We’re native southerners — South Carolinians to be exact. By default, that means we know a thing or two about fried foods.
It seems that our fellow southerners fry every from of food imaginable. Whether it walks, swims, flies, or grows from the soil, we’ll find a way to fry it. We’ve even invented ways to fry our sweet tea and coke. (Yes, seriously.)
As you probably know, the consensus amongst medical experts is that fried food is pretty bad for you. However, fried foods are now a deeply entrenched cultural pattern. Plus, fried foods (and apparently fried drinks) are relatively fast and easy to make, plus they taste delicious.
It seems the prevailing attitude is, “Heart attack be damned, we’ll continue frying our sweet tea, thank you very much.”
Fried okra vs oven-baked okra
Most southern food gardeners (like us) grow okra. How do we southerners eat okra? Yep, fried.
How else would anyone possibly eat okra other than fried? After all, isn’t that the simplest, fastest way to cook okra? The best tasting?
Well, we’ve got good news for our fellow southerner’s and their cardiovascular systems: there is indeed a simpler, faster way to cook okra other than frying it: oven-baked okra (once you know how to do it right).
Oven-baked okra also happens to taste just as good — if not better — than fried okra. And your cardiologist will give you a thumbs up.
If those benefits don’t sell you, then here’s another big reason to oven-bake okra: it takes far less time to prep and cleanup versus frying okra. No dredging, dirty hands, flour or cornmeal waste to cleanup, oil splatter, etc.
Steps to making baked okra – 5 minutes prep or less
Cut off the base of your *okra pods, slice them longways, toss them in a bowl with some extra virgin olive oil (or heart-healthy oil of your choice), salt, and spices.
(*Be sure to compost any tough fibrous pods that have gotten too mature for ideal edibility. You only want tender ones that a knife easily cuts through!)
Place your sliced okra on a covered baking sheet in a pre-heated 400°F oven. Bake for 15 minutes on one side.
We start the okra pods seed-side-up (to get moisture out quickly) then finish them seed-side-down.
After 15 minutes, flip the okra pods over and let them bake for another 15 minutes or until both sides are nicely browned.
Then serve. That’s it!
Raise your hand if you’d like tasty, home-grown, homemade dinner sides that only take five minutes to prep? If so, then give our baked okra recipe a try! And don’t you dare serve them with a side of fried sweet tea.
Recipe: Simple oven-baked okra
Oven-baked okra (aka 5 minute okra)
A fast, simple, and delicious baked okra recipe that you can have prepped and in the oven in less than 5 minutes. It tastes just as good if not better than fried okra!
- 1 lb okra (about 18-20 pods)
- 2 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp salt - we use fine Himilayan pink sea salt (or add to taste)
- cracked black pepper (optional - just add a few cracks if you use it)
Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Place a sheet of foil or parchment paper onto baking sheet. (Most parchment paper can withstand temps between 420 - 450°F.
Cut off base of each okra pod, then slice the pods longways. (See pictures in article.) If you prefer smaller, bite-sized pieces, cut them into smaller pieces after slicing longways.
Put all ingredients into bowl and stir/toss them with large spoon or by hand. Then arrange pods seed-side up on covered baking sheet. (Don't pile the okra slices on top of each other!) Bake for 15 minutes on one side until lightly browned on bottom side (see photos in article). Using spatula and/or fork, flip each piece over and put back in oven for another 15 minutes, or until both sides lightly browned.
Serve warm and enjoy!
Other summer garden articles & recipes you’ll enjoy:
- 14 surprising edible summer garden greens (including okra leaves)
- Why and how to grow ground cherries in your next summer garden
- Our top 10 favorite pollinator plants for the summer garden
- Common milkweed: how to eat your Monarch butterfly garden
- Recipe: Peach gazpacho
- Recipe: Green tomato marmalade
Like what you're seeing here? Please be sure to subscribe to Tyrant Farms so we can let you know about new articles you'll love.