Flash in the Pan: Divine Onion Crisps

[Sometimes, you just want a dish that’s quick and easy–no fuss. I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so simple to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]

Onion Crisps from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Have you noticed that there are more Flash in the Pan (ie, quick or simple-to-make), recipes on the blog lately? Aside from the fact that many of you have requested faster and easier fare, I must admit that lately I turn to whatever thing it is I can conjure up in the kitchen with either (a) 30 minutes or less total time from prep to table; or (b) almost-instant prep time with a more protracted cooking time that allows me to go off and to my own thing for, oh, a few hours (finally, I get why so many of you love your slow cookers). These divine onion crisps fall into the latter category.

The other night, I was frying up some onions as the first step to some other recipe (which now eludes me).  It was close to dinnertime, and The HH happened to walk through the door from work just as the onions reached their peak of bronzed, pliable, caramelized glory.

“Oh, wow, those smell good,” he remarked as The Girls stampeded toward the door to greet him. “There’s nothing quite like fried onions, is there.” It was more a statement than a question, to be sure. And I couldn’t agree more.  When I catch a whiff of onions being sautéed up for a stir-fry, or a pilaf, or the beginnings of a soup, I often want to stop right there and just pile a bunch of the tangled golden mess on top of a cracker and enjoy.

Well, I decided to follow that urge with these crisps.  I’ve feasted on kale chips and zucchini chips, and I’m always trying to find other kind of veg chips I can bake up at home. They’re a great way to consume more veggies without too much starch, fat or salt, but it’s the prep that always stops me, since I don’t own a mandoline and cutting slice after slice of zucchini or sweet potato or parsnip or whatever feels like too onerous a task.

Enter. . . onions! Onions come ready made with their own, built-in, slices!  Just cut into quarters and peel apart. It’s almost instant! I took an onion, peeled it and tossed with olive oil, and popped it in the oven on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes.


[Raw onions on their way into the oven.]

. . . . And burned most of it. (It was at that moment I wished I hadn’t sold my dehydrator four years ago). Regular heat was just too intense for the delicate edges of the onion layers.

But I was not deterred! I knew that onions offered a good amount of flavonoids (a kind of antioxidant), especially quercetin, useful to reduce allergies–exactly what I need during the winter months (though it can’t actually get rid of my “allergy” to winter itself, sadly.). Onions are also rich in sulfur compounds that can help prevent cardiovascular disease; they can improve the quality of bone and connective tissue (as someone with osteopenia, I love that one); they are anti-inflammatory; and they help prevent cancer. And, of course, there’s the heavenly flavor of a well-caramelized onion. For 46 calories in an entire medium bulb, you really can’t go wrong.

In the end, I found a way to make these so that they are evenly browned and perfectly light and crisp. If you like onion rings or caramelized onion, you will love these crisps. I also realized that a dehydrator might not work quite as well, since the onions won’t actually brown if the temperature is too low. But if you’re okay with that, go for it.

So go ahead and try these out. They practically make themselves while you head out to focus on the rest of your life.

I’m linking this post to Thank Your Body Thursday.

Onion Crisps from Diet, Dessert and dogs

[Your perfect snack awaits.]

I’m linking up to Iris’s Five-Ingredient Mondays.

“Mum, I’m sorry to say that those crisps don’t look at all appealing to me. . . I guess because they’re onion, which you know is poison for dogs. But then again, poo looks appetizing to me and Chaser, so what do we know?”

Elsie from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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Last Year at this Time: Butterscotch Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free; ACD Stage 3 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Crunchy Green Salad (gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Three Years Ago: Warm Chickpea and Artichoke Salad (gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Five Years Ago: What To Do with the Weight When You Lose It

© Ricki Heller, RickiHeller.com

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  1. Love the idea! Why does kale get all they glory, right?!

  2. I love the versatility of onions.. what a guilt-free snack! Can’t wait to try them out, Ricki. 🙂

  3. I adore onions! I will have to try this recipe, I’ve never had anything like an onion crisp but I imagine it would be divine.

    • I had never had anything like it, either, Cheryl! But once I did, I was hooked. Ate an entire onion in one sitting. Who would have thought? 😉

  4. Brilliant! I love onions and eat TONS of them, which is likely unfortunate for those around me. Do you think these would work with less oil?

    • You could probably cut it by a teaspoon. . . and some stays on the parchment. It will also depend on how much you eat. A quarter of the recipe contains less than a teaspoon of oil.

  5. All I can think of is yummy, yummy! I roasted onions today to use in a dip, and couldn’t resist stealing one of the crispy outer layers for a snack. I could have a whole bowlful, couldn’t I?

    • That’s exactly why it was so easy for me to eat an entire onion’s worth. I would never do that with fried onions, I don’t think!

  6. I bet the flavour in these is crazy good, even without adding anything! Awesome recipe my dear!

  7. Oh, Ricki, you are speaking my language with these onion crisps! Divine indeed! 🙂 I will definitely be making these and we will absolutely love them I know. Btw, I didn’t know that onions were poisonous to dogs, so I’m glad the girl made a PSA on that! We don’t feed Sonny people food anyway, but if something hits the floor, he’s been known to be at the ready. I will be extra cautious with onions from now on.


    • Well, glad I (I mean, Elsie) could offer that info, then, Shirley! It seems like the list of “no” foods for dogs grows by the day, but onions have been on it for a while–why take chances, right?

  8. Oh Ricki, I love when the girls get to chat on DDD 🙂 A true LOL moment.

    These are kinda genius, aren’t they? Totally trying these bad boys. Yesterday I had a serious craving for guac but I didn’t want to eat corn chips. So I smeared it on a rice cracker. Totally satisfied the craving! The point being, I’m always on the lookout for healthier options like these!

    • I bet these would be great as ‘dippers’, yes! I will warn you, it takes A LONG time (mine were about 5 hours total in the oven), but oh so worth it!

  9. Oh! These look fantastic!

  10. Thanks Ricki…I’m making these tomorrow!!!

  11. I love this recipe and am excited to try it out. But, I think that little plate under the bowl is divine–totally!

    • Aw, thanks, Leah! I bought it because I loved it, too, but thought I’d probably never find a good opportunity to use it. . . and here we are. 🙂 Hope you like the crisps, too!

  12. Onions are great – I have a friend on a diet where she can’t eat them and I just am glad I can. Never thought of them being crisps but it sounds great – I agree that they smell wonderful when frying and I baked onion flavoured bread recently which smelled great when coming out of the oven – this sounds like a recipe for the coming cooler months!

    • I love them, too, would feel at a loss without them! And your comment about the coming cooler weather–encouraging for those of us over here about to leave it!

  13. These will have to wait until I return from out of town to make them. No grain, no pain, all nutrition and flavor – the perfect snack or side dish! I can’t wait to try this. I wonder if these qualify for hCG diets as well?

  14. Brilliant Ricki! Love this concept and so evenly cooked.

    • Alisa, it’s the low heat that allows for even cooking. My first attempt was at 350F and the edges burnt before the middle was anywhere near done!

  15. i’m totally intrigued! sounds like i should have a batch of these in the oven while i make my tamari almonds every week 🙂

  16. I adapted the recipe for my dehydrator, and they were soooo delicious. In the dehydrator, they don’t brown, but they do crisp up. I found they tasted best immediately. (I stored some in an airtight container out of curiosity. They still tasted good the next day, but weren’t as crisp.) Thanks for a fun new snack!

    • So glad to hear that, Eileen! I wasn’t sure if they’d still have that ‘caramelized’ flavor in a dehydrator, so I’m happy to hear that worked out (I’d hate for them to have “raw” onion flavor!!). Thanks so much for popping back to let me know! 🙂


  1. […] chips and eggplant chips are equally delicious, not to mention beautiful. You can even make onion chips – sans potato! Speaking of potato though…potato […]

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