When garden season is in full swing it's the perfect chance to use fresh okra in an unexpected way. That's precisely how this Okra Cornbread came to life. In it, sliced okra, tangy red onion and sweet red bell pepper is mixed with cornmeal batter then baked until golden in a buttered cast iron skillet. Whole okra on top give a hint as to the flavor and it's eye candy, too.
Easy Okra Cornbread Recipe
When it comes to okra, there are people on both sides of the fence. Some people fall into the category of fans and some that aren't the biggest fans. For my family, it depends on how the okra is cooked, they definitely prefer okra fried. That said, from time to time I sneak okra into my succotash and they also enjoy it in this cornbread.
How to Make the Best Okra Cornbread Recipe
How do you choose fresh okra? When choosing okra to use in this cornbread or any recipe, it has to be fresh. If you gently bend the okra and it feels rubbery that means the okra is tough and it's old, it's just that simple. Look for a bright green color with few blemishes and spots. Make sure you shop for okra at a trusted farmstand or market and you'll be good to go.
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Okra Cornbread: Plain yellow cornmeal, all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, large eggs, buttermilk, red bell pepper, diced red onion, fresh Okra both whole pods of okra and sliced, buttermilk, melted butter and cream style corn.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: A 10 inch cast iron skillet or similar oven safe skillet or baking dish, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, sharp knife and cutting board.
- The cream style corn in the batter for this recipe gives it a really tender crumb and texture making it an important ingredient. Don't skip it.
- When arranging the whole okra on top try to lay them with the ends facing the same way. It makes for a prettier presentation after baking.
- If you'd like to add shredded cheese to the mix, you can. 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar or your favorite cheese will work.
- How do you serve Okra Cornbread? Serve it slathered with sweet cream butter alongside your favorite vegetable plate, soup, stew or pinto beans.
- Store leftover Okra Cornbread chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave.
More Southern Style Cornbread Recipes to Make
Cornbread is a blank canvas making it perfect for flavor variations and mix-ins. While there's nothing at all wrong with a classic skillet of cornbread, it's nice to shake things up from time to time, More cornbread recipes you may like to try:
- Jalapeno Pepper Jack Cornbread will bring the heat to a bowl of beans.
- Broccoli Cheese Cornbread will have the kiddos eating their veggies and loving it.
- Hot Water Cornbread only requires 4 ingredients to make.
- Skillet Zucchini Bacon Cornbread is surprisingly delicious.
- Individual Zucchini Cornbread Muffins from Crunchy Creamy Sweet.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 2 cups plain yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ Tbsp baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ¼-inch sliced okra cut on bias
- ½ cup finely diced shallot or red onion
- ⅓ cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 1 14 oz can cream style corn
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
- 6 tablespoon butter divided
- 3 large eggs
- 8 whole okra stems removed
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add 4 tablespoon butter to a 10 ¼-inch cast iron skillet. Place into the oven to melt while the oven preheats. Leave in oven just until melted then remove and set aside.
- Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to sift together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add the okra, onion and red pepper to the dry ingredients. Mix until coated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream style corn, buttermilk and eggs until fully combined. Melt remaining 2 tablespoon butter and add to wet ingredients.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix until fully moistened.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the butter to coat the sides of the skillet. Alternately, use a basting brush to brush the sides. Pour the batter into the skillet and arrange whole okra on top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center shows moist crumbs.
- Slice and serve warm with butter.
- 10 ¼-inch skillet will yield 8 pieces (8 whole okra)
- 12-inch skillet will yield 10 pieces (10 whole okra)