Air fryer okra is such a fun and tasty southern inspired side dish. Fresh okra is coated with a crispy breaded coating made with cornmeal and spices and you’ll love that this recipe is a healthier alternative to deep fried okra.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Okra in air fryer has the best flavour! Fresh okra is coated with a flavourful breaded coating made with cornmeal (or without cornmeal) and spices, and it crisps up so nicely when cooked in the air fryer.
- Air fried okra tastes just as good as the Southern staple, but is so much healthier since it isn’t deep fried!
- Breaded okra in air fryer is very versatile and can be served as a side dish or eaten as a snack.
- You can easily change up the spices in the air fryer breaded okra coating to give this fried okra any flavour you like.
- You can easily make this air fryer okra without cornmeal, and I’ve included options for making it with almond flour instead, as well as making it gluten free and vegan.
- This cooking method works for all types of air fryers including Ninja Foodi, Ninja Air Fryer, Ninja Foodi Grill, Instant Vortex, Emeril Air Fryer, Cuisinart Air Fryer and Chefman Air Fryers.
- Because this okra is cooked in the air fryer the clean up is so easy.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Fresh okra – be sure to cut away the stems and the tips and then slice the okra into ½-to-1-inch-thick slices. You could also use frozen cut okra instead – just be sure to thaw the okra first, then pat it completely dry before breading it (if there is too much moisture the batter won’t stick and the okra will turn out slimy – yuck!)
- Eggs – this is key to help the breaded coating stick to the okra to give it that perfectly crispy outside. You could swap the eggs for a vegan egg replacer if you are vegan.
- Cornmeal or almond flour – to give this fried okra that perfect crispy breaded coating. Cornmeal is what is classically used to make Southern style okra but if you prefer to make it without cornmeal, almond flour is a great alternative.
- Spices -I use onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper but the possibilities are endless! Feel free to change up the spices to change the flavour of these okra bites or turn them into spicy air fryer okra.
How to make:
First, prepare the okra by trimming the ends off and chopping the okra into pieces approximately 0.5 inches in size.
Next, whisk together the eggs and the water in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cornmeal, bread crumbs, and spices.
Dip each piece of chopped okra into the egg and water mixture and then transfer it to the cornmeal mixture and toss until it’s fully coated in the breaded coating.
Finally, transfer the coated okra pieces onto the trays of your air fryer and cook them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes, rotating the trays half way through.
To make this breaded okra in a basket style air fryer:
Prepare the okra as instructed above by chopping it into pieces and coating it with the beaded coating. Then preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cook the okra for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, shaking the basket half way through.
- Every model of air fryer is different, so you may have to adjust the cooking time.
- If you cut your okra into larger pieces you’ll need to add a bit more cooking time. If you cut them into smaller pieces you will need to decrease the cooking time.
- Serve this okra with your favorite bbq sauce or aioli – you can see my favourite homemade bbq sauce here!
How to store:
Fried okra is best eaten right away but if you do have any leftovers, store them in the fridge in an air tight container for ups to 3 days and reheat them when you are ready to eat them.
Variations and add ins:
- Feel free to change up the spices in the breaded coating – want more heat? Add a little chili spice or cayenne pepper – don’t like onion powder? simply leave it out. The possibilities are endless!
- To make this air fryer okra vegan: swap the eggs for an egg replacer such as Bob’s Red Mill Vegan Egg Replacer, Neat plant based egg replacer or Follow Your Heart VeganEgg.
- To make this okra gluten free: be sure to use gluten free certified corn meal and gluten free bread crumbs.
- To make this okra paleo: use almond flour instead of cornmeal.
Frequently asked questions:
Can I cook frozen breaded okra in my air fryer?
Yes! It’s so easy to do. Simply place the frozen breaded okra onto the racks of your air fryer and cook it at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, swapping the racks halfway through.
What temperature should I air fry okra?
Okra should be cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit when cooked in an air fryer.
Is this recipe gluten free?
Yes. This okra recipe is gluten free.
Is this recipe keto?
No, this air fryer okra is not keto or low carb as it uses a breaded coating that is high in carbs.
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Air Fryer Okra
- Trim the ends off the okra and chop them into 0.5" pieces.
- In one bowl, whisk together the eggs and the water.
- In another bowl mix together the cornmeal, bread crumbs and spices.
- Dip each piece of okra into the egg and water mixture and then transfer it to the cornmeal mixture and toss until coated.
- Transfer the coated okra pieces onto the trays of your air fryer and cook at 400F for 18-20 minutes, rotating the trays half way through.
- Feel free to change up the spices in the coating
- If you are serving a crowd you could easily double or triple this recipe
- Store this okra in the fridge in an air tight container for 3-5 days
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