The Best Fried Onion Rings Recipe & Gravy (Fat Free, No Oil)

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It’s rather curious how we have all been led to believe that fried onions must have fat. Most of us have so many memories around this simple dish, usually childhood memories of bangers, mash and onion gravy or hotdogs overflowing with delicious, fat ridden fried onions.

And, let’s not forget delicious onion rings that traditionally go with your steak and chips; the battered kind all deep fried and and oozing with flavour.

We wanted a way healthier version of onions and decided to think out side the box and bring you the best fried onion rings recipe with gravy (optional). They are also fat free with no oil that compromise ZERO on taste, making them whole foods plant based compliant.

Yes, you heard that right! You can indeed fry your onions without oil and you can make them also with no batter too. You will be astounded by how much you don’t miss or need either of these ingredients to enjoy your fried onion rings more than ever.

Health Benefits Of Onions

Not only are onions a versatile and tasty vegetable, but they are also a super healthy, complex carb vegetable that contains a myriad of vitamins.

These include:-

  • NUTRIENTS- Such as vitamin C, protein, fibre and potassium.
  • ANTIOXIDANTS, FLAVENOIDS & QUERCETIN – These may help protect your heart and lower bad cholesterol.
  • KEEPING BLOOD SUGAR UNDER CONTROL – Due to high levels of quercetin, onions may help your blood sugar by interacting with certain cells inside the body.
  • HELPS WITH BONE DENSITY – Onions can potentially boost bone density as an alternative to dairy products and other non plant based foods.
  • GUT HEALTH – Onions are full of prebiotics which feed probiotic foods and contribute to good gut flora.

What To Serve With Fried Onions

There are so many ways you can eat these magnificent fried onions. In fact, you can eat them as a side dish OR just as a snack in themselves. When you start eating the plant based way, you will get used to eating in ways that most people find strange, such as a bowl of fried onions for lunch, breakfast or just as a snack on its own.

You can serve these oil free, fried onion rings with the following examples:-

What Onions Should I Use For Fried Onion Rings?

We like to use big white, yellow, sweet or red onions, ideally a mix of a couple for colour. Using different types of onions allows for not only colour, but different flavours. It’s especially good to add a red or sweet onion into the mix for that extra sweetness and extra caramelisation.

However, any onions work in this recipe. Just be sure to cut them into chunky rings. The idea is to keep them in big, chunky rings for great presentation and texture.

We also like to make a jus/gravy at the end of cooking time by adding 1/2 cup of veggie stock thickened with arrowroot or cornflour. This works perfectly if you want to serve this on top of mashed potatoes.

The Best Fried Onion Rings Recipe With Jus (Fat Free, No Oil)

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, British
Servings 2
Calories 65 kcal


  • Large, non-stick frying pan
  • Chopping board
  • Chopping knife
  • Fish slice


  • 1 very large white onion
  • 1 very large red onion You can use just white or red if you like too.
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • Hot water Just have a kettle or jug of very hot water by the stove as you are cooking.
  • Salt and pepper

For the Jus (gravy)

  • ½ cup vegetable stock Optional if you want your onions in a jus or gravy.
  • 1 heaped tsp arrowroot, cornflour or some other thickening agent.


  • Peel your onions and slice in thick rings around the smooth side of the onion.
    Do not slice on the sides where the ends are or you won't have rings and your onion will fall apart. You want these rings to be about 1.5 centimetres thick. You should get 4 or 5 rings from one onion.
  • Pre heat a large, non stick saucepan on a medium/high heat and lay your rings perfectly down without over-lapping. Be careful with them as the idea is to keep them as much in a ring as possible throughout the cooking process for presentation purposes.
    If you're not bothered about keeping your onion rings in on piece, then by all means you can break your onion rings up, or even slice them. It all depends on what purpose you are cooking them for.
  • Now let them fry for a good five minutes on medium/high heat. Don't worry about burning or sticking right now because you need them to colour and release natural juices for flavour.
    Crack some black pepper over the top of your onions, along with drizzling your balsamic and tamari sauce on them too.
    You should hold off on adding extra salt at this point as both your tamari sauce and vegetable stock will already be salty. Add more at the end if you need to.
  • Once your onions are on their way to getting brown on the underside you can add some splashes of hot water. The pan may smoke and sizzle, but this is good.
    Let the onions cook for a further few minutes until properly browned and caramelised. Keep adding splashes of hot water to prevent sticking.
    Don't be worried if your onions burn a little as it all adds to flavour!
  • Now very carefully turn your onions over with a fish slice being careful not to break them up if possible. Repeat the same protocol for this side of your onions too, but without the balsamic or tamari.
  • Once you onions are pretty much cooked, you can add your stock mixed with thickener to the pan (if using). Just drizzle it around the edges and sides of your onions as opposed to on the top, then very gently mix and turn your onions again to make sure that your gravy is evenly distributed.
    Your jus should start to thicken and become gravy-like. If it becomes too thick, then simply add more water to thin. At this point your onions may slightly break up, but if you've been careful then the damage should be minimal.

To make the Jus (Gravy)

  • Mix small amount of your stock slowly to your thickening agent to form a paste first. Mix well and slowly add more stock until it is mixed well with no lumps. This works best with cold stock, or not too hot at least.


Keyword 20 minute meal, easy sides, fat free, fried onions, healthy, low calorie, nutritious, onion rings, whole foods plant based, whole foods plant based no oil


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We hope you enjoyed these delicious, caramelised onions as much as we do.

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