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I’ve got a splurge for your weekend!
Now that grilling season is upon us, I’m spending lots of time dreaming up all kinds of goodies for our Summer barbecues, and these flavorful, Lay’s potato chip-crusted baked onion rings are the first up.
With a crunchy, well-seasoned, potato chip battered crust, and juicy, tender onions at their centers, these onion rings are crispy, oven-fried perfection.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Yes, these onion rings are baked, not fried, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I don’t especially love frying. It’s messy, and requires watchful attention. It can leave the house smelling like a fast-food restaurant for days, and too often yields overly greasy results. There are certain recipes that demand a fryer (I’m looking at you, raised donuts…), but in this case I don’t miss that greasy pot of oil at all.
With these baked onion rings, I can pop them in the oven, and nearly forget about them (save for one quick flipping halfway through), until they re-emerge beautifully golden fifteen or so minutes later.
The secret is a thin layer of sizzling olive oil in the bottom of the sheet pan that helps these babies in crisping up as they cook.
The other secret is using crushed Lay’s potato chips to coat the battered onion rings instead of traditional breadcrumbs. This is the first time I’ve used crushed potato chips as breading, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long, because they are such a natural fit.
Panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs) is my usual go-to, which is coarser and flakier than traditional breadcrumbs, and results in a lighter and crispier texture (think tempura). But crumbled potato chips work even better here.
Since they are already cooked – and seasoned – they start out crispy, and quickly get even crunchier in the oven, without absorbing too much oil and ending up soggy, or obliterating the onion within. That balance is key – I love that crunchy outside, but still want to taste the onion within.
Potato chip hack for the win!
Crispy baked onion ring perfection might seem complicated, but the process is actually super simple:
Start with a couple of large, sweet yellow onions. You might find them labeled Vidalia or Walla-Walla. Slice them nice and thick – 1/4 to 1/2-thick rings are best.
Next, prep your onion ring assembly line. Get out three large mixing bowls, and line them up. The first filled with flour. The second filled with a yogurt-egg-buttermilk mixture, and the third with crushed Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips.
I used Lay’s Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper flavored potato chips for these, which are already nicely seasoned, but if you’re using original flavored chips, or want to mix things up, you could add some additional seasoning to the chip crumbles. Salt and pepper, paprika, garlic powder, herbs – whatever flavors you prefer.
Then it’s simply dredge, dunk, and roll, down the line. The chip-crusted onion rings hit a pre-heated, sizzling olive oil coated sheet pan, which helps “fry” the rings in the oven while they’re baking. Fifteen minutes later, they’re wonderfully golden and ready for dunking in your favorite dipping sauce(s) and munching alongside your burger!Print