Spicy Beer-Battered Onion Rings {gluten-free}

Spicy Beer-Battered Onion Rings {gluten-free} - BoulderLocavore.com

Truth be told I rarely deep fry food.  It’s just not how we normally eat in the Boulder Locavore household.  Having said that, I end up making a few recipes a year requiring deep frying and my family is always in heaven when I do.  I am sure to use lighter, non-GMO oils that perform well at high heat without imparting much flavor to the food.  Sunflower oil is my normal go to.

Gluten-Free Churros is on the top of the list.  I’m sure any day will be better if I make them (and from the emails and comments I’ve gotten, it seems many gluten-free readers have found the same to be true for them!).  Churro Fried Ice Cream is a close second!  By the way if you’ve never had fried ice cream, you must try it; cold, creamy ice cream coated with a sweet, hot, fried batter.  It’s the best paradox you’ll ever eat!

Gluten-Free Spicy Beer-Battered Onion Rings - BoulderLocavore.com

Cooler weather is coming, football season is almost upon us and I’m careening toward sharing another recipe inspired by our Canadian Maritimes road trip.  All paths have led to making Spicy Beer-Battered Onion Rings which are gluten-free!

Swapping in gluten-free flour for regular flour in the case of battered, deep fried foods seems easy enough.  However in my experience, the gluten-free flour density and the type of beer (and even the heat and humidity) does provide flexibility is often needed to get batter just right.  I’ll share some notes from my experimentation in the recipe itself but the end result is worth it.  Light, crunchy onion rings with a slow after heat from cayenne pepper.  They aren’t uber spicy, just enough to catch your attention!

Spicy Beer-Battered Onion Rings {gluten-free} - BoulderLocavore.com

Though I’ve made these in traditional rings, cutting the onion vertically in wedge-shapes offers the option to make curved onion strips perfect for dipping.  The frying process is the same and creates a totally different appetizer.  A fun change up for fall entertaining!  Deep fried foods are always best hot out of the pot with a few minutes to cool.  If made too far in advance they lose the crispy, crunchy effect that makes them so irresistible!

Gluten-Free Spicy Beer-Battered Onion Rings - BoulderLocavore.com

Spicy Beer-Battered Onion Rings {gluten-free}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Dependent on onion size; creates an appetizer to serves 6 as a solo appetizer, more is other appetizers are provided

There is nothing like deep fried food, even if it's only an occasional treat! Unfortunately not many such recipes are available to those gluten-free especially with a beer batter. These onions rings were created exclusively with gluten-free flour and gluten-free beer for a slightly spicy, crunchy, irresistible end result!

While developing the recipe I found different GF flour blends and different GF beer can make a difference with the amount of beer required to make a thin batter that is not watery, but not so thick it cannot coat the onion rings easily. The recipe calls for starting with 6 ounces of beer, and based on your ingredients, that may be enough. If not the instructions provide for how to create a batter of perfect thickness regardless of the gluten-free flour blend and beer you choose to use!

For a different preparation, instead of cutting the onion into rings, cut the onion through the stem and opposite end. Place the flat, cut side face down on a cutting board and but at an angle into 6 wedges (cutting from the stem to opposite end). Separate the onion, batter the curved pieces and fry as directed below. These will make puffy, dipable onion pieces.


  • 1 large Yellow Onion, peeled, cut into ½ inch rings
  • 1 cup Gluten-Free Flour mix (I used Pamela’s Gluten-Free Artisan Blend Flour)
  • 6-12 ounces Gluten-Free Beer (I used Bard’s Gold sorghum beer; any gluten-free beer that is not fruit flavored can be used)
  • 2 teaspoon Cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Sunflower Oil (or other low flavor oil that is high heat tolerant)


  1. Pour 2-3 inches of oil into a large size heavy pan or pot. Position a cooking thermometer in the oil but not touching the bottom of the pan. Over medium to medium-high heat, heat the oil to 375 degrees.
  2. Set paper towels on a baking sheet to drain the fried onion rings.
  3. Place ½ cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl. This will be used to toss the onion rings before battering them.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining 1 cup gluten-free flour and all the other dry ingredients. Slowly pour in 6 ounces of the beer and whisk to combine allowing the foam to subside. The batter will be thin but not watery. If the batter is too thick to easily dip and coat the onion rings, add 3 ounces more beer; whisk and allow to sit for a few minutes. If it’s still too thick, add the remainder of the beer, whisk to fully combine.
  5. Toss a few onion rings in the flour. Note: the onion rings need room when frying so do not process more at a time than can easily move around when in the hot oil.
  6. Using heatproof tongs, dip onion rings individually into the batter, allowing them to be coated fully. Lift coated rings above the batter and allow to drain slightly.
  7. Place battered onion rings into the heated oil and cook for a few minutes until they begin to turn golden brown. Remove with tongs or a metal straining tool meant for deep frying and place on prepared paper towels. Repeat for all onion rings. Serve immediately.

Spicy Beer-Battered Onion Rings {gluten-free} - BoulderLocavore.com



  1. says

    These look light as a feather Toni! Good thing you put my rings in one of those bowls to remind me of portion control! It would be hard to stop eating these I’m quite sure.

  2. says

    I think I should have eaten breakfast before visiting your blog – I am seriously drooling over these onion rings! They look perfectly cooked and I love the beer in the batter. Always worth the deep fried splurge if you ask me. They are beautiful! Sharing and pinning 🙂

    • says

      The batter for onion rings contains wheat flour normally Beth as well as beer batter would normally be made with regular beer which has gluten (it’s a protein in wheat, barley, rye). My recipe uses both gluten-free flour and gf beer so it’s ‘safe’ for those gluten-free.

  3. Kristi says

    Those sound delicious. I have two good friends that are gluten free and this would be a great thing to make for our bbq night.

  4. vanessa: briteandbubbly says

    These look fantastic. I’m on a Gluten Free diet so I’m desperate for yummy recipes like these.

  5. says

    My husband recently went gluten free and he is having a tough time with things like breading and batters. I will be sharing this yummy recipe with him.

  6. Tracey says

    This is one of those recipes that once you make you’ll be asked again and again to make it! Looks so good!

  7. says

    Yum, those sound so good. My youngest has a soy allergy, and we’re finding more and more times that things are friend in soybean oil. I’ve got to try this with the sunflower oil.

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