Onion Rings Are The Ideal Ingredient For A Vegetarian Parm Sandwich

It's hard to dislike chicken parm sandwiches. Between the soft bread, crispy chicken, warm tomato sauce, and gooey cheese, there isn't a part of these handheld comfort foods that we don't want to devour. But if you're vegetarian, or just trying to lean more toward a plant-based diet, you'll want to opt for something that brings similar elements to chicken to the table, but without the actual poultry involved.

Enter: onion rings. Sure, you could opt for eggplant or tofu, which are the foods that typically replace the protein-rich ingredient in chicken parm. But there's a strong case for using your favorite diner appetizer instead. Onion rings are full of fried yumminess in their outer layer, but they also bring a slight sweetness to an otherwise entirely savory sandwich. And between the crispy coating and the vegetable underneath, they'll lend a crunch to your meal that can more than make up for the lack of crispy chicken. Onion rings blend in beautifully with all that cheese, sauce, and bread, and they even bring a singular vegetable to your otherwise hearty sandwich.

How to make a vegetarian parm sandwich with onion rings

When producing the onion rings to add into your vegetarian parm sandwich, you have two options here: Make them fresh yourself or buy a box of frozen onion rings. There's no shame if you opt for the latter, as they're easy to heat (usually in an oven or convection oven) and typically taste just as good. But whichever type you choose, you'll want to fully cook the onion rings before inserting them into your dish.

Hoagie rolls are typically the bread of choice for parm sandwiches, but you can really work with any bread that's soft in the middle but sturdy enough to stand up to all the gooey ingredients. If you want to take yours to the next level, toss some butter, garlic powder, and salt on each half before warming it in the oven for a few minutes. Just like with the onion rings, you can use jarred or store-bought marinara sauce, depending on how much time and effort you want to put into your meal. When it comes to assembling the sandwich, you'll want to stack a few layers of onion rings so that you get as much crunch as humanly possible. Then add your sauce on top, followed by copious amounts of mozzarella or provolone, and let the whole thing sit under the broiler until the cheese gets nice and gooey.