Onion rings are so great, aren’t they? One of the most popular snack and/or junk foods no matter which country you live in, you can usually expect to find them in the frozen goods section of supermarkets or at a fast food restaurant.
Sadly, though, a majority of onion rings are just not ideal for vegans. This is because the flour mixture which is used to coat the onions actually contains milk and eggs.
That being said, some brands and restaurants will prepare the flour mix without using end eggs or dairy, so you can occasionally find vegan-friendly onion rings.
So, what is there to know about vegan onion rings and how can you make them if you want to do this at home?
Here is all you need to know!
Vegan Onion Ring Brands
Let us take the time to look over some brands online and in-store and find some vegan onion ring options so that we can enjoy this tasty food without feeling so bad about it.
Alexia Crispy Onion Rings
Ingredients: Wheat flour, expeller pressed canola oil, garlic powder, sea salt, onions, inactive dried, guar gum, whole wheat flour, corn starch, yeast, inactive dried yeast.
As you can see here, there is nothing there that is non-vegan. You can find these at Walmart.
These are ‘technically’ vegan in comparison to a majority of brands, and they have fewer additives, that being said, they do also contain processed sugar, which could be a problem for some more strict vegans.
So, if you are familiar with how sugar is processed, there is always a small chance that with sugar being in the onion rings, it may be unprocessed in an unethical manner.
Funyuns Onion-Flavored Rings
Ingredients: Vegetable oil (canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil), enriched cornmeal (ferrous sulfate, riboflavin, cornmeal, niacin, folic acid, mononitrate, thiamin), salt, and less than 2% of the following: sugar, maltodextrin (from corn), garlic powder, cornstarch, buttermilk, onion powder, hydrolyzed corn protein, cornflower, monosodium glutamate, gum arabic, natural flavors.
Although Funyuns are not technically onion rings, they are a type of onion ring. However, they contain buttermilk which is a milk derivative.
Buttermilk comes from liquid leftover from churned butter and is technically an unpasteurized cream that matured for a few days while it fermented.
However, since cream and milk are pasteurized, there is no natural fermentation. So, it’s not clear which plant-based ingredient would replace buttermilk, but soy milk with white vinegar is an ideal replacement in a homemade recipe.
Restaurants With Vegan Onion Rings
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Sadly, a majority of restaurants will add eggs and buttermilk into the flour, some say this is necessary to add crispiness to the overall end product, so there is a possibility that onion rings can get deep-fried in animal fat, and not vegetable oil.
For this reason, I decided to go on a hunt for which fast food places will sell vegan onion rings, check this out:
|Fast Food Chain||Vegan Onion Rings Or Non-Vegan Onion Rings|
|A&W Restaurants||No Vegan Onion Rings: Reason Milk|
|Arby’s||No Vegan Onion Rings: Reason Milk|
|Burger King||No Vegan Onion Rings: Reason Milk|
|Carl’s Jr||No Vegan Onion Rings: Reason Milk|
|Dairy Queen||No Vegan Onion Rings: Milk & Eggs|
|Fatburger||Yes, Vegan Onion Rings Here|
|Harvey’s||Yes, Vegan Onion Rings Here|
|Jack In The Box||No Vegan Onion Rings Here: Reason Milk|
|Pizza Hut||Yes, Vegan Onion Rings Here|
|Pizza Pizza’s||Yes, Vegan Onion Rings Here|
|Popeyes||No Vegan Onion Rings: Milk & Egg|
|Sonic||Yes, Vegan Onion Rings Here|
The Problem With Refined Sugar:
What does sugar have anything to do with onion rings? Well, some brands will use sugar, that is the reason why we are discussing sugar.
Refined sugar can also be crafted from beet sugar and cane sugar. They are both technically the same in taste, and both are used equally in the United States, but they are not made the same way.
Refined sugar is made with beets, and is crafted using a diffuser mixed with additives to then crystalize. Sugar made from sugar cane can need decolorizing agents, which often sees refineries use bone char.
What is bone char? Well, bone char is essentially cattle bones that have been carbonized, so its appearance looks a lot like charcoal. Sadly, this is not something you can discover by looking at the label, so you usually need to actually speak to a brand to find out if they use bone char.
Even when you do get a hold of a company, it is hard to know for 100% sure, as some suppliers may source one sugar type, but you have many which have a mixed pool of suppliers, and this can include ones that use bone char in their processing, making sugar harder to the source.
How To Make Vegan Onion Rings
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One of the easiest ways you can make vegan onion rings is to make them yourself. Doing this allows you to totally get rid of any animal ingredients from the recipe, even ones that are controversial, such as sugar, and even make them more healthy if you so wish.
You could even choose against deep-frying them in insane oil quantities, and air fry them, or even bake them!
However here’s an amazing vegan onion ring recipe:
How To Make Vegan Onion Rings
- 2 large white onions Spanish white onions are great
- ½ cup/65g of flour ideally all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons corn flour aka cornstarch
- 1 cup/250ml of unsweetend dairy-free milk
- 1 tsp of white vinegar
- 1 cup/120g of breadcrumbs panko bread crumbs are recommended
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tsp of oil of choice
- Preheat oven to 450ºF/230C and line a big baking tray with parchment paper.
- Peel the onions without cutting them if possible.
- Slice the onions lentghways into ¾ inch thick rings. Separate the rings and place them in a bowl.
- Add the cornstarch and allpurpose flour in a deep bowl and mix.
- Add about half of the dairy-free milk and stir vigorously with a whisk to a smooth batter. Add the rest of the dairy-free milk and the vinegar, and stir to incorporate.
- Using a second bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and salt. Drizzle in the oil and use your fingertips to mix it up well.
- Dip the onion rings first into the batter, making sure that you let the excess drip off, then drop them into the bowl with breadcrumbs, ensuring that they are coated all the way. Then add them to the parchment paper tray.
- Make sure that you don't pile the onion rings on top of each other, or let them stick, they need distance from the others.
- Bake the onion rings in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Flip, and bake another 5 minutes.
Consume them within 2 days.
You can find onion rings that are vegan and you can find onion rings that are not, however, it is more likely you will find onion rings that are not vegan.
It does depend on the brand, but most onion rings will not be vegan, and even a majority of frozen onion rings will not be vegan. If you are visiting a restaurant, most are not vegan, but always double-check beforehand.
Many places use eggs or milk to make onion rings as this is traditional, however, some may use vegan options, such as you can find at Sonic, or Pizza Hut, so always check before you buy!
1. Are Onion Rings In The UK Vegan?
Sadly, the same rule applies in the UK as in the US, where most onion rings are not vegan as milk or egg is found inside the product. So always check before you buy!
2. Are Onion Rings Gluten-Free?
Sadly most onion rings use flour and products that contain gluten, especially in the coating, however, there are onion rings out there that are totally gluten-free, but you will need to make sure you always double-check.