Like most people, I love a good parmi, be it eggplant or chicken. (I’m sure veal parmi also tastes good, but I’ve never had it.) But making a parmi can be a bit of an ordeal, particularly eggplant parmi. Even though I make mine without any breading, it still requires salting and baking in an overly generous amount of oil. That’s why, though I will never abandon eggplant parmi, when I need a quick, mid-day parm fix, I reach for a bag of frozen onion rings.
Onion rings aren’t the only non-eggplant vegetable that takes well to parming — The Kitchn is a big fan of asparagus parmi — but it’s one of the few that comes pre-breaded and fried, and onions mesh really well with marinara and cheese. All you have to do is heat up the rings according to the package instructions, then pile them on a hoagie roll with red sauce and a blend of mozzarella and parmesan. Broil to melt the cheese and it’s time to eat.
You are welcome to get as elaborate as you like with each component. You can make your own sauce (I like this one) or snag a jar from the grocery store. You can use fresh mozzarella, or the pre-shredded and bagged low-moisture stuff. For the parm component, you can either shred real deal Parmigiano-Reggiano, or grab a shaker of Kraft.
One thing you should not compromise on is the amount of onion rings. You need at least two layers, preferably three, and they should be as crispy as you can get them without burning them. The top layer will bear the brunt of the sauce and will inevitably get a little soft, but lower level onions should stay fairly crispy. For best results, I recommend waffling your onion rings so as to maximise the crunchy surface area and help them stack a little bit better.
Easy Onion Ring Parmi Sandwich
- 9-12 frozen onion rings, depending on their size (You need enough to make three layers)
- 1 long bread roll
- 1/4 cup marinara
- 85 g mozzarella cheese (fresh or pre-shredded is fine)
- 1 ounce grated parmesan
Prepare the onion rings according to the package instructions, getting them as crispy as you can without burning them. You can also waffle them to increase the amount of crunchy surface area, and make them easier to stack.
In the meantime, heat the hoagie roll in a 180°C oven for five minutes, and heat your sauce either on the stove or in the microwave. Mix the cheese together in small bowl.
Layer the onion rings on the roll in three layers, then spoon the sauce on top and cover with the cheese mixture. Broil to melt the cheese. (You may need to put a little foil over the edge of your hoagie roll to keep it from getting burnt.) Enjoy immediately.
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