My youngest sister came over for a visit on Saturday and as always we had a blast. We started off our day chatting while we sipped our favorite iced coffee beverage, a Cafe Frappe. Then we got down to business, snack time. She was in the mood for comfort food and I was in the mood for something healthy. There just had to be a way we could both win on this one, so
I thought “how about we combine both and make baked onion rings?!”
These onion rings are the tastiest and crispiest baked onion rings that I’ve ever had and they go perfect with a chipotle ranch dip.
Crispy Baked Onion Rings Recipe
(About 4 servings)
- cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- salt and pepper
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon mustard (I used Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil and place a wire rack (i.e. metal cooling rack) on top.
- Spray the wire rack with cooking spray and set it aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil on Medium heat. Add the panko bread crumbs. Season them with salt and pepper. Toast the crumbs until they are golden brown, stirring constantly.
- In bowl #1, whisk together the flour, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
- In bowl #2, whisk together the eggs, water, mustard, and thyme.
- Once the panko bread crumbs have been toasted, transfer them to bowl #3 (You are building an assembly line here in case that wasn’t obvious.)
- Cover each onion ring in the flour mixture (in bowl #1).
- Then dip each onion ring in the egg mixture (in bowl #2).
- Finally coat each onion ring in the panko crumbs (in bowl #3).
- Transfer the onion rings to the prepared wire rack.
- Spray the onion rings with cooking spray and cook them for about 12 minutes or until they are browned.
Chipotle Ranch Dip Recipe
(Makes 1/2 cup of dip)
- 1/2 cup of your favorite ranch dressing
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
- Mix together the ranch dressing and chipotle pepper sauce.
The onion rings are best served the day they are made, and in fact they are the best immediately out of the oven.
My sister did quite a lot of the steps while I was offering guidance and supervising. Wahoo free labor! I like to think of it as delegation. She volunteered and I wasn’t about to say no. She’s not in the kitchen nearly as much as I am, which is a nice way of saying that she doesn’t really cook (yet?). That means if she can make these then anyone can. I cut the onions and recommend that they be at least a half inch thick. If you cut them thinner than that they end up a bit flimsy.
The wire wrack is super important for this recipe. Not only are onions fragile (so peeling them off the pan would likely destroy them) but the gap under them allows them to be cooked by the hot air in the oven instead of the direct heat of the hot pan below. This helps to dry them out and leaves you with a crispy-licious onion ring instead of a mush of soggy onion.
These aren’t fried! The good news is that these onion rings are healthier than the kind you might get at a fast food restaurant. The bad news is that they don’t taste like fried onion rings. Well, I suppose it’s only “bad news” if you like greasy food. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional greasy fair food once a year, but I needed a real alternative for the rest of the 364 days a year. That’s where these bad boys come into play.
If you are familiar with my blog then you might recognize most of the ingredients and directions from my Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers. They were a huge hit and the tasty coating from that recipe gave me lots of ideas. What else could I bake using the same process instead of frying? One of the first thoughts I had was onion rings. My sister’s comfort food craving cinched it and these were the result.
I chose wisely. These taste sooooo delicious and were the ideal snack for two chatty sisters!
Panko bread crumbs are bigger than regular bread crumbs and that’s why they are key to the crunch factor here. These look different and even taste different than factory produced beer battered onion rings, but they are fantastic eats. They are super crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
This chipotle ranch dip was my husband’s creation. Somewhere along the way he mixed the two ingredients together and it’s become more popular than BBQ sauce or ketchup in our house. As you can probably tell from the two ingredients, it is really just a delicious spicy ranch dip. Feel free to add more chipotle sauce if you like it extra spicy.
Since this dip is something that we quickly whip when we want it, we use pre-made ranch dressing from the store. If you’re feeling ambitious and you can find an awesome homemade ranch dressing recipe then by all means go to town!
What’s your favorite healthy comfort food?
Source: Tina’s Chic Corner
Here are some other tasty snacks or side dishes.