This homemade crispy fried onion rings recipe uses buttermilk and a well-seasoned flour mixture to cover fresh onion slices. Now you can make restaurant-quality onion rings at home!
There are two types of people in the world: French fry people and Onion Ring people. I happen to be one of the latter. This doesn’t mean that I dislike or hate fries. In fact, I love fries. I absolutely love loaded fries and garlic butter sweet potato fries. But I ADORE onion rings!!
There is no secret that I love to fry things on this site. I fry chicken regularly; I fry steak; I fry catfish and more. It was only a matter of time before I dropped the BEST fried onion rings recipe on ya!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Perfectly crispy onions! Seriously ya’ll! They’re amazing.
- A tasty side dish for your favorite meals including burgers, sandwiches, or even as a snack or appetizer!
- Made with simple, easy-to-find ingredients.
- Family-favorite side dish that both kids and adults love.
There are three simple, delicious components to this recipe: onions, buttermilk, and seasoned flour. It’s important to use good quality, well-balanced ingredients that best complement one another. The result is a crispy onion ring that bursts with flavor with each bite!
Here’s what you’ll need to make the magic happen:
- Onions: Onions are aromatic, acidic, salty, sweet, sour, and all-around delicious! Slice the onions to your preferred thickness; I would suggest anything from ⅓-½ inch works great.
- Seasoned flour: I love using seasoned flour when I fry. I keep a batch on hand for most frying needs. It gets tons of flavor from seasoned salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper. It’s got just enough spicy heat to make your tastebuds sing.
- Corn meal: Added to the flour mixture to give the fried onions a little bit more crunch.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk not only helps the flour to stick to the onion, but it also layers in a slight tang.
- Oil for frying: Use any neutral-flavored vegetable oil that works great for high heat to cook your crispy fried onion rings. Canola, sunflower oil, and avocado oil are just a few that work great.
PRO TIP: Don’t be afraid to experiment with your seasoned flour! Adjust the heat level by adding more or less cayenne or adding a new spice to the mix. I love the idea of adding in dried mustard or a bit of cumin. Yum!
The results of this ingredient combination are the most perfect crust on onion rings imaginable. I know for sure that you will absolutely adore this! And you should trust me by now.
How to Make Buttermilk Onion Rings Recipe
When you’ve got all your ingredients rounded up, you’re ready to get started cooking. Here’s an overview of the main steps in making homemade onion rings. All the details are in the recipe card so be sure to check there before you actually begin cooking.
PRO TIP: Before we get started, here’s a tip about how to make an onion ring with a milder flavor. If you prefer a milder onion flavor, soak the onion slices in ice water for about fifteen minutes before you continue breading. The cold water will help to pull out the starch and soften the flavor.
- Make the seasoned flour. Combine the flour, seasoned salt, cornmeal, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a paper bag and shake to mix well.
- Dip the rings. Working with one onion ring at a time, dip each ring into the seasoned flour first.
- Next, dip into the buttermilk.
- Last, return the rings back to the seasoned flour coating all sides.
- Set each battered onion ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and continue battering the rest of the onions.
- Let the battered onions sit for a bit to allow the batter to set.
- Heat 3-3 1/2 inches of oil in a cast iron or heavy bottom pot and heat over medium-high heat. At the same time, preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
- Fry the onions a few at a time. Avoid overcrowding the pot. Fry on each side until golden brown in color. When they’re cooked, remove them using a slotted spoon or strainer and place them on paper towels to drain.
- Place the cooked rings on another parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place them in the oven to keep warm until all the rings are fried.
What to Serve with Onion Rings
Buttermilk onion rings are great to make for groups. Serve them up for game day gatherings, movie watching parties, and more! They go great with other appetizers like Pizza Rolls, Jerk Chicken Wings, and Bbq Meatballs.
It’s way too easy to set out with the intention of making fried food and ending up with sad, greasy scraps. There are tricks of the fried trade that everyone should know. I’m here to spill the tea y’all!
These are my TOP tips for frying up perfection:
- Delegate! To avoid mess, designate a dry hand and a wet hand when breading. Setting up a small station and working slowly will avoid clumpy, messy hands.
- Choose the Oil Carefully. Refined oils such as safflower, canola, vegetable, sunflower or peanut are all high-heat oils. They’re capable of withstanding higher temperatures and staying stable without imparting flavor.
- Work in Batches! Don’t overcrowd the pot with too many rings or they’ll clump together and lower the oil temperature. Be patient and enjoy the process!
- Slice Your Onions the Same Size. You can do it by hand or use a mandolin but just make sure they are evenly cut. This will ensure they cook up in the same amount of time.
- The Frying Pan. I really like using a dutch oven because I find it cooks more evenly. However, you don’t need a huge vat to fry onion rings. Any saute pan or wok with a heavy metal bottom work too. The wider the pan, the more rings you’ll be able to fry at once without overcrowding.
Use anything you’ve got on hand! I almost always use a standard yellow or white onion. I find that both varieties make for crisp, tangy rings.
Dipping each ring into the flour before dipping them into the milk helps everything stick a bit better than milk alone.
The number one cause of soggy onion rings is not starting with hot oil. Make sure the oil is plenty hot before you begin frying. Make sure you don’t add too many rings to the oil at a time and overcrowd the pan. Adding too many can also cause the temperature of the oil to drop.
More Southern Fried Recipes
- Fried Chicken Gizzards
- Chicken Fried Steak Recipe
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- Fried Shrimp Recipe
- Oven Fried Catfish
*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!* Post a photo of how your version of the recipe came out on Instagram (using #grandbabycakes)!!
Crispy Fried Onion Rings
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 3 tablespoons seasoned salt
- 2 tablespoons yellow corn meal
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 onions sliced into ⅓-½ inch rings
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Add flour, seasoned salt, corn meal, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper to a paper bag and shake to mix well.
- Dip each onion ring into seasoned flour then dip into buttermilk then back into seasoned flour coating all sides. Set each battered onion ring on a parchment covered baking sheet to rest until all onion rings are battered.
- While coating sets, add 3-3 ½ inches of oil to a cast iron or heavy bottom pot and heat over medium high heat. Also turn on oven to 275 degrees.
- Fry the rings 4 at a time, not over crowding. Fry on each side until golden brown then remove and place on paper towels to drain.
- Add finished rings to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm until all are fried. Serve when ready.
This post was originally published June 2015. It’s been republished with new images and content.