Sauteed Okra

I didn’t always love okra. I remember liking the traditional battered and deep fried kind when I was a little kid, and I’ve never objected to its presence in other dishes. Okra alone, however, was a big no. In retrospect, I’m guessing this was because the only way I’d had it solo was boiled. I’ve since had it many ways and found there are several ways I enjoy eating it. Boiled, however, is still not on the list.


Thanks to boiled okra, the first word that pops to mind when I think of okra is still “slimy”. I would probably still think I disliked it, except a few years ago I found myself managing the market garden of a small farm right smack dab in the middle of a horrible drought. Turns out, okra is not only drought tolerant, but straight up prolific in hot, dry conditions that will wreck most summer crops. As a result, I spent that summer cooking more okra than I’ve ever been willing to eat. Hunger is a great motivator.


This recipe is deceptively simple. It’s just okra sauteed with a little salt and chili powder. Cooked this way, the outsides of the okra get just a bit crisp. This makes a nice balance to the stickier internal texture of the okra. If you have a garden overflowing with okra that you need to use up, or just want a lovely summer veggie side dish that isn’t squash or tomato based, this is a great option.

Sauteed Okra

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 lb. fresh okra
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder


  1. Cut stem ends off of all on the okra, the slice in half lengthwise.

  2. Place okra in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and chili powder. Stir gently until okra is well coated with this mixture.

  3. Heat a frying pan or cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Cast iron is better, but a non-stick frying pan will work fine as well.

  4. Add oil and spice coated okra to pan. Cook until soft (approximately 10 minutes), stirring every 2-3 minutes. 

  5. Serve warm.



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