Easy air fryer fried okra is a lighter version of a classic Southern side dish. Fresh okra is battered in a seasoned cornmeal mixture then air fried until golden and crispy for a perfect quick snack or side that’ll please any crowd.
What Makes Air Fryer Okra So Good
- Fried okra is a Southern staple! This air fryer version is every bit as good as the deep fried classic, but without the actual deep frying. The okra comes out light, crispy, and delicious.
- The breading is perfectly seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, and a little cayenne pepper to add the right amount of flavor to every bite.
- It’s such an easy recipe! Once you’ve got the hang of breading the okra, everything goes really quickly. Whip this up whenever you want a healthier crunchy snack or an easy side dish for BBQ chicken or pulled pork.
Key Ingredients for Air Fryer Okra
Okra – Use fresh okra and cut away the stems and tips, then slice the remaining okra into ½-to-1-inch-thick slices. You can also use frozen cut okra – just make sure to thaw it first, then pat it completely dry before breading it. Too much moisture will keep the batter from sticking, and the okra will be slimy.
Cornmeal – If you don’t have cornmeal, you can use just flour, but the cornmeal adds a texture and crispiness you won’t get from the flour alone.
Cayenne Pepper – If you’re not a fan of anything spicy, you can leave the cayenne pepper out of the breading. I really love the flavor boost it adds, though! You could also use smoked paprika instead of or with the cayenne pepper.
- Be sure to use a cooking spray that’s safe for air fryers! Anything aerosolized (like PAM) contains harsh ingredients that can damage the coating on your air fryer basket. Avocado oil and light olive oil have a high smoke point that makes them perfect for the air fryer.
- For even crispier air fryer okra, lightly spray the okra with cooking spray twice – once before you put them in the air fryer, then again when you shake the basket after the first 6 minutes. Depending on your air fryer and your preferences, one spray may be perfect for you.
- This method works for frozen breaded okra, too. Since it’s already battered, just skip all those steps and go straight to the air fryer! 400°F for 15 minutes, shaking once halfway through, will give you even easier air fryer frozen okra.
More Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love
- Air Fryer Empanadas
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- Frozen Burritos in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers
- Air Fryer Steak with Easy Herb Butter
- Sausage in the Air Fryer
Air Fryer Okra
- Air Fryer
- Medium bowls (2)
- ¾ cup cornmeal
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ⅓ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 pound fresh okra cut into ½-to-1-inch-thick slices and patted dry
- air-fryer-safe cooking spray
- Preheat air fryer to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Mix together cornmeal, all-purpose flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper in medium bowl.
- Dip okra slices in beaten eggs, coating both sides. Let excess egg drip off okra back into bowl, then dredge okra in cornmeal mixture, coating both sides. Tap okra against side of bowl to remove excess cornmeal. Repeat until all okra slices are battered.
- Place battered okra in air fryer basket in one even layer, being careful not to overcrowd basket. Work in batches as needed. Spray okra liberally with air-fryer-safe cooking spray, then place basket in air fryer.
- Cook 6 minutes, then gently shake basket and cook additional 6 minutes, or until okra is golden brown and crispy. Transfer to plate and cook remaining okra slices. Serve with lemon-garlic aioli, if desired.
- Work in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding air fryer basket.
- Make it Gluten Free: Use gluten free all-purpose flour. Make sure your cornmeal is labelled “gluten free” to avoid cross-contamination.
For the Lemon-Garlic Aioli (optional)Ingredients
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to smooth.