Looking for a healthier twist on a Southern classic? Make this Breaded Okra in Air Fryer! It's quick, easy, and delivers that addictive crunch without the deep-fryer mess. Golden and crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and bursting with flavor - this could be your new favorite way to enjoy okra.
We've got a real soft spot for okra over here. There's something about that unique flavor and texture that just gets us every time. And when it comes to cooking it, our air fryer has become our best friend. It's a game changer, seriously.
Remember when we tried no breading fried okra in air fryer, also known as okra fries? So simple, but oh-so-satisfying!
Have okra in the freezer? Check out our air fry frozen okra recipe!
But hey, the okra love doesn't stop there! We've been busy in our kitchen, and we've cooked up something really special: Air Fryer Breaded Okra. It's a blend of that irresistible crunch from the breading, mixed with the quick and easy magic of the air fryer. This is one recipe we can't wait to share with you!
What Is Breaded Okra?
Breaded okra is a popular dish, especially in Southern American cuisine, that consists of okra pods coated in a mixture of flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, and various seasonings.
After being coated, the okra is then typically fried until it's golden brown and crispy. The result is a delicious snack or side dish that offers a delightful contrast between the crunchy exterior and the soft interior of the okra.
Today, we're giving this classic okra recipe a modern twist by making it in the air fryer, achieving that crave-worthy crunch with significantly less oil. Perfect for a healthier snack or side dish!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Whether you're an okra lover or an air fryer enthusiast, you have to try this air fryer fried okra recipe! It will be a hit for several reasons.
- Unbeatable Texture: The air fryer makes the okra super crispy on the outside, while keeping it tender and flavorful on the inside.
- Delicious Breading: A perfect blend of flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, and spices creates a breading that's downright tasty.
- Fuss-Free: Forget about messy oil splatters or standing over a hot stove. Just coat, air fry, and you're done!
- Versatile: It's a fantastic snack on its own, or a side dish that pairs well with your favorite meals.
Let's learn about the ingredients we need to make breaded okra in air fryer:
- Okra: We're using fresh okra here. If you can't find fresh, you could use frozen okra. Just make sure to thaw and pat dry. Also, there is another option, which makes things even easier: Frozen breaded okra. You can find it at most grocery stores. This is a great substitute and means you can skip the breading step entirely. And there is no need to thaw frozen okra.
- Flour: This helps the rest of the ingredients stick to the okra. You can use all-purpose flour, or substitute it with gluten-free flour if needed.
- Cornmeal: This adds a fantastic crunch to the breading. If you can't find it, just double up on breadcrumbs.
- Breadcrumbs: These give our okra an extra layer of crispy goodness. Panko breadcrumbs work great, but you can use regular breadcrumbs as well.
- Spices (Paprika, Garlic Powder, Salt): These bring the flavor! Feel free to adjust the amounts to your liking, or add in other favorite spices for extra flavor. Cayenne pepper, cajun spice or chili flakes could be a nice addition.
- Egg: This binds the breading to the okra. You can substitute buttermilk (about ¼ cup) for egg. If you're vegan, a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 2.5 tablespoon water) could work as a substitute too.
- Water: Used to thin the egg mixture slightly.
- Cooking Spray: Helps the okra get that nice golden color and extra crispness. If you don't have cooking oil spray, a light drizzle of olive oil or avocado oil works too.
Here are the steps you'll be taking to create this amazing air fry breaded okra recipe.
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!
- Get Your Okra Ready: First, give your fresh okra pods a good wash under cold water. Then, dry them well with a kitchen towel. Next, chop your okra into bite-sized pieces, about half an inch thick. Discard the tops and bottoms. To learn more about this step, check out our guide on how to cut okra!
- Prepare Your Breading: In a bowl, mix together your flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, and spices. This mixture is going to give your okra that yummy crunch and flavor.
- Egg Wash: Now, in a separate bowl, beat your egg and add a bit of water to it. This will make a sort of bath for your okra to dip into.
- Coat Your Okra: Dip each piece of okra into the egg wash, making sure it gets fully covered. Then, toss in your cornmeal mixture. Make sure each piece gets a good coating!
- Air Fry Okra: Now it's time to put your breaded okra into the air fryer. Arrange them in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd them. Cook it in batches. This will help them get really crispy.
- Spray and Cook: Spray your okra lightly with some cooking spray. This will help them get a golden color. Then, air fry your okra at 400°F for 7-8 minutes. Make sure to give your basket a good shake halfway through so everything cooks evenly.
- Cool Down: Once your okra is cooked, give them a few minutes to cool down - they'll be pretty hot straight out of the fryer.
Using Frozen Breaded Okra
If you're short on time or just want to make things even easier, you can use pre-breaded frozen okra. No need to thaw it. Also, you'll skip the breading steps and head straight to the air fryer. Here are the steps to follow:
- Preheat Your Air Fryer: To start, preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
- Arrange the Okra: Next, arrange the frozen breaded okra in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Remember, it's important not to overcrowd the basket. You want to make sure each piece of okra has enough space for the hot air to circulate around it, which is what makes it get crispy.
- Cook the Okra: Cook the okra for about 12-14 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. Since they're already breaded and frozen, they might take a bit longer than fresh okra. Just keep an eye on them and adjust the cooking time as needed.
Storing & Reheating
Now, let's talk about what to do if you have any leftovers. Here's your go-to guide on storing and reheating your air-fried okra.
Once you've allowed your okra to cool completely, you can store leftovers in an airtight container. They should keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you want to freeze your okra, spread the cooled pieces out on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. Once they're fully frozen, you can transfer them into a freezer bag or airtight container. They should keep for up to 3 months. Freezing them this way prevents them from sticking together.
When you're ready to enjoy your leftover breaded okra, the air fryer is the best tool for the job. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C), then arrange the okra in a single layer in the basket. Heat for 2-3 minutes, or until they're heated through and crispy again.
For frozen okra, you don't need to thaw them first. Just add a few extra minutes to the reheating time.
Here are some important tips to remember when making your breaded okra in the air fryer:
- Soak the Okra Pods in Vinegar: To soak okra in vinegar, put okra in a bowl, cover with water, and add a splash of vinegar. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes, then rinse well to remove any vinegar residue. This helps clean the okra effectively.
- Dry Your Okra Well: Before you start the breading process, make sure your okra is well dried after washing. This helps the egg and breading stick better.
- Double Dredging: For an even thicker, crunchier coating, consider a double dredge. Dip the okra in the egg, then the breading, and then repeat the process. Just remember that this will use more of your breading mixture.
- Shake Off Excess: After you've coated the okra in the egg and breading, give each piece a gentle shake to remove any excess. Too much coating can lead to it falling off during cooking.
- Don't Overcrowd the Air Fryer: Make sure to arrange your okra in a single layer in the air fryer basket. If the pieces are piled up or touching each other, they won't get as crispy.
- Shake the Basket: Halfway through cooking, give the air fryer basket a shake. This will help the okra cook evenly and get crispy all over.
- Adjust Cooking Time as Needed: Every air fryer is a little bit different, so you may need to adjust the cooking time. Keep an eye on your okra, especially the first time you make them.
Here's how you might serve your air fryer breaded okra, including some dishes that pair beautifully with it:
- Dipping Sauce: This crispy air fryer okra makes for perfect finger food and appetizer. Serve it up with a side of your favorite dipping sauce. A tangy ranch or our artichoke dip sauce can really complement the okra's flavor.
- Grilled Meats: This crispy okra makes a fantastic side dish for any grilled meats, like BBQ chicken kebab, lamb kebab, or fish like our baked whole sea bass.
- Southern Meals: Breaded okra is a classic in southern cuisine, so why not pair it with other southern favorites? It goes great with dishes like fried chicken, cornbread, or black eyed pea salad.
- Vegetarian Main: If you're serving vegetarians or just want a lighter meal, pair this okra with a hearty salad or grain bowl. Check out our buckwheat salad and wheat berry salad.
Absolutely! Frozen okra can be used, though it may require a slightly longer cooking time. If using pre-breaded frozen okra, you can skip the breading steps entirely.
Make sure the okra is well-dried after washing and then fully coated in the egg mixture before rolling in the breading. If you're still having trouble, try letting the breaded okra rest for a few minutes before cooking.
If you're reheating leftover fried okra, preheat your air fryer to 350°F and heat the okra for 2-3 minutes, or until it's heated through and crispy again. If the okra is frozen, it may need a couple of extra minutes.
To keep fried okra warm and crispy, place it in an oven set to a low temperature, around 200°F (93°C). Arrange the okra in a single layer on a baking sheet. Avoid covering it, as this can cause the okra to steam and lose its crispness.
To pan fry frozen breaded okra, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Once hot, add the frozen okra in a single layer and fry for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until the okra is golden brown and crispy on all sides. Then, transfer the okra to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil before serving.
Pan frying frozen breaded okra usually takes around 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Just make sure to turn the okra occasionally for even browning. Be aware that cooking times can vary based on your stove and the size of the okra pieces.
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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!
Breaded Okra In Air Fryer
Crispy, golden, and irresistibly delicious, this Air Fryer Breaded Okra recipe is a winner! Using a simple blend of flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, and spices, we're transforming fresh okra into a healthy, snack-worthy treat.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Air Frying
- Cuisine: American
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- 8 ounces fresh okra, tops and bottoms removed
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Begin by washing the fresh okra and pat dry. Slice the okra into half-inch pieces and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, breadcrumbs, paprika, salt, and garlic powder. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add a teaspoon of water. Whisk until well combined.
- Dip the okra slices into the beaten egg, making sure each piece is fully coated.
- After dipping into the egg, transfer the okra slices into the bowl with the dry mixture. Coat each piece thoroughly.
- Once all the okra slices are coated with the breading, place them in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Make sure not to overcrowd them, as this could prevent the okra from becoming crispy.
- Spray the okra lightly with cooking spray. This will help them get a nice golden color and extra crispness.
- Set the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Cook the okra for about 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. It's important to shake the basket halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.
- Once done, carefully remove the okra from the air fryer.
- Always preheat your air fryer for best results.
- Avoid overcrowding and arrange the okra in a single layer for even cooking.
- Halfway through the cooking time, give the basket a shake for uniform crispness.
- Ensure okra is well-dried after washing to help the breading stick.
- Lightly spray the breaded okra with cooking oil for that extra crunch.
- Cooking times can vary with different air fryer models, so adjust as needed.
- To store, let the breaded okra cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, place the okra in the air fryer at 350°F for 5-10 minutes until heated through and crispy.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 150
- Sugar: 1.5 g
- Sodium: 367.9 mg
- Fat: 2.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 27.3 g
- Fiber: 3.7 g
- Protein: 5.7 g
- Cholesterol: 46.5 mg
Keywords: breaded okra in air fryer