Our maple bacon onion rings recipe, kissed with the sweetness of maple syrup.

By Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay, The Cooking Ladies.

Located on the edge of Lake Erie, our test kitchen is in a perfect position to witness the annual spring migration of birds and the beginnings of a new season.

Large groups of red-breasted Mergansers, with their shaggy crests and thin red bills, drop by on their way north. They dive for small fish, leaping over and around each other, in and out of the water, like a group of students in a pool during spring break. In contrast, the tundra swans serenely glide onto the lake and into the melted-snow-ponds in nearby onion fields.

Snowy owls, perched on fence posts, rotate their heads 270 degrees without moving their bodies.

Baby rabbits wait until it is safe to wiggle their way up out of the soil in the flower beds. Trees explode with white blossoms. Daffoldils erupt in yellow.

Spirals of smoke from sugar shacks rise through the cool, fresh air in a bush of hard maple trees, a sure sign that sap is being boiled down to make syrup.

Our maple bacon onion rings recipe, kissed with the sweetness of maple syrup, can be found in our latest, and tenth, cookbook, On the Road with The Cooking Ladies, Let’s Get Grilling. We barbecue all winter, but for some, spring is the season to bring the grill out of hibernation.

Great recipes are waiting. Let’s get grilling!

(Makes 4 to 6 servings)


  • 2 to 3 medium-sized mild onions
  • 6 thinly sliced bacon strips
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon-style mustard


  • Peel and slice the onions into thick (½-inch/1 cm) slices widthwise.
  • Push out the center 2 – 3 rings of each onion slice. Keep the remaining outer rings together. Set the inner rings aside for another recipe.
  • Wind and stretch a bacon strip around each set of outer onion rings, covering the surface of the onion with the bacon. Secure the bacon ends with a toothpick.
  • Place the bacon-wrapped onion rings side by side in a flat baking dish.
  • In a bowl, combine the maple syrup, lemon juice, and mustard.
  • Brush the maple syrup mixture over the bacon onion rings. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the grill on medium-high (450-550°F/230-290°C) for 10 minutes with the lid closed. Using a pair of long-handled tongs, oil the grate by wiping it with a piece of folded paper towel dipped lightly in canola oil.
  • Place the bacon onion rings on the grate. Cook over medium-high heat with the lid closed, turning every 3 – 4 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the onion is tender-crisp.
  • Remove the toothpicks before serving.  

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