How to Freeze Okra

Start with Fresh-Picked Okra

Fresh-Picked Okra
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Okra is a tasty summertime treat and a staple in many southern homes. Freeze some while it's in season, and you'll be able to enjoy it whenever you'd like. This step-by-step guide will take you through the process of freezing okra.

Wash and Stem the Okra

Cut the Stems Off the Okra
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Wash your okra. Then, cut off the stems, being careful not to cut into the seed cells (if you can see seeds, you're cutting off too much).

Blanch the Okra

Blanche Okra
Blanche Okra. Photo © Erin Huffstetler
Then, blanche your okra by submerging it in a pot of boiling water. Small okra pods need to be blanced for three minutes; large okra pods need four minutes. Blanching will hault the enzyme process, so your okra maintains that just-picked color, flavor and texture.

Submerge the Okra in an Ice Water Bath

Submerge Okra in Ice Water Bath
Submerge Okra in Ice Water Bath. Photo © Erin Huffstetler
Transfer your blanched okra to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Let the pods cool for a few minutes; then, move them over to a colander to drain.

Chop the Okra

Chop Okra
Chop Okra. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Leave the pods whole, or chop them up into bite-sized pieces – the choice is yours.

If you plan to fry your okra later, go ahead and dredge the pieces in your favorite cornmeal or flour mixture.

Flash Freeze the Okra

Flash Freeze the Okra
Flash Freeze the Okra. Photo © Erin Huffstetler
Then, spread your okra pods or pieces out on a cookie sheet, and flash freeze them. This will ensure that your okra freezes in individual pieces, instead of clumps.

Transfer the Frozen Okra to Freezer Bags

How to Freeze Okra
How to Freeze Okra. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Once the okra is frozen, transfer it to freezer bags; and return it to the freezer. Use it within a year, for the best quality.

To use: Simply scoop out what you need, and add it to your recipe. It doesn't need to be thawed.