Recipes » Homemade Pickled Okra

Homemade Pickled Okra

Tender young pods of okra preserved in a brine with garlic, dill and peppercorns
5 from 142 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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. https://www.lanascooking.com/pickled-okra/

Learn how to make Homemade Pickled Okra. From preparing the brine to packing and sealing the jars, this step-by-step guide will have you canning our favorite southern veggie with no added preservatives

Enjoy a little taste of summer all year by canning your own Homemade Pickled Okra! You’ll love these tender young pods of okra preserved in a brine with garlic, dill, and peppercorns.

Canning jars filled with homemade pickled okra.

Summer is always a busy time for canning and preserving. I almost always make some Strawberry Jam and our favorite Kosher Dills along with a good Basic Salsa recipe and a few Quick Pickled Jalapenos. We’re already enjoying some of those this year.

I also like to make a few jars of Sugar-Free Bread and Butter Pickles to savor all through the fall and winter.

💗 My Favorite Canning Recipe


No matter how busy I may be with other projects, I always make time during the summer to make a few jars of my favorite Pickled Okra.

Okra pickles have always been my personal favorite. I’ll breeze right by a dill pickle if these are around. I love a spear or two 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.

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👩🏻‍🍳 Select the Okra Carefully


When I’m 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 – about 4 inches. It usually takes between 1 1/2 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 make Fried Okra or make Okra Chips!

❗ 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.

👓 Review Procedures


One of the best resources for new and seasoned canners alike is the Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. It’s published by the people who make Ball canning jars. It’s available in lots of locations and on the web at amazon.com.

Some other good online resources are:

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!

🥘 About the Ingredients and Equipment


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  • Fresh Okra (Choose pods that are free of blemishes and about 3-4 inches long. You’ll need approximately 2 pounds for the recipe.
  • Garlic Cloves (Whole, peeled cloves.)
  • Canning Salt (Canning salt is very pure with no added minerals or preservatives to prevent caking. Other salts will cause the pickling liquid to become cloudy.)
  • Dried Dill Seed (Find this with the spices in your grocery store.)
  • Whole Peppercorns (I use common black peppercorns. White, pink, or green also work.)
  • White Vinegar (5% acidity) (To make a pickled product safe for pantry storage, vinegar with at least 5% acidity is required. Regular white vinegar meets that requirement.)
  • Pint Canning Jars, Lids, and Rings (Remember that jars and rings (bands) can be reused but lids cannot.)
  • Jar Lifter, Lid Lifter, and Funnel (These canning tools are not mandatory but make the job much easier!)
  • Water Bath Canner with Lid or Large Kettle (You’ll need a pot deep enough to cover the submerged jars with at least 2 inches of water.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

8-Piece Canning Kit

This kit has everything you need (other than jars, lids, and rings) to get started canning.

Check it out >

Starter Canning Kit

🔪 How to Make Pickled Okra


My recipe makes three pint jars. Feel free to double it if you want more!

Prepare the Okra and Spices

Okra being washed in the kitchen sink.
  1. Wash the okra in cold water. Trim the cut the ends only if necessary. Do not cut into the body of the okra pod.
Peppercorns, dried dill seed, and garlic.
  1. Get the spices ready. You’ll 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

Filling a jar with okra pods.

👉 PRO TIP: Sterilize three pint jars and rings according to standard canning procedures. Briefly, you’ll wash them in hot, soapy water and then submerge them in boiling water (the water in the canner works great!) for a few minutes while you prepare everything. To prepare the lids, wash and rinse them and hold them in barely simmering water until needed.

  1. Into the sterile jars, pack as many pods of okra as possible with the tips pointing up. Pack the okra tightly but be careful not to crush the pods.
Photo collage showing the addition of spices and garlic to the jars of okra.
  1. To each jar add 1 teaspoon of canning salt, 1 whole garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of dried dill seed, and 1/4 teaspoon of whole peppercorns.
A complete jar packed with okra, garlic, and spices.
  1. 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.
  2. Bring the vinegar and water to a boil.
  3. Using a funnel, fill jars with the vinegar and water mixture to within 1/4 inch of the rim.

Close the Jars and Process in Water Bath

Filled jars with lids and rings applied.
  1. Wipe the jar rims and place the lids and rings on the jars. Screw the lids on finger-tight.
  2. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Must Have: Ball Pint Canning Jars

Ball is the standard for canning jars. I prefer the wide-mouth style for ease of adding ingredients.

Check it out >

Wide Mouth Pint Canning Jars

Allow Cooling Time

A jar of pickled okra after processing (note color change from bright green to olive green).
  1. Remove the jars from the canner and allow them to cool completely (12 to 24 hours).
  2. After the jars have cooled, test for a complete seal and then store in a cool, dark place. Any jars that didn’t seal completely may be stored in the refrigerator and used first.

👉 PRO TIP: Notice the difference in color after they come out of the canner. The okra has taken on a beautiful olive green color.

🤔 How long does it take for okra to pickle?


Let the pickles sit for about 4 to 6 weeks to achieve the best flavor.

✅ How long does pickled okra last?


Properly stored in a cool, dark place, pickled okra should last approximately one year.

❄ Can I use frozen okra for canning?


Sorry, but frozen okra isn’t good for canning. The freezing process breaks down microscopic cell walls in the okra making it too soft for pickles.

🍏 Can I use cider vinegar?


Pickling requires vinegar with at least 5% acidity for safety reasons. Cider vinegar is usually about 2-3% acidity.

🌶 Can I make it spicy?


Absolutely! To make hot pickled okra, simply add a dried red chile pepper to each jar before filling with the hot vinegar and water mixture.

Canning jars filled with homemade pickled okra.

❓ Questions About Pickling Okra


Is pickled okra slimy?

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.

Can I use another kind of vinegar?

You can use any vinegar that has at least 5% acidity for pickling.

Why is my pickled okra tough?

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 to 4 inches in length.

Does pickled okra have to be refrigerated?

Pickled okra is shelf stable as long as it’s correctly processed and the lids formed a good seal on 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.

What do you eat pickled okra with?

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.

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📖 Recipe

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. https://www.lanascooking.com/pickled-okra/

Pickled Okra

Tender young pods of okra preserved in a brine with garlic, dill and peppercorns
4.98 from 142 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Canning and Preserving
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 24kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 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 5% acidity
  • 1 ½ cups water

Instructions

  • 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 1/4 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 1/4 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 4-6 weeks to achieve the best flavor.

Notes

This recipe makes three pint jars. It easily doubles or triples if you’d like to make more.
  • When preparing the okra, trim the tops only if needed. Be careful not to cut into the body of the okra pod.
  • Sterilize the jars and rings according to standard canning procedures. Briefly, you’ll wash them in hot, soapy water and then submerge them in boiling water (the water in the canner works great!) for a few minutes while you prepare everything. To prepare the lids, wash and rinse them and hold them in barely simmering water until needed.
  • Any jars that didn’t seal completely may be stored in the refrigerator and used first.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

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— This post was originally published on September 10, 2010. It has been updated with additional information.

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98 Comments

    1. Ha ha! Put them somewhere out of sight so you won’t think about them. But, yeah, they are so much better after they sit for a few weeks.

    2. Is it possible to make this recipe using square mason jars with clamp top lids? Or do i need to use standard screw top jars?

      1. The clamp top jars are usually meant for display or dry storage rather than for the actual canning process. You could contact the manufacturer of your jars to find out whether they are suitable for water bath canning.

  1. I love pickled okra, always have. Just never new how to do it. Thanks to you, I don’t have to pay those high high prices in the stores any more. I can just head to the basement and pull out a jar. I’m considering making some to give away as Christmas gifts. Do you think the packaged okra that you find in the grocery stores would work well?

    THANKS!

  2. My family loves pickled okra. I cannot make enough. I have pickled at least 80 pints so far. I children, 8 to 15, eat a pint jart each night and they fight over who gets the garlic clove. I really think that is why they are never sick.

  3. I also love pickled okra but as a transplanted Southerner now living in the Canadian Rockies, this is not an item I can easily find on the grocery shelf! My father and grandfather are from Morgan County, Georgia and I remember as a child my grandmother making pickled okra. Finally saw some baby okra at my nearby Asian store while shopping for catfish today and my taste buds started thinking of the treat from my childhood. Baby okra is now chilling in my fridge awaiting transformation tomorrow morning. My catfish was grilled on the BBQ tonight, but served in true Southern fashion with cheese grits and Southern Ice Tea to a few neighbours and my family. Neighbours thought Southern cooking was quirky but they all wanted the recipes for everything! My children, though first generation Canadians, have grown up with a mixture of Southern and Canadian cooking and I am proud to say they are better Southern cooks than I am! Thank you for this easy to do recipe.
    Your Georgia BLT is next on my list

  4. Yes, I love, love, love pickled okra. But then I like it raw, boiled, steamed, fried, pickled or just about any other way……. I was looking for a good old fashioned teacake like my grandmother made, and so hope I’ve found it. I can still smell them cooking. Just like you said, it takes you to another place. My mother and her family are from Waycross, GA so I hope the recipe will be similar……I’ll let you know. Thanks for both recipes and I have book marked your blog. I’ll be back as they say! Thanks for sharing…….I deal with food allergies, so always cook my own goodies!!!!

    gloria g. – now in Hemingway, SC southern to the bone!

  5. I always grow okra in my garden, and I usually just fry it or cook it with tomatoes. I love pickled okra, but have never made any. This recipe is so easy and delicious! Thank you!

  6. I had been in search of pickling recipe since I saw the last night tv show Unwrapped. Your looks the best and easiest. Thanks Lana. By the way do you have any recipes for canning fruits like peaches. Thank you in advance.

    1. I do have recipes for canning fruits, but they’re not on the blog. Maybe next summer I’ll do a series of posts on those!

  7. I just stopped by for the first time and had to say, your blog is beautiful! As for the orka, well it’s a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I’ll definitely be checking in again soon for other treats that might catch my eye :)

    1. Please do stop by again, Kristin! There are 174 other posts besides the okra, so I’m sure there would be something in there you might like :-)

  8. Oh, yum! I’d love to get a jar of these babies and would be happy to trade my favorite, flash-sauteed (non-slimy) Indian-spiced okra recipe. Deal? Bookmarked for later in the fall when my garden okra starts producing.

  9. Lana, great pickle recipe. I am a big fan of okras whether they are grilled, pickled, fried, or any other method of cooking them.

  10. pickled okra is such a great treat and can be used in so many things – I did not know folks were so into these – it has been one of the top recipe searches on my site all summer… hope you get a lot of traffic from this one too

  11. I will admit that I have never tried pickled okra, but from your description (and the fact that they are pickled – can’t resist), I’m sure I would love these.

  12. I’ve never ever cooked with okra or done anything with it, really. I do love dill pickles, though, so maybe I’d love these even more!

      1. I love pickled okra. When I lived in the south I had it in my fridge at all times. When I moved back to New England no one heard or had had it. I couldn’t find it till one day I was at a store that every once in awhile had an off item. Lo and behold there was a few jars. I was doin the happy dance. Since then been without looking to purchase online. I housebound so getting ingredients and making is near imposible for me. When/if I can I will make.
        Thanks for shareing recipe, I hope to be able to make it and share and enjoy.
        Sherry