Cheesy Onion Rings: the Recipe for Crunchy, Tasty and Stringy Rings Perfect for Your Aperitifs!

Total time: 30 mins.
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Calling all fast food lovers here: when you order, have you ever found yourself in doubt on wether you should get onion rings or mozzarella sticks? We have the solution for you: Cheesy Onion Rings! These tasty, stringy rings are a simple appetizer, a richer variant of the classic aforementioned onion rings, enriched with a stringy heart of cheese and a crunchy breading made with flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. A tantalizing and tasty recipe, also ideal for a brunch or for an aperitif, or a buffet, to enrich a mixed fried fish or an evening with friends: you can accompany them with ketchup, mayonnaise or your favorite sauces. Preparing them is very simple, and everyone will like them – even those who don't usually prefer onions.

What Are Cheesy Onion Rings?

Onion rings, a beloved snack and side dish, have an interesting history that traces back to the early 20th century. While their exact origin is debated, onion rings are believed to have first appeared in the United States. A recipe for "Fried Onions with Parmesan Cheese" was published in a 1902 cookbook, and an even earlier reference dates back to an 1802 recipe in a New York cookbook. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s and 1930s that onion rings became widely popular in American diners and fast-food restaurants.

Cheesy onion rings are a modern twist on the classic recipe, combining the beloved crunch of onion rings with the gooey deliciousness of melted cheese. This variation involves stuffing the onion rings with slices of mozzarella cheese before breading and frying them, resulting in a delightful combination of textures and flavors.

Tips to Get the Best Cheesy Onion Rings

  • Select large, firm onions such as yellow or white onions. These varieties hold their shape well during frying and provide a good balance of sweetness and pungency.
  • Ensure your mozzarella cheese is cold before slicing and stuffing the onion rings. Cold cheese is easier to handle and less likely to melt too quickly during the frying process.
  • After peeling and slicing the onions into thick rings, separate them into pairs with one smaller ring inside a larger one. This creates a perfect cavity for the cheese, ensuring it stays enclosed during frying.
  • For an extra-crispy coating, consider double-dipping. After the first round of flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, repeat the egg and breadcrumb steps. This creates a thicker, crunchier exterior.
  • For a crunchier texture, use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are lighter and create a more substantial, crispy coating.
  • Heat the vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C) before frying the onion rings. Using a thermometer can help maintain the correct temperature, ensuring the rings cook evenly and become golden brown without becoming greasy.
  • Fry the onion rings in small batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. This ensures the oil temperature remains consistent and the rings cook evenly.
  • After frying, place the onion rings on a wire rack over a baking sheet to drain excess oil. This prevents them from becoming soggy. Avoid placing them directly on paper towels, as this can trap steam and moisture.
  • Cheesy onion rings are best enjoyed fresh and hot. Serve them immediately after frying to enjoy the optimal contrast of crispy exterior and melty cheese interior.

What Are the Best Types of Onions to Use for Cheesy Onion Rings?

The best types of onions to use for cheesy onion rings are large, firm yellow or white onions. These varieties hold their shape well during frying and offer a good balance of sweetness and pungency, ensuring the rings stay intact and flavorful.

What Can I Use Instead of Breadcrumbs?

Instead of breadcrumbs, you can use crushed cornflakes, panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch, crushed crackers, or even finely ground nuts to coat your cheesy onion rings.

How Do I Make Sure the Breading Sticks to The Rings?

To ensure the breading sticks to the rings, pat the onion rings dry before dredging. Coat them thoroughly in flour, dip them in beaten eggs, and then evenly cover them with breadcrumbs, pressing gently. For extra adhesion, double-dip by repeating the egg and breadcrumb steps.

Why Are My Cheesy Onion Rings Soggy?

The rings can be soggy if the oil temperature is too low, causing them to absorb excess oil, or if they are not drained properly after frying. Overcrowding the pan during frying can also lead to uneven cooking and sogginess.

Can I Substitute the Mozzarella Cheese?

Yes, you can substitute mozzarella cheese with other meltable cheeses such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or provolone. These cheeses will provide a similar gooey texture and delicious flavor in your cheesy onion rings.

Can I Bake This in The Oven, Instead? Or Make Them in The Air Fryer?

Yes! For the oven, bake at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. For the air fryer, cook at 375°F (190°C) for 10-12 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. Both methods will yield crispy rings without deep frying.

Can I Make These Cheesy Onion Rings Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare cheesy onion rings ahead of time by assembling and breading them, then storing them in the refrigerator for up to a day before frying. Alternatively, you can freeze them after breading and fry them directly from frozen when ready to serve.

More Onion Recipes For Your Brunches!

Caramelized Onions

Roasted Flower Onions

Fried Onions

Sweet and Sour Onions

Upside Down Onion Tart

How to Store Cheesy Onion Rings

Store cooked cheesy onion rings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, use an oven or air fryer to maintain crispiness. They can also be frozen: freeze the breaded rings on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Fry directly from frozen when ready to serve.


Kraft Mozzarella Cheese
1 block
large onions
All-purpose flour
60 grams
120 grams
Vegetable oil for frying
to taste

How to Make Cheesy Onion Rings

Cut the mozzarella cheese block into thin slices.

Peel and slice the onions into thick rings. Separate rings to divide into pairs by laying smaller and bigger rings onto a board, as shown in the video.

Fill the space in the onion rings with mozzarella cheese slices.

Dredge each ring into the flour.

Dip them into the beaten eggs.

And, finally, cover with the breadcrumbs on all sides.

Fry the onion rings into the boiling hot vegetable oil for 5 minutes, or until golden.

Serve immediately while they're still hot. Enjoy!

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