Move over, gumbo, okra has a new place on the dinner table! Coming to you as a straight-up side dish, crispy yet tender air fryer frozen okra pieces are the perfect vehicles for homemade seasonings and pair well with many mains (like Red Beans and Rice, anyone?!).

Up close okra after cooking with lemon wedge.

It’s no secret we love making frozen vegetables in the air fryer, but if you don’t know much about okra, or have heard (gasp!) horror stories about the texture, never fear. Taking the frozen version and air frying it results in a wonderfully tender yet crisp texture, and there’s a trick to keeping the gelatinous vibe in check (keep reading!), without the need to deep fry.

What is Okra?

Okra is often mistaken for a vegetable, but it’s actually a fruit! Its long, slender seed pod is filled with tiny white seeds. According to The Spruce Eats, okra is native to Ethiopia and was brought to North America by enslaved people centuries ago. It grows in hot and humid climates. It’s most commonly found in India, tropical Africa, and the Middle East. In the US, it’s grown in Southeastern states.

It’s essential to Southern cuisine in dishes such as gumbo and stews, as the natural thickening attribute of okra helps to thicken such recipes. While a benefit to those meals, some people can’t stand okra for this “slimy” texture.

Okra has a mild flavor that is distinctive. With a hint of grassy flavor, the most comparable vegetable is green beans, but okra stands on its own! Give it a try and you’ll know what we mean!

Ingredient Spotlight

Depending on where you live, you may find fresh okra in the grocery store. But for those of us in the Midwest, it’s not common. Because of this, we turn to frozen okra! To make it in the air fryer, I recommend making sure it’s sliced.

If you have a bounty of fresh okra available, however, consider flash-freezing sliced okra and enjoying it all year long!

Bowl of frozen okra slices next to oil and seasoning.

You will also want to use fresh lemon juice for this recipe. Cooking okra with an acid like lemons (or think tomatoes in stews, etc.) is one way to help reduce the “slime” factor, so the lemon is essential for air fryer okra!

I also recommend some sort of DIY spice blend. My favorites are zesty lemon pepper seasoning for an everyday side dish, but for something a little spicier I highly recommend cajun seasoning.

How to Make Air Fryer Okra

As with any air fryer frozen vegetable, this recipe is really easy to make. It’s perfect when you need a quick side dish to serve, especially because there is no thawing required!

To make things really easy and to have one fewer dish, you can do the mixing all in the basket of the air fryer. Toss the frozen okra with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and your desired seasonings.

It’s important to add the fresh lemon juice before cooking to help keep the texture tender yet crisp – not slimy. You can definitely give it a squeeze after for added flavor too.

Make sure the okra slices are in an even layer so the hot air can circulate around them for better cooking and crisping. Because we’re tossing them in olive oil, there’s no need for cooking spray either.

I really don’t like to wait for my air fryer to preheat…so, this recipe doesn’t require any preheating time! Unless of course your air fryer recommends it regardless of what you’re cooking, be sure to read that manual!

Air fry at 400°F for about 10-12 minutes. The cook time will depend on how the okra pods are cut in the brand you’ve purchased. For the small rounds as pictured here, they only take about 10 minutes. Toss halfway through the time, too.

NOTE: Because air fryers vary in temperatures, wattages, and sizes, you may need to adjust your cook time.

Blue plate with air fryer okra and lemon wedge.

Serving Suggestions

Cooking okra in the air fryer is one of the most versatile side dishes. You can mix and match garnishes for a choose-your-own-flavor adventure!

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Plate of air fried okra with spoon.
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Get the Recipe 10-Minute Air Fryer Frozen Okra

Make air fryer frozen okra for an easy, Southern-inspired vegetable side dish ready in just 10 minutes. Toss it with lemon pepper or cajun seasoning and enjoy flavorful crispy, tender okra pieces.




  • Toss frozen okra (do not thaw) with oil, freshly squeezed lemon, and seasoning of choice, coating them as best as possible.
    12 ounces frozen okra, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1-2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Spread them in a single layer on the rack of the air fryer basket. Cook at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  • Serve as a side dish or even a snack and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days; reheat in the air fryer.


  • Air Fryer: this recipe was tested with a 4-quart Ninja air fryer. The exact cook time may vary depending on the model of your air fryer and the size of your shrimp.
  • Yield: frozen varieties can range from 12-16 ounces. You may need to add a few minutes if you are using a 16-ounce bag and add an extra drizzle of oil/lemon juice.
  • Seasoning: use any variety of seasoning you’d like, or simply toss with salt and pepper if serving with another flavor-forward recipe.
Calories: 62kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 276mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 858IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!