This Air Fryer Okra Recipe is super easy and tasty. By slicing the okra in half and air frying, you get rid of the usual slimy texture and make it crispy instead. Okra halves are coated with little olive oil and simple spices, then air fried until they turn golden brown. It's a quick, healthy and yummy way to enjoy okra!
We absolutely love these okra fries. They're super easy to make and really delicious. No slimy okra here! They come out light and crispy. We enjoy them as a great snack or appetizer. They're simply our favorite way to have okra!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Crispy and Satisfying: These air-fried okra are so crispy, they give you the satisfying crunch of eating chips.
- Easy to Prepare: With just six ingredients and no need for breading, it's a breeze to prepare this dish.
- Customizable: Feel free to use your favorite seasonings or spices. Make it as simple or as flavorful as you like.
- Healthier Option: This air-fried version is a healthier alternative to traditionally fried okra, allowing you to enjoy a delicious snack without the guilt.
- Gluten-Free and Vegan: This is a recipe without breading, so it is completely gluten-free and plant-based.
What Is Okra?
Okra is a green vegetable that's popular in many parts of the world. It's quite unique, both in shape and texture.
The okra plant grows long, thin pods that look like little green fingers with ridges all over them. When you cut one open, you'll find it's filled with lots of tiny white seeds.
The texture of okra is where things get really interesting. When it's raw or cooked in certain ways, it releases a kind of gooey liquid that some people describe as slimy. But don't let that put you off!
When you prepare and cook it in the right way - like air frying - you won't see any slimy texture.
The taste of okra is mild, with a hint of sweetness. It's really versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways.
And not only is it tasty, but it's also packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and vitamin K (source here), making it a super healthy choice for meals and snacks.
Today, we will be sharing how to cook okra in air fryer below. If you are a fan of fries but not a fan of okra, please read on. We promise you will love these okra fries!
About The Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you'll need to whip up these delicious, crispy okra fries, along with some handy substitutions in case you need them:
- Fresh Okra: We recommend selecting large, long okra pods for this recipe, as they provide more surface area and crisp up nicely in the air fryer. You won't get this nice result with small okra. If fresh okra isn't available, you can use frozen okra. Please read our notes below about using frozen okra.
- Olive Oil: It is used to coat the okra before air frying. It helps the spices stick to the okra and promotes browning and crispiness. You can substitute it with other oils such as canola oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil. Cooking spray works fine too.
- Paprika: This adds a nice sweet and smoky flavor to the okra. If you don't have paprika, you can substitute it with cayenne pepper or chili powder for a bit of a kick, or smoked paprika for a deeper smoky flavor.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder provides a wonderful savory flavor. If you don't have garlic powder, you can substitute it with onion powder or a finely minced fresh garlic clove.
- Salt and Black Pepper: These are the basic seasonings that enhance the overall flavor of the dish. Feel free to adjust the amount based on your preference. If you're looking to reduce sodium intake, you can use a salt substitute.
Can I Use Frozen Okra?
This is a fresh fried okra recipe but using frozen okra can be quite convenient and it works well in this recipe. Here's what you need to know:
- No Thawing Needed: You don't need to thaw the frozen okra before air frying. In fact, cooking it from frozen can help to reduce the okra's natural sliminess.
- Sliced is Best: If you can find sliced frozen okra, that's the best choice for this recipe.
- Avoid Cutting Whole Frozen Okra: If your frozen okra is whole, it's best to cook them as is. Cutting them while frozen can be challenging. I you thaw them first and then cut them, they will get slimy. So the best thing is to leave them whole.
- Adjust Cooking Time: Keep in mind, cooking frozen okra in air fryer might take longer when compared to fresh. Keep an eye on the okra towards the end of the cooking time and add a few minutes if necessary to achieve the desired level of crispness.
- Season as Usual: Proceed with seasoning and cooking the okra as directed in the recipe. Frozen okra takes on the flavors of the seasoning just as well as fresh.
Check out our Air Fryer Frozen Okra Recipe!
How to Prepare Okra For Air Frying
Properly preparing okra for air frying is simple and plays a crucial role in achieving the perfect crispy texture. Follow these steps:
- Rinse and Dry: Begin by rinsing the okra pods under cool running water to wash away any dirt. After washing, use a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to pat them dry thoroughly.
- Cutting the Okra: Cut off the stems. There are two typical ways to cut okra for cooking: cutting in half lengthwise and cutting into circular slices or "coins". Here's how to do it:
- Lengthwise: We find that cutting them lengthwise gives the best result when cooking okra in air fryer. Place the okra pod on a cutting board, hold it steady, and slice it from top to bottom into two long halves. This way, the okra has more surface area exposed to the hot air in the fryer, leading to a better, crispier outcome.
- Coins: Cutting the okra into coins involves slicing the pod into small, round sections, much like coins. However, we find that when air frying, the coins can shrink excessively and don't become as crispy as when cut lengthwise. This method is often used for breaded fried okra.
How To Make It
Now that we've explained how to prepare and cut your okra above, let's learn how to air fry okra for a crispy, delightful treat.
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!
- Cut The Okra Lengthwise: Place an okra pod on a cutting board, hold it steady, and slice it from top to bottom, creating two long halves.
- Season the Okra: In a large bowl, place the halved okra. Drizzle with the olive oil, ensuring all the okra pieces get coated. Sprinkle the garlic powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper over the okra. Toss everything together until the okra is evenly coated with the oil and spices.
- Preheat the Air Fryer: Set your air fryer to preheat at 400°F (200°C) if it is required in the instructions of your air fryer.
- Cook the Okra: Arrange the seasoned okra in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Avoid overcrowding them to ensure they all cook evenly. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the okra in batches.
- Air Fry the Okra: Cook the okra at 400°F (200°C) for 15-17 minutes, giving the basket a shake halfway through the cooking time. This will help the okra pieces to cook and brown evenly. They should turn out crispy and golden brown when they're done.
- Serve the Okra: Once cooked, carefully remove the okra fries from the air fryer – they will be hot. Serve them immediately for the best flavor and crispiness. They can be enjoyed as is, or with your favorite dipping sauce.
Want to get creative with your air fried okra? Here are a couple of delicious variations to try out:
Change the Seasonings:
Feel free to play around with your favorite spices. Try a Cajun or Creole seasoning for a Southern twist, or turmeric and cumin for an Indian-inspired version. Italian seasoning or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese can give a Mediterranean flair to your okra.
Make Breaded Okra:
For a different texture, consider creating a crispy coating. To do this, cut the okra into coin shapes rather than lengthwise.
Then, dip them in a water and egg mixture, then roll the wet okra pieces in a spiced all-purpose flour and cornmeal mixture.
If you prefer, breadcrumbs or panko crumbs can be used instead of the flour and cornmeal mix. This variation results in a crispy, breaded okra that's perfect for a snack or appetizer.
These crispy air fryer okra can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas:
- As a Side Dish: Serve them alongside grilled meats, fish, or tofu for a meal that's bursting with flavors and textures. They're a healthier alternative to fries and make a great accompaniment to barbecue dishes.
- As a Snack: These crispy okra pieces are perfect for a quick and healthy snack. They're delicious on their own, but you can also serve them with a variety of dips. Consider a cool and creamy yogurt dip. We often serve them with our favorite artichoke dipping sauce or ranch dressing. They are great with a tangy BBQ sauce, or a spicy sriracha mayo too.
- In a Salad: Add some crunch to your salads by topping them with air fried okra. They add a unique texture and flavor to a variety of salads.
- With Grains: Mix crispy okra with your favorite grains like rice, quinoa, buckwheat, bulgar wheat, wheat berries or couscous.
Here are the tips to keep in mind when cooking okra in air fryer.
- Choose the Right Okra: For best results, choose fresh okra that are firm and free from blemishes. Larger, longer okra are often better for air frying as they offer more surface area and hold up well during cooking.
- Properly Prepared Okra: Make sure the okra is thoroughly washed and completely dry before cutting and seasoning. Moisture can affect the crispiness of the final dish.
- Season Well: Don't be shy with your seasonings. Okra can take on a variety of flavors, so be sure to coat it well with your chosen spices.
- Avoid Overcrowding: When placing the okra in the air fryer basket, make sure they are in a single layer and not piled on top of each other. Overcrowding can prevent the okra from crisping up properly.
- Shake the Basket: Halfway through cooking, shake the basket to ensure all sides of the okra get evenly cooked and crispy.
- Monitor Cooking Time: Every air fryer can be a bit different, so start checking your okra a few minutes before the suggested cooking time is up. If they're not quite crispy enough, continue cooking for a few more minutes.
- Serve Immediately: Air fried okra is best enjoyed immediately after cooking when they're at their crispiest. If you need to reheat leftovers, use the air fryer again for best results.
Storage & Reheating
Air fryer fried okra is best enjoyed fresh and crispy right after cooking. However, if you happen to have any leftovers, here's how you can store and reheat them:
Storage: Allow the leftover okra to cool down to room temperature. Transfer them to an airtight container. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Freezing is not recommended.
Reheating: To regain some of the crispiness, the preferred method for reheating leftover okra is in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Place the leftover okra in a single layer in the air fryer basket and heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until they are heated through and crispy again. Keep an eye on them to prevent overcooking.
Yes, you can use frozen okra for this recipe. Adjust cooking time as needed. It will take a few minutes longer than fresh okra.
No, you can cook frozen okra directly in the air fryer. Thawing is not necessary.
Yes, you can make breaded okra by dipping it in a wet mixture (like water and egg) and coating it with breadcrumbs or panko before air frying.
Cook breaded okra in the air fryer for about 10-12 minutes, or until it reaches a golden brown color and is crispy.
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C), then place the frozen breaded okra in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until it's golden brown and crispy.
Sliced okra works best for air frying, but you can use whole okra if desired. Keep in mind that sliced okra will result in a crispier texture.
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!
Air Fryer Okra
Get ready to enjoy crispy and delicious Air Fryer Okra with this simple recipe. Fresh okra is sliced in half lengthwise and seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. A drizzle of olive oil adds flavor and helps achieve a golden brown, crispy texture. This healthier alternative to deep frying is perfect as a snack or side dish. Say goodbye to slimy okra and say hello to crispy goodness with this easy air fryer recipe.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 17 minutes
- Total Time: 22 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Air Frying
- Cuisine: American
- 1 pound / 450 grams okra, washed and dried
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Slice the okra pods in half lengthwise.
- Place the halved okra in a large bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss until they are well-coated.
- Sprinkle garlic powder, paprika, salt, black pepper directly over the okra. Toss until all pieces are evenly coated with the spices.
- Set your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and let it preheat for about 5 minutes.
- Arrange the seasoned okra in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. It's important to maintain some space between them for optimal air circulation. You may need to cook in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Cook the okra at 400°F (200°C) for about 15-17 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through the cooking time to ensure the okra are frying evenly.
- Remove the okra from the air fryer, and serve immediately. The okra can be enjoyed as is, or with your favorite dipping sauce.
- Select Fresh, Firm Okra: They make for the crispiest fries.
- Cut Okra Lengthwise: This gives the best and crispiest result.
- Ensure Okra is Dry: Less moisture means more crispiness.
- Season Generously: Okra can handle plenty of flavor!
- Don't Overcrowd the Air Fryer: Okra should be in a single layer for even cooking.
- Shake the Basket Midway: This ensures all sides get crispy.
- Monitor Cooking Time: Check a bit early to prevent overcooking.
- Serve Immediately: They're best when enjoyed right after cooking.
- Storage: Allow the leftover okra to cool down to room temperature. Transfer them to an airtight container. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Freezing is not recommended.
- Reheating: To regain some of the crispiness, the preferred method for reheating leftover okra is in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Place the leftover okra in a single layer in the air fryer basket and heat for about 3-4 minutes
- To use frozen okra, thawing is not necessary. You can cook frozen okra directly in the air fryer. Cook them for 3-4 minutes longer.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 72
- Sugar: 1.8 g
- Sodium: 444.9 mg
- Fat: 3.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 9.4 g
- Fiber: 3.9 g
- Protein: 2.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: air fryer okra