I would like to formally thank whoever created the air fryer because I am simply OB-SESSED. It’s such a quick and easy way to cook vegetables, crisp up frozen fries or vegan nuggets, and to create healthier versions of deep-fried treats such as onion rings.

Onion rings have been a favourite of mine ever since I was a kid and my parents would take my sister and I to Burger King once a month. Which is why I set out to recreate onion rings in the air fryer. My goal was to create something that was still crispy and showcased the flavour of the onion, while using as little oil as possible and adding in some nutrition within the ingredients used in the batter. So here’s what I did:

  • I used whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs for the batter. Panko creates an extremely crispy exterior that is still light, which is just what I wanted. And they offer a whole wheat version, which adds some extra fiber!
  • I used nutritional yeast in the dredge mixture to add some B vitamins as well as flavour.
  • I used an olive oil cooking spray to provide some healthy fats.

As you can see, they turned out amazing! I hope you try it out.

Here’s the recipe:

Serves: 1-3

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat panko
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle (this creates vegan buttermilk).
  2. Meanwhile, slice the onion using a mandolin or with a knife into ~1 cm thick slices. Separate the onion slices so that you have onion rings and place into the buttermilk mixture and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the panko breadcrumbs and salt, and set aside.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, garlic and onion powder, paprika, nutritional yeast, and black pepper.
  5. Once 10 minutes have elapsed, transfer the buttermilk mixture into another bowl.
  6. To bread the onion rings, first coat the rings in flour, tapping off any excess and then dip them into the buttermilk. Finally, place the onion rings into the bowl of breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs into rings.
  7. Place each bread onion ring into the air fryer basket – it’s okay if they overlap.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until the fryer basket is full.
  9. Spray the onion rings with cooking spray and cook the onion rings at 370-375oF for 10-12 minutes. Flip the onion rings after 7 minutes and spray the other side with some more cooking spray.
  10. While the first batch of onion rings are cooking, continue to bread the remaining onion rings and place on a plate. Once the first batch has finished cooking, transfer the cooked onion rings onto a cooling rack and repeat step 9.
  11. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce!

Here’s a quick and easy dipping sauce idea: mix together equal parts of vegan mayo and ketchup! Voila, the perfect dipping sauce. I also love dipping these into just ketchup or a spicy mustard.

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