How to Make Best Ever Vidalia Onion Rings

by Alli

I grew up in Georgia, not far from Vidalia, home of the best onions in the world. I learned to make Vidalia Onion Rings from my mom. It’s the only onion we use and they are only available during the spring and summer.

I laugh at TV chefs when they try to pronounce Vidalia.  I know I shouldn’t, but I do.

Once, when we were traveling to visit my husband’s mom (we have to go through Vidalia), my youngest daughter, who was born in Georgia, but didn’t grow up there (I know, it’s so sad), saw the Vidalia city limits sign and she – gasp, groan, slap my forehead –  mispronounced Vidalia.  She said it just like the TV chefs say it.

I instantly repented for neglecting to teach her one of the most important lessons in life – how to correctly pronounce Vidalia.  And then an argument ensued. She insisted that she was pronouncing it correctly and I was the one mispronouncing that word.  I just had to prove her wrong!

So we stopped at the first convenience store we could find.  I did have to use the restroom and grab a bottle of water, but I also had ulterior motives!  As we paid for our purchases, I casually asked the clerk, “How do you pronounce Vidalia?”  She immediately spit-out the correct southern way of saying that word!  And I gave my daughter an I-told-you-so grin, an eye roll and a don’t-ever-cross-me look when it comes to southern speak.  I, along with that store clerk, am the queen!

And now you are wondering how to really pronounce Vidalia!  You know you are!

Correct Southern Way:  Vidalia – Vie-Day-yah

Incorrect Way:  Vuh-dell-yuh

Get it?  (I hope so!)

Any way you choose to pronounce it, Vidalia Onions are the best onions in the world.  Period!

Chef Bobby Flay said, “Vidalia onions aren’t just the most famous onions in the world; I think they may be the only famous onions in the world.”  I totally agree, Bobby!

The onions were first accidentally discovered near Vidalia, GA, in the early 1930’s. It is an unusually sweet variety of onion, due to the low amount of sulfur in the soil in which the onions are grown. Mose Coleman is believed to be the person who discovered the sweet Vidalia Onion variety in 1931.  Thank you, Mose!

The Vidalia onion was named Georgia’s official state vegetable in 1990.

Vidalia onions are the star of many recipes and are perfect to use when cooking,  served raw as a condiment and they make the best onion rings.

Speaking of Vidalia Onion Rings, here’s my favorite recipe for making them and I never use any other onion!

Vidalia Onion Rings

Onion Rings

Helpful Hint:  Set up your onion ring dipping station before you begin the frying process.  It makes it a lot easier.  If you choose to bake the rings instead, preheat the oven to 450 and line baking pans with parchment paper.  Place Vidalia onion rings in a single layer and cook until golden brown, about 14-20 minutes.

Vidalia Onion Rings

Vidalia Onion Rings

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion cut into 1/4" slices
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (or seasoning salt)
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (such as panko)
  • Oil for deep frying

Instructions

  1. Slice and separate the onions into rings. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat approx. 1" of oil in a skillet (or deep fryer) to 350 degrees.
  3. While the oil heats, dip the onion rings into the flour mixture until all are coated and then set aside.
  4. Whisk the egg and milk into the same flour mixture.
  5. Dip the flour coated onion rings into the wet mixture and place on a rack over foil or baking pan until they stop dripping.
  6. Place rings into the bread crumbs and coat well on both sides. Tap off excess coating.
  7. Fry the rings a few at a time because they cook very fast. I turn them to brown both sides when using the skillet method. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Onion Rings

How about a roasted Vidalia onion?  You can find the recipe here!

Need a great dip?  Try this Baked Vidalia Onion Dip!  Yum!

Do you like onions? If so, try my Vidalia Onion Rings. They are amazing!

 

 

 

77 comments

Madaline August 4, 2014 - 6:15 am

Ok. So my little eyes were barely open this morning, but when I saw the word “Vidalia” my eyes PINGED open! They are one of my favorite vegetables/foods in the whole world! AND I can’t get them in Italy. So tragic.

I’ve actually never tried to make my own onion rings… I have NO clue why. These look SO delcious.

Side note: have you ever tried them with the brown sugar and roasted? It’s SOOOO yummy.

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zaby August 4, 2014 - 6:57 am

i love onion rings am going to try our this recipe

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Alli August 4, 2014 - 7:32 am

They are so good! Let me know how they turn out!

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kita August 4, 2014 - 7:49 am

I am from the south and I won’t even try to pronounce it lol I will just call it good ole fashion onion rings

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Alli August 4, 2014 - 9:23 am

It doesn’t matter how you pronounce it, it’s my favorite onion!

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Danita @O Taste And See August 4, 2014 - 7:53 am

I grew up in GA too, and you are right..there’s NOTHING like Vie-Day-yah onions and it is mispronounced A LOT. We used to live in PA and bless their hearts, it never did come out right. These look so good! Thanks for sharing and for starting my morning off with some sweet memories. Have a blessed week.

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Alli August 4, 2014 - 9:22 am

Hope you have a blessed week, too, Danita. And you shared another of my favorite southern foods today – fried green tomatoes! Yum!

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Reginia Cordell August 4, 2014 - 8:01 am

I love onions and onion rings.

LOL at the pronunciation key; the people in Atlanta pronounce it the second way.

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Alli August 4, 2014 - 9:21 am

Most people do not pronounce it like the home folks do, but that’s OK. 🙂

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Melinda Snavley August 4, 2014 - 8:29 am

Yum sure wish I had some. 🙂 I can taste them right now!! Mom still makes them when I come home.

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Alli August 4, 2014 - 9:20 am

I know! I love the ones she makes when we go to St. George! Mine are a little bit different from mom’s, but they are just as good. 🙂

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Paris (My Big Fat Happy Life) August 4, 2014 - 9:28 am

I am pretty sure I’ve been pronouncing Vidalia wrong 🙂

I love onion rings, but I never make them. However that’s about to change with this recipe!

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:37 am

I’m sure I would pronounce it wrong, too, if I had not grown up near Vidalia! 🙂

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Shirley Wood August 4, 2014 - 9:31 am

I don’t like onions, I LOVE onions! Vidalia are simply the very best! If I don’t put onions in a recipe, I put onion powder into it 🙂
I love your Vie-Day-yah !! So needed!
You are so right, it is best to set up the dipping station before starting the frying process!
I always order onion rings instead of fries at fast food places 🙂
Good stuff, Alli!!

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:36 am

Daughter #2 and her husband do not like onions at all! On Thanksgiving I have to make her a ramekin of dressing with no onions. Dressing with no onions? No way. I’m like you, I use onions liberally when cooking.

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MJ @ Daisy & June August 4, 2014 - 9:31 am

My husband always makes fun of me because when the grocery store stocks them I scoop ip all the vidalia onions I can and the following week is onions on everything! It’s just so crisp and sweet. I cant wait to try this recipe. I will have to sub milk for almond milk for my daughter but Im sure it will be delicious

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:34 am

I’m always excited when the Vidalia onions hit the grocery stores, too!

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Louida August 4, 2014 - 11:00 am

I would’ve pronounced it wrong so thanks for the clarification.

I happen to love onions but not when they’re fried since I hardly eat fried foods.

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:33 am

I rarely eat fired foods, either, but I make an exception every now and then for onion rings. Of course, they are good baked, too.

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Amy A August 4, 2014 - 11:25 am

As a Georgia girl, I do love some Vidalia’s! Great recipe – I’ll be sure to pin!

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:38 am

Thanks, Amy! You can’t be from Georgia and not know about Vidalia onions! 🙂

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Carmody August 4, 2014 - 12:46 pm

I have a weakness for Onion Rings and will have to give this recipe a try. Of Course, I pronounce it the “southern way ” too.

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:40 am

I don’t eat fried foods often, but I do love onion rings.

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Tiffany August 4, 2014 - 2:38 pm

These would be wonderful right now… They look delicious!

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:40 am

Thanks, Tiffany. They are really easy to make and they fry up very fast.

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Catherine August 4, 2014 - 4:03 pm

What is better than delicious onion rings! Looks wonderful. Blessings, Catherine

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:41 am

Thanks, Catherine! They are good!

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Anna @ Northern Homestead August 4, 2014 - 5:46 pm

Those onion rings look yummy. I won’t even try to pronounce the word ;).

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:41 am

You’re funny, Anna! Doesn’t matter if you can pronounce them or not, they are delish! 🙂

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Nancy @ Neatly-Packaged August 5, 2014 - 12:03 am

Oh those look super good!! Alli you are killing me lol 🙂 Thank you for sharing 🙂

http://neatly-packaged.com/

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fabulosa August 5, 2014 - 1:43 am

I first taste a Vidalia onion, when I move to Texas. I buy them every season and use them in all my cooking calling for onions. They are good and very delicious, anyway cook or not. I never though of the pronunciation, being Spanish my first language, is very easy for me the pronunciation because of the vowels, that I tend to read them in Spanish. Thanks for the recipe.

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Sarah August 5, 2014 - 9:29 am

My husband LOVES onion rings, I had to pin these for later!

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 9:36 am

Thanks, Sarah! They are very good!

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Kristen from The Road to Domestication August 5, 2014 - 10:09 am

First of all, those look delish!!! Second of all, I had no idea it was Georgia’s official state vegetable! Third, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong MY WHOLE LIFE!!!

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:12 pm

You’ve got to put that southern twang in there. 🙂

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Kimberly H. Smith August 5, 2014 - 12:07 pm

Fry them in the skillet! I never thought of doing them like that. Love this and pinned it! I fry mine in a big pot of oil and they often stick together. I must try it your way. And we pronounce Vidalia the southern way in Louisiana too. Thanks Alli!

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Alli August 5, 2014 - 6:08 pm

I didn’t want to use a lot of oil and I guess I was a little lazy that day, but the skillet worked just fine.

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Zan August 5, 2014 - 9:41 pm

We love onion rings over there..But I only get them in the restaurants!
Thanks for the recipe and for the pronunciation! I totally said it wrong!

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Doreen@househoneys August 5, 2014 - 10:45 pm

I REALLY need to stop reading blog posts that are about food at night ;).

The way I pronounce Vidalia is a cross between the two ways you spelled out…VA-DAL-YA. My friend makes the most awesome dip using this onion! Up until recently, we could only get them at certain times of the year but now they seem to be available all year round. Wonder why?

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Alli August 6, 2014 - 7:39 am

The season usually runs from mid-April through early September. I wish I could get them year round! Another thing about a sweet onion is no more tears when slicing and dicing.

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Prototype Mama August 5, 2014 - 11:52 pm

My husband would love these. I’m not an onion ring person but these looks really good!

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Alli August 6, 2014 - 7:37 am

I don’t really eat fried foods . . . until I make these onion rings and I dive right in!

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aimee fauci August 6, 2014 - 9:20 am

UGH I never eat fried foods… except for the past 4 days and now I see these! I will def make these after about a week or so passes… The fried food has not been happy to my insides.. They need a break.

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bill @thewoksoflife August 6, 2014 - 10:48 am

Vidalia onions and Onion rings are awesome and thanks for the recipe! I never hesitate to get the fryer out but just curious, have you ever had any success in making baked onion rings? Just wanted to compare notes.

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Alli August 6, 2014 - 4:41 pm

Actually, you can bake these. I added the instructions in the post. But, I have to say that I like them better fried.

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Nicole August 6, 2014 - 11:53 am

I love onion rings.. I’ll be making these this week.

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Crystal August 6, 2014 - 3:35 pm

Vidalia onions are my favorite. I’m hate to admit it, but I pronounce it wrong too. Do I get partial credit for getting the first syllable right? 🙂

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Alli August 6, 2014 - 4:39 pm

Yes, you do! 🙂

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Rhonda August 9, 2014 - 12:30 am

Stopping by from Turn It Up Tuesday. I love onion rings, and will definitely try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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Chrystal @ YUM eating August 11, 2014 - 10:23 am

I love making onion rings. Especially this time of year when the garden has a ton of them! We usually do a faux fry though by baking them. Thanks for linking at The Yuck Stops Here to help #stoptheyuck. Hope to see you again this week.

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Alli August 11, 2014 - 10:25 am

I bake them sometimes, too, that’s why I included the baking instructions as well.

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Giannina Guy January 29, 2016 - 7:26 am

I can’t get these onions here in Greece but will try this recipe with the wonderfully sweet red onions that are so abundant here. Lets face, any onion ring is a good one so it’s worth a try!

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valmg @ From Val's Kitchen January 29, 2016 - 9:59 am

I love a good onion ring! Yours looks terrific. I pronounce it Vie-Dahl-yah.

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Alli January 29, 2016 - 6:20 pm

You’ve almost got the south Georgia pronunciation down right – almost. You just gotta say “day” in the middle. 🙂

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Esther | The Cuteness January 29, 2016 - 10:48 am

I haven’t had an onion ring in ages! These look so good! They totally remind me of my childhood.

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Alli January 29, 2016 - 6:18 pm

They do for me, too! Every single time I make them I think about my mom. She still makes homemade onion rings for us when we go for a visit.

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Ali Williams January 29, 2016 - 2:33 pm

My hubby brings home onion rings and I can’t have them with my gluten intolerance, so I need to get my butt in gear and make these for myself. I would use my gluten free bread for crumbs and sweet rice flour for the dredge. I can’t wait!

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Alli January 29, 2016 - 6:17 pm

You could completely make these gluten free! I bet they will taste great!

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Cara (@StylishGeek) January 29, 2016 - 2:55 pm

Believe it or not I do not eat onion rings…and I guess onions in general. I use them to garnish when I prepare meals, but I actually do not eat them. But my hubby and kid loves onion rings so I would be happy to make this Vidalia Onion Rings recipe for them! Thanks for sharing!

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Alli January 29, 2016 - 6:16 pm

I only eat cooked onions. I can’t eat them raw. It’s weird.

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Vera Sweeney January 29, 2016 - 3:19 pm

I have never made onion rings at home!! These look so good, I may have to try them out!

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Alli January 29, 2016 - 6:15 pm

It’s really easy, too and they are so much better than most of the onion rings in restaurants.

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Liz Mays January 29, 2016 - 4:41 pm

Yum, it would be a lot of fun to start making these for the family. They love ordering onion rings and those onion bloom things.

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Angelic Sinova January 29, 2016 - 6:01 pm

Those Vidalia Onion Rings look so AMAZING! I’m a HUGE onion lover. It’s funny because I’m from Chicago and it seems like I’ve been pronouncing vidalia right all these years, yay <3

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Alli January 29, 2016 - 6:15 pm

Yay for you!! 🙂

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Miles L. January 30, 2016 - 10:03 am

I used to hate onions but when I grew up, I suddenly liked them. I’d love to try this recipe.

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Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen January 30, 2016 - 11:55 am

I do love Vidalias, and I’m guessing I would want to eat every last one in a batch of these beauties. I had no idea that you didn’t pronounce the “l” – learn something new every day. 😉

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Ana Fernandez January 30, 2016 - 3:22 pm

Oh my! Those onion rings look like the best thing! You are so lucky to have a dad that grews them every year!

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Nikka Shae January 30, 2016 - 3:50 pm

Talk about an onion stack!! I love onions!! Sautéed, fried and all!!

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rika January 31, 2016 - 4:26 am

I love Onion rings! This recipe looks delicious, perfect for any party

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Rebecca Swenor January 31, 2016 - 5:47 am

These vidalia onion rings look so so good. We love onion rings and I have been having a craving for them so I will be making these very soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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ricci January 31, 2016 - 12:12 pm

My two loves, Vidalia Onions and fried food al in one, LOL!! These look amazing!!

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Ron@MichiganHousesOnline January 31, 2016 - 9:32 pm

What a yummy treat and recipe. Would love to try this soon. Thanks For sharing this!

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Melissa February 1, 2016 - 1:28 pm

My daughter is obsessed with onion rings right now. I know she would love to try these out. Thanks for sharing we are going to have these soon!

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Alli February 3, 2016 - 10:33 am

I love them, too! I don’t eat them often, but when I do, I make sure they are these.

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Sherrie Davis April 30, 2016 - 4:46 am

I lost my recipe on how to make them. I use to make them for my brother. He loved them so much. I to live next door to Vidalia, and when I hear it pronounced wrong I don’t like it. I want so much to correct them, and set them straight. Anyway going to get a bag this morning glad I found your recipe. They look so good.

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Alli May 2, 2016 - 8:04 am

I always want to correct them, too. I grew up in Rochelle, so I grew up knowing how to pronounce Vidalia. Vidalia onions will always be my very fave!

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