Roasted okra is a super simple and delicious way to enjoy this nutritious summer vegetable. All you need is 4 ingredients and 30 minutes for this end-of-summer classic.
Summer may be coming to an end, but okra season is still going strong. Okra, also known as lady's finger, is a summer staple in the South and the farmer's markets here are currently overflowing with it!
My favorite way to enjoy okra is by simply roasting it in the oven. By cooking okra at high heat the outside becomes crispy, while the inside of the okra remains crisp and intact.
- Quick & easy: Ready in less than 30 minutes using only 4 ingredients.
- Texture: This roasted okra is crisp, golden and never slimy!
- Versatile: Keep it simple with salt & pepper or add Cajun seasoning for extra flavor. You can also roasted fresh or frozen okra in the oven.
- Perfect as a summer side or appetizer.
- Okra: Choose any variety of fresh okra. Raw okra should be firm but tender, not woody or hard. Frozen sliced okra works, see below for cooking tips.
- Canola or vegetable oil: These oils work well for roasting because they have a high smoke point and neutral flavor.
- Coarse salt: Also called kosher or sea salt, using a small amount emphasizes okra's natural flavors.
- Black pepper: This simple ingredient is everything! Don't be afraid to add a heavy hand of freshly ground black pepper to your roasted okra instead of the recommend ¼ teaspoon.
How to prep okra
Using a sharp knife, slice off the top ½" of the okra to remove the okra stem. You do not need to slice off the pointy tip of the okra. In fact, this part gets extra crispy and delicious when roasted.
You can roast the okra in whole pieces or slices.
- For smaller pieces, simply cut each okra pod in half width-ways. The cook time will remain the same.
- For bite-sized pieces of roast okra, cut each okra into 1-inch slices. Reduce roasting time by 5 minutes to avoid burning the smaller pieces.
- Another option is to skip slicing entirely and roast the okra with the stem on. This is a good option if you're short on time or don't mind eating around the stem.
I do not use parchment paper or foil in this recipe. Either can be used for easier cleanup.
Layer okra evenly on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Drizzle okra with oil. Use clean hands or a spatula to evenly coat the okra with the oil. Sprinkle evenly with coarse salt and black pepper, tossing to combine.
Roast in a preheated 425-degree oven for a total of 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove okra from the oven and stir the okra.
Return to the oven and roast for 10 more minutes. The okra is done when slightly blackened but still crunchy.
Roasting from frozen
This recipe can also be used to cook frozen okra pieces. Here is how to roast frozen okra so that it is crispy and not soggy:
- Do not thaw frozen okra before roasting it.
- Toss the frozen okra in oil, salt, and pepper.
- The okra will thaw while it roasts. Because of this, it needs to roast at least 5 minutes longer than fresh okra.
That's it! Keep an eye on the okra during the last 5 minutes of roasting time to avoid burning.
Variations and recipe FAQ
- How to avoid slimy okra: Rinsing okra can actually cause it to become slimy more quickly, so don't rinse the okra until you are ready to use it. Pat the okra dry with a clean towel before tossing with oil.
- Seasonings: Add a dash of cayenne pepper for spicy okra or sprinkle with Cajun seasoning before roasting for added flavor.
You technically can use olive oil but it's not the best option for roasting because it has smoke point below 400 degrees. Canola or vegetable oil are better options for roasting.
Keep leftover roasted okra refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. It is best reheated in a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. This will warm them through and keep them crisp.
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Simple Oven Roasted Okra
- 1 pound okra
- 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Using a sharp knife, slice off the top ½" of the okra.
- Layer okra evenly on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Drizzle okra with oil. Use clean hands or a spatula to evenly coat the okra with the oil. Sprinkle evenly with coarse salt and black pepper.
- Roast in 425-degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir the okra. Return to the oven and roast for 10 more minutes. The okra is done when slightly blackened but still crunchy.
- For bite-sized pieces of roasted okra, simply cut each okra pod in half before roasting. The cook time will remain the same.
- Frozen okra: Frozen sliced okra can be used instead of fresh okra in this recipe. You will need to cook the frozen okra at least 5 minutes longer to thaw it completely.
- Leftovers: Keep leftovers refrigerated for 3-4 days. They are best reheated in a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. This will warm them through and keep them crisp.