Recipes » Canning and Preserving Recipes » Homemade Pickled Okra

Homemade Pickled Okra

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5 from 101 votes
Tender young pods of okra preserved in a brine with garlic, dill and peppercorns
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.

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!

Team Okra - Okra Lover's T-Shirt
Team Okra – Okra Lover’s T-Shirt

from: Etsy

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.

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.

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.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Personalized Canning Jar Labels
Personalized Canning Jar Labels

from: Etsy

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
4.97 from 101 votes
Print It Rate It
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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Recipe Rating




78 Comments

  1. If I’m making quarts I just double the amount of canning salt, etc. that goes into each individual jar right?

    1. Someone else asked about making quarts. As I explained to them, I don’t have proven processing times for quarts and neither does the National Center for Home Food Preservation so I can’t give any advice on making pickled okra in quarts.

  2. Lana,
    I’m getting ready to use this recipe and I would like to decrease the salt. Is this possible? Also, do the peppercorns add any heat? I can’t tolerate much heat/spiciness.

  3. Lana, how long do you process quarts for this recipe? We love the pickled okra and want it in quarts. Thank you!

    1. I don’t have a processing time for quarts. I checked the National Center for Food Preservation at the University of Georgia and they only give processing time for pints as well. However — I have seen some other online recipes that say to add 5 minutes for quarts but I can’t say for sure how accurate that is.

      1. 5 stars
        I also agree in doubling the brine batch. I doubled and it filled 4 jars. Not all okra is the same and sometimes it’s hard to fit a lot in a jar due to the differences in varieties and sizes. Great recipe though.

  4. 5 stars
    You said “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.”
    But my pickled Okra does get slimy. I use a 50/50 mix of vinegar to water as you do. Could I be packing the pods too tightly causing them to get slimy? If I have a few too long and trim the blossom end, would that cause the batch to be slimy? I pickled okra years ago and it turned out fine, this year, not so much

    1. Interesting that I’ve never had that happen and I’ve been using this recipe for pickled okra for about 40 years. I’ve also purchased pickled okra many times and never found any that was the least bit slimy.

      I did some research and here’s what the National Center for Home Food Preservation says — “slippery/slime in pickled foods can be caused by: leaving on the blossom ends, not enough vinegar, using weaker than normal vinegar (less than 5%), not enough brine, improper processing, or molds on any of the ingredients.”

      With okra pickles, you want to be careful not to cut into the okra pod below the “neck” area although even then the vinegar should neutralize any mucilage released.

  5. 5 stars
    can you add alum for a crispy spear when you can it ? I have used it in canning pickled green beans and they do turn out crispy.

    1. Hi Jacie – I don’t use alum in my pickle recipes and haven’t tested this one with it. You can certainly try it if you like. Found this info from USDA, in case you’re interested: “Alum may still safely be used to firm fermented cucumbers, but it does not improve the firmness of quick-process pickles. If you use good-quality ingredients and follow current canning methods, alum is not needed. If you do use alum, do not use more than 1/4 teaspoon per quart of pickling liquid.”

  6. I just canned 7 pints of pickled okra and several jars have pods that split open, exposing seeds the length of the pods. Total loss??

    1. No, not at all. As long as the jars sealed and they were processed correctly, the pickles should still be safe, they just won’t be as pretty. However, I can’t imagine how that happened. I’ve never seen it, ever.

  7. Hi,is it normal for some of the liquid to disappear in the jars after they have set for several days,? thanks

    1. Not after sitting for days, no. Sometimes you’ll lose liquid into the canner if the lids or rings aren’t applied correctly. But you shouldn’t lose liquid after the jars sit for several days.

      1. Hey, My liquid is also low after canning. Should I have split the Okra before putting the brine in so that it could enter the pods?

      2. Hi Donna – no, don’t split or pierce the okra pods. That would cause even lower liquid because it would be absorbed into the okra. Unless I was there with you watching your process, there’s really no way for me to know what happened, but you should not experience a significant liquid loss during the canning process. Here’s an article that goes into all the things that can cause liquid loss during canning — https://www.pickyourown.org/canning-problems-loss-of-liquid.php And one more for reference: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/general/cannedfoodproblems.html

      3. Thank you for your reply and links. It looks like I packed the okra to tightly. I have done another batch and they are fine. !!

  8. 5 stars
    I am a GA native, and this recipe looks great, but I have one question, based on my lifelong search for the perfect homemade pickled okra: is the pickled okra crispy when it finally emerges from the jar? Thank you!

    1. It’s fairly crisp. Like any homemade pickle, it gets cooked a bit during the canning process (there’s no help for that) so it won’t be like raw-crisp. I think it’s delicious anyway.