Grilled Okra
Grilled Okra

Okra is an easy vegetable to grill, and the high heat brings out its best qualities. Grilled okra is smoky, tasty, and tender, but not slimy. Serve as a side dish or with a dip.

When I was growing up, my grandfather grew rows of okra in his fertile garden and passed sacks to my mother and me at harvest time. I loved the stuff and looked forward to it year after year, a bright spot in the sweltering late summer months. After his death I found out that he didn’t even like okra – he only grew it for me.

I’m from Tennessee, where fried okra reigns supreme. While inhaling fried morsels as a kid—I still enjoy fried okra like my grandmother used to make, tossed in cornmeal and quick fried—my love has evolved. Okra isn’t just for frying; as a matter of fact, it could be grilled even better.

Why grilled okra is supreme

The high heat of the grill gives okra a lightly charred exterior and a tender (not slimy) interior. Chris Smith proclaims in his very funny book The Whole Okra that grilled okra is “the number one okra converter” and I agree. The mild flavor of the vegetable is pleasant and perfect for grilling as it takes on the smokiness of the grill.

A charcoal or gas grill are both good for grilling okra—just be sure to use high heat. A very hot grill pan works in a pinch. Serve warm from the grill, on a skewer or at room temperature. A garlicky, slightly spicy tahini dipping sauce is a fun touch and helps transform the veggies from a side dish to an appetizer, but it’s certainly not required.

Avoid the slime factor of okra

Okra sometimes gets a bad rap for its sliminess, which can naturally thicken stews, gumbos, and soups. I don’t mind, but it often puts eaters off. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid.

Unless you’re a fan of slime, don’t cook okra in humid environments, such as boiling or braising. By cooking the vegetables at high, dry temperatures, like roasting, roasting, and grilling, you strip the pods of their sliminess and leave the inside tender with little to no goo in sight.

Look for the freshest possible pods for the best possible result. They should be light-colored, dry, firm and free of discoloration. Use them as soon as possible and in the meantime store them in an open plastic bag in the crisper.

Okra is one of the easiest vegetables to grill, requiring little more than a light coating of oil and high heat. I like to put the pods on skewers for easier turning and less chance of them falling through the grates, but if you’re careful and willing to turn every single pod, they’re not necessary.

Slight variations

  • grill pan: Take this grilling recipe home with you using a cast iron grill pan. Preheat, lightly oil and proceed with the recipe. Cooking the okra may take a little longer.
  • Seasoned: After grilling, remove the pods from the skewers and toss them with a teaspoon or two of condiments, such as salt. B. a Creole or Cajun spice mix.
  • Mix and match: Try threading okra onto skewers of vegetables that have a similar cooking time. I like alternating pods with long, thick strips of peppers. Just make sure they’re the same length and width so everything touches the grill evenly.

Other dipping sauces to serve with grilled okra

  • Homemade veggie dip
  • remoulade
  • homemade tartar sauce
  • Green Tahini Sauce
  • Blue Cheese Sauce

Grilled okra

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
8 minutes

soaking time
30 minutes

total time
48 minutes

4 servings

The 30 minute soak time only applies if you are using bamboo skewers. No need to soak metal skewers.

If you don’t have skewers, you can grill okra in a grill basket or directly on the cooking grates. Line the pods perpendicular to the grates to keep them from falling through, then gently twist them with tongs.


For the optional tahini garlic dipping sauce

  • 1/4 Cup tahinitouched

  • 1 clove of garlicFinely grated

  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 to 3 tablespoon warm wateras needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepperor to taste

For the grilled okra

  • 1 lb okra

  • 1 tablespoon rape or vegetable oilplus more for oiling the grates

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher saltor to taste

special equipment

  • 8th
    until 10
    Bamboo or metal skewers


  1. Soak the skewers and preheat the grill:

    If using bamboo skewers, place them in a shallow bowl long enough for the skewers to lay flat and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the grill to high heat, around 450°F. If necessary, clean the grates.

  2. Make the Dipping Sauce (optional):

    In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon warm water, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add more warm water while whisking, a teaspoon at a time, to achieve a sour cream-like consistency. Put aside.

  3. Prepare okra:

    If needed, trim off the brown ends of the okra stalks. Place the okra in a large mixing bowl and toss with the oil.

    Drain the skewers when soaked. Arrange several okra pods in a line with each other pod facing the opposite direction. Thread the pods onto 2 skewers, 1 skewer 1 inch from the stem end and the other 1 inch from the pointed end. Leave about 2 inches from the top and bottom of the skewers for easy flipping.

    Repeat with the remaining okra.

  4. Grill:

    Once the grill is hot, fold a paper towel into a compact square and dampen with oil. Clasp them with metal tongs and use them to quickly oil the grill grates.

    Place the okra skewers on the grill and close the lid. Check after 2 minutes, then every minute thereafter, until the okra is light green and has distinct grill marks on the underside. Depending on the grill, this will take a total of 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Turn and continue grilling:

    Use tongs or a spatula to gently turn the skewers. Close the lid and repeat the process, checking after 2 minutes and then every minute thereafter, until the okra is tender with grill marks on both sides.

  6. Surcharge:

    Remove from the grill, being careful not to tip the skewers too much – now that the okra is tender it will want to slide off the skewers. Sprinkle with the salt. Once cool enough to touch, remove the skewers.

    Serve with the sauce for dipping.

    Grilled okra is best served warm, but tastes good at room temperature too. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the toaster until warm.

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nutritional information (per serving)
55 calories
4g Fat
5g carbohydrates
2g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!