Gluten-Free Onion Rings

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Two bowls of crispy gluten-free Onion Rings and a side of vegan Chipotle Aioli

It’s that time of year when we put on our stretchy pants, watch sporty things (or copious amounts of Netflix), and eat all the comfort food.

Care to join?

Stirring together the flour mixture for our gluten-free vegan onions rings recipe

Anytime we go out to eat I’m tempted by the appetizer menu.

However, I always end up passing because 1) there aren’t many veg/gluten free options and 2) portion sizes are typically mammoth so there’s no way I’ll be able to finish my entrée with a stack of onion rings already down the chute.

But – but – there is a time and a place for comfort food. And that time is now. When my favorite fall shows return, the weather gets chilly, and I get a serious case of introversion.

Gluten-free onion rings sizzling in a cast iron skillet

These rings are simple to make, requiring just 9 ingredients and 30 minutes to make!

Simply slice onions into rings and dredge in a mixture of brown rice, cornmeal, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper. It’s as easy as that!

To cook, I went for pan frying, because I never met a baked onion ring I liked. In fact, I tested a baked version of this recipe and it was a total no go. Burnt on the outside, stringy on the inside, and the coating fell off (saddest day).

Containers of gluten-free onion rings with Vegan Chipotle Aioli

I hope you all LOVE these rings! They’re:

Crispy, crunchy
Savory on the outside
Sweet on the inside
Perfect spiced
& Kind of amazing

These would make the perfect snack or appetizer for a day spent watching sporting events or Netflix re-runs, especially when paired with my Whiskey BBQ Ketchup or Vegan Chipotle Aioli (pictured above)!

More Snacks!
Spicy Red Curry Cauliflower “Wings”
Vegan 7-Layer Mexican Dip
Cajun Sweet Potato Fries
Crispy Baked Matchstick Fries,
Kale & Artichoke White Bean Dip
Cheesy Corn & Jalapeño Dip.

Dranks! Pair with my 5-Ingredient Ginger Beer Margarita for the ultimate winning combination.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!

A bowl of Vegan Chipotle Aioli dipping sauce for homemade gluten-free onion rings

Gluten-Free Onion Rings

Insanely delicious, crispy, pan-fried onion rings that are gluten-free, vegan, and ready in less than 30 minutes! The perfect game day snack or comfort food craving solution.
Author Minimalist Baker
Basket of homemade Gluten-Free Onion Rings and a bowl of sauce for dipping
4.80 from 15 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 (7-9 ring servings)
Course Appetizer, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? Best when fresh



  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt + black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond or rice milk
  • 2 medium yellow onions (sliced into 1/2-inch rings)
  • Avocado, grapeseed or canola oil for pan-frying


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (93 C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place one in the oven (where you’ll place cooked onion rings) and one on the counter (where you’ll place dipped onion rings). Also set out a plate layered with a few paper towels.
  • In a large shallow bowl, mix together brown rice flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Also add dairy-free milk to a separate small mixing bowl and set aside.
  • One at a time, dip the onion rings in the dry ingredients first, then the dairy-free milk, then back in the dry ingredients until well coated. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet on the counter and repeat until all rings are dipped. Overlapping them a little is fine.
  • Heat a large cast iron or metal skillet over medium high heat and add enough oil to form a scant 1/2-inch layer. Heat for 3-5 minutes, or until a little flour sprinkled in bubbles and browns. At that point, add only as many onion rings will fit comfortably in the pan.
  • Fry on both sides for 1-2 minutes, turning down heat if browning too quickly. Flip with a fork and handle carefully as the coating can be fragile at this point.
  • Transfer cooked onion rings to the paper-towel lined plate to blot off extra oil, then onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Continue until all onion rings are cooked.
  • Serve immediately with dip of choice – Whiskey BBQ Ketchup or Vegan Chipotle Aioli. Best when fresh.


*Recipe adapted from the lovely Grandbaby Cakes.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1/2 cup avocado oil per 10 servings and without sides or dipping sauces.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 7-9 ring servings Calories: 179 Carbohydrates: 17.7 g Protein: 1.5 g Fat: 11.5 g Saturated Fat: 0.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 124 mg Fiber: 1.4 g Sugar: 1.1 g

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My Rating:

  1. Elizabeth says

    Delicious! I made a Vegan Soul Food Feast with these Onion Rings, Black Eyed Peas, Coleslaw and Potato Salad. I used the Leftover Cornmeal Mixture to make Fried Pickles with Organic Sliced Dill Pickles. It was AMAZING. More Vegan Soul Food recipes please ; )

  2. Eve says

    I used all purpose flour and some tapioca starch (I thought it would make it stick together and it did) along with the rest ingredients and they came out delicious. Very easy and fun to make. The leftover ingredients were mixed into a pizza dough with yeast and extra flour. Cheers!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anne, we haven’t tried with that substitution, but it might work. Depending on the ingredients in it though (such as tapioca flour), it could turn out a little slimy. Let us know if you try it!

  3. Wendy says

    I made these onion rings for supper and we all loved them. They reminded me of the onion rings I like from the restaurant A&W. I ended up dipping and coating them 3 times and then used our deep fryer to cook them. When they came out of the fryer I sprinkled them with Lowry’s seasoning salt and then we dipped them in chipotle aioli. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Barbara says

    I read your recipes all the time and then adjust them to ah, “nearly vegetarian” status. In this case, I might use almond milk, if I have it. But I’m not opposed to using cows milk if that’s all I have. I would have to grind brown rice to make flour, so I’d sub it out for plain old white flour.

    But, here’s my point. Your recipes are delicious, crunchy, flavorful and addictive. I understand your audience is vegetarian or vegan, but consider giving us newbies or people who just need to use up what they have an opportunity to apply your knowledge.

    Please consider it. You may want to make a new site or at least a new section for us “half-breeds.” If you’re up for it, I will help however I can.

    All the best,

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Clever! Thanks for the suggestion, Barbara. In the meantime, if there’s ever a recipe that you’d like to know if a sub would work, feel free to leave a question in the comments or do a search to see what others have tried. If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for specific words in the post and comments. Hope that’s helpful!

  5. Evia says

    Made this with regular rice flour instead brown. It worked, the coating is super crispy but you have to be really, really careful not to overdo the onions themselves. Best fried on a surprisingly low heat. Also I’d say the amounts for both breading and milk are very, very generous – ended up with more than half of both left over. Might attempt some weird pancakes tomorrow :D

  6. Sara says

    This is a brilliant recipe! I modified it a bit because I didn’t have brown rice flour so I used instant potato mash powder and I added some lemon juice to the milk to thicken it. My son is allergic to gluten and eggs so this right up our street. Everyone loved it. Thank you for a great recipe and fantastic recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love the creativity, Sara! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it. Thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review! xo

  7. Aydia Johnson says

    I found out I’m allergic to corn, are there any substitutions for the corn meal and corn starch you would recommend?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Aydia, we haven’t tried with these substitutions, but perhaps arrowroot or tapioca starch for the corn starch and gluten-free panko for the cornmeal? Let us know if you try it!

  8. Tara Y Forward says

    I made this recipe for a Super Bowl snack and it was nothing short of WONDERFUL! My family enjoyed these immensely. Who knew ONE onion could make so many rings!! The coating and texture were spot on-the fresh fried crunch never softened. I couldn’t believe it. Thank you, Minimalist Baker for another great recipe.

  9. Elham says

    Do you know if I could sub arrowroot starch for corn starch? How about an all purpose GF flour instead of brown rice flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried those substitutions, but they might work! Let us know if you give it a try!

  10. Milan says

    I just tried this recipe and it turned out AMAZING!! The flavor was perfect and I couldn’t even tell it was gluten free!! 10/10 would absolutely recommend!! :)

    • Tunisia says

      So I got white rice flour, flax meal, tapioca flour and gluten free panko, would those ingredients work for these onion rings too?

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Tunisia, we haven’t tried it that way, but maybe white rice flour for the brown rice, gluten free panko for the cornmeal, and tapioca for the cornstarch? Let us know if you try it!

  11. Kristin Haubert says

    This is the best onion ring recipe for gluten free onion rings! And the chipotle aioli recipe is amazing as well. Some friends and I got together to do this ‘frying night’ because our husbands had gone fishing and caught a lot of fish. So we decided to fry a bunch of other things as well. I got to make my gluten free onion rings before everything else so the oil was clean. I kept these in the oven until everything else was done. They held up very well in the oven, stayed crispy and everything. By the end of the meal all of the non-gluten free people were eating my onion rings because they were better than the gluten filled ones!!

  12. Paul says

    The almond milk didn’t hold the mix in the pan, so I added two eggs to the milk with much better results. Vidalia onion, if that makes a difference. Very tasty!

  13. Meredith McCarthy says

    Can these not be stored at all? I’d like to use them to top a green bean casserole but it would be nice to make them the night before so there’s less work on Thanksgiving Day. Very excited to make these- thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! They are best when fresh, but you could try making them the night before, but they may not be as crunchy the next day.

  14. Cassie Tran says

    Onion rings used to be my favorite fast food side–until I met sweet potato fries. These look incredible!

  15. Trisha says

    Okay! I am totally hooked on your blog. I made these tonight along with the Red Curry Cauliflower Wings and my hubby (not vegan or g/f) literally said, “I could eat like this everyday”… Thank you!! Thank you for making everyday foods and guilty pleasures accessible to all of us!

    Since I’m also corn-free, I sub’ed 1.5 cups of your g/f flour blend in place of the 1/4 c. cornmeal + 1/4 c. cornstarch + 1 c. brown rice flour. Worked like a charm.

  16. Melissa says

    I would have to say I did not enjoy making these (the dipping process was a pain) but the end result was delicious!!! Everyone loved them from my husband down to the one year old!

  17. Lawren says

    The flavor of these onions rings was great but I have to say that the coating didn’t really stick very well when frying and pretty much all fell off when eating them. Not sure if I did something wrong but thought I followed the directions very closely. Anyhow, they were still delicious :)

  18. Coley | Coley Cooks says

    These look KILLER! I’m with you on the appetizers at restuarants thing, only I tend to order just apps and skip the entree altogether! Totally bookmarking these. Yum!

  19. Jenny says

    Don’t knw if you’ve ever tried the Korean/Japanese style curry-such as Golden Crry or Vermont curry, but do you think you could make a plant based version? the Golden Curry brand is actually vegan but has MSG in it. I’ve been craving it so bad! Would be glad to help you if needed, too!

  20. Gitta says

    “It’s that time of year when we put on our stretchy pants” hahhaha that’s so funny! Everything on your blog comes together a good read, good recipes and beautiful photo’s…so inspiring

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing! Next time would you mind leaving a rating? That really helps us out! thanks! xoxo

  21. Edwina at The Equipped Cook says

    These look so delicious. I would love to snack on these. Total comfort food! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Bethany says

    Looks delicious!! Wondering if ground millet (buy whole and grind in your blender or spice mill) would sub well for that cornmeal, Melanie. Millet has a corn-like taste (and is gluten free and easy to digest.) I love to cook it whole to accompany mexican dishes.

  23. Melanie says

    Thank-you so much for making a gluten free onion ring recipe! That just made my day because I thought I would have to give them up. Is there something I can substitute the cornmeal and corn starch for? I don’t eat corn. I was thinking of trying arrowroot or tapioca starch for the corn starch, but I don’t know about the cornmeal.

  24. Becky says

    First off I want to say I absolutely love your recipes! For this one can I sub the cornmeal since I cant do corn at all?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Becky! I’d just leave it out and sub with more brown rice flour and a little arrowroot. Good luck!

  25. Brooke says

    OMG! How do you stay skinny LOL I love your recipes so much. Sometimes I really wish there was nothing to eat that’s gluten free and vegan but fruit and lettuce, but that’s SO NOT THE CASE. >,>

  26. Chantal says

    Dana how do you do it! Every time I search for a recipe these days, there you are at the top of the list! Great job! Means you are doing something right, that’s for sure! Congrats on such a great website! Your hard work is paying off! Can’t wait to try these rings! Yep, it’s that time of year where are my comforting food cravings come back!

  27. Laura ~ Raise Your Garden says

    Ohhhh, there is most definitely always a place for comfort food!!! I’m glad you tested the waters on baking them over pan frying and went with the pan frying. You do whatya gotta do! And at the end of the day, these are still onions and onions are loaded in antioxidents. Onions rings for dinner? Does that sound reasonable??