Crispy Onion Rings with Kickin' Ranch

Freshly fried onions come together in a flash and disappear even faster.

Crispy Onion Rings with Kickin' Ranch
Photo: Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely
Active Time:
29 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Few Southerners can resist the temptation of a perfectly crispy fried onion ring. While many of our favorite barbecue joints have onion rings on the menu, there's nothing better than making them at home so you can enjoy the ultimate Southern appetizer at its crispiest state, fresh from the fryer and almost too hot to handle.

This easy crispy onion ring recipe starts by tossing the onion with flour before dredging the rings in a simple batter and coating them with crispy panko breadcrumbs.

Here's a pro tip: When adding the panko to a bowl for coating the batter-dipped onion rings, start with just 1 cup of panko at a time to keep the breadcrumbs from getting too soggy.

Hot oil—but not too hot—is the key to crispy onion rings. Before frying the onion rings, use an instant-read thermometer to check the oil temperature; aim for 350°F, and adjust the heat as needed to keep the temperature in this zone. A slight drop is expected once the onion rings go in, but keep the oil above 325°F to guarantee crispy onion rings.

For this recipe, regular sweet onions from the grocery store work perfectly fine; use sweet Vidalia onions when they're in season to take this recipe to the next level.


  • 1 medium (8 oz.) sweet onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-in. thick slices (about 2 1/2 cups)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup whole buttermilk

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • 2 cups panko, divided

  • 3 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Kickin' Ranch

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 3 Tbsp. whole buttermilk

  • 2 Tbsp. very finely chopped jalapeño (from 1 medium)

  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Sriracha chile sauce

  • 1 (1-oz.) envelope ranch seasoning mix

  • tsp. kosher salt


  1. Separate onion slices into individual rings, and place in a large bowl with flour; toss to coat onion rings evenly in flour. Transfer coated onions to a baking sheet. Add buttermilk, egg, and 1 teaspoon of the salt to flour; whisk until smooth. Place 1 cup panko in a medium shallow dish.

  2. Working in batches, dredge coated onion rings in batter, allowing excess to drip off. Then, dredge in panko; place on a wire rack. Once panko becomes too wet to coat rings, discard and place remaining 1 cup panko in shallow dish, and continue dredging. Let stand on wire rack 15 minutes before frying.

  3. While onion rings stand, heat oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high to 350°F. Fry onion rings in batches until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes, turning once halfway through. Drain on wire racks, and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve with Kickin' Ranch.

Kickin' Ranch

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth.

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