Crisp, golden, and never slimy, air frying okra is a really simple way to cook this delicious summer vegetable. This recipe uses just 3 ingredients and is ready in 15 minutes!
There is no better time to make air-fried okra instead of roasted okra than in the middle of summer, when it is in season and it's too hot outside to turn the oven on.
This is a no-frills, simple approach to cooking okra that allows the okra itself to shine without overpowering it with other ingredients.
If you're wary of cooking okra because of its tendency to become "slimy", roasting/air-frying it is a great way to avoid that fate.
- Golden, almost-charred okra in just 15 minutes! The okra has a firm exterior and tender inside without any slime.
- This simple air-fried okra recipe uses just 3 ingredients, allowing the okra to shine through.
- The recipe works for whole-roasted okra or sliced okra.
- Great as a side or appetizer in the summer months. Serve with homemade pesto or pesto aioli for extra flavor and pizzazz.
- Okra: I recommend fresh, in-season okra. Frozen okra does work but it takes more time to cook and it tends to end up less crisp than fresh okra.
- Creole seasoning: This is my go-to seasoning blend for most cooking because it has a lot of different spices. I use Tony's Creole seasoning, which is very salty. I omit salt in this recipe because the creole seasoning provides more than enough, but feel free to add salt to taste.
- Oil: I do recommend adding a touch of oil to air fryer recipes because it helps with color and flavor. I just use a small amount of canola oil, but most kinds of cooking oil work.
How to air fry okra
I go back and forth between preparing the okra in a bowl and preparing the okra straight on the air fryer rack to save on dishes. This is up to you.
Simply toss the okra with the oil and seasonings until it is well coated.
Transfer to the air fryer rack. Don't overlap any of the pieces of okra. Try to leave a little bit of space between the pieces.
Air fry at 400F for 12-14 minutes. I recommend shaking the basket halfway through to encourage even cooking.
The okra is ready when darkened and blackening in some spots. It's best enjoyed immediately.
Tips and variations
- Sliced okra: Slice okra into one inch pieces. It will cook more quickly than whole okra. Set the timer to 8 minutes and shake the basket halfway through. Add an extra 2 minutes as needed.
- Frozen okra usually comes sliced into one inch pieces. Follow the instructions for sliced okra above, adding an extra minute to allow the okra to thaw.
- Okra stem: Just to make things super easy, I don't chop off the okra stem. It's great as a handle of sorts to hold the okra by, but should not be eaten.
- Salt: The Creole seasoning that I use contains a lot of salt. If using a Cajun/Creole seasoning without salt, I recommend adding a dash or two of salt to the okra.
- Dipping sauces: Most of the time I just eat air-fried okra on its own in about 2 minutes flat, but a good dipping sauce never hurts. If serving the okra as an appetizer, add a drizzle of pesto for appearance and a huge burst of flavor. Pesto aioli and chipotle ranch are also great dip options.
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Air Fried Okra
- 12 ounces whole okra
- 1 teaspoon neutral cooking oil such as canola or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning see note
- salt to taste
- pesto or pesto aioli for serving (optional)
- In a medium bowl, toss the whole okra with oil and Cajun seasoning until well coated.
- Transfer okra to the air fryer rack. Try to leave space between each piece of okra.
- Air fry at 400F for 12-14 minutes. Shake the air fryer basket halfway through cooking.
- The okra is ready when golden. It will have a crisp exterior and tender interior. Serve with pesto or enjoy as-is.
- Cajun seasoning: I use Tony's Creole seasoning, which is very salty. If using an unsalted Cajun/Creole seasoning, I recommend adding about ⅛ teaspoon salt or just salt to taste.
- Sliced okra option: Slice the fresh okra into one-inch pieces. Air fry for 8-10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.
- Frozen okra option: Follow the same instructions for sliced okra if the okra is sliced. Add an extra minute to thaw the okra.