Extra-Crunchy Onion Rings

We’ve got the best crunchy, homemade onion rings made simple. Our batter uses cornmeal and buttermilk for an added tangy crunch.

Onion Rings recipe
Elise Bauer

When I was a kid growing up in Los Angeles, my grandmother used to take me to the farmers market in Miracle Mile. After the market, we would walk over to Bob's Big Boy and order a serving of fried onion rings.

We probably ordered hamburgers too, but all I remember to this day was how much I loved those onion rings. As far as I knew at age 5 or 6, Bob's was the only place on the planet to get them.

Extra-Crunchy Homemade Onion Rings

I still love onion rings, don't you? This recipe is as close as I can get to my memory of my favorite onion rings—crunchy and delicious.

We adapted the recipe from one by Ina Garten. The main changes we made were to double-dip the onion rings in buttermilk and flour to make them extra crunchy, and to fry them at a slightly higher temp. We also increased the proportion of cornmeal. (Crunch factor!)

simple onion rings
Elise Bauer

Which Onions Are Best for Homemade Onion Rings?

The ingredients call for yellow onions, but you can also use these onions.

  • Vidalia onions
  • White onions
  • Maui onions
  • Walla Walla onions

Want Spicy Onion Rings? 

Kick the heat up a notch by adding any of the following to the onion ring batter:

  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • Or keep the batter as is and make the spicy mayonnaise as a dipping sauce from this Black Bean Burger With Spicy Mayonnaise recipe

How to Make Onion Rings in the Air Fryer

Lower the fat and calories of your onion rings by using our Air Fryer Onion Rings recipe.

How to Keep Crunchy Onion Rings Warm

Keep the fried onion rings warm on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven while you fry the rest of the rings. Keep the onion rings separate from each other. Don't pile them on top of each other, or they will get soggy.

5 More Simple, Homemade Appetizers

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Extra-Crunchy Onion Rings

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Onion marinating 15 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 cups buttermilk, or 1 cup plain yogurt mixed with 1 cup milk

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick ringed slices, rings separated (See How to Slice an Onion)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup cornmeal

  • 3 cups frying oil, such as peanut oil, canola oil, or rice bran oil


  1. Coat the onion rings in seasoned buttermilk:

    In a large bowl, stir together the buttermilk (or yogurt and milk) with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper.

    Stir the onions into the buttermilk mixture and make sure every ring is completely coated in buttermilk. Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

    homemade onion rings coated and ready to fry
    Elise Bauer
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl:

    In a separate bowl (large enough to dredge the onion rings), whisk together the flour and cornmeal, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and set aside.

  3. Heat the oil in thick-bottomed pot:

    Add 2 to 3 cups of oil to a large (5- to 6-quart), thick-bottomed pot. (Make sure that the pot is absolutely dry on the inside before adding the oil or any residual water will splatter as the oil heats.) Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot by 3/4 to 1 inch.

    Heat the oil to 375°F. Use a good candy thermometer or instant thermometer (such as a Thermapen) to measure the heat of the oil. You may need to tilt the pan in order to cover the thermometer's sensor completely and get an accurate reading.

    Be very careful whenever handling hot oil. No running kids in the kitchen. No distractions. Do not answer the phone if it rings. Pay attention. Have the pan's lid close by.

    Test the oil by dropping a small pinch of flour into the hot oil. If the flour sizzles the oil is ready. If it burns, remove the pot from the heat and let the oil cool down a little.

    how to test hot oil for frying
    Elise Bauer
  4. Dredge the buttermilk coated onion rings in the flour mixture (twice):

    Remove onion rings one at a time out of the buttermilk mixture and dredge them in the flour mixture to coat.

    dredging onion rings in flour mixture
    Elise Bauer

    If the coating seems a bit thin (it might) or if you want extra crunchy onion rings, dip the onion rings again in the buttermilk mixture and dredge them again in the flour. This double coating will make the onion rings extra crunchy.

  5. Fry in the oil:

    Use tongs to place the rings one by one into the hot oil. Fry for a minute on each side, until golden brown.

    How to make onion rings - frying in pan
    Elise Bauer
    color of perfect deep fried onion rings
    Elise Bauer

    When you add the onion rings to the pot, the oil temperature will naturally lower. Adjust the heat so that the temperature of the oil in the pan stays between 350°F and 390°F.

  6. Keep warm in the oven:

    Place the fried onion rings on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Keep the fried onion rings warm in a 200°F oven while you fry the rest of the rings.

    Add more oil if needed between batches. Let the oil heat back up to 375°F before starting a new batch.

    Serve immediately.

    Note: It's best not to pour the leftover oil down the drain. Better to pour into an empty jar and discard with your trash.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
415 Calories
29g Fat
34g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 415
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 1179mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 93mg 7%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 256mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.