| A Tasty Twist |

Onions: For Crying Out Loud

Photography by Menachem Goodman

The Backstory

Is it only me, or are onions the most confusing vegetable? They can be sweet or bitter or even tart. But at the end of the day, onions are everyone’s best friend; they really enhance every dish. (And like a true friend, they even make us cry sometimes. But that’s a side point.)

When it comes to onions, I feel like they don’t get enough attention in the ring form. French fries are a classic favorite, but onion rings are always pushed to the side. So I decided today is the day for them to shine and get the consideration they deserve.

I recently made an order from a home business called The Chef’s House that sells takeout on Thursday nights. When I was there to pick up my food, the owner mentioned the latest addition to the menu — loaded onion rings. Little did they know I was already in the process of creating a recipe like that for you guys. They said they add a buffalo sauce, and I loved that idea, so when I was testing out this recipe, I decided to try adding my hot honey sauce. I figured it would be the perfect combination for this dish — and oh boy, was I right.

These loaded onion rings are just perfect. In my mind, they scream takeout or even Thursday night chill. They’re definitely a bit messy to eat, but that’s what makes them even more fun. The kids love them, and so do the adults. I mean, I’m an adult and I love them — but if you ask my mom she’ll say I’m still a kid, so who knows?

The Process

I couldn’t decide which protein to add (and if it needed one). Really, I love pulled beef, but that’s so 2020 and it’s more work. In the end, I used pastrami since I had an extra package sitting in my fridge. When I say this is one of those recipes you can improvise to your liking, I mean it. The pesto mayo was suggested by a friend, and it worked really well; the addition helps balance the heat, giving the dish a whole different flavor profile that is amazing.

To make less work for everyone, you cook the pastrami with the hot honey sauce so you don’t have to dirty another pot by heating up both. If you know me, I hate washing dishes. I actually finished creating this recipe the night before I had an early morning flight to go on vacation, and I still needed to pack my stuff, so less work for me it had to be.

I did make my flight still fleishig from the taste tasting, so I couldn’t have my morning coffee. Yes, I know I should stop working last minute, but I think my creative mind only works well under lots of pressure. And let me say it was worth landing in Arizona smelling like pastrami because this recipe is delicious.


You can totally swap the pastrami in this recipe for extra deli meat you have left in your fridge or any protein you love.

Also, the toppings are up to you. I think it’s best to make it without any and allow the eaters to add what they like. I suggest hot peppers, fried onions, pickles, etc.

This is a perfect Sunday night dinner to use up your Shabbos leftover proteins and vegetables.

What Else Can I Use This For?

When I was talking about this recipe to the head of production at Mishpacha, she mentioned that her kids don’t like onion rings. If that’s also the case in your house, you can totally use Tater Tots, breaded eggplant, or breaded cauliflower (or anything similar) as your base. They’re all amazing ideas and so good. Let me know how your family likes it.

Explosion Loaded Onion Rings
  • 2 12-oz (340-g) bags frozen onion rings
  • ¼ cup pesto mayo (recipe below)
  • veggie toppings of your choice
Hot Honey Sauce with Pastrami
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 12 oz (340 g) pastrami, cut into small strips
The Best Pesto Mayo
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise of your choice (I used light)
  • 6 cubes frozen basil
  • 4 cubes frozen garlic
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Cook frozen onion rings according to package directions.

Prepare the sauce: Place all ingredients except the pastrami in a small pot; mix well until fully combined. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat or until small bubbles start to form. Add cut pastrami and mix well. Cook for an additional 2 minutes and remove from heat.

For the pesto mayo: Place all ingredients in a small container and mix well until fully combined.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

To assemble: Transfer onion rings to a serving plate. Top with the pastrami mixture and drizzle with the pesto mayo.

Add desired toppings of choice and serve with remaining pesto mayo on the side.

This dish is best served fresh and hot.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 862)

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