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Firecracker Onion Rings

Skip the oil and make these crispy and golden Firecracker Onion Rings in the oven instead. Serve the fresh from the oven with your favorite dipping sauces as a lighter appetizer or a mouthwatering side dish for burgers, hot dogs, steaks and more. The cooking technique gives a lighter finish and you won’t miss the conventional frying flavor at all.


Firecracker Onion Rings

Firecracker Onion Rings

How much do we love onion rings?  Let me count the ways….we love, love, love ’em. We order them as an appetizer for dipping or stacked high on burgers, barbecue and steaks.  When it comes to onion rings, there are basically two schools of thought. Onion rings are typically battered or breaded, and I’ve even seen both but,  of course, there are countless variations. In fact, Bon Appetit has a browned butter onion ring recipe you can see here.

Firecracker Onion Rings ingredients

Skip the Oil and Oven “Fry” Instead

These onion rings are breaded and oven fried, so, they’re much lighter than their usual deep fried counterparts and the panko breading makes them extra crispy. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauces such as Southern comeback sauce, or homemade yum yum sauce on the side. They’re easy to make and easy to love. If you’re a fan of air frying checkout this tutorial from Southern Living on how to make air fryer onion rings here.

Firecracker Onion Rings on a pan


So crispy and golden!


Firecracker Onion Rings

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Firecracker Onion Rings

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: firecracker-oniion-rings
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 364kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 jumbo sweet onion OR 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 3 1/2 tsp Creole Cajun or Old Bay seasoning, divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups self rising flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • cooking spray


  • Peel onion and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Separate the rings.
  • In a bowl, or large plastic storage bag, mix together the buttermilk, hot sauce, and 1 tsp of Creole seasoning.
  • Add the onion rings. Soak for 30 minutes in the refrigerator turning occasionally.
  • To prepare: Preheat the oven to 450°F and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spray liberally with cooking spray. (Have nearby an extra pan, if needed)
  • Remove onion rings from marinade. Reserve 1 cup of the marinade. Add to beaten eggs. Discard the rest.
  • On a plate, mix 1 tsp Creole seasoning and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper with flour.
  • On a separate plate, mix 1 1/2 tsp seasoning, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1 tsp kosher salt into panko breadcrumbs. Toss mixture with canola oil. Mix thoroughly.
  • Dip the onion rings into seasoned flour, then into egg-buttermilk wash, then into the panko bread crumbs.
  • Arrange side by side on the prepared baking sheets. Lightly spritz breaded onion rings with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully turn and continue to bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until golden and crispy. Rotate pans from top to bottom shelves, if needed.
  • Sprinkle with additional seasoning immediately after baking, if desired. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
  • To deep fry: Follow the same procedure and cook in small batches in peanut oil or canola that is at 350-360°F.
  • Place onto a baking sheet on paper towels to drain and into a 225°F oven to keep warm while frying additional batches.


When preparing a dish that requires dredging, use one hand for the dry ingredients and one hand for the wet ingredients. Otherwise, if you dip a wet hand into the flour and bread crumbs, they'll become too moist and begin to clump. Clumpy breading won't adhere to the food, in this case, the onion rings.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 877mg | Potassium: 296mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 719IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 198mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. This recipe has me totally inspired! Love that you use buttermilk and that you can get that crispy result from baking. Will be trying this one for sure. Pinning it now as a reminder!

  2. I’ve never had any trouble getting the breading to stick on these onion rings when baking. However, if you should choose to deep fry these or any breaded item, it could be a bit more challenging.

  3. May I make a small suggestion, add instant potato flakes to the egg/buttermilk wash about 2 tablespoons. Allow to sit 10 mins for the flakes to absorb, then proceed to dip onion slices in. This creates a coating that sticks better to the rings and the panko then sticks better. If you deep fry, I use a very large but heavy bottom skillet with 2 inches of vegetable oil to fry. Unbelievably crispy even after they sit, should you have any leftover. I call them crack rings. LOL

  4. Hi Kathy, it’s great to meet you. I just stopped by your blog, and I’m looking forward to your postings. Thanks for stopping by. ~ Melissa

  5. Hey Melissa, I’m planning on making these with Didi’s meatloaf this weekend. Just need to come up with a veggie side. Can’t wait to taste, my mouth is watering just looking at my shopping list. I’ll report back for sure.

  6. Been waiting for you to post this recipe. They look super fabulous Melissa. Gonna get me some buttermilk (which I need for your tamale casserole anyway) and get to work. Love, love that you baked them! So up my alley. Thanks!

  7. Hello Vicky, thank you! I consider that high praise, so happy you’re enjoying them. Thanks for stopping by to let me know, I appreciate it. ~ Melissa

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