Enjoy a little taste of summer all year. Make your own Pickled Okra with tender young pods of okra preserved in a brine with garlic, dill, and peppercorns.
Here's another little bit of southern deliciousness for you today - Pickled Okra! You know how I enjoy canning in the summer. I almost always make some Strawberry Jam and our favorite Kosher Dills along with a good Basic Salsa recipe. We're already enjoying all of those this year.
I still need to make a few jars of my Sugar-Free Bread and Butter Pickles and might even have to make a few more jars of the kosher dills if I can get my hands on any pickling cukes this late in the season.
My Favorite Canning Recipe
But I can't let the summer end without sharing my recipe for Pickled Okra. This is my personal favorite. I'll breeze right by a dill pickle if there's pickled okra around. I love it with a sandwich or just as an accompaniment to some good, old-fashioned southern vegetables. It's also a great addition to an antipasto platter.
Select the Okra Carefully
When I get ready to make pickled okra, I hand select every pod for the recipe. Really. I literally stand there in the produce aisle or the farmer's market and choose every single pod because I want them to be young, tender, and no longer than the depth of a pint jar. It usually takes between 1 ½ to 2 pounds to make three pints.
You'll have to use your cook's judgment based on the okra that is available to you. If you have leftovers, so much the better! Slice it, dredge it in some cornmeal and fry it up!
Prepare the Equipment
Start by preparing the jars, rings, and lids according to standard canning procedure. If you haven’t canned before, or if it’s been a while since your last canning session, please review the process and get all your equipment ready before you start.
One of the best resources for new and seasoned canners alike is the Ball Blue Book. It’s published by the people who make the Ball canning jars. It’s available in lots of locations and on the web at amazon.com.
Some other good online resources are:
- National Center for Home Food Preservation (University of Georgia)
- Home Food Preservation Site (Pennsylvania State University)
- “Some Canning Do’s and Don’ts” from The New York Times
- A Beginner's Guide to Canning from Serious Eats
The National Center for Home Food Preservation even offers a free online course in food preservation. It’s well worth the time for the amount of information you get!
How to Make Pickled Okra
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you'll find the recipe card.
My recipe makes three pints. Feel free to double it if you want more!
Prepare the Okra and Spices
Wash the okra in cold water. Trim the cut ends only if necessary.
Get your spices ready. You're going to need canning salt, dill seed, whole peppercorns, and garlic cloves. Peel the garlic, but leave it whole.
Umm...can you just pretend that there is some salt in that photo? It was sitting off to the side...oops.
Fill the Jars
Into the sterile jars, pack as many pods of okra as possible with the tips pointing up.
To each jar add 1 teaspoon of canning salt, 1 whole garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of dill seed and ¼ teaspoon of whole peppercorns.
Finish packing the jars as fully as possible with additional okra, tips down, fitting the pods in tightly but taking care not to crush the okra.
Bring the vinegar and water to a boil. Fill jars with the vinegar and water mixture to within ¼ inch of the rim.
Close the Jars and Process in Water Bath
Place the lids and rings on the jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Allow Cooling Time
Remove the jars from the canner and allow them to cool completely. Notice the difference in color after they come out of the canner. The okra has taken on a beautiful olive green color.
Let the pickles sit for about a month to achieve the best flavor.
Pickled okra is not slimy. Not even a little bit. Okra only gets slimy when it's cut into and you don't cut the okra to make pickles. Besides that, vinegar neutralizes the slime anyway so the pickles would never have a chance of becoming slimy.
You can use any vinegar that has at least 5% acidity for pickling.
Your okra is tough because it was too mature when you purchased or harvested it. When choosing okra for pickling or for cooking, bigger is not better. You want young, tender pods of about 3 inches in length.
Pickled okra is shelf stable as long as it's correctly processed and the lids formed a good seal to the jars. If one or more jars did not seal in the canning process, those can be stored in the refrigerator and used first. Do store the unused pickles in the refrigerator after you open a jar.
Serve pickled okra anywhere you'd usually serve dill pickles. It's delicious with sandwiches, alongside summer vegetables, or on a southern themed meat and cheese tray.
Have you tried this recipe? I'd love for you to give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card and/or in the comments section further down.
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- 2 pounds okra choose small tender pods (may need more or less than two pounds)
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 3 teaspoons canning salt
- 3 teaspoons dill seed
- ¾ teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 ½ cups white vinegar
- 1 ½ cups water
- Prepare jars, rings and lids according to standard canning procedure.
- Into the sterile jars, pack as many pods of okra as possible with the tips pointing up.
- To each jar add 1 whole garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of canning salt, 1 teaspoon of dill seed and ¼ teaspoon of whole peppercorns.
- Finish packing the jars as much as possible with additional okra, tips down, fitting the pods in tightly but take care not to crush the okra.
- Bring the vinegar and water to a boil. Fill jars to within ¼ inch of the rim.
- Place lids and rings on jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars from the canner and allow them to cool completely.
- Let the pickles sit for about a month to achieve the best flavor.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.