We extend Onsager’s minimum dissipation principle to stationary states that are only subject to local equilibrium constraints, even when the transport coefficients depend on the thermodynamic forces. Crucial to this generalization is a decomposition of the thermodynamic forces into those that are held fixed by the boundary conditions and the subspace that is orthogonal with respect to the metric defined by the transport coefficients. We are then able to apply Onsager and Machlup’s proof to the second set of forces. As an example, we consider two-dimensional nonlinear diffusion coupled to two reservoirs at different temperatures. Our extension differs from that of Bertini et al. in that we assume microscopic irreversibility, and we allow a nonlinear dependence of the fluxes on the forces.