The best time to freeze fresh okra pods is during the height of okra season. It’s time to start thinking ahead to when you will be craving the taste of those fresh summery okras during the cold winter months. So of course, I’d recommend learning how to freeze okra.

I love using frozen okra for Stewed Okras and Tomatoes, Okra Curry, and Butter Bean Pumpkin Okra Stew.

Almost any vegetable can be frozen if you follow the proper freezing method: blanch it first, cut it into pieces, a flash freeze, and then store. To avoid mushy okra after thawing, be sure to follow the proper method for freezing Okra. Read More About Okra.

okra plant

Can You Freeze Okra?

Make sure you use fresh Okra. Don’t freeze underripe okras or okras marked past their peak, or they won’t taste right when you thaw them later. Make sure the Okra is well-formed and brightly colored, with no mushy spots or bruises.

Fresh-picked okra straight from a farm, such as from a farmer’s market, will taste the best in the long run.

You can also buy okra from a regular grocery store, which is your best option if you do not grow your own or cannot get any freshly picked. Try to get it as fresh as possible, without any bruising or brown spots.

Wash the okra under a continuous flow of cool water, paying particular attention to the dirt that may be present, but not scrubbing it off. Okra is somewhat fragile and will bruise with rough handling.

It would help if you trimmed off the Okra stems using a sharp knife, but leaving a bit on so that the seeds remain inside when the okra is blanched.

okra pods on a white background

How To Blanch Okra?

The process of blanching helps prevent the vegetables’ color, flavor, and texture from decaying, as it stops the enzymes from causing them to ripen. Okra that has been frozen without blanching will be mushy and flavorless when thawed.

Sort okra into two batches, one with large okra and one with small. This will make sure that you do not over or undercook the okra.

  • Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot heated over high heat.
  • Place the okra in the pot.
  • Okra must be blanched for three to four minutes.
  • For large okra pieces, the cooking time will be 4 minutes. Blanch small ones for only 3 minutes.
  • Remove the okra from the pot using a slotted spoon when the timer goes off.

After blanching, cool the okra immediately in ice water. This will prevent it from cooking overcooking.

Take the okra and plunge it into the ice bath for a few minutes.

It is generally recommended that blanched vegetables are chilled the same amount as the amount of time you blanched them. So, if you blanched small okra pieces for 3 minutes, chill them for 3 minutes. 

You can place the okra in a cutting board or tray for a few minutes to let them slightly dry before you proceed.

How To Cut Okra?

Make sure you know what you will do with the okra. When you slice it horizontally, you can create chunks to use in stews, and if you are serving as a side dish, you can cut it half lengthwise to create strips. You can also freeze them whole to drop in stews, soups or curries.

You should bread your okra before freezing it if you plan on making fried okra.

Place the okra pieces on a baking sheet. Be sure the okra pieces are spread out in a single layer, and that none of them touch.

How To Freeze Okra?

Put the pieces of okra into the freezer for one hour or until they are firm and slightly icy. It would be best if you did not leave the okra in the freezer uncovered for longer than 2 hours, as the chill will make the okra’s texture unpleasant.

Add the frozen okra pieces until these freezer bags are packed. Ensure the bag is fully closed, leaving just enough room for you to insert a straw into a little empty space. Use the straw to suck out any extra air until the bag is closed tightly around the okra, then seal the bag.

Removing extra air helps ensure that the okra will not break down quickly in quality. You can also vacuum seal food using a vacuum sealer.

Put the date of packing on your bags, so you can use the oldest bags first and avoid using okra that tastes too old.

You can use frozen Okra in a stew, soup, or casserole without thawing it first. It’s best not to thaw okra before cooking it. If it is thawed and then cooked, it is more likely that the okra will become mushy and slimy.

More How To Freeze?

Other Okra Recipes

 close up frozen okra

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 40 kcal / 167 kJ
  • Fat: .2 g
  • Protein: 1.9 g
  • Carbs: 7.5 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 20 min
  • Cooking: 3 min
  • Ready in: 23 min
  • For:
  • 3 Servings

Instructions

Blanch Okra

  1. Sort okra into two batches, one with large okra and one with small. This will make sure that you do not over or under cook the okra.
  2. Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot heated over high heat. Place the okra in the pot.
  3. Okra must be blanched for three to four minutes. For large okra pieces, the cooking time will be 4 minutes. Blanch small ones for only 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the okra from the pot using a slotted spoon when the timer goes off.
  5. After blanching, cool the okra immediately in ice water. This will prevent it from cooking overcooking. Take the okra and plunge it into the ice bath for as many minutes as you blanched it.

Freeze Okra

  1. Place the okra in a cutting board or tray for a few minutes to let them slightly dry before you proceed.
  2. Place the okra pieces on a baking sheet. Be sure the okra pieces are spread out in a single layer, and that none of them touch.
  3. Put the pieces of okra into the freezer for one hour or until they are firm and slightly icy. It would be best if you did not leave the okra in the freezer uncovered for longer than 2 hours, as the chill will make the okra's texture unpleasant.
  4. Add the frozen okra pieces until these freezer bags are packed. Ensure the bag is fully closed, leaving just enough room for you to insert a straw into a little empty space.
  5. Use the straw to suck out any extra air until the bag is closed tightly around the okra, then seal the bag.
  6. Removing extra air helps ensure that the okra will not break down quickly in quality. You can also vacuum seal food using a vacuum sealer.
  7. Put the date of packing on your bags, so you can use the oldest bags first and avoid using okra that tastes too old.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.