Okra is a healthy, delicious vegetable that is often underrated in American cuisine. Its mild flavor is complemented by a satisfying crunchy texture, making it a popular choice for frying.
Fried okra is a Southern comfort food that’s become a favorite of many. This crispy and delicious snack is a staple in any Southern kitchen.
While it’s delicious on its own, pairing it with the right sides can enhance its flavor and create the perfect meal. So, what to serve with fried okra?
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, it can be challenging to come up with the perfect complement to your crispy okra.
Fear not, as we’ve compiled a list of the most delicious and easy side dishes to serve with your fried okra!
What is fried okra? What does fried okra taste like?
Fried okra is a popular Southern dish consisting of cut okra that has been coated in a batter or breading and fried.
The result is crispy, crunchy pieces of okra with a slightly sweet flavor due to the cornmeal-based batter.
It can be served as a side dish or an appetizer and is often seasoned with salt, pepper, and spices like garlic powder for added flavor.
Fried okra is a great way to use up any fresh okra you have on hand and can also be enjoyed as a snack or as part of a larger meal.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some diced jalapeño pepper for an extra kick!
25 Best Sides to serve with fried okra
1. Fresh Salad
To balance out the richness of fried okra, a refreshing salad is always a classic side dish.
A simple salad consisting of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and cucumbers will do the trick. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making a roasted corn and arugula salad.
Cornbread is a Southern staple that complements fried okra perfectly. Its sweetness compliments the saltiness of fried okra.
You can either make your cornbread from scratch or buy some pre-made cornbread mix from your local grocery store.
If you’re looking for a side dish that is quick and easy to make, coleslaw is a fantastic option.
Its tanginess will help cut through the grease of fried okra. For an exciting twist, try making a spicy jalapeno and cilantro coleslaw.
4. Grilled Vegetables
Grilled vegetables are an excellent option to serve with fried okra. It adds a healthy component to the meal, and the smoky flavor of grilled vegetables works well with fried okra’s crunchy texture.
You can grill anything from zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, and eggplant.
Rice is a staple in many cultures, and it is a perfect accompaniment to any meal, including fried okra.
Make sure to flavor your rice with your favorite herbs and spices. You can even include some garlic or onions to give your rice a bit of a kick.
6. Fried Chicken
When you think of Southern comfort food, fried chicken probably comes to mind. This classic side dish pairs perfectly with fried okra.
The crunchy skin of the chicken and the crispy texture of the okra create a dynamic duo that will leave you wanting more. It’s the perfect meal for any occasion, and it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
7. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a Southern staple that’s brimming with flavor. The tender greens are cooked with smoked ham hocks or bacon, giving them a savory depth that’s perfect for pairing with fried okra.
The combination of the crunchiness of the okra and the softness of the collard greens is sure to please your palate.
8. Mac and Cheese
Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? This cheesy side dish is creamy and comforting, making it the perfect complement to fried okra.
The cheesy flavor of the mac and cheese balances out the fried flavor of the okra, creating the perfect harmony of flavors. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a bowl of creamy mac and cheese?
9. Potato Salad
Potato salad is a picnic favorite that’s perfect for pairing with fried okra.
The creamy texture and tangy flavor of the potato salad complement the fried flavor of the okra, creating the perfect balance of flavors. This is a perfect side dish for a summer cookout or a family dinner.
Gumbo is a popular Cajun-style stew that’s typically made with a broth base of tomato sauce, bell peppers, onion, celery and okra as one of its main ingredients.
The gumbo mixture sits atop a bed of fluffy white rice that helps soak up all the flavors from the plentiful vegetables and seasonings used in the stew. The end result is a hearty and flavorful meal that’s full of bold Southern flavors. (Recipe)
11. Fried Fish Tacos
Take your taste buds on an adventure by combining two favorite foods into one amazing dish—fried fish tacos topped with crunchy fried okra strips!
Start by battering flaky white fish fillets in seasoned panko crumbs before frying until golden brown.
Then top each taco shell or tortilla wrap with fresh lettuce and tomatoes before adding a generous helping of fried okra strips to give it an extra crunchy kick!
Explore More: Creative Side Dishes to Serve with Grilled Fish Tacos
12. Baked Macaroni & Cheese Casserole
For those looking for something cozy yet flavorful, this macaroni & cheese casserole will be sure to hit the spot!
Enjoy creamy macaroni noodles baked together in a cheesy sauce along with chopped okra for added texture and flavor.
Top it off with freshly grated cheese for even more cheesy goodness before baking until golden brown on top!
13. Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Fire up the grill for this unique summertime dish!
Begin by marinating juicy shrimp skewers in olive oil, garlic powder, black pepper, lemon juice, oregano leaves, Old Bay seasoning and other herbs & spices before grilling over medium heat until cooked thoroughly throughout.
Next, add some fresh-fried okra to balance out the savory grilled shrimp skewers—deliciousness!
Learn More: Delicious Sides to Serve with Tempura Shrimp
14. Smothered Pork Chops
Get ready to indulge your soul food cravings!
Start by pan-frying pork chops until they’re nice and crispy on each side, then smother them in onions and diced tomatoes that have been sautéed together in butter until soft tendered fragrant) Fragrant).
Finish off by adding sliced fresh or frozen okra into the mix for added flavor, then simmering everything down into thick gravy, perfect for pouring over mashed potatoes or rice pilaf!
15. Eggplant Parmesan Pizza
Forget about traditional pizza toppings like pepperoni or mushrooms—this eggplant parmesan pizza offers something different to try out instead!
Start off by pre-baking thin slices of eggplant on top of pizza dough along with the marinara sauce, then topping it off with mozzarella cheese shreds as well as freshly fried crispy okras strips…yum!
16. Roasted Okra with Garlic and Parsley
This simple yet tasty side dish is sure to become a family favorite! Start by tossing freshly sliced okras in olive oil and garlic powder before roasting them until golden brown in the oven.
Top with a pinch of freshly chopped parsley for an extra bit of flavor, then enjoy it as either a snack or a side dish!
17. Okra Fritters with Dill-Garlic Aioli
Now this is what comfort food dreams are made of! Begin by combining prepared batter with diced okra pieces shaped into small fritter patties before deep frying in hot oil until golden.
Serve up your creations with homemade dill-garlic aioli sauce for dipping, and enjoy the ultimate treat!
18. Okra with Bacon and Onion
This classic combination of flavors is sure to please everyone at the dinner table! Begin by sautéing strips of bacon in a skillet until crisp, then add diced onion and fresh, sliced okra.
Cook everything together until beginning to soften, then season with salt & pepper before serving piping hot!
19. Fried Okra Soup
Who says you can’t make soup out of fried okra? Make a comforting bowl of soup that’s packed with flavor by combining chicken broth, diced potatoes, carrots, celery and garlic with fried okras that have been chopped into bite-size pieces).
Let it all simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, then serve alongside your favorite crusty bread for a hearty meal!
20. Baked Okra Chips With Parmesan Cheese
Looking for an interesting twist on traditional chips? Try these delicious oven-baked okra chips seasoned with parmesan cheese, paprika and garlic powder. The perfect snack for game time or a night in!
21. Indian-Style Okra Curry
For a nutritious and flavorful meal, nothing beats this classic okra curry!
Start by sautéing sliced okras along with garlic, ginger, onion and spices like cumin, coriander and turmeric before adding coconut milk and simmering until cooked through.
Serve over your favorite grain with some fresh naan bread on the side—delicious!
Find Out More: What to Serve with Indian Butter Chicken
22. Grilled Okra Skewers
Add some smoky flavor to your okra dishes with these tasty grilled skewers!
Soak wooden skewers in water, then thread onto them slices of okra along with bell pepper pieces and cherry tomatoes.
Grill on medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender and lightly charred for an extra bit of flavor, then enjoy!
23. Stuffed Okra Pods
For a unique and creative presentation, try out these stuffed okra pods! Start by slicing okra in half lengthwise before scooping out the center with a spoon.
Fill each pod with your choice of stuffing (think ground beef or cheese) before baking in the oven until everything is cooked through and golden brown—delicious!
24. Okra Fritters With Zucchini And Lentils
Here’s another delicious fritter recipe to try out! Begin by combining cooked lentils, grated zucchini, garlic and onion together with diced okra pieces.
Form into patties before shallow frying in hot oil until golden and crispy. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt for an extra bit of tang—yum!
25. Okra Pilaf With Cranberries
Not your typical side dish, this okra pilaf is packed full of flavor! Begin by toasting aromatic spices like cumin, coriander and cardamom, then add them to cooked basmati rice along with diced onion, garlic and fresh sliced okra.
Finish off the dish with a handful of dried cranberries for sweetness, and enjoy it as a complete meal!
What are the best flavors to go with fried okra?
Fried okra is a classic Southern dish that pairs well with a variety of flavors.
A popular flavor combination is to pair it with barbeque sauce, which adds a smoky sweetness to the crunchy vegetable.
For an even more flavorful experience, you can dip fried okra in ranch dressing or garlic mayo. Creole or Cajun seasoning also works well with fried okra, as the spices add warmth and depth of flavor.
The combination of cumin, chili powder, and paprika in this kind of seasoning makes for an absolutely delicious combination.
Alternatively, adding lemon juice or zest to fried okra gives it a bright and tangy flavor while still retaining its crunchy texture.
How do you jazz up fried okra?
Fried okra can be jazzed up in a variety of ways. You can add different spices, such as garlic powder, paprika, oregano or cumin, to give it an extra kick.
You could also add diced onions or bell peppers for some crunch and vibrant flavor.
For an even more flavorful option, you could mix equal parts cornmeal and flour before coating the okra – this will create a delightfully crisp texture.
Finally, serve your fried okra with ranch dressing or hot sauce to give it a delightful tangy taste!
How do you display fried okra on a platter?
Fried okra is best served on a large platter, arranged in an eye-catching way.
To begin, take freshly cut okra and lightly salt it before dredging it in a mixture of seasoned flour and cornmeal. After that, shallow fry the okra until it is golden brown and crisp.
Place the fried okra on a warm platter lined with greaseproof paper to absorb any excess oil, then arrange the pieces attractively by size or color contrast.
Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, paprika, parsley or other herbs for added flavor and presentation. Serve immediately for the best taste experience.
What sauce to eat with fried okra?
Fried okra is a Southern classic, and there are plenty of delicious sauces to go with it! Here are seven of the best sauces for fried okra:
1. Ranch dressing
The creamy texture and tangy flavor of ranch dressing make it an ideal accompaniment for fried okra. It adds moisture and can help balance out the crunchy texture of the fried okra.
2. Honey mustard
This sauce has a sweet and tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with fried okra. Its creamy texture helps bring out the flavors of the okra without overpowering it.
3. Hot sauce
A hot sauce like Tabasco or Cholula is always a great choice when eating fried okra. It adds some spicy heat to the dish while still allowing you to enjoy the flavor of the okra itself.
4. BBQ sauce
BBQ sauce is sweet and smoky, making it an ideal pairing for fried okra’s crunchiness. Its complex flavors pair especially well with crispy, seasoned okra. (Recipe)
Ketchup may be a classic condiment, but its tomato-based sweetness is perfect for balancing out the savory flavors of fried okra.
Plus, its slightly acidic flavor can help cut through any greasiness from frying too much oil into your dish.
6. Mayo-based sauces
Aioli, tartar sauce, and rémoulade are all based on mayonnaise and can make a delicious addition to fried okra dishes. Each provides a unique flavor that works well with the earthy taste of fried okra.
7. Hot honey
If you want to add some extra sweetness or spice to your plate, try drizzling a bit of hot honey over your fried okra before serving them up!
The combination of sweet and spicy flavors will have your taste buds singing in no time!
Wrap Up on what to serve with fried okra
Fried okra is a delicious and crunchy vegetable that deserves to be paired with the best side dishes. The five side dishes we’ve suggested are healthy, quick, and easy to make.
Whether you’re looking for something light and refreshing, rich and buttery, or smoky and savory, there’s a side dish that will suit your taste.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new combinations. Get creative and make your meal a delightful experience. Happy cooking!
How much-fried okra per person?
When it comes to serving fried okra, a good rule of thumb is to aim for about ¼ cup of sliced okra per person.
If you’re really looking to satisfy your guests, you could consider increasing the portion size slightly and serving up to ½ cup of fried okra per person.
It’s also important to keep in mind that okra tends to shrink when cooked, so larger portions may be necessary if you want your guests to leave feeling satisfied.
When prepared correctly, fried okra has a delicious crunchy texture and makes for an excellent accompaniment to any meal.
What pairs well with okra?
Okra pairs well with a variety of ingredients, including tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, and herbs like oregano or thyme.
These ingredients can be cooked together to make hearty dishes such as creole-style okra and tomatoes, roasted okra with bell peppers and onions, or grilled okra seasoned with garlic and herbs.
Okra also pairs well with proteins like shrimp or fish, dusted in Cajun seasoning for added flavor.
Additionally, okra is a versatile ingredient that can be boiled, fried, stewed, pickled or even turned into an Asian-inspired stir fry.
What meat is good with fried okra?
Fried okra is a classic Southern dish that pairs perfectly with fried chicken.
The combination of crunchy okra and juicy, savory chicken makes for a delicious meal.
For those looking to add some extra flavor to the pairing, adding smoked sausage or bacon can take the dish to the next level.
With its smoky notes and complementary texture, either meat will add another dimension to this traditional Southern favorite.