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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{ 19 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!!


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