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Air Fryer Okra

by Karly

We’re bringing a little bit of the South to our kitchens with this Air Fryer Okra! This healthier take on fried okra is crispy and flavorful, making a perfect appetizer or side dish. Tastes just like the Southern fried okra that we order from restaurants every time we vacation down South!

Overhead view of air fryer okra on a counter next to an air fryer.

I’m not sure why fried okra is more of a thing in other parts of the country, but down South just about every restaurant I’ve been to has had fried okra as an appetizer or side dish on their menu. And, truth be told, I can never pass it by!

We skipped the deep frying in favor of the air fryer and let me be clear – this air fryer okra is PERFECT! It comes out nice and crispy thanks to that cornmeal breading.

I have a few picky eaters in my house and one way to get veggies in them is to bread and fry them, so recipes like this are always a hit. Be sure to try our air fried zucchini and air fryer eggplant too!

Ingredient Notes:

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Ingredients for air fryer okra spread out on a counter.

Okra- Fresh okra is a bright green color. Look for smaller pods around 3 inches or less. The larger the pods, the more tough the okra.

Cajun seasoning- We use Tony Chachere’s seasoning blend. It’s quite salty, so we don’t add additional salt. If you’re using another blend of Cajun seasoning, you may need to add salt. Mix together the batter and taste it for seasoning before breading the okra.

Breading ingredients- You need a large egg, cornmeal, garlic powder and flour. Simple enough!

How to Air Fry Okra:

Collage of the four steps of breading okra.

Cut the okra- Chop the ends off the okra pods and then slice the pods into 1/2 inch thick chunks.

Bread the okra- Stir together the cornmeal, flour, and seasonings. Add the egg and water to a second bowl and whisk to combine. Dip your okra pieces into the egg mix, then the cornmeal mix. Toss in the cornmeal to evenly coat the okra.

Air fry the okra- Spritz your air fryer basket with oil and add the okra to the basket. Keep the okra in a single layer, cooking in batches if needed. Also spritz the okra with your oil mister. Air fry for 12 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Overhead view of okra in an air fryer basket.

Dips for Air Fried Okra:

While this air fryer okra recipe is tasty on it’s own, like all fried foods, it’s even better with a dip! A few of our favorites include:

  • Ranch Dressing
  • White BBQ Sauce
  • Remoulade
  • Comeback Sauce

What is okra?

Okra is an edible green seed pod that grows best in hot, humid climates. It’s a popular dish in the American south, often served in gumbo or breaded and deep fried.

Okra is easiest to find in the summer, when it’s in season, though frozen okra may be available all year. We do not recommend using frozen okra in this recipe as it’s likely to be mushy.

Overhead view of okra in an air fryer basket.

FAQ:

How do I serve air fryer okra?

Air Fryer Okra is delicious and crispy on it’s own as a side dish or an appetizer. We usually serve it with a side of ranch for dipping.

Why is okra slimy?

Okra pods are a low calorie, healthy vegetable that often gets a bad rap because of the slimy mouthfeel that comes from the mucilage in this veggie. The mucilage is great for thickening gumbo! The ‘slime’ happens when the okra is cut open and/or comes into contact with liquid. Luckily, fried okra tends to not be slimy and that is the case with our air fryer okra as well.

More Air Fried Side Dishes:

Close up of a pile of air fried okra.

Let us know your opinion!

We’d love to hear what you think of this recipe! Leave a comment and star rating down below! And don’t forget to pin and share!

Close up of cooked okra next to a cup of Ranch dressing.

Air Fryer Okra

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

This southern-style air fryer okra turns out nice and crispy thanks to that cornmeal breading! This simple veggie makes a great side dish or appetizer. We like to serve ours with ranch for dipping.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound okra
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend, see notes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil spray

Instructions

  1. Rinse the okra and pat it dry. Chop the okra into ½ inch thick rounds, discarding the ends. 
  2. Add the egg and water to a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the cornmeal, flour, Cajun seasoning, and garlic powder to a second shallow dish. Stir to combine and taste. Add salt, if desired.
  4. Add the okra to the egg mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Add the okra to the breading mixture in batches, tossing to coat the okra evenly in the breading.
  6. Spritz the air fryer basket with oil spray and add the okra in a single layer without crowding the basket. You may need to work in batches. Spritz the okra liberally with oil spray.
  7. Air fry at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking. Test for doneness and continue cooking until okra is as crispy as you’d like.

Notes

We use Tony Chachere’s seasoning blend. It’s quite salty, so we don’t add additional salt. If you’re using another blend of Cajun seasoning, you may need to add salt. Mix together the batter and taste it for seasoning before breading the okra.

Serve with ranch dressing, remoulade, comeback sauce, or white barbecue sauce for dipping.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 447mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

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