Okra Chili


Okra season is coming to a close (at least here in the Midwest) and I was able to snatch up some of the last pods at my farmer’s market.

In a lot of places you can find okra through October and in the south it’s available year-round (lucky)!   Okra is full of soluble and insoluble fibers, vitamin B6 and folic acid.  There are so many ways that okra can be prepared: fried, boiled, pickled, in gumbo, the list goes on and on.  Putting it in chili is my favorite way to eat okra and I’m going to give you my tried and true recipe.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large pepper, diced
  • about 2 handfuls of okra pods, diced
  • 4 cups of cooked and drained kidney beans
  • 1 32 oz. can of crushed, fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cups of diced, roasted tomatoes (I roast my own but you can just add about 2 cans of diced and roasted tomatoes)
  • 16oz. of water
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp. sriracha sauce (rooster sauce!)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of a heavy pot over medium-high heat and add the diced onions.  Sweat the onions until they’re translucent and smell heavenly.
  2. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the mined onion, pepper, and okra.  Saute these together for about 3-4 minutes until the okra releases its sticky-ness.  This will help thicken you chili.
  3. Once you see some strings of okra goo, add all of your dry spices.  Cook for another minute.
  4. Add your crushed and diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and water.
  5. Bring this up to a bubble and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. Finish by adding salt, pepper, and sriracha to taste.

On occasion, I’ve added some sweet corn if it was available at the market that week.  Play around with the recipe and make it your own.  This recipe makes a lot of chili, but luckily it freezes well.  So, head to your local farmer’s market to grab up some of the last okra of the season!  Do you have any delicious okra recipes?  I’d love to hear about them, feel free to leave your ideas in the comments.

[Image by GNIKRJ via Flickr Creative Commons]

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