I love onion rings like the next person, but I don’t love that they’re greasy, deep-fried, and covered in gluten. If you want to enjoy a healthier version of these beloved treats made without gluten and baked, not fried, keep reading. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Do you miss the satisfying crunch and savory taste of onion rings since being diagnosed with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or gluten intolerance? If so, you’re not alone.
Many of us (myself included) had to give up this beloved comfort fast food after ditching gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
But that changes today with my delicious and health-forward baked gluten-free onion ring recipe. Enjoy this classic “fried” treat without worrying about gluten or grease.
In this article, I’ll show you how to make tasty baked gluten-free onion rings using your oven or air-fryer. Onion ring lovers rejoice!
Below are the ingredients you’ll need to make my homemade onion rings without gluten, of course!
Onion: I recommend using a large yellow onion, like a sweet Vidalia onion, because it’s naturally sweet vs. pungent. You could also use a white onion, which has a less sweet, more mild flavor.
Cornstarch: Coating the onion rings with cornstarch will lock in the onion’s juices and make for a crispy outer coating. Cornstarch is the best starch, but you could also use tapioca or potato starch.
Eggs: Eggs will help the panko breadcrumbs “stick” to the onion rings. If you can’t eat eggs, use heavy cream (or dairy-free heavy cream) instead. Another alternative is to use coconut milk or almond milk.
Panko breadcrumbs are larger and crunchier than traditional breadcrumbs. Be sure to pick something you like because it will affect the flavor and texture of the onion rings. If you use seasoned panko, omit the salt and pepper.
Seasonings: You’ll need salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to season the onion rings.
Avocado Oil Spray: Spraying the onion rings with avocado oil before baking will help them crisp up. I highly recommend avocado oil spray because of its high smoke point and mild taste, but you could use another vegetable oil cooking spray instead like olive oil or canola oil spray.
How to Make Baked Onion Rings
These onion rings are simple and easy to make and can be cooked quickly in the air-fryer or baked easily in the oven.
To make these crunchy and delicious gluten-free onion rings, peel and slice an onion into half-inch circular slices. Carefully break the onion slices apart into individual onion rings.
Dip each onion ring into a mixture of cornstarch, salt, ground pepper, and garlic powder, then dip it in a bowl of beaten eggs, and then into a bowl of the panko breadcrumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Place each breaded onion ring either onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or in the basket of your air fryer.
Spray the onion rings with a generous amount of avocado oil cooking spray coating, then bake at 400º F in the oven for 18-22 or six minutes in the air fryer. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce (see below).
How to Serve ‘Em: Serve the baked onion rings with your favorite dipping sauces (see suggestions below) and enjoy while warm and crispy as a healthy snack or delicious appetizer for your Super Bowl, game day, or holiday celebrations. They also make a great side dish in lieu of French fries.
Dipping Sauce: Who doesn’t love a good dip to accompany their crispy golden brown onion rings? The right dipping sauce can take your gluten-free onion ring experience from good to great. Here are a few dipping sauce options to try:
- Classic Ketchup
- Classic Ranch Dressing
- Hot Sauce
- Chipotle Mayo
- BBQ Sauce
- Mayonnaise & Ketchup Combo
Air Fry vs. Bake: Baking them in the air fryer will net a crispier onion ring, although both versions are crisp, golden, and perfectly seasoned. It’s a matter of preference. If you have an air fryer, use it. If you don’t, your oven will work just fine. I personally prefer air fryer onion rings over oven-baked onion rings.
Breadcrumb Alternatives: I use Kikkoman Gluten-Free Panko breadcrumbs or Kinnikinnick panko-style breadcrumbs, but any breadcrumbs will work. If using seasoned breadcrumbs, you don’t have to season them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder before baking.
I prefer panko breadcrumbs because they’re larger and crunchier, but any gluten-free breadcrumbs you can find will work.
Cornstarch Alternatives: You can use cornstarch, tapioca starch, potato starch, arrowroot powder, or even gluten-free flour for the first dip, although flour doesn’t “stick” as well to the onion as the starches.
Reheating: The onion rings taste best when warm but can be reheated easily if they get too cold. If you can, toast them in a toaster oven or air fry them for 1-2 minutes to bring them back to life. Alternatively, you can microwave them, but they will likely be more soggy vs. crispy.
Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge—reheat as noted above.
Make-Ahead Instructions: To prepare the onion rings ahead of time, freeze your breaded onion rings in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place them inside a freezer bag for easy storage. Remove the onion rings you want to bake, spray them with avocado oil, and bake or air fry them as instructed in the recipe card. Please note that they may need an extra 2-3 minutes in the air fryer and 4-5 minutes in a preheated oven when preparing them when they’re frozen.
Spice ‘Em Up: Add a dash of cayenne pepper to the seasoning mix to spice up your baked gluten-free onion rings. You could also add onion powder or other seasonings, as desired.
No Deep Frying: You’ll need tons of hot oil and paper towels to soak up all the grease when making traditional deep-fried onion rings. However, baking them gives you a less greasy, healthier alternative to conventional onion rings. And they taste just as delicious without the wasted calories!
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like the following recipes:
- Gluten-Free Mozzarella Sticks with Roasted Red Pepper Marinara
- Gluten-Free Toasted Ravioli (Air Fryer Recipe)
- How to Make Homemade Gluten-Free Croutons (Garlic & Herbs)
- Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Creamy Hummus Dip
Baked Crispy Gluten-Free Onion Rings – Air Fryer or Oven
- 1 Air fryer or oven
- 1 Baking Sheet
- Parchment paper
- various bowls
- 1 large yellow onion
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 2 eggs large
- 2 cups gluten-free panko breadcrumbs see notes
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt divided
- ¾ teaspoon ground pepper divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder divided
- avocado oil spray equivalent to 2 teaspoons of oil (or other vegetable oil spray)
- Preheat the oven or air fryer to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel the onion, and then slice it into half-inch circular slices. Carefully break the slices apart into individual onion rings.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, and set aside.
- In another small bowl, whisk the eggs and set aside.
- In a third shallow bowl, add the gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and season the panko with the remaining salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Using one hand, dip each individual onion ring into the seasoned cornstarch mixture, then dredge it into the beaten eggs. Using your other hand, drop the egg-coated onion ring into the breadcrumbs and evenly coat it with the panko. Place each breaded onion ring onto the prepared baking sheet and spray the onion rings with a generous coat of avocado oil cooking spray.
- Air-Fryer: Place a single layer of onion rings in the preheated air-fryer basket (line the air-fryer with parchment paper, optional). Set the air-fryer to cook at 400°F for six minutes or until the panko is golden brown.Oven: Place the baking sheet with the onion rings on top in a preheated 400°F oven and bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve the onion rings with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy while warm and crispy. They make a great healthy snack or delicious appetizer for your Super Bowl, game day, or holiday celebrations.
- Classic Ketchup
- Classic Ranch
- Hot Sauce
- Chipotle Mayo
- BBQ Sauce
- Mayonnaise & Ketchup Combo