Baked Onion Rings

For the fourth day of 12 Days of Oscar we have a film that was nominated for but did not win an Oscar. The 1973 film American Graffiti, directed by George Lucas, was nominated for five Oscars, but did not win any.  It was nominated for Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture. The film is set in early 1960’s Modesto, California, and follows a group of teenagers for one night. During that one night, members of the group meet at Mel’s Drive-In, where some members are on their way to the hop. Steve (Ron Howard) and Laurie (Cindy Williams) discuss seeing other people while Steve is away at college, Toad (Charles Martin Smith) and Milner (Paul LeMat) go cruising, and Curt (Richard Dreyfuss) chases around the blonde in the white T-Bird.

You can visit a replica of Mel’s Drive-In at Universal Studios in Florida.  The Mel’s Drive-In used in the film was located in San Francisco and was demolished after American Graffiti was done filming. I decided to make onion rings for this film because there are few things better than genuine drive-in onion rings. I’m sure whatever was served up at Mel’s Drive-In wasn’t baked, but rather fried. These baked onion rings rival their fried friends and are definitely worth the effort. I cut mine a little thinner than I normally would, but you can adjust the thickness to your liking.

baked onion rings

Baked Onion Rings


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 C. panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4C plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 eggs


Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Put a wire rack on a baking sheet (or line baking sheet with parchment paper).

Cut the top and bottom off of the onion, remove outer skin, and cut onion to desired thickness.

Separate into rings.

Mix the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and cayenne together in a shallow dish.

Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl.

Dip the onion rings into the egg, and then into the panko mixture.

Lay the onion rings in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes until crispy and golden.

Source: Baked by Rachel


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