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Buttermilk Onion Rings, Kicked Up!


While visiting Texas, this summer, we had the most delicious thick-cut onion rings. When we returned to our home state of California, it became my personal mission to recreate them. I went to one of my favorite Texas food sources, "The Homesick Texan". We don't eat a lot of deep-fried food, but once in a while these are a special treat. Soaking the onions in buttermilk helps to soften them, yielding a crunchy exterior (from double dipping them in seasoned flour)and a soft onion in the interior.

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (16 Votes)


  • 2 medium sweet onions (like Vidalia orTexas 1015 sweet onions, cut into 1/4-inch rings)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Oil for frying


Servings 4
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 45mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Place the onion slices in a large bowl and cover with the buttermilk. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.

Mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, chipotle powder, oregano and cumin. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Divide the flour mixture, placing half in a large food-safe plastic bag and the other half on a plate.

NOTE: The equipment that I prefer to use is a paper-towel lined baking sheet with a rack on top. I preheat the oven to warm so that I can keep the onion rings warm until ready to eat.

Heat up 2 inches of oil in a large pot or cast-iron skillet to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.

To batter the onions, remove them from the buttermilk, reserving the buttermilk in the bowl, and place them in the plastic-bag with the flour. Shake until coated.

Working one-at-a time or in small batches, take the floured onions and dip back into the buttermilk and then dredge in the flour on a plate.

NOTE: I also prefer to use large pie plates for the buttermilk and flour. You can, however, use the method of shaking the dipped onion in a plastic or paper bag. Either way works.

Fry in the hot oil until light brown, for about 2 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with ketchup or your preferred dipping sauce.

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