This recipe is an ode to one of my favourite vegetarian spots here in Toronto, Fresh. I know I speak for many when I say their quinoa onion rings are out of this world.  I’ve always been more of a fry girl myself, but after eating these bad boys, I heavily contemplated becoming a convert. During one of my most recent visits to Fresh with a girlfriend, she made a good point that although the rings are quinoa crusted {we automatically think healthy right? not so fast…}, they are also deep-fried in canola oil. This got me thinking, how could I possibly eat more of these without feeling guilty about it? I figured I had two options, I could pan-fry them using a cooking oil, albeit a healthier variety, or I could ixnay oil altogether and bake them.

I ended up baking them, with low expectations, as I thought that without frying, they would lose their delicious hearty flavour and epic crunch. And how happy I was to have proved myself wrong! The outer coating was perfectly thick and crisp with an overall lightness that seems difficult to achieve in deep-fried foods. Thanks to the super simple cooking method, these rings become an easy midday snack or side dish.

Red onions are high in vitamins C & B6 and contain a generous amount of chromium which is known to assist in the regulation of blood sugar. They also contain very important flavonoids called quercetin, which is a phytochemical that works as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that may contribute to cancer prevention as well as help to reduce blood pressure and pollen allergies. It doesn’t hurt that this recipe also contains the protein- and fibre-rich puffed quinoa. Eat up, my veggie loving friends!

The Ingredients {Yield: 20-25 rings Total Time: 30 minutes}

  • 1 red onion, cut into 20 to 25 rings


  • 2/3 cup flour of your choice {I used: whole grain brown rice flour}
  • 2 tablespoon arrowroot flour {or cornstarch}
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 1/4 cup water

Quinoa Coating

  • 1 1/2 cup puffed quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry power
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne {optional}

The Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice onion into rings, approx 3/4 inch

2. Place onions in bowl of cold water for 10 minutes, this will help reduce the bite that the red onion is so well-known for

3. In the meantime, whisk together batter ingredients; flour, arrowroot flour, soy milk, salt and water in a bowl

4. In another bowl, mix together quinoa coating ingredients; puffed quinoa, panko, and spices

5. Using a fork or your hands, dip an onion ring into batter, making sure to coat all sides

6. Transfer ring to coating mixture and sprinkle all over. Your hands will get sticky {that’s part of the fun!}, simply rinse and dry, and start again

7. Place onion ring on baking sheet and repeat for the rest

8. Bake for 18 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes. Feel free to broil them for a minute or two at the end to crisp. Serve immediately

*Looking for dipping sauce? Of course you are. Try blending mayo {or vegenaise for vegan option} with avocado, garlic, lemon and olive oil for a creamy green dip


  • Liz

    This sounds delicious, and I want to try making them for my vegan daughter who loves onion rings, but I am not sure what “puffed” quinoa is. Can you explain? Is it just cooked?We have quinoa flakes, quinoa flour and regular quinoa, but not “puffed”…. Thank you.

    December 31, 2013
    • Jamie Lee Mock

      Hi Liz, great question. I was new to puffed quinoa as well, before I made this recipe. It is simply quinoa, popped or puffed, to lighten their texture. Popping will also give it a crisp surface and nuttier flavour. You can pop it on your own, similar to how you would “old fashioned” popcorn, or buy it. I bought mine (http://www.gogoquinoa.com/products/breakfast/royal-quinoa-puffs/) at a health food store nearby. You’ll likely have lots of leftover puffs, and they make the perfect base for a lovely homemade cereal, too!

      December 31, 2013
  • Lynda

    Hi Liz and Jamie….I tried popping quinoa like popcorn and ended up with various messes. It had been suggested to use a popcorn popper and totally messed up my daughter’s with this experiement. LOL I don’t think this is an easy at home event. I purchased a bag of puffed quinoa in the cereal aisle of my local health food store and was very happy with it. If anyone knows of an easy way to puff your own please let me know.

    December 31, 2013
    • Jamie Lee Mock

      I can definitely relate, Lynda! I plan on experimenting with a couple “puffing” methods one day soon, I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

      January 01, 2014
      • Liz

        Thanks for the responses. I was able to find the puffed quinoa at a health food store. I look forward trying to make the onion rings soon!!

        January 01, 2014
  • Yummy, this sounds so good. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.


    June 25, 2015

Leave a comment


Email(will not be published)*


Your comment*

Submit Comment

Copyright © TheFreshMethod.com
%d bloggers like this: