Crispy Baked Coconut Onion Rings with Sweet Chili Sauce

Crispy Baked Coconut Onion Rings with Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

Crispy Baked Coconut Onion Rings with Sweet Chili SaucePhotos by Emily Caruso

If you’ve ever undertaken a long distance move, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the last minute rush to use up the stash of food you’ve accumulated in your refrigerator and pantry. There’s a whole lot of that happening in my house right now because we’re moving next week and there’s still so much food. So much food! How did we get this much food? Where did that wedge of brie come from? Why do we have a jar of bread and butter pickles in the pantry? And then you have brie and pickle sandwiches for dinner and lament what your life has become.

This recipe was also born out of the need to use things up, but luckily for you, it turned out a lot better than the brie and pickle sandwiches, which we shall never speak of again. I had a big bag of shredded coconut in the pantry, along with panko, honey, sriracha, and rice vinegar, so I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to make these Crispy Baked Coconut Onion Rings. I got the idea from a restaurant in Raleigh called The Cowfish, which has both sushi and burgers. (And pretty amazing veggie burgers, I might add.)

Crispy Baked Coconut Onion Rings with Sweet Chili Sauce
These onion rings are super crispy and just slightly coconutty–the shredded coconut adds a hint of toasted coconut flavor, but it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the sweet onion. It’s always a little bit of a pain to bread vegetables, but like childbirth, you forget about all the pain once you’ve got a big plate of onion rings to dig into. Or something.

No onion rings would be complete without a good dipping sauce and since these onion rings are Asian-inspired, they call for a good Asian sauce. You can use bottled sweet chili sauce, but Ashley’s honey-based sweet chili sauce is completely worth taking the time to whip up. Store-bought sweet chili sauce tends to be a little more mild than I like, but when you make it yourself, you can add more or less heat to customize it to your own tastes.

Print this recipe
Crispy Baked Coconut Onion Rings with Sweet Chili Sauce

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes

Total Time

45 minutes


4 servings


Onion Rings

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups panko
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large sweet onion, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rings
  • Oil mister filled with cooking oil (I used grapeseed)

Sweet Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons sriracha (to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar


Onion Rings

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place oven-safe wire racks on two baking sheets and spray them with oil.*
  2. Whisk together the flour and paprika in a shallow bowl or dish. In another dish, whisk the milk and egg. In a third dish, combine the panko, coconut, and salt.
  3. Break the onion slices into individual rings. Dredge each ring in the flour mixture, then dip it in the milk mixture, and then press it into the panko mixture, making sure to coat all sides. Place the breaded ring onto one of the wire racks, and repeat until all the rings are coated. (To save space, put the smaller rings inside the larger ones on the racks.)
  4. Once all the rings are coated, spray them with oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating sheets after 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

Sweet Chili Sauce

  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.


*If you don’t have oven-safe wire racks, you can make the onion rings directly on your baking sheets. Spray the baking sheets with oil and flip the onion rings over halfway through cooking time.


I spent most of my life thinking that I hated onion rings. Then I tried one and I was hooked! I love this take on them; the coconut sounds like a brilliant addition.

I am so. in. love. with this recipe. Onion rings without the guilt! You are my hero. And with coconut! The sauce though, that’s what really clinches it.

YUMM! These look amazing. I love how the texture of the coconut makes these look especially decadent. Cowfish (in both Raleigh and Charlotte!) is awesome! Their menu is super creative and the sushi is delsih! Thank you for sharing this – it made me actually want an onion ring again!

This sounds wonderful! I love onion rings, I love coconut, and I love crunch….oh and sweet chili sauce too! Yummy! Now if only I could convince my other half to like onions 😛

Are you kidding me? Onion rings with coconut AND sweet/spicy dipping sauce? I’m in love, but admit I will be frying these because #1 I believe onion rings should be fried, and #2 I don’t have an oven.

So far the only thing I have used up from my fridge/pantry is beer. And I’m moving on Friday. Better get on it!!

I think I must have some coconut lurking around somewhere…and I am always in the mood for onion rings!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *