These vegan onion rings are coated in batter, then bread crumbs of your choosing, and baked to crispy perfection. They were so crispy in fact I could douse them in vinegar (my favorite way to eat them) - or drizzle with lemon - and they were still crunchy when I bit into one. And despite being so crispy they are not fried, I do not use oil in the cooking process, and the batter and coating are entirely plant based.
The trick is to make a batter, and there are a couple ways of doing this. I like using aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas or white beans, or the liquid you cook them in. I used a mix of chickpea and white navy beans for this (not necessary to mix, just what I happened to have), but if you don't have any bean liquid you can always use water instead.
And remember that bean liquid can sometimes smell funny when you drain it from the can or pot, but that won't transfer to the taste of the onion rings.
I like to spice the breadcrumb crust, and you can use any combination of spices. I have made a suggestion in the recipe below, but you can certainly customize this to taste. Here I am using panko crumbs, which are usually vegan (always best to check the label first, as a few of them include dairy in their ingredient list). I found that Ian's Original Panko (not the Gluten Free version) is one of the few that does not include any oil (however most others have only a trace amount). You can use your preferred breadcrumb option for this step, or make your own bread/breadcrumbs if desired.
Then you simply dip your onion rings in the batter and coat completely, and then dip the onion into the breadcrumbs and do the same (I usually form a little mound over the ring and then remove).
Place your rings on a parchment lined baking sheet, air fryer tray (these don't seem to drip much or at all), or silicon baking sheet (I like this one (amazon affiliate)). Bake or air fry, remove, enjoy.
Alternative ingredients and combinations
As mentioned, you can adjust the type of breadcrumbs and spices you use. Dill, cayenne, and garlic and/or onion powder are all great choices for adding flavor to your onion rings.
Also, you don't need to use chickpea flour or aquafaba for the batter. You can use other flours, such as whole wheat. I have not tested all the combinations, but have seen several different types used in these kinds of preparations.
You can use water instead of aquafaba. This will create a runnier batter, and it may drip a bit more however it will achieve largely the same result.
Here are some of the things I used in or with this recipe. Note the links are affiliate ones and support the operation of this site. Thanks!
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