Original Sonic Onion Rings Recipe

Jessica Published May 13, 2020

“Would you like fries or onion rings with that?” is a common question we Americans use when ordering a burger. While we usually opt for fries (probably because of the extra charges), the guilty part of us wants the onion rings oh so badly- or at least a combination of both. It’s the calories of the onion rings we are afraid of. What makes onion rings so tempting to all of us who love fried things, is that they are the closest things we have to eat where we are basically just eating the “fried” part just by itself, as we hardly taste the onion. Did you know that the reason the original Sonic onion rings are so good is because they are dipped in vanilla ice milk mix?

Onion rings are an excuse for us to just eat the fried to our hearts content. Make this fast food favorite at your home today with our simple recipe! That’s right, we’re giving you all the tricks of the trade so that you can make your restaurant favorites right at home!

You don’t even have to be too exact in measuring everything out. However, making these original Sonic onion rings can be messy, and I suggest trying to use one hand for dry ingredients and the other for dipping the onion rings into the melted ice cream. It will go easier this way. These are messy, but they taste so good and you will never opt for store-bought onion rings again.

Original Sonic Onion Rings Recipe Video

How To Make Original Sonic Onion Rings

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This easy to make Sonic onion rings are so addictive, you're not going to want to share them with anyone!
15 mins
25 mins
40 mins


  • A metal mixing bowl
  • Colander
  • A large pot or saucepan
  • Thongs
  • 3 small mixing bowls
  • Paper towels


  • 12 ounces melted ice cream
  • 2 cups flour sifted
  • 2 pounds onions sliced ½ inch rings
  • 8 ounces cornmeal


  • Peel 2 lbs of Spanish onions. Slice into ½ an inch.
  • Separate and place the rings into a large bowl of water. Allow onion rings to soak for a few minutes before draining them in a colander.
  • Time to batter up! First, dredge your onion rings in flour (2 cups). Shake to remove excess flour. This is to help the batter stick to the onion rings.
  • Next, dunk the onion rings in melted ice cream (12 ounces). Tip: use vanilla flavored ice-cream for the perfect Sonic onion ring flavors. Then dip into the cornmeal. Gently shake off excess cornmeal.
  • Place your onion rings on a plate and set aside to fry later. You can also arrange them on a cookie sheet to dry for a few minutes.
  • In a large pot, heat vegetable oil to 350°F. Deep fry onion rings for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Make sure the heat is not too high or you may have raw onions and burnt batter instead. Remove your onion rings from the oil and drain. Place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  • Arrange on a platter and garnish with slivers of red bell pepper, carrots and scallions. Perfect with a tall glass of chilled beer!

Recipe Notes

Serve with your choice of dipping sauce. Make the perfect dipping sauce to compliment these original Sonic onion rings: In a mixing bowl, combine ¼ cup of mayonnaise, 1 ½ teaspoons of ketchup, 1 teaspoon yellow or dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder. Stir all ingredients well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Dunk your onion rings in this easy to make dipping sauce and dig in!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 712kcal | Carbohydrates: 130g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 750mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 358IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 5mg


Commonly Asked Questions

What can I substitute Panko breadcrumbs with?

You can always substitute cornmeal for Panko breadcrumbs. You will get the texture that everyone looks for when biting into crunchy goodness.

Can I use this recipe with other ingredients?

This recipe is not just perfect for onion rings. Try it with any other vegetable; asparagus, mushrooms, or even sweet potato. Just thinking about the possibilities will make your mouth water.  Dredging ingredients can be a messy job, it is best to keep a hand free for dry ingredients and the other for dipping into wet ingredients. Although messy, these onion rings are guaranteed to taste finger-licking good!

What kind of onions to use?

You can use white or yellow onions to make onion rings. Keep in mind that white onions are generally more pungent than yellow onions. If you are a fan of sweet onions, consider Maui, Vidalia, or Walla Walla onions, which are usually available during the spring and summer.

What does soaking onions in water do?

You can get rid of the strong taste by soaking sliced onions in ice water for 20 to 30 minutes or by sprinkling them with an acid such as vinegar. Onions soaked in ice water will get very crisp while those sprinkled with vinegar will soften a bit, but they will lose the strong taste and become sweeter!

Is this copycat Sonic onion rings recipe vegan?

Sonic’s onion rings are vegan! Even the store-bought frozen onion rings have milk in them so finding that Sonic’s onion rings are vegan is a real win. Pair these fried circles of deliciousness with one of the many vegan Sonic sauces.

Can I make onion rings from scratch without a deep-fryer?

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cover 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil; spray evenly with cooking spray. Separate onion slices into rings. Dip into milk, then into the flour, turning to evenly coat both sides of each onion ring. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until onions are tender and golden brown.




The trick to eating onion rings is to avoid pulling the entire onion out of the batter if one fails to cut through both layers with their teeth, attempting to take just a bite of one ring.

Now you know how to make these well-loved onion rings right at home. Craving a little heat? Then spice things up a notch! Add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to your flour batter for added flavor.



A food blogger with a strong passion for all thing delicious. Being able to take a simple ingredient and transform it into something complex and delectable brings me joy. It is my mission to show you how to do the same with the simple ingredients that you have on hand. Learn how to make restaurant-worthy meals, on a budget, and right at home!

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