Cook Roasted Okra with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette in a cast-iron skillet on top of the stove until it is tender and slightly charred, then top with an amazing honey-mustard-bacon dressing and more crumbled bacon.
Savory and sweet, serve this roasted okra recipe from stove-to-table right in the same pan as an appetizer or side dish.
Roasted Okra with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Growing up on the farm, it was my job to pick the okra from our garden. My Dad always planted two LONG rows, and though I loved Mamaw B’s homemade fried okra, picking it was a hot and itchy job.
Okra pods have tiny spines on the stalks and they can be quite annoying! I quickly learned to put on a long sleeve shirt and wait until dusk to harvest. That way it was a little less itchy and a little less hot.
After we “put up” or froze all the okra we wanted for the Winter months, my Dad would take me and my baskets of okra to the local IGA to talk to the produce manager.
“Go on in there,” my Dad would urge me on when I begged to stay in the cab of the truck. Alone, I carried in my basket of okra and sought out the produce man.
After he inspected and weighed my produce, I’d walk away with a little spending money in my pocket. My Dad knew this was good for me and despite my complaining, picking okra taught me all about farm-to-table freshness and the rewards of hard work.
I no longer live on a farm, but let me tell you, I get giddy when I find fresh okra at our corner produce market. Could another farm girl be earning spending money picking okra?
I don’t know about that, but I do know okra is my favorite Summer vegetable and this new recipe for Roasted Okra with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette is a real winner, too!
How to roast okra on top of the stove
- Prepare the okra by rinsing it in a colander under cool water. Drain and dry the okra well with paper towels.
- Slice off the woody stems, then cut each pod in half lengthwise.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on top of the stove over medium high heat with a little oil or bacon fat in the pan. Do not allow the skillet to start to smoke.
- Place the okra in the pan cut side down and cook for about 3 minutes, until there are a few char marks.
- Flip the okra and cook for another minute, then remove to a plate and season with salt and pepper or drizzle with warm bacon vinaigrette.
How to make warm bacon vinaigrette
Warm bacon dressing is not only delicious on today’s roasted okra, it’s a great dressing to serve with spinach or arugula salads, too.
- First, fry bacon slices until they are crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving the rendered bacon fat or grease.
- In a small bowl, whisk together honey, stone ground Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar, until smooth. Add olive oil and some of the reserved warm bacon grease and whisk until emulsified.
- Crumble a slice or two of bacon and stir into the vinaigrette and serve immediately.
How to cook okra without the slime
Let’s face it, slimy okra is just not appealing (although my Mom loved slimy boiled okra—yuck!). Anyway, the way to avoid okra slime is cooking it fast in a hot pan.
With today’s roasted okra recipe, the okra is seared quickly in a hot pre-heated cast iron skillet for just 3 to 4 minutes. This okra recipe doesn’t have any breading, so it gets tender and cooks quicker than sliced okra that has been breaded and fried.
- Peppery Grilled Okra and Lemon-Basil Dipping Sauce. Seasoned with freshly ground black pepper, slightly charred okra is a light, healthy Summer appetizer.
- Crunchy Oven-FriedOkra. This favorite Summer vegetable is made healthier by using less oil. Crispy and delicious with easy clean-up, too!
- Pimento Cheese Okra Bites. Looking for something unique for your party? This deep-fried pickled okra is stuffed with creamy pimento cheese.
- Pickled Okra. Slightly sweet, these crispy pods are the perfect garnish for salads, burgers, and even pork barbecue or fried chicken.
- Easy Brunswick Stew. With pulled pork or chicken, this stew has everything you need to serve up a hearty, filling meal to feed a group of hungry folks.
- Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo. Serve this gumbo on top of a bowl of brown rice for a hearty one-bowl meal. Adjust the heat with a sprinkle of hot pepper sauce.
- Okra Succotash. This simple sauté of fresh okra, corn, tomatoes, and onions, is a yummy side dish for your next cookout.
This is the BEST okra appetizer ever. If you love okra and you love bacon, make this now before the Summer okra disappears!
Also, note that you may cook this roasted okra recipe in any heavy, deep skillet in place of the cast-iron skillet.
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- 5 slices bacon
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat
- 4 cups tender whole okra pods
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon slices until crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the bacon on a paper towel lined plate, reserving the rendered bacon grease for the vinaigrette and for cooking the okra later.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, stone ground Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and sea salt, until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the reserved warm bacon grease, whisking until the dressing is emulsified.
- When the bacon is cool, crumble a slice and add to the vinaigrette. Crumble the remaining bacon and set aside.
- If not preparing the okra immediately, cover the vinaigrette and refrigerate. When ready to serve, warm in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Rinse the fresh whole okra in a colander under cool running water. Drain and dry well with paper towels. Cut off the stem, then slice each okra pod in half lengthwise.
- In a large a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, warm add a tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat or vegetable oil. Do not allow the fat or oil to smoke.
- Working in batches, add the okra to the pan cut side down and cook for about 3 minutes, until there are a few char marks. Flip the okra and cook for 1 more minute, until tender. Remove to a plate and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining okra, adding oil as needed to the pan.
- Return all the cooked okra to the hot skillet and drizzle with the warm bacon vinaigrette and top with the remaining crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.
You may cook this recipe in any heavy, deep skillet in place of the cast-iron skillet.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 880Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 2375mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 48g
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!