Whip up some Air Fryer Okra to get all the crunchiness and flavor without the added grease and calories. Sliced okra is dipped in a seasoned Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture, then popped in the air fryer and cooked until crispy. Serve up this quick and easy Southern snack with some homemade ranch dressing for a healthy treat.

Air fryer okra is a Southern favorite perfect as a side dish or a snack.

Air Fryer Okra Recipe

Okra can be a rather controversial food. People either love it or hate it. Some devour it, while others can’t get past the slimy texture.

I fell into the latter category my entire life. That is, until I cooked and ate this air fryer okra recipe.

The simple act of breading and then air frying the otherwise slimy slices created a counterbalance of crispiness that I couldn’t get enough of.

And since it was air fried and not deep fried, it also left me feeling good instead of sluggish or bloated.

Since they’re rather healthy (they can easily be made gluten-free and dairy-free!) you can choose to serve them up as an appetizer with homemade ranch dressing or marinara sauce or as a side dish on any summer weeknight!

(Have some extra? Learn how to freeze okra so you can enjoy it year-round!)

Air Fryer Okra is a healthy and quick Southern side dish or appetizer.

What is fried okra?

Fried okra is a fuzzy vegetable that has been sliced, coated in a breading mixture, and usually deep-fried. However, this dish can be made better for you. Simply skip the oil and air fry okra instead!

Traditionally, fried okra is served as an appetizer, side, or snack. If you’ve ever been to the South, or a Southern-inspired restaurant, you’ve likely seen it. 

Enjoy this surprisingly addictive snack with some homemade ranch dressing.

Okra, eggs, flour, seasonings, and breadcrumbs are the ingredients for this dish.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make the best air fryer okra recipe include:

  • Okra. Look for brightly colored, fresh okra pods. They should be shorter, no more than 4 inches long, as these are the most tender. If they are dull, soft, or bruised, skip them. 
  • Flour. You can choose either an all-purpose flour or a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend, whatever works for your dietary needs.
  • Eggs. Two large eggs are used to make the base of the coating.
  • Milk. Regular, dairy milk or a dairy-free alternative both work.
  • Breadcrumbs. Look for Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs, not panko as these are too large of a crumb. Opt for a gluten-free variety if needed.
  • Parmesan. Grated Parmesan cheese adds a flavorful bite to this recipe.
  • Seasonings. A blend of paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper are used to really take this dish over the top. Make it spicy with some Blackened or Cajun Seasoning.

How to Make Air Fryer Okra?

Below, you’ll find the steps to make this crispy air fryer okra recipe at home:

Prep the Okra

First, preheat the air fryer to 380℉.

Clean the okra under running water. Then, trim and discard the ends of each piece. Cut the okra into ½-inch pieces. 

Try to keep everything the same size so it cooks evenly.

Coat the Okra

My favorite method for battering almost all foods is the three-bowl method. 

In the first shallow bowl, add the flour. Then, in the second bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In the third bowl, stir the breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasonings together.

Work in batches, otherwise, you’ll have trouble coating each piece evenly. Toss a handful of sliced okra into the flour mixture bowl, then move them to the egg mixture.

Use a fork to ensure each piece is completely covered, then let any excess egg drip off.

Finally, drop the okra into the breadcrumb mixture and shake until they’re coated. You can use your fingers to ensure the breadcrumbs and cheese are stuck to the okra.

Repeat with the remaining okra.

Cook in the Air Fryer

Add the breaded okra to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Ensure nothing is touching. Depending on the size of your air fryer, this might take more than one batch.

Spritz the top with non-stick olive oil or avocado oil cooking spray.

Cook in the preheated 380℉ air fryer for 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. The cooking time will vary based on the size of the okra. 

The okra is done when it’s tender and the edges are golden brown.

But don’t stop there! Serve this air-fried okra with ranch dressing or marinara sauce.

Air Fryer Okra is a healthy and quick Southern side dish or appetizer.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: Slice the okra up to a day early, and keep it in a bag in the fridge.
  • How to store: This air fryer recipe is best enjoyed fresh, but you can save the leftover okra. Place extras in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: Flash freeze pieces on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag and store in the freezer up to 3 to 4 months.
  • How to reheat: Pop the fried okra back in the air fryer for a few minutes to heat them up and get a crispy coating.

Is fried okra good for you?

While fried foods are typically considered unhealthy, okra is a good source of nutrients and air frying cuts down on excess calories. You can feel good about enjoying this healthier alternative.

A white bowl is full of okra cooked in the air fryer.

Can you air fry breaded okra?

Yes! You can definitely air fry breaded okra. Be sure to use the three-bowl method to get a good coating, then air fry for 8 to 10 minutes.

How to reheat okra?

The best way to reheat okra, especially if it’s fried, is in the air fryer. However, you can also use the oven or the microwave, but the veggies might get a little mushy.

How to freeze okra?

To freeze okra, flash freeze the pieces on a baking tray, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. It should keep for up to 3 to 4 months.

Serve up this Southern air fryer okra at your next party.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already vegetarian, nut-free, and refined sugar-free as written.  Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Gluten-free: Opt for wheat-free flour and breadcrumbs.
  • Dairy-free: Use a plant-based milk and go for dairy-free cheese.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Even sizes. Be sure to cut the okra as consistently as possible so each piece cooks the same!
  • Fresh is best. Frozen okra won’t cook up quite as well.
  • Go in order. Dredge the okra in flour first, then egg wash, and finally the breadcrumbs and cheese.
  • Brush it off. Gently tap the sliced okra after dipping in the flour to remove any extra that is still hanging on.
  • Get it hot. Preheat the air fryer for the best results.
  • Serve ’em up. Serve these okra pieces hot and with your favorite dipping sauce.
Air Fryer Okra is a healthy and quick Southern side dish or appetizer.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Okra

Air fryer okra is so delicious, and it can easily be enjoyed alongside some of your favorite dipping sauces and main dishes.

Dip them in Chick-fil-A Special SauceSecret SaucePomodoro Sauce (aka marinara), or Ranch Dressing.

It’s also a great side dish with an Air Fryer Hamburger or Crispy Garlic Parmesan Wings

More Air Fryer Appetizer Recipes

If you’re looking to get more appetizers ready for your next get-together, try one of these fast air fryer recipes next.

Veggies like Air Fryer Zucchini FriesAir Fryer Pickles, or an Air Fryer Blooming Onion are quick and delicious.

And don’t forget Air Fryer Pizza Rolls or Air Fryer French Fries!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Air Fryer Okra Recipe

Whip up some Air Fryer Okra to get all the crunchiness and flavor without the added grease and calories. Sliced okra is dipped in a seasoned Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture, then popped in the air fryer and cooked until crispy.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. okra fresh
  • ½ cup flour all purpose or a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend
  • 2 eggs large
  • 2 Tbsp. milk regular or a dairy-free alternative
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs Italian-seasoned, gluten-free if needed
  • cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste
  • Ranch dressing or marinara to serve, optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat a 6-quart air fryer to 380 degrees for at least 3 minutes.
  • Trim and discard the ends of the okra and then cut into ½-inch pieces
  • In three separate shallow bowls combine the following: 1) the flour, 2) whisk together the eggs and milk, 3) whisk together the breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasonings.
  • Add a handful of the okra pieces to the flour, tossing to completely coat all sides. Shake off any excess flour and then add to the egg wash. Once covered, use a fork to remove the pieces from the eggs and let any excess drip off. Place the okra pieces into the breadcrumb bowl and shake until they are almost completely coated. Use your hands to press more crumbs into all sides. Shake off any excess crumbs.
  • Add the breaded okra to the preheated air fryer in a single layer and spritz with non-stick cooking spray. Cook at 380 degrees for 8-10 minutes, giving the basket a shake halfway through cooking, or until the okra is tender and the edges are golden brown.
  • Serve immediately with a side of ranch dressing or marinara sauce and enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: Slice the okra up to a day early, just keep it in a bag in the fridge.
  • How to store: This air fryer recipe is best enjoyed fresh, but you can save the leftover okra. Place extras in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze air fryer okra for up to 3 to 4 months in a freezer-safe container or bag.
  • How to reheat: Pop the fried okra back in the air fryer for a few minutes to heat them up and get a crispy outside.

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 510mg, Potassium: 293mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1075IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 163mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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