Get that fried okra flavor without frying at your home! This Oven Fried Okra recipe takes the Southern classic appetizer and make sit a little healthier by baking it in the oven instead of frying! Makes 6 servings.
We’ve established that I am a Southern girl… and I’m about to prove it again with a story of my childhood in the South.
When I was a kid, we’d occasionally drive to Mississippi for fried catfish. Growing up in Memphis, we were close to the border, and it was certainly easy enough to make a trip.
We trekked south for special occasions, taking backroads for some fried catfish. Whenever we enjoyed this Southern delicacy, we would also order hushpuppies, fried pickles and fried okra.
We’d sometimes get dessert, too, assuming we weren’t stuffed to the gills when our meal was over. Because if you’re driving any distance for a meal, you might as well have a decadent sweet, too. (I’ll take two slices of the strawberry cake, mmkay?)
I’ve been obsessed with fried okra since my childhood. It’s a guilty pleasure, and something I crave for no reason other than it is delicious.
However, as someone who tries to eat a balanced diet, I don’t fry food at home. If I want something fried, I order the dish at a restaurant, and I view it as an indulgence.
Because of this, I’ve never actually technically fried anything at home.
ALSO, I’m terrified of setting my kitchen on fire. Ever since the incident where our grill went up in flames, I’ve been wary.
What do I need to make Oven Fried Okra?
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How to make fried okra in the oven
This okra recipe is the exception to my whole frying rule, and since it’s technically fried in the oven, it’s a lot less stressful than babysitting a pot of oil. It’s also a lot less messy.
Line a baking sheet with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil. Pour olive oil (or any other neutral-tasting oil) onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with seasoned salt and black pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper.
Pour the buttermilk into another bowl.
Working in small groups, transfer the chopped okra into the buttermilk, allowing it a few moments to soak before moving into the breading mixture. Coat the okra pieces, and then move to the baking sheet. Continue this process until all of the okra has been breaded.
Bake, then halfway through the process, flip the okra with a spatula.
Bake again, then remove from the oven when crispy.
Transfer the oven fried okra to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm with ketchup and hot sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is oven frying?
Instead of using a big ‘ol pot of oil, oven frying is the process where you cook a food in oil in the oven.
The final product will appear to be fried, but it’s actually been baked!
Can you cook fried okra in the oven?
Yes! With this little technique that I’ve figured out, we can get fryer-crisp okra… from the oven!
Can I still make this okra if I don’t have buttermilk?
Yes, you can. While it’s not an exact match, there is a way you can make this, assuming you have regular (cow’s) milk in your fridge.
Add a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then you’re good to go! This will give the milk the tangy, creamy flavor buttermilk provides.
Can I use frozen okra instead of fresh in this recipe?
While I’ve never done it myself, I’ve been told by my readers that yes, it works! Let it thaw slightly (so the buttermilk doesn’t freeze), then follow the breading and baking instructions.
What recipes can I serve with this okra?
- Sweet Tea Oven Fried Chicken
- Cheeseburger Kebabs
- Oven Fried Pickles
- No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw
- Sauerkraut Burgers with Oven Fried Pickles and Sweet Sriracha Sauce
- Strawberry Sweet Tea
Then scroll on down to learn how to make these crunchy okra bites at home!
Get that fried okra flavor without frying at your home! This Oven Fried Okra recipe takes the Southern classic appetizer and make sit a little healthier by baking it in the oven instead of frying! Simple and delicious, you'll never know this Oven Fried Okra wasn't deep fried!
- 2 cups fresh okra, sliced
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 475°F.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Pour the olive oil onto a baking sheet, and make sure all surfaces are covered. Sprinkle the oil liberally with seasoned salt and black pepper before setting aside.
- Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour the buttermilk into another bowl.
- Working in small groups, transfer okra into the buttermilk, allowing a few moments to soak before moving into the flour and cornmeal mixture. Coat the okra pieces completely in the mix, then move to the baking sheet.
- Continue this process until all of the okra has been breaded and placed on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the okra from the oven, flipping with a spatula.
- Place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes (or until cooked through.)
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and serve warm with ketchup and hot sauce.
Please watch your okra carefully, as the cooking time of this is based upon my 1950's oven. I'd say check on it at the 10 minute mark and based on how it looks from there, flip it. You don't want to overcook the okra, as it doesn't taste nearly as good.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
How do you feel about frying dishes at home?
Have you ever oven fried anything?
The photos and recipe for this Oven Fried Okra were originally published on July 30, 2013. The photographs, along with the text of this blog post, were updated on October 3, 2017.