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Fried Okra

Southern Fried Okra is crispy and delicious. Made with fresh okra, battered in buttermilk and a seasoned flour and cornmeal mixture. A tasty side dish to add to any dinner. 

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We grow okra in our garden every year and this crispy fried okra recipe is always a hit. It’s a southern staple to serve alongside fried shrimp, marinated pork chops or with a Sunday rump roast.

Fried Okra in a cast iron mini skillet

Fried Okra ~ Classic Southern Side Dish

The texture of crispy fried okra is our favorite, it’s not the slimy texture that you sometimes get with stewed okra or when it’s cooked in soups. It’s a great side dish for just about any meal and we love to dip it in ketchup, ranch dressing or comeback sauce.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Okra
  • Buttermilk
  • Cornmeal
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Vegetable Oil

Optional Seasonings:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cajun Seasoning

Fresh Okra

Just take me to the Fried Okra Recipe.

If you are just looking for the Fried Okra Recipe, just scroll all the way to the bottom for the easy printable recipe card with full instructions. For my best tips and tricks to make the best fried okra recipe, just keep reading .

How to Make Fried Okra:steps to breading okra for frying

  1. Wash and remove okra tops and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. 
  2. Set up a dredging station by adding buttermilk to a shallow dish and flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper to another dish. 
  3. Toss sliced okra in buttermilk and then into cornmeal and flour mixture. Sheet pan of battered okra for frying
  4. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. 
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet. Frying okra in vegetable oil
  6. Fry okra in batches, not over crowding the pan. Fried okra draining on paper towel
  7. Drain on paper towels. 
  8. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired. 


Tips for Deep Frying Okra:

  • Use a heavy bottom dutch oven or cast iron skillet with a deep-fry thermometer. It will help keep your oil at an even temperature.
  • Heat oil to 350° before adding okra. This is the best way to get crispy pieces of okra.
  • Use a strainer or slotted spoon to stir okra to keep it from sticking together as it fries.
  • Drain okra on a wire rack lined with paper towels in a single layer. 
  • Sprinkle with a little kosher salt right when you remove the okra from the oil. 

Fried okra with ketchup and ranch dressing for dipping

Okra grows best in the scorching summer heat. The smaller pods are the most tender, so pick them early. The larger pods tend to get tough. 

If you are purchasing okra from the farmers market or grocery store, look for smaller, bright green pods with no black spots. The black spots indicate the okra is no longer fresh.

More Fried Recipes to Try:

Fried Squash is another favorite with our garden produce. My kids are crazy about this easy side dish. 

Fried Pickles are the ultimate game day appetizer. Serve them up with ranch dressing for a crowd pleasing snack.

Chicken Fried Steak Bites are a hit for dinner any night of the week. Served up with country gravy, this is one of those meals that your family will be begging for. 

Easy Popcorn Chicken is a great snack or easy dinner for busy weeknights. So much tastier than the drive thru and easy to make at home. 



Southern fried okra

This is the best fried okra recipe that makes the perfect side dish for any meal. During the summer nothing beats a large bowl of fried okra, sliced tomatoes and green beans from the garden.



If you love this Recipe as much as I do, please leave a comment and a five star review, and be sure to help me share on Pinterest!

Yield: 4 servings

Fried Okra

Fried Okra in a cast iron mini skillet

Southern Fried Okra is crispy and delicious. Made with fresh okra, battered in buttermilk and a seasoned flour and cornmeal mixture. A tasty side dish to add to any dinner. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for frying


  1. Wash and trim ends of okra and slice into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Place buttermilk in a shallow dish.
  3. Mix flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper together in another dish.
  4. Dip okra slices in buttermilk and then through flour mixture, coating all sides.
  5. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  6. Heat oil in a heavy skillet or pan to 350°.
  7. Fry okra in batches for about 3- 4 minutes, stirring to keep them separated.
  8. Remove to a paper towel lined wire rack to drain.
  9. Season with additional salt if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 663mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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  1. Thank you, thank you.
    We love fried okra but always had trouble with the coating staying on so thank you for sharing your recipe

  2. Can this be prepared in an air fryer of oven? If so, what temp?
    Also can you use frozen okra?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Gina,
      You can prepare in the air fryer or oven but it won’t be quite as crunchy. I would place it on a baking sheet and spray it lightly with olive oil or vegetable oil. Cook at 425° in the oven or 400° in the air fryer. I am not sure of the cooking time but I would guess 10 minutes in the oven and maybe 5-8 minutes in the air fryer. Frozen okra will work but might have a slightly different texture. I hope that helps.

      ~ Milisa

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