Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings

Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings

Finals are over and I’m freeeeeeee, free at last! At least for four weeks. I am rewarding myself for all of my hard work and good study habits the only way that I know how – with fried food. Nothing says “you can finally sleep in again” like onion rings. Right? That’s the first thing that you thought of too, yes? It’s like a crispy, golden brown pat on the back.

These onion rings are the crunchiest, best onion rings I have ever tasted or made. They are the only onion rings I have ever made, because after I made them once, I knew that there was nothing better out there. The outside of the onion rings are light and crunchy. The center of these onion rings are so tender, mainly due to the fact that they are soaked in buttermilk before they are fried off. It’s the same idea as soaking chicken in buttermilk before frying it. These onions are dredged in a light cornmeal mixture and fried on up.

Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Crispy buttermilk-battered and cornmeal-crusted onion rings.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large yellow onions, sliced ½-inch thick
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  1. Whisk together the buttermilk, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper in a large bowl. Add the onion rings and toss well to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, remaining teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper in another small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Pour enough oil into a deep-sided skillet to come about one inch up the side of the pan. Place the oil over medium-high heat, until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches, lift some of the onions out of the buttermilk and dredge them in the cornmeal mixture. Add to the hot oil and fry for about 1 minute per side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa.



    • Riley says

      I haven’t tried freezing these, but they can sit in the buttermilk for quite some time. You could soak the onions and prep the cornmeal mixture for dredging ahead of time so they’ll go quickly when you need them!


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