Buttermilk Onion Rings

I. Love. Onion. Rings.  As a kid, I would order them, crack them open, pull out the onion and and just eat the batter. Though I loved the flavor, I hadn’t quite warmed up to eating the actual onion yet. Now, I love them in EVERYTHING! Especially sweet onions. Vidalia’s, Peruvian, Maui, Walla Walla, Sweet Imperial, Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter… it doesn’t matter. If it’s a sweet onion… I’m a fan.

Most recipes for onion rings are pretty basic. But I’ve added a couple of little extras to make these special. Like buttermilk and Panko and an Asian hot sauce. I hope you love these as much as I do.



  • 1 large sweet Vidalia onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 – 1 1/5 cup buttermilk, or as needed
  • 1 cup dry unflavored bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • salt to taste
  • 1 quart peanut oil for frying, or as needed (you can sub vegetable oil but peanut tastes better and takes the  high heat better)


Preparing Dipping Sauce

Mix two ingredients thoroughly until completely blended. Use more or less of the chili sauce depending on your “heat” preference.


  1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or dutch oven to 365 degrees F.
  2. Separate the onion slices into rings, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until they are all coated; set aside. This will help the batter adhere.
  4. Gently beat the egg and milk into the flour mixture using hand mixer.
  5. Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat, then place on a wire rack to drain until the batter stops dripping. The wire rack may be placed over a sheet of aluminum foil for easier clean up.
  6. Mix together the corn meal, bread and Panko crumbs and scatter out on a plate or shallow dish. Place rings one at a time into the crumbs, and scooping over the ring to coat it. Give it a gentle tap as you remove it from the crumbs. The coating should cling very well. Repeat with remaining rings.I suggest completing this entire step before starting to fry rings. Its very easy to burn them if you’re distracted. I may or may not be speaking from experience. :o)

Ready To Cook?

  1. Deep fry the rings a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. They should float to the top immediately – if they don’t your oil is not hot enough. Turn rings over once during the frying time.
  2. Remove from oil and transfer to a paper towel to drain. Season with seasoning salt, and serve warm.

The Perfect Bite

Give them about 30 seconds or so to cool.. swirl slightly in the Sriracha Sauce and enjoy! Although they’re best served within minutes of cooking…  be sure to let them cool enough so as not to burn the roof of your mouth. Again, I may or may not be speaking from experience.

The Perfect Pairing

I enjoyed these with a bottle of my favorite beer, Negra Medelo. But any amber or pale ale would be a great pairing. Also, try putting a few of the smaller rings on top of a large summer salad or add one of the large rings to the top of your favorite grilled burger.

The Perfect Health

Okay, let’s face it – these are deep fried onion rings. I’m not going to try and fake a health benefit here. But, onions have a variety of medicinal effects. Early American settlers used wild onions to treat colds, coughs, and asthma, and to repel insects. In Chinese medicine, onions have been used to treat angina, coughs, bacterial infections, and breathing problems. Read here for more details.


Spicy Mac & Cheese

This is not your Mama’s macaroni & cheese… but it is a definite crowd pleaser!

I love comfort food… I mean, who doesn’t? It evokes warm memories of home and family and a simpler time… which is why we crave it on rainy, cold days and when life throws us a curve ball.

I love to eat this on its own as a meal, but it’s also great paired with my Drunken Country Ribs… I’ll post that recipe at a later date.

1 pkg Creamette jumbo elbow macaroni
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded Mexican blend
1/2 cup  shredded Swiss or Jarlsburg cheese
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons butter
2 tsps of salt
1 tsp pepper
Cholula Original hot sauce (or whatever your favorite is – this is one of mine)
salt & pepper to taste
1 sm can Ortega Diced Green Chilies (if you like it really spicy you can use their diced jalapeños instead)
1 sm sweet onion – diced
1/2 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs – they’re made from bread after the crust is removed, which gives them a light airy texture. If you can’t find Panko, Corn Bread Crumbs are great)


Sauté diced onion in 2 tablespoons butter until translucent. Don’t overcook, they’ll be cooking longer in the oven.

Boil macaroni until tender, drain and put into shallow baking dish (glass or ceramic cake pan works best). While noodles are boiling you can make your bechamel sauce.  In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted.  Add the flour and stir until smooth.  Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Once removed from heat, slowly add the grated cheeses and continue stirring. NOTE: If you add the cheese while still on the heat it will curdle up and that when you get a grainy gritty texture. You want a smooth, cheesy bechamel! Once all cheese is incorporated, season with salt and pepper.

Fold in bechamel sauce and green chilies and stir until all noodles are covered and ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Add more salt and pepper if needed and Cholula Hot Sauce to *taste.
*I always take a taste a spoonful before baking to make sure it’s spicy enough or to see if it needs more salt or pepper.

Ready To Cook?
*Sprinkle Panko across the top until evenly, but not completely covered. Bake at 375º for 20 minutes or until cheese is slightly brown & crunchy around edges (you know this is the best part!)

*For a more golden crunchy topping… sprinkle a few drops of olive oil in a bowl and toss panko crumbs until evenly (but lightly) coated. Then sprinkle on mac & cheese.

The Perfect Bite
Who are we kidding? Every bite of this is a perfect bite!

The Perfect Pairing
With its zesty Mexican flavors the perfect beverage for this dish is an ice cold bottle of Negra Modelo.

Did You Know? You can reduce the amount of tears you shed while cutting onions if you use a really sharp knife and a cold onion. A dull knife used on an over-ripe room temp onion will make you cry a river of tears. I always use sweet onions because they’re less tear-inducing than yellow or white onions. Also, for a little more complicated but cry-proof solution… check out this video.