Oven Roasted Okra

Oven roasted okra is a delicious and healthy way to add more of this versatile summer fruit (yes, fruit!) to your diet.

Two salmon fillets served alongside roasted okra on blue plates.

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Okra is a very under-rated fruit. Yes, it’s a fruit! When most people think of okra, they picture them coated in a golden brown cornmeal crust or peeking through the roux in a bowl of savory gumbo. Turns out, okra is a whole lot more versatile, if you know how to prepare it.

Health benefits of eating okra

Move over spinach. Step aside carrots. Make room on your plate for a new vegetable (fruit?) in town. Okra is low in calories and carbohydrates but big on protein and fiber. It’s rich in 

vitamin C, which boosts your immune system, and vitamin K, which helps in blood clotting and building strong bones

Okra is also high in polyphenols, an antioxidant that contributes to heart and brain heath. And if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, listen up. Okra is loaded with folate, which prevents birth defects of the brain and spine.

Ingredients and tools needed

  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika                                             
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder                                   
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder                                  
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano                                           
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Collage of ingredients needed to make oven roasted okra.

Selecting and preparing the okra

Whether you are harvesting okra from your garden or buying it from the local farmer’s market, there are a few things you want to look for when picking the best okra for roasting.

First, size matters, but in this case bigger is not better. Okra pods get a rough, woody texture the larger they grow. Look for okra that is around four inches in length. 

Second, select pods that are bright to light green. Some okra varieties also come in purple. Dark green or purple pods can also indicate that the okra is past its prime. Look for okra that has a smooth, unblemished texture. 

Whole okra can be purchased ahead of time, but make plans to use it within three days. Store the okra in the refrigerator and skip the washing for now. Any leftover moisture can speed up the formation of mold.

Before roasting, rinse the okra in a colander with cold water to remove any dirt and debris. Cut off the ends with the stem and slice the okra in half. Transfer the sliced okra to a large mixing bowl.

Season and roast

Drizzle the okra with olive oil. Combine the seasonings and sprinkle the mixture over the okra. Stir until the okra is evenly coated with the seasonings.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. You could also use parchment paper — whatever you prefer for easy clean up later. Spread the seasoned okra into an even layer on the baking sheet, then roast for 10-15 minutes of just until the okra becomes tender and starts to brown in some places.

Sliced okra pods on a baking sheet.

Storage and reheating

Store oven roasted okra in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag within two hours of roasting. Consume within four days. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350 and heat for 3-5 minutes until heated through. For an airfryer, reheat at 350 degrees for 1-2 minutes. Freezing is not recommended.

Frequently asked questions

Will the okra be slimy?

Mucilage is the official name for the slimy stuff that oozes out of okra when you cut into it. While this water soluble fiber makes a great thickener for gumbo, it’s not so appetizing otherwise. Roasting okra at high heat seems to cause the mucilage to evaporate. I use the term “seems to” because I have not been able to find any scientific data to back up my claim. I’m merely speaking from experience. After roasting, my okra had zero slime.


Can I roast whole okra instead of cutting it in half?

I tested this recipe once using whole, uncut okra pods and again using halved okra pods. The pods left in tact were considerably more slimy than the halved pods. Again, I could not find any official scientific data to support this. But, my hypothesis is cutting the okra in half creates more surface area for the heat and helps facilitate evaporation of the mucilage. Therefore, it is my recommendation that you cut the okra in half.


Can I use frozen okra?

I don’t recommend it. When water inside okra freezes, it breaks down the cell walls. Once thawed, the pods end up being watery and mushy. While certainly edible, using frozen okra won’t produce the same results.


Can I cook the okra in the air fryer?

Yes! Air fryers work a little differently than conventional ovens, so you will need to make some adjustments to the temperature and cooking time. A good rule of thumb when converting it to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and the cook time by 20 percent. With that in mind, I suggest roasting at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes. Keep in mind, every brand of air fryer is different, so you may have to make some modifications based on your model.

Roasted okra served alongside a salmon filet on a blue plate.
Roasted okra served alongside a salmon filet on a blue plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Oven Roasted Okra

Oven roasted okra is a delicious and healthy way to add more of this versatile summer fruit (yes, fruit!) to your diet.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 35kcal
Author Lisa B.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • Cut off the stems and cut the okra in half.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the seasonings.
  • Place the okra in a medium mixing bowl or gallon-size plastic freezer bag.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the okra, followed by the seasoning mixture. Stir until the okra is evenly coated.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Spread the okra in an even layer on a foil-lined, greased baking sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes until the okra is tender and starting to brown in some places.

Video

Notes

Storage and Reheating
Store oven roasted okra in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag within two hours of roasting. Consume within four days. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350 and heat for 3-5 minutes until heated through. For an airfryer, reheat at 350 degrees for 1-2 minutes. Freezing is not recommended.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.22g | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 304mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: -2g | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1mg

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