The Speckled Palate
July 30, 2013

Oven Fried Okra

Last Updated on

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.

Oven Fried Okra served in a bowl with lemonade and ketchup

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?)

A woman holds a piece of oven fried okra dipped in ketchup

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.

Process shots of how to make Oven Fried (Purple) Okra, in collage form

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. 

More collage photos of making Oven Fried (Purple) Okra

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!

What if I don’t have buttermilk?

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.

A stack of okra, fresh out of the oven

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 do I need to make Oven Fried Okra?

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Collage of served Oven Fried (Purple) Okra, in a basket with dipping sauces

What recipes can I serve with this okra?

Then scroll on down to learn how to make these crunchy okra bites at home!

A woman dips a piece of Oven Fried Okra in a small glass bowl of ketchup before eating.


Oven Fried Okra
Yield: 6 servings

Oven Fried Okra

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

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


  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour the buttermilk into another bowl.
  4. 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.
  5. Continue this process until all of the okra has been breaded and placed on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the okra from the oven, flipping with a spatula.
  7. Place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes (or until cooked through.)
  8. 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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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 175 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 299mg Carbohydrates: 19g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 2g Protein: 4g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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.


    • Erin

      Thanks, Angie. They really are crunchy and delicious… and best news, they stay relatively crunchy if you have to store them in the fridge for later. I actually just ate them straight out of the fridge… and they still had a nice crunch on ’em.

    • Jennifer

      This was easy- not messy!- and delicious!
      As a true southern raised gal- I have been frying okra since I was knee high to my grandmother !
      So I did have to add a little sugar to your recipe… it was great and I will never “fry” 0kra again! Your secret is the buttermilk(which I used but a fat free version) – thanks for the update on a family favorite!

  1. Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies

    Josh is going to LOVE you for this! He grew up in Oklahoma, so fried okra was his childhood. My official stance on okra has always been “Yuck”, but I’m totally willing to try them when they’re baked instead of swimming in grease. Question though, what do I do with the oil after I’ve set it asside? I couldn’t find it I’m supposed to drizzle it or something else?

    • Erin

      Aww, I love that Josh loves fried okra, too! I’ve always thought any kind of okra NOT fried was gross and slimy… but that’s another story for another time. 😉

      For the oil, you’ll pour it on the aluminum foil on your baking sheet, then season it. The okra will go directly down on that, and you’ll flip them halfway through the cooking process so both sides can crisp up. Let me know if you’ve got any more questions and what Josh thinks!

  2. Dawn ~ Spatulas On Parade

    Everyone does it different. I did not grow up eating anything ‘battered’ and fried. I did eat fried okra and squash a lot but not battered. I grew up in Eastern NC. My husband grew up in deep south GA and they battered everything.
    These look good and I may try it. I normally do more of a saute in a pan than a ‘fry’.
    Sorry to hear about the grill incident. Be careful. It can be scary.

    • Erin

      You’re right about that, Dawn. And interesting that in eastern NC, you didn’t have anything battered and fried. Though based on your description, it sounds like my hometown was a bit more like your husband’s. 😉 And if you do try these, let me know what you think.

      Thanks. We are careful. The grilling incident happened years ago, but it’s still on my mind as I cook most days. A good reminder to be safe.

      • Diane

        Great ideas. I have some breaded okra that is frozen. Can I fry or bake this in the oven. Thanks

        • Erin

          Thanks, Diane. If your okra is already breaded and frozen, I’d follow the instructions on the packaging if there is some. I don’t know how pre-breaded would work with this recipe.

  3. Chelsea

    I LOVE okra. We just pickled some today. I think I’ll stop by the store later this week and pick some more up to make this recipe. Looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it. Yum!

    • Erin

      You and me both, girl, and I love that you pickled some the day you read this post! What fun! And if you happen to make this recipe, let me know what you think!

  4. Brittany Bevelle

    This is so timely because I’m actually about to fry okra right now! Thanks for this recipe, I had most of the ingredients right for oven fried goodness, but not the cornmeal and the oven temp. YAY!

    • Erin

      That’s AWESOME, Brittany! Let me know what you think if you give this recipe a shot, and I hope your fried okra turned out wonderfully!

  5. laurasmess

    I’ve never eaten fried okra before. I’ve always been put off by the little ‘hairy’ and ‘slimy’ bits, but I imagine that you wouldn’t really notice them in the crispy batter! I need to try this recipe. I feel like I’m missing out 🙂 I love the fact that this is an easy oven dish…. yay for less pot splatters and fire hazards! xx

    • Erin

      You know, the sliminess of okra always freaks me out a bit, but that disappears with the batter. And I fully support you trying this recipe, as it’s delicious. Let me know what you think if you do, mmkay?

  6. Jayne

    I oven fry almost anything that requires frying: potatoes, chicken, fish etc. I’m no fan of a large vat of oil on my flaming stove in the kitchen. Then there’s the cleaning afterwards! But Erin, I think I can finish these beauties in one sitting. No need friends and family over. We get okra (or ladies’ fingers as we call it here) so easily! Never fried, always in curries or stirfries. Now I get to enjoy it in an all new way. Yippies!

    • Erin

      High-five for oven frying, Jayne! It’s just SO MUCH EASIER, and in my opinion, safer. I love, love, love that okra are called ladies’ fingers over there!

      And yeah, I think I finished about 3/4 of this serving photographed here, so it’s definitely do-able. I just mention the friends and family bit because, uh, it’s nice to share… And if you try these, let me know how they turn out!

  7. Natalie

    This looks really good for an okra recipe! In general I do not like the texture of okra but I would love to try it all battered up with some dipping sauce, what a wonderful idea! My mom will go wild over this for sure, huge okra fan she is!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Natalie! I feel ya on the sliminess of okra and its’ texture when not fried (or oven fried, as the case may be). It’s delicious, and the texture doesn’t bother me with this, so I hope it’s the same for you.

  8. Jessica

    Holy shit this is a great idea!! I’ve bought okra before but never done oven baking. I love it!!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Jess! It took me a while to come to this conclusion, but I am SO HAPPY I did. And if you make these, let me know what you think of ’em.

  9. Courtney

    We tried this recipe this weekend and it was DELICIOUS. I actually had some frozen sliced okra hanging out in the freezer so I decided to try that. I put the frozen okra directly into the buttermilk and just let it defrost a bit (not much) in there, and then followed the rest of the recipe exactly. Worked marvelously.

    We made grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it, but I wish we’d skipped the sandwiches 😉

    • Erin

      Ah! So glad you tried this recipe and that it turned out so nicely for you with the frozen okra. Makes me want to do the same with our frozen okra now…

      Thanks, Courtney! Hope you’re well!

  10. Mindy

    This makes my mouth water. looks really gooood!.
    but, do you have any fried okra recipe without an oven?
    If so, i would like to know so badly!.


    • Erin

      Mindy, glad you think the recipe looks really good. Sadly, I do not have a fried okra recipe without an oven, though, as I don’t fry things at home. Sorry!

  11. April

    This recipe is so easy & they taste as good as fried okra! Really tasty!!

    • Erin

      So glad you enjoyed it, April! Isn’t it fabulous?

  12. Ellen

    Picked small okra today … and followed your recipe exactly … perfect … for the two of us 🙂

    Thanks SO MUCH! for the great recipe


    • Erin

      SO happy to hear it, Ellen! This is one of my favorite summertime recipes, and I’m so glad y’all enjoyed it, too!

  13. Courtney

    Great recipe! Nice and crunchy!

    • Erin

      Thank you, Courtney! The crunchiness is a MUST for okra!

  14. The Ranch Kitcben

    Finally, an easy recipe for baked okra where the batter stays on the veggie! Yum!

    • Erin

      So, so important! It took me a while to get to this recipe, but I’m so happy folks are loving it. Thanks for stopping by, trying the recipe and leaving a comment!

  15. Amelia Scott

    I made these…trying to avoid the fryer….and being from North Carolina and growing up eating fried okra…WOW! I am a chef by trade…and always looking for heart healthy options! I used grapeseed oil. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

    • Erin

      Wow, Amelia! Thank you for the compliment! I’m so happy you enjoyed this healthier “fried” okra recipe, and I’ll have to try it with grapeseed oil next time.

  16. David

    Love fried works, Will try this today. Wondering if Will work for fried tomatoes? Gonna try.

  17. David

    Worked on green tomatoes using this recipe. Lip slacking good.

    • Erin

      Thanks for reporting back on the green tomatoes, David! I’ve adapted this recipe for oven fries, and now, I want to try all kinds of different veggies to see if it works!

  18. edp

    My boyfriend got a ton of lovely looking okra at the farmers market this weekend. He’s been super excited about it and asked me to fry it for him…

    The only problem is I am not a big fan of okra, and I don’t like deep frying (the mess, the hassle, the possibility of setting myself and my house on fire…). However this recipe was amazing! It was so easy and much less messy than deep frying. And tasty enough even I couldn’t keep from popping more than a few in my mouth. Overall, a huge hit. Thanks!

    • Erin

      Like you, I don’t like deep frying anything for the very same reasons you’ve listed out here. 😉

      I’m so happy that despite your skepticism of the okra, this recipe turned out great for y’all and that you enjoyed the recipe and taste! Whenever we’ve got an abundance of okra, we make huge batches of this, and I hope y’all continue to enjoy this as we have!

  19. lisa

    Here is my concern; I have a freezer full of okra; can it be cut up directly out of the freezer & put into the batter mix & directly into the oven?

    • Erin

      Hey Lisa. I’ve never made this recipe with frozen okra, so I cannot attest to how it will turn out or what exactly to do. However, one of my friends said she made this with frozen okra, and it turned out nicely. So assuming she didn’t change anything up with the recipe or cooking time, you might be good to go.

      Sorry I can’t provide much more guidance than that. If you do use the frozen okra, let me know how it turns out, and good luck!

  20. Joe

    I can report that frozen okra works great! I only thawed them slightly so the buttermilk got a little frozen but they battered up fine. The only thing different I did was add a couple of teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes to my cornmeal mix for some heat! I like the crunch on these so much better than the greasy crunch of deep fried. Thanks for sharing this with the world.

    • Erin

      I’m so happy to hear the frozen okra worked for you, Joe! I love the idea of adding crushed red pepper flakes to the cornmeal mix to add a bit of heat, too. The crunch on this dish is one of my favorites, and I’m thrilled you love it, too!

    • lisa

      I think I let mine cook too long in the oven; will try again; seems as though I do have plenty; maybe because I used whole milk as well instead of buttermilk (that is also that I had). I also forgot to turn them (3 yo needed my attention)!

  21. Marcie

    I oven fry okra and squash. I use cornmeal mix instead of cornmeal and flour. I don’t dip my okra in milk and egg but I do the squash. I find the meal sticks to the okra with out the extra moisture. I grew up eating it fried on the stove but since trying it in the oven I never fry it on the stove top. Thank you for showing an old Okie/Texan a better way.

  22. Megan @ Megunprocessed

    I love this healthier version of fried okra!

  23. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    I love that you oven fried the okra!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  24. Serena

    I love this healthier option for fried okra! I will have to try it!

  25. Carolyn Ingram

    I’ve never tried fried okra before! I will definitely have to try making this recipe!

  26. SKEdman

    I can’t wait to try this. I’ve deep fried tons of okra but I’m trying to find healthier versions of my favorites and this looks great.

    Also: I’m from Louisiana and have been eating fried okra since I was a toddler, and in 41 years I have never seen anyone dip fried okra in ketchup until now. Was that common in Mississippi?

    • Erin

      Woohoo! I’m so excited for you to try this! I love that you’re trying to find healthier versions of your favorites, and I hope this fits the bill.

      That’s too funny! Maybe it is a Mississippi thing because it’s always been a part of my okra eating experience. Funny how eating fried okra can vary from state to state!

  27. Theresa Maronge

    My husband was NOT a fan of okra until this recipe. I love it. I also used it on squash and green tomatoes. Very delicious.

    • Erin

      Theresa, your comment makes me SO very happy! I’m so happy your husband is now an okra fan because of this recipe. I love that you’ve used the same process for squash and green tomatoes. I need to give those a go, too! I hope y’all continue to enjoy this for years to come!

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