Roasting okra with olive oil and garlic is one of the best ways to prepare this tasty vegetable. High-heat baking enhances the okra's taste, makes it wonderfully creamy, and removes the slime typical to this vegetable.
Okra is one of those vegetables that people either really love or really dislike. I happen to love it - I find it incredibly flavorful and enjoy its unique taste. A common objection to this vegetable is its sliminess, but high-heat roasting takes care of that.
Baking okra in the oven is one of the simplest ways to cook this wonderful vegetable, and it's just as tasty as more elaborate cooking methods. It needs very little seasoning to taste good, but you can obviously season it more heavily if you wish.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make oven-roasted okra. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh okra, trimmed: Okra is in season in the summer, so that's the best time of year to make this recipe. You should definitely use fresh okra in this recipe. Frozen won't work as well.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. Melted butter is also very good in this recipe.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Garlic powder: I prefer it in this recipe to minced garlic. I find that it more uniformly coats the okra.
How to roast okra
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to toss the okra with olive oil and seasonings.
2. Then, you arrange the coated okra in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Lastly, you bake it in a 450°F oven until golden brown and tender. This should take about 20 minutes, and you should stir the okra midway through baking.
Expert tip: use high heat
To improve the texture of this vegetable and remove its slime, you'll want to make sure you roast it at very high heat. So set your oven to 450°F. In many recipes, you can play a little with the oven temperature, but here, I highly recommend sticking with a truly hot oven.
Frequently asked questions
It's difficult to describe because it has a very unique flavor. When raw or lightly cooked it's fresh, crunchy, and grassy. When cooked for longer, it's savory and creamy. If we must compare okra to another vegetable, I suppose eggplant has a somewhat similar flavor profile.
If it's young and tender, then yes, you can eat it raw. It's crunchy and grassy when raw, very different from its flavor and texture when cooked, which is savory and creamy.
Okra seems to be one of those vegetables that people either really like or really dislike. But I find that for many who supposedly dislike okra, once they try it roasted, they change their minds!
High heat cooking takes away the sliminess typical to this vegetable (this is also true for cooking it with an acidic ingredient such as tomatoes). The most common objection to okra is "It's slimy!" But oven-baked okra is wonderfully creamy and has a perfect texture.
Since I cook this side dish in a 450°F oven, I like to serve it with a main dish that I can cook in the same oven. So I often serve it with one of the following:
Baked catfish - this dish has a wonderful crispy coating of almond flour.
Baked Parmesan shrimp - the parmesan coating is very flavorful!
Cajun chicken - a highly seasoned chicken dish that's also very easy to make.
Yes. You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave on 50% power. They're not as good as the freshly made dish, but they do keep fairly well up to the fourth day.
Variations and substitutions
The best way to vary this basic recipe is to add more spices such as onion powder, smoked paprika, dried thyme, and cumin.
Another tasty variation is to use melted butter instead of olive oil and to sprinkle the okra with grated parmesan after the initial 10 minutes of baking.
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Roasted Okra with Olive Oil and Garlic
- 1 lb. fresh okra (350 grams after trimming)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon sea salt)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Rinse the okra and dry it on a clean kitchen towel. Trim the ends.
- Place the okra in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Transfer the okra to the prepared baking sheet. Roast it until lightly browned and tender, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Serve immediately.