Better-Than-Fried Okra

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I used to think fried okra was so gross when I was little and kids in my school cafeteria would eat it dunked in ketchup. That’s because it was fried in grease!

This version is coated in cornmeal and baked – it’s got the best texture!

Okra comes in pods…

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…Which you’ll want to cut into bite-sized pieces.

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They have a gooey, slimy inside, so don’t worry you got a bad one. It’s great for thickening dishes!

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Dip those in a mixture of egg and a splash of milk

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And then roll them into some cornmeal (blue or yellow) mixed with salt and any seasonings you like.

Spread onto a baking sheet

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And bake at 375* for about 30 minutes, until they start to crisp and brown.

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BetterThan Fried Okra2

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erika May 7, 2009 at 7:47 pm



2 Megan May 7, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Who has fried okra at school when you’re a KID?! Is that a southern thing? I’m from Maine… I probably would’ve hated it too at the time, but that’s a different option! I like it!


3 kristieinseattle May 7, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Fried okra is definitely a Southern thing :) And it’s delicious! I can’t wait to try this recipe.


4 Tara May 8, 2009 at 1:04 am

yeah, fried okra is definitely a southern thing. they served it in my school cafeteria too when i lived in NC. i will never forget the traumatic experience that was biting into a piece of fried okra when i thought i was going to be getting a nice tasty mouthful of tater tot. i about near died.

and then our classroom aide ate the rest of my okra for me off of my plate. (i’d imagine that isn’t allowed anymore…)

and then i didn’t touch the stuff for another 20 years until i started reading kath’s blog and she made it look so nice and tasty! now i love it! (not fried – but cooked up with canned tomatoes and sardines and then served over whole wheat pasta.) my, how times have changed!


5 Kath May 8, 2009 at 5:48 am

LOL Tara! They were like pretend tater tots weren’t they! (I didn’t really care for those either!)


6 ri'chele May 8, 2009 at 9:27 am

I am from southern CA and always thought it was a thickening agent in soups. I will try this. As a native southwesterner anything baked in a bue cornmeal coating is tempting. Yum.


7 Marie May 10, 2009 at 9:21 pm

I had this for dinner tonight and it was yummy! For some extra seasoning I added a little Old Bay to the cornmeal and it turned out well.


8 monique September 21, 2009 at 11:31 am

Oh these look delish!!! I’ve been looking for a good okra recipe! I will be doing a step-by-step of this on my blog Kath! Thanks!



9 kendra July 14, 2010 at 6:40 pm

looking forward to trying it like this, i’m from sc and yes, fried is da bomb! so thanks for a way healthier option :)


10 courtney September 2, 2010 at 9:59 am

i don’t eat fried foods anymore :(and i miss fried okra. i’m going to try your recipe, looks delicious!


11 Jeanenne September 6, 2010 at 8:04 am

Am about to try your baked recipe for Labor Day gang. Sound great. Thank you.


12 jen November 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

how can you make a vegan version? thanks!


13 Jilly Willy July 15, 2011 at 7:20 pm

This didnt work for me with regular cornmeal. My husband fussed cause he hated I wasted good fresh okra ( our FAV) without frying in virgin oil….remember folks…good southern cooking can still be enjoyed with extra virgin olive oil…just call it sauté ing. I love, love, love fried okra so will try this one more time with the blue cornmeal…then if it is still dry, I am going back to my Granny Leach’s fried okra recipe from Tennessee….with extra virgin oil of course…


14 Jackie October 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Ok I am going to try it out!! all I have are cornflake crumbs today- but they are yummy on potatoes too- so I have a feeling it wil be good! Thanks!


15 Stefanie July 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm

These were cooked tonight using fresh grown okra from my garden. I am sorry to say that they were awful! No taste and too dry. I was disappointed to use precious limited okra in this horrible recipe. We threw the whole batch out. Sometimes fried gives some recipes their flavor.


16 KathEats July 7, 2014 at 8:13 pm

I’m sorry to hear that! It remains one of my favorite recipes!


17 Elena, The Healthy Veggie July 14, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Woooow! These look yummy! What a nice healthier version of the usual fried okra. Thanks for sharing the love.


18 LoriAnne in Oregon August 19, 2014 at 10:13 am

Made these for my 88 yo dad as he was craving okra and had been talking about his Texas childhood. So when I found some fresh okra at the Farmers Market I bought it and then came home and googled for recipes. This sounded so much healthier than frying it in oil. I seasoned my cornmeal with Johnny’s Seasoning Salt, smoked paprika, and a bit of cayenne. I also sprayed my pan with EVOO. Dad’s antique kitchen oven might not have got up to temp because I thought they needed about 45 minutes to crisp up. He LOVED them and between us we ate the whole pan full. Anyway they were more like thick okra chips! Hopefully I can get more okra (rare here) and make more. He did tell me how his Grandma made it in Texas…frying it in bacon grease or hog fat! I am sure his doctors would not approve if I made it like that, but for my Texas Daddy, this was a good, healthier, option, and he was very, very pleased. Thanks for the recipe!! I would not have even thought of trying this if I had not googled!


19 Heather J. September 18, 2014 at 11:25 am

mmmmmm okra!!


20 CarolinaSistah August 9, 2015 at 9:46 pm

I was pleasantly surprised!
I cut the ends of each pod, but left them whole.
Salted and peppered immediately after taking from oven.
Very crispy bite with delicious okra taste!
My new favorite way to prepare veggies! Plan to try with squash, green beans, and tomatoes.


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