Crispy Roasted Okra Recipe

Okra tends to get a bad rap. Cooked on its own, it very quickly turns slimy from a substance called mucilage, which is made up of sugar residues that increase with the application of heat. While the texture can be off-putting in plain, cooked okra, mucilage is actually a welcome addition to gumbo, where it acts as a thickening agent. And if you've enjoyed gumbo before, you know that okra is actually delicious — but surely, that can't be the only way to use okra (though we aren't protesting weekly gumbos).

In the south, okra is also a common side dish, usually fried to add crispness to the otherwise soft texture. It's hard to justify deep frying on a weeknight, though, so we developed a recipe with Michelle McGlinn to achieve that same crispy texture using the oven instead. The key to crisp okra with little-to-no slime is to hit it with some oil, a little starch, and a lot of heat. This will help keep the mucilage at bay, giving you crispy, tasty okra with every bite.

Gathering the ingredients for crispy roasted okra

Of course, you will need okra for this recipe, and McGlinn highly recommends buying it fresh instead of frozen. Find it at farmer's markets or in the produce section of the grocery store, likely somewhere around the mushrooms or peppers. If you're looking through a big pile of okra pods at the farmer's market, look for the smallest pods possible. While the okra sold in grocery stores isn't likely to be very large, those sold at markets can be nearly 6 inches long, which take on a woody, tough flavor and texture. Look for pods around the size of your thumb.

To season the okra, you'll need olive oil, lemon juice, chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Once seasoned, toss the okra in potato starch. This can be found in the baking aisle of grocery stores near the flour, or in Asian markets near the frying starches. If you can't find potato starch, swap it for cornstarch.

Prep and season the okra

To speed up the roasting time, snip the very tips off of the okra before tossing with seasonings. Whole roasted okra is particularly good for serving as appetizers, but you can also prepare them sliced or halved. To do this, slice into ¼-inch pieces or halve the okra and toss in seasonings. 

Toss with starch and roast

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. You can toss the okra with starch while still in the bowl, or spread the pods on a baking sheet and shake with starch. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast, flipping once, for about 20 minutes. The okra is ready when it is turning dark brown in color and the starch is crispy and golden.

If you sliced your okra instead of leaving it whole, toss it with starch and roast, checking for doneness around 10 minutes instead of 20.

Serving roasted okra

Whole roasted okra makes an excellent appetizer when paired with lemony aioli or remoulade. It's also a delicious and healthy side dish and can be served alongside blackened catfish, shrimp and grits, or smothered pork chops. They don't make the best leftovers, though, so try to eat these freshly made. If you can't bear to toss the leftovers, try reheating them in the air fryer or a hot oven to maintain their crisp exterior.

Crispy Roasted Okra Recipe
5 from 59 ratings
Instead of deep frying, the key to crispy baked okra in this recipe is to hit it with some oil, a little starch, and a lot of heat.
Prep Time
Cook Time
crispy okra on table
Total time: 27 minutes
  • 12 ounces okra (about 25 pods)
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Snip the tips off of the okra, then add to a large bowl.
  3. Squeeze lemon juice over the okra and toss to coat.
  4. Pour the olive oil over the okra, then add the chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Toss to coat, then let sit for 5 minutes, or while the oven preheats.
  5. Spread okra on a parchment paper or foil-lined sheet tray. Sprinkle with potato starch and shake the tray to lightly coat each piece.
  6. Place okra in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, shaking and rotating the sheet tray halfway through. If needed, roast okra until browned and crispy, up to 10 minutes longer, depending on the size of the pods.
  7. When the okra is crispy, remove from the oven and serve warm.
Calories per Serving 264
Total Fat 14.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 33.4 g
Dietary Fiber 7.8 g
Total Sugars 3.3 g
Sodium 130.8 mg
Protein 4.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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