Healthier Onion Rings

I learned an important lesson this weekend while making these bad boys.  It’s probably obvious to most people, but it’s why this recipe wasn’t as good as it should have been when @angrycelery and I made them: READ THE DIRECTIONS IN FULL BEFORE YOU START.  I only skimmed the recipe and we were already elbow deep in buttermilk and breadcrumbs when I realized how important it was to have the cooking spray it calls for.  Our creation didn’t crisp up as well as they would have had we used it.  But – they were still pretty decent (think onion rings minus the deep fried flavor) and we both agreed we’d totally make them again.

Some tips: 2 large onions is A LOT – depending on how many you are planning on serving, definitely use the big outer rings of the onion and save the rest for something else.  Also, once we were at the dipping stage, we dipped them all twice for a thicker coating.

Perfect pair for burgers at the long weekend BBQ!

Healthier Onion Rings


2 large vidalia onions
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 quart buttermilk
4 whole egg whites
1 cup ground cornmeal
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Cooking spray

Preparation Instructions

2 to 12 hours ahead of time, slice onions into 1/2-inch thick rings. Separate them and discard (or use) the middle core. 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 2-12 hours.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 450F. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour and breadcrumbs with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon paprika; mix. 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.


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