at 9:41 am

    These look so delicious! YUM! I love onion rings – and I love them even more when they’re baked!


  48. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on June 23, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Yum… I’m going to have to try these 🙂


  49. ivoryhut on June 25, 2010 at 11:10 am

    If I could be assured of consistent quality, I’d always pick onion rings over fries. These look delicious, and I love that they’re made in the oven. I’m going to try this the next time we make burgers!


  50. Ashley on June 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Wow these look so good! I’m so intrigued by the kettle chips and saltines used for the coating.


  51. Mai on June 28, 2010 at 8:43 am

    This recipe is great! I didn’t have saltines, I used Matzo meal. I also used the egg white only. The coating stayed on and the final product was crispy. Thx for the re-work.


    • Michelle on June 29th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      Mai – So glad that you enjoyed these. Thanks so much for the tips on using Matzo meal and egg whites!


  52. Anh on July 5, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Tried these out today…the texture of the final product was great. However, it tasted “baked” to me. I mean the kind of baked taste that doesn’t compare to the unbaked (fried) version. However, I think it could be remedied by additional seasonings – maybe a sprinkling of onion powder, sugar, and minced parsley into the crumbs mixture?

    The sauce was 100% righteous – yum and hits the spot!


  53. laura on July 27, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    i used this whole recipe as a base to make homemade chicken fingers- which my husband usually hates. these he loved- i did everything the same- except baked them at 450 for 1/2 hour.


  54. kristin on August 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I made the first ones and these were a definite improvement, though I think I’ll just stick to panko. The chips really didn’t add anything flavour-wise (and I used an actual flavour, not just salted) and I rarely have saltines around the house. It just seemed like more work when I could just dip them in some panko and get the same result. I don’t think I’m going to be able to duplicate anything close to A&W rings ever, so I’m just gonna stop bothering already.


  55. Pina on August 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I’ve done this recipe twice so far and it’s been a hit. I made a batch today (2 big onions) and before I knew it, it was almost all gone, so while my guests were busy chit chatting, I made some more (I had another onion and batter). Even those that hate onions loved them. For the dip I couldn’t find horseradish, so I don’t know what I’m missing. It was delicious I also experimented with jalapeno chips instead of regular and they tasted great.
    Thanks for a great recipe. Will make again.


  56. Christine on November 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Hi. Do you think that this recipe could be adapted to be of the blooming onion style and if so, what do you think the bake time would be? I like the way the bloom looks but want to try a healthier version, if possible. Thanks!


    • Michelle on November 8th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      Hi Christine, I’ve never tried to make it like a blooming onion (so unsure of the bake time), but you could sure give it a try! Let me know how it turns out!


  57. Erin on December 13, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I loved how even after these sat out for a little while, they stayed crunchy! I think the kettle cooked chips were the perfect choice. You have converted me from being a opposed to large chunks of onion.


    • Michelle on December 13th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

      Yay for conversions! These onion rings are a great thing to convert to 😉


  58. Hannah at FleurDeLicious on February 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I finally made these for the Super Bowl tonight and they were super yummy! Even though they’re coated in potato chips, I still feel a little better about baking vs frying 🙂 I subbed in some yellow cornmeal for the flour for the first “dip”…added just a little bit more crunchy texture. Great recipe, thanks!!


  59. Apron Appeal on September 11, 2011 at 12:36 am

    I just posted this recipe on my blog. They are so good, I can’t stop thinking about them and when I will eat them next. Thanks for the recipe.


  60. Katrina on April 10, 2012 at 4:25 am

    I just made these are theyre to die for… thanks so much! Omnomnom



  61. Brenda on September 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve made these last night for dinner. They were great! But a couple of comments: dipping the rings one at a time took forever, so I put the flour and onion rings in a ziploc bag and shook them. They were probably better coated than the ones I did individually. I also put the buttermilk mixture in a bowl with a lid – and dipped where needed to fully coat them. Also after coating a number of rings, the chips get soggy and don’t stick as well, so save some of the coating for a second batch. Lastly, for my 2 large (really large onions!), I needed to double the buttermilk mix and the chip/cracker.


  62. Rebekah on October 3, 2012 at 12:47 am

    What type of food processor do you have or would you recommend. I’d like to get one, but there are so many variations and types out there!


  63. Cindy on January 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Thank you for your recipes. I happened upon your site while searching for a recipe for a great cupcake and found Mocha Cupcakes with Expresso cream frosting. Wow! The best! Since then, I have found your site to be a place I count on. You have fabulous photo’s and you present the directions in such a concise and helpful way and the recipes always come out terrific for me. It is also refreshing and impressive that you take the time to respond to some of your readers. Bravo! Quite admirable work! I am one of those people who RARELY chooses to place a comment so it’s high praise from me (even though I am only a lowly “at home cook & baker” for 35 years.) You should be very proud of your efforts. By the way I just bought my first food processor and am excited this year to use it. I will be surfing your recipes for ideas. Thanks again so much. I appreciate your site.


    • Michelle on January 19th, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Hi Cindy, Thank you so much for the kind words and for taking the time to share your feedback. I’m thrilled to hear that you’re loving the site!


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