5 Best Onion Rings at the Grocery Store

The best onion rings at the grocery store taste pretty much as good as onion rings from a restaurant—hey, chances are they’re buying them frozen, too—and you don’t even have to pay an upcharge. Seriously, if you despise the indignity of shelling out a dollar more because you want delicious, fried slices of onion rather than fries with your hamburger, the best frozen onion rings are here for you.  

But not all the onion rings at the grocery store are worth your hard-earned frozen-side-dish dough. While a lot of frozen onion rings are made with a macerated onion mush that sort of becomes one with its coating, we were drawn to the varieties made with real slices of onion. Will a flaming-hot piece of wet onion slide out of its breading and slap you in the chin? Maybe. But that’s part of the joy of eating onion rings. 

Over the course of two separate taste tests, we sank our teeth into everything from beer-battered to panko-breaded rings to find the tastiest onion rings of them all, bad breath be damned. So many of the frozen onion rings we taste tested were unforgivably bland. Hey, brands: Season your damn batter! Also, sadly, our previous number one pick, Ore-Ida Gourmet Onion Rings, appears to have been discontinued. Don’t worry—we found more of the best onion rings you can find in the frozen aisle.

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Best Minced

Food Club Onion Rings

These frozen onion rings landed on our list almost exclusively because of their nostalgia factor. Yes, they are made with minced onion rather than whole onion slices, which we generally decided was a bad thing, but we also recognize that some people are just really into the fast-foody experience of eating a cardboard carton of Burger King rings (and shout out to Burger King’s ring sauce, a true delight). Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling compared these to something you’d find at the mall food court. And who doesn’t miss going to town on fried finger foods and then touching a bunch of clothes on the sale rack at Wet Seal with your greasy fingers? If you’re just craving fast food, these are the best onion rings to buy.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart




best sweet onion rings great value onion rings review

Best Sweet

Great Value Onion Rings

These are the best frozen onion rings if you happen to be very into hush puppies. The breading is a touch sweet—almost like cornbread—and in concert with the flavor of the nice, big slices of onion, you really get hush puppy vibes. The breading is nice and crispy, too, even if there’s a bit much of it. All in all, these are the best onion rings to eat with a fried fish sandwich rather than a burger.

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart




best battered onion rings nathans frozen onion rings review

Best Battered

Nathan’s Thick Sliced Battered Onion Rings

I’m not sure who’s eating onion rings at Nathan’s when they also serve crinkle cut fries covered in molten cheese, but the NYC hot dog titan’s “world-famous recipe” is a nice addition to the grocery store freezer. These are the best onion rings for fans of battered rather than breaded rings—the light coating really accentuates the flavor of the sweet onion within. It’s puffy and airy, kind of like a corn dog batter. All in all, Nathan’s makes a really good ring. 

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon




best crispy onion rings alexia onion rings review

Best Crunch

Alexia Crispy Onion Rings

When we bit into these, I’m pretty sure a little plaster dust shook loose from the ceiling.Made with sweet onions and panko breading, Alexia’s onion rings are crunchy as hell. We even had the genuine restaurant experience of the warm onion sliding loose from its coating. The breading doesn’t have as much salt as some of the other rings we tried, but one taste tester suggested dipping these in ranch. These are also the best frozen onion rings to put directly on top of a sandwich or burger for added texture.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart




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Best of the Best

Red Robin Crispy Onion Rings

Ore-Ida seems to have discontinued their gourmet onion rings (the previous #1 on this list), so now Red Robin claims the crown for making the best onion rings at the grocery store. The burger chain may be best known for bottomless baskets of fries, but they also serve one of the most intimidating apps known to man: the onion ring tower. I’m not sure why, but a dozen onion rings sitting meekly in a paper-lined basket look reasonable; a dozen onion rings stacked on top of each other look like a mountain to be climbed, mouth first. The chain’s frozen aisle rings definitely look like the ones a server would set on your table, and all our taste testers really liked their crisp, satisfying breading. And, hey, if you want to upset your family by stacking them, one of those stainless steel towers will only set you back about eight bucks. 

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart




Read Sporked‘s ranking of the best sauce for onion rings.

About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.