11 Recipes That Will Make You Fall in Love with Okra

Medically reviewed by Peggy Pletcher, MS, RD, LD, CDE on February 14, 2017Written by Anna on February 14, 2017
healthy okra recipes

Okra has developed a bit of a love it or hate it reputation, but if you’re in the latter camp, these recipes might have you reconsidering your stance. Not to mention that it’s a nutritional powerhouse!

One cup of okra contains nearly one-third of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, and 39 percent of vitamin K, which is crucial for blood and bone health.

In the United States, you’ll usually find okra fried or in gumbo. But there are plenty of other ways to enjoy it. Here are a few of our favorite healthy okra recipes.

Bhindi Dopiyaza

This recipe is as quick to prepare as it is flavorful, and combines okra with traditional Indian spices of amchur (mango powder) and masala, along with turmeric, paprika, and other electric flavors. Unlike most okra recipes, this one’s got a bit of crunch!

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Braised Okra

Fancy some no-frills, Greek home cooking? Look no further than this recipe from Souvlaki for the Soul, known locally as “bamies,” which is also a kitchen staple in the Middle East. In just a few simple steps, the flavors of okra, tomato, and onion come together in a stew that’s served best with some bread and a slice of feta cheese.

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Pickled Okra

If it isn’t fried, it’s pickled, or at least that’s what many people think of okra prepared in Southern cuisine. This recipe for picked okra could be straight out of your grandmother’s cookbook or served at an artisanal shop. In jars, they will look beautiful on your shelf or given as gifts, but these beautiful pickles from Alexandra Cooks are meant to be eaten.

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Grilled Okra with Spicy Chipotle Dipping Sauce

If you need more proof that okra doesn’t have to be fried, try this recipe for grilled okra. You can eat it just like you would the traditional fried version, dipped in a delicious sauce, but you’re getting your fill without all of the calories and fat. Emma Christensen at The Kitchn has created a simple and satisfying twist on a traditional dish.

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Molondrones Guisados

Okra came to the west from Africa, so it’s not uncommon to see it in many Caribbean dishes, like this one from DominicanCooking.com. The okra is paired up with other summer vegetables like tomatoes and peppers. The addition of a fruit vinegar (or lime juice) will help tone down the sliminess and leave you with a savory dish that’s perfect over rice.

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Nigerian Inspired Fish, Seafood and Basil Gumbo

This Nigerian take on gumbo comes via Nma at Nigerian Lazy Chef. This fusion dish is based on her memories of Nigerian comfort food, and with red snapper and shrimp, there’s no doubt this meal will be a favorite at home.

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Creole Lemon Okra

This simple vegetable side dish will make okra the star of the meal. It has lemon and turmeric, and is further spiced up with Creole seasoning, or a combination of paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, oregano, thyme, and more.

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Roasted Okra

You don’t have to spend an hour over the stove if a craving for okra hits. This recipe for roasted okra requires just five ingredients, takes little prep time, and just 20 minutes in the oven!

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Late Summer Grilled Corn Salsa

This recipe from Bev Cooks incorporates sweet corn and okra, two of the hottest summer vegetables, into a spicy but refreshing salsa. The ingredients are fresh and simple — like lime juice, red onions, and jalapeños — but the end result is original and delicious.

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Texas Okra

You’ve never seen okra like this. It’s not fried, it’s not de-slimed, and it’s not thrown in a stew. What you’ll find with this dish from chef Andrew Wisehart on Tasting Table is a dish that highlights the vegetable, and elevates its flavor with walnuts, shallots, tomatoes, and spicy jalapeños.

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Shrimp, Crab, and Okra Gumbo

It wouldn’t be a proper okra recipe roundup without at least one traditional gumbo recipe, and here’s a great one. This one comes from Modern Farmer and nails the flavors of a well-known gumbo perfectly. Chef Melissa Martin does add her own twist, however. Instead of using a roux to thicken her gumbo, she leaves the work to her okra, cooking it down for hours. The result is a wonderfully thick stew without any flour flavor.

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