Sonic Onion rings are made fresh every single day. I worked at Sonic as a teenager and had to help make the Sonic onion rings EVERY DAY…the secret is using vanilla ice milk mix, but using melted vanilla ice cream works just as well.
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Sonic onion rings are made fresh every single day – these are definitely not prepackaged onion rings. I worked at Sonic as a teenager and had to help make the Sonic onion rings every day.
Sonic had bags and bags of onions in the back room. The secret ingredient is vanilla ice milk mix, but using melted vanilla ice cream works just as well. Making onion rings for Sonic was one of the more memorable and pleasant experiences of my young life.
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The Sonic Drive-In Story
What eventually became Sonic was opened in 1953 in Shawnee, Oklahoma under the name Top Hat. In the beginning, Top Hat customers parked their automobiles anywhere on the gravel parking lot and walked up to place their orders. However, Top Hat’s founder, Troy Smith, saw a drive-in that used speakers for ordering.
This gave him the idea of controlling the parking so his customers could order from curbside speakers without ever leaving their cars. Carhops would deliver the food to customers sitting comfortably in their vehicles.
This technology led to the slogan Service at the Speed of Sound, which translated into one word: Sonic. So, in 1959 the name was changed from Top Hat to Sonic Drive-In. Read more about Sonic.
Sonic has lived up to its sonic name by surging forward while specializing in fresh, made-to-order meals. Nowhere else can you order from a drive-in menu featuring toaster sandwiches (sandwiches served on thick slices of Texas toast), quarter-pound foot-long coneys (hot dogs topped with chili and cheese), and onion rings that are sliced, breaded, and made fresh every day in every Sonic drive-in.
And the Sonic way includes topping off your meal with a hand-mixed shake made with real ice cream in a variety of flavors or a drink featuring Sonic’s beloved craveable ice.
Make Sonic Onion Rings at Home
You can make this wonderful fast-food favorite at home. You don’t even have to be too exact in measuring everything out. However, making these onion rings can be messy.
Here’s a list of what you need:
- Spanish onions
- All-purpose flour
- Vanilla ice cream, melted
- Vegetable oil for frying
How to Make Sonic Onion Rings
- Peel and cut onions into slices that are between 3/8 and 1/2-inch thick.
- Remove the small center of the onions, you can chop those into diced onions for later use. See how to freeze onions.
- Separate onions into rings and place them into a large bowl of water.
- Place three containers in a row.
- Place flour in the first container, melted ice cream in the second, and cornmeal in the third.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees.
- Prepare onion rings by shaking off the water and then dip into the flour. Shake off excess flour.
- Dip floured onion rings into the melted ice cream and then into the cornmeal. Gently shake off excess cornmeal.
- Place onion rings on a cookie sheet to dry for a few minutes before frying.
- Fry onion rings until golden brown.
I suggest trying to use one hand for dry ingredients and the other for dipping the onion rings into the melted ice cream. It will go easier this way. These are messy, but they taste so good and you will never buy store-bought onion rings again.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is because they are made with sweet onions and breaded with vanilla ice milk mix (or melted vanilla ice cream).
No, flour is one of the ingredients of the breading.
No, they are dipped in a milk mixture as part of the breading process.
Looking for more Sonic copycat recipes? Try these!
- Sonic Breakfast Burrito
- Sonic Frito Burrito
- Sonic Chili Cheese Tots
- Coconut Cream Milkshake
- Strawberry Lemonade Sonic
- Strawberry Limeade Sonic
- Cherry Limeade Sonic
- Root Beer Shake
- Ocean Water
Popular Fast Food Sides
Original Sonic Onion Rings
- 2 pounds Spanish onions sliced, and rings separated
- 24 ounces water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces vanilla ice cream melted
- 8 ounces cornmeal
- vegetable oil for frying
- Peel onions. Slice onions into slices that are between 3/8 and 1/2-inch. Remove the small center of the onions, you can chop those into diced onions. Separate onions into rings, and place the rings into a large bowl of water.
- Place three containers in a row. In the first container, place the flour, in the second container, place the melted ice cream, and in the third container place the cornmeal.
- Preheat oil to 350 degrees.
- Prepare onion rings by shaking off the water, dip onion into the flour, shake off excess flour. Dip into the melted ice cream, and then dip into the cornmeal. Gently shake off excess cornmeal. Place the onion ring on a cookie sheet to dry for a few minutes before frying.
- Fry onion rings until golden brown.