Baked Onion Rings


baked onion rings

I grew up in a “village.” Not a town, or a city, but a village. It sounds all European and quaint, but actually it was the village of Hopwood, in southwestern Pennsylvania. I never knew why it qualified as a village, so I turned to the internet {where, of course, everything is true}.

A village is a small group of settlements which is usually located in a rural area although they can also be found in several urban areas. It is larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town. It is comprised of permanent residences that are located close together for the purpose of its easy defense against enemies and to enable its inhabitants to socialize among themselves… It may have a church and a handful of shops where people can buy basic necessities.

I don’t remember our neighbors banding together to defend against enemies, but I do remember the handful of businesses providing those “basic necessities.” Among them, the onion rings served at a hamburger joint called “Ruse’s Roost.” They were special – though I can’t recall what made them so good. Probably the fact that as a kid, I had zero guilt about eating fried foods.

We moved to a “real city” {Omaha} when I was 10, but the cravings for those golden circles of joy lasted for decades afterward. So Ruse’s was on the top of the list of places I wanted to revisit on a return trip. Sadly, the only thing left of the restaurant is the giant rooster that stood guard at the place during its heyday.

baked onion rings ruses roost

I was making our favorite burgers the other night and thought about those onion rings. So I decided to try making my own. I’ll continue to experiment – perhaps with a beer batter or some different spices, but I have to say these were delicious! And guilt-free, since they’re baked and not fried.

Want a healthier version of onion rings to serve with your favorite burger? Want a kitchen activity you could delegate to the kids? You’ll love these Baked Onion Rings.

Baked Onion Rings
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup panko
  • ¼ tsp cayenne {or paprika for less heat}
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, cut into ½" thick slices
  • cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 475º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the flour in a shallow dish.
  3. Mix the buttermilk, egg and ¼ tsp salt in another shallow dish.
  4. In a food processor, grind the panko, cayenne, onion powder, black pepper and ¼ tsp salt together until fine. Place in a shallow dish.
  5. Separate the sliced onion into rings. Working in batches, dip the rings in the flour; shake off the excess. Dip next in buttermilk, and let excess drip back into bowl. Toss lightly in panko mixture.
  6. Divide the rings between the two baking sheets, arranging in a single layer. Coat with cooking spray. Bake until crisp and browned, about 18 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining salt.



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