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Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes is a healthy and delicious southern side. Fresh summer okra, sliced and cooked with canned tomatoes (you could use fresh instead), bacon, onion, celery, and a few seasonings makes a delicious vegetable side dish for almost any meal.

Okra and Tomatoes


I look forward to eating okra each and every summer. Fried Okra is my absolute favorite way to eat it, but stewed okra with tomatoes is a great way to enjoy okra in a healthier form.


Stewed Okra and Tomatoes- a southern favorite!

Okra and Tomatoes is a side dish that’s like a thick stew.

This dish starts by cooking some bacon. This is mainly to produce some bacon grease to saute the onions in.

Because onions are always better cooked in bacon. 🙂

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes - a southern favorite


I like to use a sweet Vidalia onion, but any kind of onion will do.

I mainly use fresh okra for this, but you could also use frozen okra. If you buy fresh okra at the store or farmers market, plan on using it as soon as possible. The pods will start to develop brown spots. It’s okay to eat them with brown spots, but they are a signal that the okra is  getting past its prime.

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes -a summertime southern favorite!

I like to eat Okra and Tomatoes as a summer side, but you can also spoon it over a bed of rice for a light meal. If you want to keep it vegetarian, or as healthy as possible, skip the bacon and cook the onion in olive oil.

If you have fresh summer corn available, add the kernels from an ear or two. It tastes really good with the okra and tomatoes.

You’ll want to keep a bottle of Tabasco sauce handy. This is a side dish that really does well with a lot of heat and you may want to add a splash hear and there.

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes - a southern summertime favorite!


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Stewed Okra and Tomatoes - a southern summertime favorite!

Okra and Tomatoes

Fresh summer okra, sliced and cooked with canned tomatoes (you could use fresh instead), bacon, onion, celery, and a few seasonings makes a delicious vegetable side dish for almost any meal.
PREP: 5 mins
COOK: 40 mins
TOTAL: 45 mins


  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
  • 4 cups sliced okra
  • 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Cook bacon in a cast iron Dutch oven. Remove bacon and set aside.
  • Add onion and celery to the bacon grease and cook until soft, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, water, okra, and seasonings. Cook 20-25 minutes, maintaining a simmer and stirring occasionally.
  • Crumble bacon and stir in just before serving.


Calories: 94kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern

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42 thoughts on “Stewed Okra and Tomatoes”

  1. This was so delish! I also made this into a vegan dish by using avocado oil instead of bacon grease. It also tastes great with red kidney beans and loads of Frank’s Red Hot🙂

    1. I’m a Vegan too. Olive used in the cooking of this recipe. Sauteed onions, green, yellow and red pepper compliments the entire dish!

  2. VeggieKismet

    This a recent vegetarian slowly making the shift over to full vegan, this recipe was a Godsend. It’s delicious without the bacon, and using coconut or olive oil instead of the bacon grease. It has become staple in my diet, and I especially love making it while my favourite local farmers have fresh okra on hand.

  3. Amanda Seamans

    We had this last night, and it was so yummy! I’m a huge okra and tomatoes fan. I even featured this recipe on my blog for this week’s meal plan! 🙂

  4. This recipe is excellent! I’m a transplant to Texas from California, where okra isn’t as abundant or popular, and both of my parents are from the Northeast, so I had barely heard of okra for most of my life. Once I moved to Texas and started visiting Southern states, I discovered okra and fell in love. My introduction was to fried okra (still unbeatable among fried veggies, as far as I’m concerned—oddly enough, I love the stickiness of the seeds), but I knew I wanted to find healthier ways to prepare it, and this was just what I was looking for. I ended up using more bacon than the recipe calls for in order to get more flavor—slightly defeating the purpose of a healthier recipe, but whatever—and sautéing a Serrano pepper with the onion to add extra heat. I also added Louisiana Cravin’ Cajun hot sauce, which has become one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing this recipe! The local produce farm near where I live grows okra, so it’s pretty inexpensive. You can bet I’ll be using this recipe again and again.

    1. Christin Mahrlig

      I agree that okra is the best fried vegetable and I also love the stickiness of the seeds. More bacon is always better. 🙂
      I’ll have to add a serrano pepper next time I make this!

  5. I LOVE okra!!! I married my high school sweetie just 2 years ago and he’s a good ole southern boy from Arkansas. (met in 1988) I discovered an absolutely perfect, healthy alternative to traditional fried okra that he loves!! However, this recipe has grabbed my attention and it is perfect for out HUGE crop of tomatoes, the candy onions in our garden and the fresh okra we have been harvesting almost daily!! The only thing I don’t have on hand is the bacon, which I am sure adds the extra flavor you would want. Oh, and I have some hot Portugal peppers in the garden also.

    1. Christin Mahrlig

      I bet the hot Portugal peppers would be fabulous in this recipe!! Fried okra is my favorite, but I love this healthier way to eat okra too!

  6. I never bought okra but got some in a CSA box .Saw this recipe with tomatoes and it sounded good. Making it tonight.

  7. Donna Stigler

    I lucked out when I made this recipe yesterday. Served it over brown rice and it was a big hit.

    I followed advice from another okra recipe and rinsed my chopped okra in a colander oh, fifteen or twenty times. Made all the difference with the slime factor.. My okra hating husband loved it.

  8. Dantri Richard

    Ah! I’ve been cooking this for years! I add sausage to it, sometimes diced chicken breast chunks, and a small can of tomato sauce. Enjoy and keep these great recipes coming!

  9. Olivia - Primavera Kitchen

    I loooove Okra but it is too bad that in Canada it is very hard to find ;-( Maybe I can find some if I visit China town!

    1. Jean-Francoys

      Hi Olivia!
      I myself live on Montreal’s South Shore, and can always find frozen okra at my local Metro store, and once in a blue moon, I find fresh okra at Jean-Talon Market in Montreal. So don’t despair, you can find some in your region!

    1. I’m a “good ole boy” from south Georgia (N. Florida). You could always try adding whole okra to your black eyed peas. Add them after the peas have cooked for about 15 mins. Yum.

      1. I am from North Florida and was raised on black eyed peas with okra. Haven’t had that in years. Thanks for reminding me.

  10. nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps

    I pass the okra at the grocery store every time, EVERY TIME, my thoughts are always, what am I going do with this besides fry it?? I’ve got my answer, this looks FANTASTIC!

  11. Love okra and tomatoes! My mom is a huge okra fan and used to make a similar dish like this for us without bacon when I was younger. Yours looks absolutely delicious, Christin!

  12. Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel

    I have some okra plants growing but they haven’t started producing yet. Can’t wait till they do. This looks so yummy! Definitely Southern cookin! 🙂

  13. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    So believe it or not, I think I’ve only had okra once before! I definitely need to change that after seeing this recipe. It sounds fantastic, Christin! I love the tomatoes in here, too!

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