Tony Roma’s Inspired Crispy Vidalia Sweet Onion Loaf with Original BBQ Sauce

Onion Loaf with SauceThe Tony Roma’s train keeps rolling today. Yesterday’s Cole Slaw post was one part of this delicious summer BBQ meal! Today we continue with a delicious side/appetizer called an Onion Loaf. These days they make the loaf in the shape of a mini bundt pan, but the onion loaf of my childhood was this amazing towering loaf. You could order a half or full order (we always ordered the full size) and it would show up at your table, no less than a foot high, crispy sweet and savory with a large bowl of bbq sauce for dipping. Pay no attention to the calorie count of this dish. If you are working towards getting ready for bathing suit season, this is not the recipe for you. If you are looking for a finger licking good, sticky, salty, sweet fried onion ring….this is your lucky day!

The best part is that the recipe is so easy! The steps are uncomplicated and in the end you’re left with a great bbq side! To get started, slice the onions into rings. You’re looking for somewhere between ¼ and a ½ inch thick.
Combine milk, eggs and salt in mixing bowl. Soak onion rings in mixture for 30 minutes to an hour. The longer, the more tender. Heat oil for frying in skillet to 375 degrees F.Pancake Flour
Remove onion rings from milk mixture, coat with pancake mix. You can use a bowl or a plastic bag that you can shake up.Coated Onions
Tap excess pancake mix off onions.  Make sure your oil is ready to fry. This is not ready…Oil Not Ready
Still not ready…Oil Almost ReadyAlmost….Oil ReadyAnnnnnnd ready! Onions FryingFry rings until golden brown.Crispy Onion
Drain fried onion rings on paper towels.Crispy Onions
Pack fried onion rings solidly, but loosely, without pressing, into 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.Onion Loaf with Sauce
Garnish with parsley and serve with BBQ sauce. Heck, serve with Cole Slaw and BBQ Chicken while you’re at it!Tony Roma's Cole Slaw - Sweet, Tangy, Delicious Cole Slaw with a hint of celery seed. Part of the perfect BBQ meal this summer!Enjoy!

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Tony Roma's Inspired Crispy Vidalia Sweet Onion Loaf with Original BBQ Sauce

This delicious onion loaf is like crispy thin onion straws baked together and crispy that are just begging to be dipped in the delicious original recipe BBQ sauce.
Yield 6
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 4 medium Vidalia onions
  • 1 cup milk , whole or 2%
  • 3 eggs , beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups pancake mix
  • canola oil , for frying
  • parsley , for garnish
  • Tony Roma's BBQ Sauce

Instructions

  • Slice onions crosswise and separate into rings. You're looking for somewhere between ¼ and a ½ inch thick.
  • Combine milk, eggs and salt in mixing bowl.
  • Soak onion rings in mixture for 30 minutes to an hour. The longer, the more tender.
  • Heat oil for frying in skillet to 375 degrees F.
  • Remove onion rings from milk mixture, coat with pancake mix. You can use a bowl or a plastic bag that you can shake up.
  • Tap excess pancake mix off onions.
  • Fry rings until golden brown.
  • Drain fried onion rings on paper towels.
  • Pack fried onion rings solidly, but loosely, without pressing, into 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with BBQ sauce.

Notes

Adapted from: LA Times SOS Kitchen from 1995

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 672mg | Potassium: 432mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 10.9mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Keyword: copycat recipe, onion loaf, Tony Roma's Inspired Crispy Onion Vidalia Sweet Onion Loaf with Original BBQ Sauce

Tony Roma's Copycat Onion Loaf - This delicious onion loaf is like crispy thin onion straws baked together and crispy that are just begging to be dipped in the delicious original recipe BBQ sauce.

Tony Roma's Cole Slaw - Sweet, Tangy, Delicious Cole Slaw with a hint of celery seed. Part of the perfect BBQ meal this summer!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I have been eating this onion loaf since I was in my teens. Its the best since slice bread, I’m retired now and just discovered my favorite recipe side for bbq. I gonna reminisce about the good old days now.

  2. “Pack fried onion rings solidly, but loosely, without pressing, …”

    I’m confused. How do you pack something solidly, but loosely? Solidly and loosely are opposite terms!

    I’ve never eaten at Tony Romas’s or ever heard of an “onion loaf” before, but I came across this randomly and find it interesting because of the simple ingredients.

    1. Its means you want the oaf to be a solid form, but you don’t want to crush it together. Its a delicate process, sorry for the confusion!

  3. I haven’t made it but it looks finger licking good easy to make

  4. Use open pit BBQ sauce for this. Had this it at Tony Roma’s and a few other places that had it. Open Pit was awesome.

  5. I’ve never been to Tony Roma’s , nor had their onion loaf, but the recipe looks delicious and we love onion rings with bbq. Just some questions: What is the purpose of packing them in a loaf pan and baking them? Why not just put them in a bowl loose? How do you serve it? Slice it per serving or pull it apart with a fork at the table? It says yield 6. Is that really enough for 6 people? Thanks, I can’t wait to try it!

    1. The presentation is just great and makes it fun to pull apart and dip as an appetizer. I hope you decide to give it a try.

  6. I have always wanted to make an onion loaf like Bobby Rubino’s or Tony Roma’s. Didn’t know it was this easy. I remember the onions being very thin and packed into a loaf shape. Do the onions get thinner when fried? I thought you would have to slice them thinner. I am definitely going to try this since I’m home a lot during this whole virus thing.

  7. Boy………ya’know what would be good with this article?
    ANSWER: the BBQ sauce recipe.
    I’m sure it’s here somewhere, I can’t find it from drooling all over my keyboard.

  8. I love Onion Loaf!!! I’m pretty sure the small Hackney’s chain in IL has been making Onion Loaf since 1958 and I think they are the original creators. Thanks for the recipe I’d never tought of using pancake mix great tip.

  9. Finally, someone else who remembers Tony Roma’s awesome Onion Ring Loaf! Used to eat these as a kid in Palm Springs. My folks would take us there once a year for a vacation.

    Tona Roma’s was always the highlight of the trip, where our family of 5 would fight over that full-size loaf.

    Can’t wait to give this recipe a try! 🙂

  10. I had an onion loaf on an old tug boat that was used as a restaurant in Swansea UK about 30 years ago and have been looking for a recipe ever since! I came across this one by chance and can’t wait to try it!

  11. I made this recipe last night and while the onion loaf was delicious, the onions lost all crispiness while baking. Don’t know what I could have done differently.

    1. Did you overpack it? Were the onions crispy before they went in? I find if I overpack it and make it too tight, it sort of steams in the pan. Would love to troubleshoot more if you would like, email me at sabrina @ dinnerthendesser.com 🙂

  12. I made these for my family the other night, and my oldest keeps begging me to make more! He says on a scale of 1-10 they are like an 11! LOL

  13. Wow it’s been a long long time since I’ve eaten at a Tony Romo’s – that was a place we frequent a lot way back in the days. Your recipe looks so yummy, makes me want to go to TR!!

    1. Isn’t it such a wonderful memory? That place was so special and we always got so excited and anticipated when we would get to go. I have so many wonderful memories of it.

  14. This looks like some delicious comfort food. I think my husband would love it if I surprised him with this.

  15. I would always order this at Tony Roma’s and I’m so psyched to have come across this amazing recipe for it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. I’ve never made homemade onion rings before. These look and sound amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  17. This is one of my favorite things over at Tony Romas! I didn’t realize it was so easy to make! Thanks, totally trying it now!

  18. Oh wow that looks yummy! I love eating crispy onions but I have never made any for myself! I can’t wait to try this!

  19. I would so eat this right up, glad you shared it. I must try to make it here at home – I am so not good at cooking but I am trying to be better. Love this.

  20. Vidalia onions are the perfect choice for onion rings. Every ingredient and suggestion in the recipe is spectacular.

  21. I have to try this as soon as possible. It looks amazing and i have never tried anything like it.

  22. I’ve never been to Tony Roma’s but I sure want to taste this onion loaf! It sounds amazing!

  23. I haven’t made meatloaf in while… but this recipe will be added to our menu soon. Looks so delicious.

  24. I’ve never been to Tony Roma’s before, so I haven’t had this particular dish- but I do love onion rings!

  25. What a mouthful to say, but I’d say it 10 times over if it meant I could actually have some in my mouth. So good!

    1. Haha thanks! It is a lot to describe! To friends, I just say onion loaf and they get excited but I didn’t think people would necessarily get excited by the words “Onion Loaf”

  26. Yum! I know it’s summer when things started getting fried! I have never made onion rings myself, but I’m so excited to try.

  27. This dish looks so delicious! It’s something my husband and I would definitely enjoy together!

  28. I do not have a Tony Roma’s near me so I have never been there, so thanks for sharing the recipe so I can make it at home!

  29. This looks sooooo good. I wish I could make it in my house, but my husband is deathly allergic to onions. Thanks for sharing it though.

    1. So sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, this is a recipe that happens to use a lot of onions. As an alternative, you can try fried zucchini slices.

  30. I love using Vidalia onions and this recipe sounds perfect for them. I am definitely going to have to try it!

  31. Holy moly, I am vegetarian but I am seriously awed by this! Totally making for my husband!!

  32. we always have crispy fried onions out whenever we get the chance. They are so good with dipping sauce.

  33. I don’t think I have ever had this onion loaf but I sure want to now. I love any and all things onion!

    1. Noooo! You have to make the sauce that goes with it. Trust me! You will be licking your fingers it is so good!

  34. Yum! I love onion rings, so this is right up my alley. I can’t wait to give this a try.

  35. This looks great! Being a southerner, I’m all about the vidalia onions!!

    1. Me too! I am a sucker for sweet onions! Oooh even when caramelized. Ok, I need to not be thinking about this at 9am, haha.

  36. I am drooling over here. I have never had anything like this before, but I HAVE to try it 🙂

  37. We’ve been to Tony Roma’s but I’ve never had the onion loaf. Now that just seems so wrong! This recipe looks so YUM and seems easy enough.

    1. That seems like it goes against nature to go there and not get the onion loaf! Haha. You have to try it!!