Home ยป Healthy Crunchy Onion Rings

Healthy Crunchy Onion Rings

Mr. Prevention put a CostCo membership on his Christmas list. Since he’s so hard to buy for, this is what I got him for Christmas (so romantic, I know). For a household of 2, I’m not sure that there’s too many deals to be had. Truth be told, I enjoy CostCo for all the samples. 😉

Mr. Prevention enjoys CostCo for the plethora of frozen food options. His most recent selection was Alexia’s sweet potato fries (which I approve of). He quickly threw 3-pound bag in our cart along with the one other item (maple syrup) stating, “When you make gross onion rings tonight, I’ll make these for me.”

It’s hard to believe that anyone would pass up onion rings…for frozen anything. I love, love, love onion rings! But still, I was surprised at all with his selection or substitution.

P.S. Of course, he really liked the onion rings. Wrong again…

onionrings1With Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, lightened up onion rings would be the perfect compliment to any game day spread.

Finger food without the grease! Or guilt.

When I first planned to make homemade onion rings, I had planned to use a recipe that involved heating oil on a baking sheet and baking the onion rings in the oil. That recipe is Cook’s Illustrated and has PHENOMENAL reviews. I knew they would be great, but I dug a little deeper into my stockpiles of old recipes and decided to omit the oil all together and bake to a crispy perfection on wire racks.

I ended up combining the two recipes and used aspects from each that I felt would yield the best results. While these were my first attempt at a onion rings, I don’t see any reason to try any other way!


Healthy Crunchy Onion Rings adapted from How Sweet It Is and Pink Parsley, as seen in Cook’s Illustrated

2 large onions
4 cups (4 oz) reduced fat kettle chips
2 cups panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 eggs
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika


Preheat oven to 450 F.

Slice onions into 1/2-inch thick rings. Season the onion rings with salt and pepper.

In a food processor, pulse together the panko and kettle chips and transfer to a shallow dish. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Place the flour in a second shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, whisk together the egg and buttermilk.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the wire rack with non-stick spray.

Dip each onion ring in flour, then the egg/buttermilk mixture, and lastly in the chips/panko to coat. Continue this process with each of the rings. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.

Yield: 8 servings (about 12 rings each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 178 calories; 4.1 g. fat; 28 mg. cholesterol; 245 mg. sodium; 31 g. carbohydrate; 2 g. fiber; 5.9 g. protein

Result: Crunchy is right! I won’t pretend these are the quickest things to make – be sure to commit to these when you’re not strapped for time. Nothing difficult, it just takes some patience 🙂 These are absolutely wonderful – onion ring lovers rejoice! Oil-free faux fried food! Enjoy!


It’s the last day of January – crazy! But, come back tomorrow for a fun announcement and a great, heart-healthy recipe!

Workout then off to work and to teach!

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Caroline @ chocolate & carrots
    January 31, 2012 / 6:08 am

    I love it! What a great superbowl appetizer. Mmm!

  2. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    January 31, 2012 / 7:17 am

    Every time my boss goes to costco, he likes to tell tales of how much money he saved.

    And I believe it’d be great to have for pantry items. But unless I’m throwing a party, there’s no need for me to stuff my refrigerator with 5 lbs of this and 10 lbs of that…

  3. Jessy
    January 31, 2012 / 7:31 am

    Don’t mess with my heart woman! These look amazing and crunchy and delicious. Great. Now I want onion rings for breakfast.

  4. Renee @ Mykitchenadventures
    January 31, 2012 / 8:15 am

    I made these same rings…and yes…quite a bit of work…but they really were yummy.

  5. Andrea@WellnessNotes
    January 31, 2012 / 8:24 am

    Awesome! I’ll have to make them soon. I know Andy would love them!

  6. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    January 31, 2012 / 8:54 am

    They look so yummy – I may have to make them for the super bowl this weekend. Neither my hubby nor I have any interest in the game but we both love the food part of it….lol

  7. Kate
    January 31, 2012 / 9:50 am

    We have had a Costco membership for ages, but we never use it – because, like you, everything always seems so much when you’re a family of 2 (or 2.5 in our case, but the baby doesn’t really count yet.)

  8. Amanda
    January 31, 2012 / 9:52 am

    We’re a family of two (plus a pup) and Costco is our favorite place to shop. They have wonderful produce and we buy our meat in bulk and then freeze what we don’t use right away. Milk and eggs are the best price around. And their electronics, and wine…I could go on and on!

    • Nicole, RD
      January 31, 2012 / 10:34 pm

      Apparently I need to look a little closer! I wish I had room to store all the eggs – I did notice they were a great deal! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Heather
    January 31, 2012 / 10:13 am

    My in-laws gave us their extra costco card – we haven’t been there yet!

    We also have a BJs membership – we buy beauty products, Naked Green Juice, tuna, clams and sometimes produce (like bananas when I need to restock my frozen banana stock).

    I love onion rings – so delicious!

  10. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    January 31, 2012 / 10:21 am

    I LOVE onion rings!
    These look just delicious!! I love how you decided to change around recipes and come up with something even healthier!

  11. Anna @ On Anna's Plate
    January 31, 2012 / 10:40 am

    Haha…we belong to Costco, and I agree– not that practical for just a two-person household! We DO get our frozen berries there for smoothies though, and it’s much more cost effective than buying them at the regular g.store!

  12. Kacey @ Kacey's Kitchen
    January 31, 2012 / 10:44 am

    Oh man, these look amazing!!!! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to make these!

  13. Faith
    January 31, 2012 / 11:18 am

    Hey Nicole! I just got back from vacation and am catching up on my blog reading! I am a huge fan of onion rings and I know I would really go crazy for your lightened up version…definitely the perfect pary food for this weekend!

  14. Melissa
    January 31, 2012 / 11:27 am

    Those onion rings look amazing! I can’t wait to make them.

  15. Heidi @ Food Doodles
    January 31, 2012 / 11:36 am

    LOL. I’m totally laughing at what your husband said in Costco. I give my husband a couple years before he’s like that too. My hubby’s still somewhat polite when he tells me he doesn’t think he’ll like what I’m making, so he says basically the same thing, but tries to disguise it, haha. That being said, we both looooove onion rings. I can’t wait to try baking some!!

  16. Leah @ Why Deprive?
    January 31, 2012 / 12:03 pm

    I love onion rings. Like, a lot. I get unreasonably excited when I see them on a menu, and I HAVE to have them. I’ve been meaning to make my own forever, but I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

    And Costco – I freaking love it there. My parent’s passed on one of their memberships to me (they both had one, and always go together so there was no point in having two), and it’s been the highlight of my life ever since. They sell giant bags of quinoa so cheap. I love it.

  17. eatingRD
    January 31, 2012 / 3:58 pm

    Looks like a great recipe! I usually don’t get onion rings because they are so greasy, these look great. You think Mr. P would learn you have awesome recipes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Kellie
    January 31, 2012 / 5:49 pm

    I wanted to let you know that I made your Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas and my family loves them. I have three little kids and they requested them for dinner tonight. Even better is I prepare my chicken with the sauces in the crockpot so all I have to do is put it all together and bake in the oven. Thanks for all of your great recipes.

    • Nicole, RD
      January 31, 2012 / 10:33 pm

      Kellie: I’m so happy to hear they were a hit! I love the idea of cooking the chicken in the crock – I’ve got to try that time-saving tip! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. sophia
    January 31, 2012 / 9:47 pm

    I love onion rings– even more than fries. I love them so, so much. Your pictures are making me go mad with onion ring cravings! They look perfectly crunchy despite not being deep-fried.

  20. Amanda
    February 1, 2012 / 12:47 pm

    What a great idea to combine 2 recipes together. They are a perfect dish for superbowl sunday!

  21. Joy
    February 1, 2012 / 4:49 pm

    I am definitely not showing my husband this – he’d nag until I made them and a cook I’m not! But maybe I’ll be nice and get him some alexia sweet potato fries ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. Kevin (Closet Cooking)
    February 1, 2012 / 6:05 pm

    Those are some really nice looking onion rings!

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  24. Fisher Boy
    February 8, 2012 / 5:49 pm

    WHOA, Nicole, on your halibut fish sticks recipe, you were NOT KIDDING about these delicious-looking onion rings! This meal may become your hidden Ace, we think!

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