Okra is in season and you’ve got to try this Okra Popcorn recipe. Now if you’ve been thinking that okra is, well, less than desirable to eat, it’s time to change your mind.
And this naturally gluten-free Okra Popcorn recipe should do it! I’ve shared it with other friends and families and it has definitely made them believers!
This recipe also happens to be naturally gluten free, paleo, and vegan so probably everyone you know can enjoy it.
Is this a recipe where the popcorn that tastes like okra or popcorn with okra in it? Neither. It’s okra that’s roasted and gives you a sort of popcorn taste and crunch!
I have avoided okra all my life, until I learned this method. The secret is in slicing the okra pieces very thin and then roasting them in olive oil with your favorite seasonings.
I know what you want to ask. Is there a slime factor? Nope! No slime factor!
Yes, okra is especially mucilaginous, and typically results in a sliminess or gooeyness when cooked. Some people cook it long and slow to help mitigate this characteristic. Others “cover it up” by using other vegetables with the okra in stews.
But roasting very thin okra slices with these seasonings is all you really need to do. This recipe is how you make okra taste good and totally remove the slime factor.
By the way, two other particularly mucilaginous plants with which we’re familiar are flax seeds and chia seeds. When we want egg-free or vegan recipes, we often capitalize on these ingredients’ mucilage factor by grinding them and mixing them with water to create a flax gel “egg” or chia gel “egg” to help take the place of eggs. Hmm, now I’m wondering if we could also use okra gel eggs.
Don’t laugh. Look at the egg-free success of aquafaba in such recipes as these gorgeous meringues from In Johnna’s Kitchen. Nobody even knows why it works, but it does. There are always new frontiers to be explored when it comes to cooking, baking, and food!
But I digress, just a bit. Never ever in a million gazillion years did I think I would love okra, but I absolutely crave it when it’s roasted and seasoned this way.
I always buy enough to make two back-to-back batches for us. I usually make it as part of a meal, but often it’s hard for me to stop my “testing” beforehand if you know what I mean!
Personally, I love the super crispy, golden brown pieces. However, Mr. GFE prefers the pieces that are still green and have some flexibility to them.
We follow similar patterns when it comes to our French fry preferences. I’m the one that wants my fries crispy.
Those are the ones that Mr. GFE will not eat. Are these complementary preferences not more proof that we are the ideal couple?
No French fries ever go to waste in our house! But, true confession, I will actually choose this Okra Popcorn over French fries. It’s really that good!
Okra Popcorn Recipe
This naturally gluten free, paleo, and vegan Okra Popcorn is completely addictive! It will turn you into an okra lover! p.s. There is NO slime factor---in case you were wondering.
- 2 cups okra (about half a colander’s worth)
- About 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika or smoked paprika (more or less, to taste; optional)
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Wash okra pieces and dry.
- Cut ends off of pieces.
- Slice the rest of the pieces into thin slices, from 1/8 inch to ¼ inch per your personal preference.
- Line baking sheet with foil. Drizzle olive oil on baking sheet.
- Spread okra slices on baking sheet.
- Sprinkle seasonings over okra slices.
- Stir all with wooden spoon until fairly evenly coated with both the olive oil and seasonings.
- Roast for about 12 minutes, or until okra slices have reached desired crispness. (I often test a greener slice and return the baking sheet to the oven if needed until I get them "just right." The testing is tasty!)
More Gluten-Free Vegetable Recipes You’re Sure To Love
~ 15 Green Bean Casserole Recipes
~ Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
~ Easy Cider Roasted Vegetables
Originally published August 22, 2015; updated July 1, 2022.
Pamela Hurlbert says
I love okra and am anxious to try this recipe.
Hi Pamela–Great to see you here at gfe again! 🙂 I really hope you enjoy this recipe. I should probably add a note for folks to watch the okra a bit closely at the end, lest they be in the group with my husband and prefer all of it a bit less crisp. 😉 IMHO, the crispiness enhances the popcorn factor though! Feel free to play with the seasonings (different ones and different amounts) if you like. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Super cool idea Shirley!
Thanks, Kalinda! I’ve seen similar ideas over the years and tried some here and there, but I finally hit on the right combination of temperature, baking time, slice thickness, and seasonings for us. That these okra slices taste like popcorn is such a delicious bonus! 🙂
Cassidy @ Cassidy's Craveable Creations says
This looks great Shirley!!! While I like traditional fried okra my hubby likes crispy, almost burnt okra. I usually stir-fry it to get it nice and crispy the way my hubby likes it, but next time I will use your recipe and roast it – can’t wait!!!!
Hi Cassidy–I’m definitely with your husband! 🙂 Interesting how so many opposites attract, right? 🙂 Hope you both like this recipe when you give it a try, dear!
Alisa @ Go Dairy Free says
Okra isn’t very common out west, so I’ve barely even tried it in my life (maybe once or twice in soup), but I’ve heard it isn’t for everyone. That said, roasting does do wondrous things – I bet this is amazing and so addictive!
Alisa–Your first line is so very diplomatic! 😉 You’re right about roasting, of course, but I really never expected roasting, EVOO, and seasonings to allow me to love okra! If you ever make it here for the gfe retreat, I will make this recipe for you. 🙂
Alisa @ Go Dairy Free says
Well now I REALLY have to make it!
Audrey @ Unconventional Baker says
Bahahah “I know what you want to ask. Is there a slime factor? No, there is not.” — this is exactly what I was thinking right before I read that line 😀 That’s my biggest fear with okra, which is why I always avoid it. I’ll have to give your method a try now — I so want to like okra — this sounds like the way to go!
Hehe, Audrey. I’m nothing if not “to the point” (even if do sometimes take a while to get there LOL). I so hope that this recipe converts you the way it has converted me! 😉
Perfect timing for this recipe! We are now settled in Black Mountain, and I purchased some okra at the Farmer’s Market yesterday. Can’t wait to try it!
Hi Nancy–Well, I always love perfect timing and I’m envisioning your charming Black Mountain right now. I sure hope this recipe meets with your approval, dear. 🙂
[email protected] says
I am pumped to try this..okra is not something I have played with much! Next time I see it, this is happening Shirley!!
Tessa–I hope you get to try this recipe soon and that you and your family really enjoy it! 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing this will us at Savoring Saturdays, Shirley. I’ll definitely be trying it if I ever have any okra I need to eat. Haha! 🙂
Hi Raia–I’m always happy to share my recipes on Savoring Saturdays! I hope you get to try okra popcorn one day. 😉
April J Harris says
What a deliciously healthy idea, Shirley! I’ve only had okra once or twice but I know I’d love it served like this. Sharing! Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul hop.
Hi April–I don’t imagine you get much okra in your part of the world! I hope that this recipe will convert some folks who do get okra to okra lovers. 😉 Thanks so much for hosting Hearth and Soul Hop each week with Swathi!
Heather @ Life, Gluten Free says
Great idea! We love okra! I think its so pretty too. We’ve used it in crafts to make as stamps. It looks like flowers on the paper 🙂
Thanks, Heather! What a cool idea on using okra slices for flower stamps! I have always though they are beautiful and definitely look like flowers. 🙂
GiGi Eats says
Not sure that I have really ever had OKRA!! This is a winning recipe for me! 🙂
Hi Gigi–Well, then you definitely need to try it! Thanks for the kind words. I’m quite pleased with this super simple recipe/method. I wonder if you can get okra where you live. Probably. Everything gets shipped everywhere these days. 😉
MmmmHmmmm, yes ma’am!! I LOVE me some okra & I LOVE it roasted! In fact, I think I should go make some right now 😀
Hi Heather!–I hope you did make this Okra Popcorn, and I hope you found it as addictive as we do! 😉
Ooh I sure did! YUMMY!!
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, dear! 🙂
Donna Bruton says
I’m still seeing okra at the grocery store, so I’m going to try this! I have always liked okra if it is not too slimy. My family is a fan, too. We usually saute it but I love roasting veggies.
I enjoyed your observations about the mucilaginous factor and how those properties might be useful. Okra is slighted for this but could become a hero!
I’m pretty sure this isn’t the best format to ask, but I’m having trouble finding a better way. My teen daughter is newly diagnosed with Celiac disease and we live locally. Is there a way to connect with you about resources in the area? I’ve been researching online but having a hard time getting input from real live people and making sure the information I *do* get is accurate. I’m particularly looking for restaurants. She wants to practice ordering and eating out.
Hi Donna–A belated welcome to gfe to you! 🙂 I have not seen okra at the grocery store of late, but I’ve not really been looking for it either as I was thinking that it was way too late to still find it. I hope you enjoy this Okra Popcorn when you give it a try!
Hehe on okra potentially being a mucilaginous hero. I love those kinds of scenarios with food. 😉 Being gluten free taught me to think about food in totally different ways. 🙂
No worries on asking me about guidance on local restaurants here. I would be happy to speak to you on the phone or even meet you and your daughter in Fredericksburg to talk about some of the options, how to navigate most restaurants when eating gluten free, etc. I led a support group here in King George for 10 years but I retired that last year, so I try to help folks out one on one when I can. I’m away right now, but if you email me at [email protected], hopefully, we can work out how/when to discuss the best approach for your daughter.
This is my 2nd time making it. It shrinks A LOT when cooking…or that might be the reason I half the pan is gone and it’s only been out of the oven 5 min, and it’s just me at home right now! 😉 But seriously, it does shrink so next time I will double the batch. It is DELICIOUS.
Shirley Braden says
Hi Christina!–Welcome to gfe! 🙂 I’m so thrilled that you love this okra popcorn so much! It does shrink a lot and it also “evaporates” because it’s just so good. 😉 I must admit that I’m jealous that you can get okra right now. Are you in the deep South? Our okra season seems so short here in VA.
Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!