As delicious as they may be, sometimes doughnuts are just a tad too sweet. For days when you’re craving something a little less sugary — or simply want to enjoy a plate of doughnuts for dinner — we suggest preparing these five recipes, which showcase doughnuts’ savory side. From bacon cheddar doughnut holes to savory potato doughnuts, these tantalizing takes on doughnuts are perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Read on — you and your tastebuds are in for a savory surprise!
1. Sour Cream and Onion Doughnuts
Onions and sour cream blend together perfectly in The Kitchn’s recipe, creating a doughnut that is flavorful, light, and cakey. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make sour cream and onion doughnuts; simply mix your ingredients, shape your dough, cook, and enjoy! The trick to perfecting this recipe is using a deep pan and making sure the oil is nice and hot; this will ensure your doughnuts fry quickly and evenly. It yields 20 servings.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup finely diced sweet onions, green onions, or garlic scapes
- 4½ cups sifted all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1¼ cups sour cream
- Neutral, high-smoke-point oil such as safflower, canola, or vegetable oil
- Confectioners’ sugar or Parmesan cheese
Directions: Heat the butter over medium in a small skillet. When bubbling, add the onions and sauté for about 4 minutes, until softened. Set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. In a small mixing bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the onions and melted butter into the sour cream mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the sour cream and onion mixture. Using the rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet until well combined. The dough should be sticky, but not too wet to handle. If necessary, fold in more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Prepare two baking sheets: one lightly floured and the other lined with a few layers of paper towels or a clean paper bag. Heat a pot of oil until it reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The oil should be about an inch and a half deep. Use a deep fryer or candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. While the oil is heating, shape the doughnuts. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured board and with floured hands, pat the dough into a ¾-inch thick slab. Using the rim of a glass or a round cookie cuter, slice out circles of dough. To make a hole in the center, push a floured finger into the center then twirl the dough around like a hula hoop, keeping it flat on the board. Carefully transfer the shaped doughnuts to the floured baking sheet.
When the oil reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit, use a slotted spoon to carefully slip one doughnut into the hot oil. It will sink then slowly rise to the top. Once it rises to the top, cook it for about 20 seconds, until nicely browned, then flip it over and cook another 20 seconds. Remove the doughnut from the oil allowing the oil to drip off into the pot before moving it to the paper-lined baking sheet. Let the doughnut sit on the paper for about 10 seconds then flip it over onto a fresh part of the paper, the back again, essentially blotting off the oil. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. If you are comfortable with the process you can cook two at a time instead of one. To serve, top with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar or finely grated Parmesan cheese.
2. Baked Savory Cream Cheese and Herb Doughnuts
Filled with cream cheese, fresh herbs, and seasonings, Averie Cooks’ doughnuts are a culinary delight. They’re also quite simple to make: Mix your ingredients together, pour them into a doughnut pan or muffin tin, and bake. The recipe yields 6 doughnuts.
- 1½ tablespoons butter, melted
- 1½ tablespoons cream cheese, melted
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (Feel free to use whatever spices you have on hand.)
- 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash seasoning blend (Feel free to use a different seasoning blend.)
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Optional to taste: garlic powder, onion powder, curry, paprika, oregano,
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup shredded cheese
- 6 tablespoons or more buttermilk
Herbed Buttery Cream Cheese Spread:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- Pinch of the spice blend used in doughnuts
- Pinch of fresh herbs
Directions: For the doughnuts, preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease or cooking-spray the doughnut pan or muffin tin. In a small microwave-safe bowl; melt/soften 1½ tablespoons butter and 1½ tablespoons cream cheese for no more than about 15 seconds. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spices and seasonings, egg, cheese, and add the melted butter and cream cheese mixture to it all. Stir by hand to combine. Then, slowly add the buttermilk.
The amount of milk needed is going to depend on the type of cheese and cream cheese used; you want a fairly thick batter. Use a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip to pipe the batter into a 6-doughnut pan, or scoop it in using a spoon. Bake 11 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until doughnuts spring back when touched or until dough is set. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan, about 5 minutes. To make the dip, combine ingredients and whip.
3. Savory Potato Doughnuts
Do you have leftover instant mashed potatoes you’d like to put to good use? Prepare Food.com’s savory potato doughnuts, which are a combination of mashed potatoes, spices, bacon, and cheese. If you want to add a little more bacon flavor to this dish, we recommend dipping your doughnuts in Kraft’s hot cheesy bacon dip.
- 4 slices bacon, cubed
- 4 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup instant traditional mashed potatoes, prepared without butter or milk; just use water
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces goat cheese
Directions: Brown bacon. Prepare mashed potatoes. Instead of adding in milk or butter add 4 ounces of goat cheese. Combine all ingredients. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Adjust dough consistency, if needed, adding flour until a soft, roll-able dough is obtained. Add as little flour as is possible to avoid having heavy, tough, doughnuts. Cut out doughnut shapes using a doughnut cutter, two biscuit cutters, or two glasses. Dip the cutters in flour before each cut.
Use a spatula sprayed with non-stick spray to transfer the doughnuts to hot oil, about 370 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn once until browned on both sides and cooked through. If outside of doughnut browns before inside is cooked, reduce temperature. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. If desired, shake in a brown paper bag filled with granulated sugar or dust with confectioners sugar while still warm. Serve warm.
4. Savory Kale and Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Doughnuts
Not a fan of kale? You will be after trying one of Edible Perspective’s savory kale and sun-dried tomato basil doughnuts. Not only do these doughnuts taste delicious, but they’re also packed with nutritious ingredients, including kale, tomatoes, almond meal, and oat flour. Web MD explains that one cup of kale contains nearly 3 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.
- ½ cup gluten-free oat flour
- ½ cup sweet rice flour
- ¼ cup almond meal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder granules
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup 2% or whole milk
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- ¾ cup thinly shredded and chopped kale
- 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, blotted well and chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
- ½ cup or more Parmesan, to top
Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and thoroughly grease a doughnut pan with softened butter. In a large bowl combine the oat flour, sweet rice flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, and garlic until well mixed. In another bowl, whisk the eggs. Then whisk in the milk, applesauce, and oil until thoroughly combined. Pour the wet into the dry and whisk/stir until combined. Fold in the kale, chopped tomatoes, and basil until evenly distributed. Spoon in small scoops of the batter to your doughnut pan filling about ¼ inch or so from the top. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes until golden brown around the edges and a toothpick comes out nearly dry.
Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes then slide a thin, flexible spatula around the edge of the doughnuts and the center hole if needed. Remove from the pan and let fully cool. Preheat your oven to broil and place doughnuts on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and broil, watching very closely, until melted and just starting to bubble, about 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy warm or let fully cool and keep stored in the fridge in a sealed container for 3 to 4 days. Serve plain or with cream cheese.
5. Bacon Cheddar Doughnut Holes
These doughnuts look quite ordinary on the outside, but on the inside, they’re filled with gooey cheese, salty bacon, and thyme. When you’re frying the bacon cheddar doughnut holes, Sarah Sprague suggests working in small batches. This will ensure the pan isn’t overcrowded and the oil doesn’t cool down too much; remember, cold oil results in greasy food, while hot oil creates a nice, crispy finish. The recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup (½ stick) melted butter
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 cup or so of freshly grated cheddar cheese, preferably medium or sharp
- A few stems of fresh thyme, about 1 teaspoon of leaves
- Powdered sugar and maple syrup for serving
Directions: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, mix together the milk and melted butter, then the egg. Slowly stir in the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients until fully combined. Fold in the cheddar, bacon, and thyme. Fill a heavy skillet or dutch oven with oil until it’s about 2 inches deep; heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Working in small batches, use either a cookie scoop or a large spoon, drop the dough in 1 to 1½ balls into the hot oil, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip over to cook the other side. Set the cooked doughnut holes on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain and keep warm in a 250-degree oven while making the next batch. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.