fried okra

Healthier Pan Fried Okra

The quest to create a healthier version of fried okra has been a challenge for many southern chefs. I originally tried a baked version. However, the flavor and texture had much to be desired.  I searched the internet and found pretty low ratings for baked okra. I tried these recipes and the ratings were spot on. I needed to make this as healthy as possible because this recipe was for Lockwood Barr on our Feed the Band series. She was also on the hunt for a better version of the classic fried okra. So with some experimentation I came up with this recipe. I used olive oil which is a little healthier and cut the amount of oil way back. You really will get some wonderful fried okra that is a little less fried. Check out our interview with Lockwood Barr by clicking here. You can also check out all of the artist featured on Feed the Band by clicking here.

Healthier Pan Fried Okra

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 mins
Total Time13 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Feed the Band, fried, healthy, okra, Southern Fellow
Servings: 6


  • 12 oz fresh okra sliced 1/2 inch
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  • In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornmeal and all the spices.
  • In a separate bowl add the buttermilk. 
  • In a 10 inch skillet add the olive oil and bring to medium heat.
  • In batches toss the okra in the buttermilk and then the flour mixture. Make sure each slice is covered completely during each process.
  • Check your heat in the skillet by tossing in a piece of coated okra. If it starts to fry then add the remaining okra. Fry to a golden brown on each side tossing with a spatula. It will take 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove excess grease by placing the finished okra on a plate lined with a paper towel.

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