Using the refrigerator method makes this spicy pickled okra recipe quick and easy. The amount of heat can be dialed up or down according to your preference.
The refrigerator method of pickling
Are you familiar with it? I have never jumped on board with the waterbath canning method. I think the main reason is because I don’t typically have huge amounts of anything to preserve.
The refrigerator method is much simpler and it’s quick (we also use this method for our Pickled Green Beans, Quick Pickled Asparagus, and Homemade Pineapple Preserves). The only downside to it that I know of is that anything you pickle this way isn’t going to last as long.
But, as I mentioned earlier – if you don’t have large amounts of whatever you’re pickling, then it shouldn’t matter. You don’t need to preserve a year’s worth, right?
How can I use pickled okra?
Sometimes referred to as okra pickles you can use them anytime you would use a pickled cucumber – alongside a sandwich, as a snack on their own, with a hot dog or chopped up on a salad.
But, hands down our two favorite ways to use pickled okra?
First of all, they are perfect on a cheese board, appetizer tray or charcuterie board alongside something like Ritz Carlton Inspired Pecans. This Southern Appetizer Board and Picnic Charcuterie Board wouldn’t be the same without pickled okra.
Second, but a definite favorite too is with a Bloody Mary. You’ll want to make yours spicy if adding them to a bloody mary bar (or bloody mary gift basket like this one).
But, as y’all know, we’re big fans of spicy foods so we always make ours with some heat. Fiery Cajun Shrimp and Spicy Chicken Sandwich are just a couple of the many recipes with a kick you’ll find here. Heck, we even make our Pimento Cheese spicy.
If you’re not into heat like we are that’s the beauty of this pickled okra recipe. You can tone it up or down as you choose. Leave the red pepper flakes out altogether, add just a few, or go all out.
The basics of making pickled okra:
A pound of okra pods is slightly too much for two pint sized jars. I would happily throw any extras in gumbo, soup or cook it with a pot of peas. But, if you want exactly the right amount it should be just over ¾ pound.
- Choose young, tender okra.
- Wash the okra thoroughly.
- Place 2 garlic cloves and a bay leaf in the bottom of each jar.
- Add okra to the jars alternating stem up and stem down.
- Add 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill to each jar.
- Bring the vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil. NOTE: Be sure to use un-iodized salt.
- Remove from heat and stir in peppercorns and red pepper flakes.
- Pour vinegar solution over the okra.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before sealing with lids and rings.
- Refrigerate for 5 days and up to two months before eating.
Items you’ll need:
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- Pint jars (these include rings and lids)
- If you have the jars but just need rings and lids you can order here
- A canning funnel really comes in handy
Keep in mind that with the refrigerator method it’s okay to use rings that have been used previously. I’ve been told it’s okay to reuse the lids too, but I prefer to use a new one each time. A box with just the lids can be ordered here.
Okra is distinctly southern
In the United States okra is known as a southern vegetable. But do you know where it came from originally? You’ll find the answer to that and more in Southern Food: Then & Now.
Okra is also a key ingredient in our southern style soups: Vegetable Beef Soup and Chicken Vegetable Soup both depend on okra to give the broth extra “body”.
And, if you loved old school southern fried okra you’ll want to check out this healthier version. Air Fryer Okra is made using our favorite new appliance, and we don’t say that often, but air fryers have stolen our hearts!
THIS RECIPE MADE OUR “BEST OF THE YEAR” LIST. OTHERS ON THE LIST CAN BE FOUND HERE.
Pickled Okra Recipe: Spicy and Quick
- ¾-1 pound whole okra washed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-6 sprigs fresh dill
- 1¾ cups white vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- 4 teaspoons salt un-iodized
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1-1½ teaspoons red pepper flakes optional
- Place two garlic cloves and 1 bay leaf in each of two pint sized glass jars.
- Place okra pods in jars alternating stem end up and down. Add dill sprigs.
- Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in peppercorns and red pepper flakes, making sure salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Pour vinegar solution over okra and fill to about ½ inch from top of jar.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before sealing tightly.
- Refrigerate a minimum of 5 days before eating and a maximum of 2 months.
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I love how quick and easy these pickled okra are to make. Can’t wait to try them with a cheese board too. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks so much, Michelle!
Kathryn Donangelo says
We love pickles and love having these around to snack on, delicious!!
Yummy!! That pickled okra looks sot delicious. I can’t wait to try them with a cheese board and a little pulled pork.
You’re going to love them!
This was the perfect way to preserve our fresh okra from the garden! So tasty too!
Glad you loved it. Thanks!
This was the perfect! Super easy to make and delicious! Great recipe!!
Thank you, Noelle!
We love pickled okra! This looks so good!
We do too. Thanks, Julia!
Susan Ciannilli says
I absolutely love fried okra but every other recipe I’ve tried it gets slimy (yuk) Does this? Or no because of the pickling process? Thank you !
Well, Susan, the “sliminess” is a characteristic of okra, for sure. That’s what makes it give great body and heartiness to soups, stews and peas. I know what you mean, though. We found the sliminess to be totally gone after letting the okra “pickle” for a full week. Be sure to use young, tender okra if you can find them.
HEATHER PERINE says
I’ve only had pickled okra in a bloody Mary and they were so good! I had no idea how easy and quick they are to make at home. So good!!
There’s really nothing to it!
I am planning to stir fry some okras tomorrow! I think I am going to use the leftover for this recipe and make it really spicy!
Pickled okra is going to be your new summer side dish! It’s great in salads or even on top of burgers too.
So true! Thanks, Sharon.
I’ve had fried okra, sauteed okra, but never pickled okra! Can’t wait to try this and add it as a condiment to some of our favorite summer foods like burgers, sandwiches and salads!
Hope you enjoy!
I never really liked okra, but I love all things pickled so I am definitely going to give this a go!! Thanks so much for the recipe!
It’s completely different when pickled!
I always thought that it was too difficult to make pickled anything but this sounds so easy! Can’t wait to try these okras with burgers!
The refrigerator method is super easy!
These were super easy to make and made great gifts. Everyone absolutely loved them.
Yay! Thanks so much for letting us know and taking the time to leave a comment and rating Nora!
Barbara Levine says
I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I am wondering why is it important to use un-iodized salt? Please advise.
Hi Barbara, The iodized salt would be perfectly safe, but it can make your brine cloudy. Also, the iodine in the salt can discolor whatever you are pickling.