How to Freeze Okra (7 Easy Steps)

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Okra pods on a wooden table

On to the steps...

Can You Freeze Okra?

Quick Answer: Yes, you'll have no trouble freezing okra, as long as you do it right. That's why we're providing all the steps below for delicious, fresh-tasting okra after it thaws.

Directions for Freezing Okra

Step 1 - Clean the Okra and Trim the Ends

Rinse the okra in cool running water. You may also choose to clean it in a bowl of water before rinsing. Just be careful to handle it gently. When it's clean, trim off the stems, but not so much that the seeds are exposed.

Here's an important tip: Use only fresh okra. If it's past its prime, it won't taste good no matter how well you freeze it.

See how to select the best okra here: What Does Okra Taste Like?

Step 2 - Set Up a Blanching Station and Ice Bath

A pot of water boiling on the stove

The next thing you're going to do is set up your blanching area. When you blanch the okra, you preserve its texture, flavor and color for many months in the freezer.

Get a pot and fill it with water, then set it on the stove to boil. Afterwards, fill a large bowl with cold water and lots of ice. This is going to be the second part of your blanching station, the ice bath.

Step 3 - Blanch the Okra

When the water on the stove is boiling, lower the okra pods into it using a slotted spoon or the spoon of your choice.

Leave the okra to blanch for a few minutes. It should start to get tender and heat all the way through, but you don't want it to boil for too long.

Step 4 - Cool the Okra in the Ice Bath

Right after blanching, transfer the okra to the ice bath. You want to do this as quickly as possible to stop it from cooking any longer.

The okra pods shouldn't take too long in the ice bath. After a few minutes, they'll be cool enough for the next step.

Step 5 - Drain and Chop the Okra

Okra pods sliced on a wooden table

Drain the okra pods in a colander over the sink. To get them nice and dry, let them air dry for ten to fifteen minutes, or gently soak up excess moisture with a paper towel.

If you're going to chop the okra, now's the perfect time. Slice it any way you prefer for cooking. You can also skip this entirely if you want to leave the okra whole. 

Step 6 - Flash Freeze the Okra

To help the okra freeze separately instead of congealing into one big lump, flash freeze it.

This is done by placing the okra on a nonstick tray (or a tray lined with parchment paper) and putting the whole thing in the freezer for an hour or two, just long enough to freeze the okra completely.

Step 7 - Package the Okra in Freezer Safe Containers

Close-up of okra pods frozen

Now you can package the frozen okra in any freezer-safe container you like. Just make sure that you fill the container all the way to remove all the air that you can.

You may prefer to use freezer bags instead. These are great for taking up less space in the freezer and also for getting more air out for better freezing.

Want to know how to find okra quickly and easily in any supermarket? See Where to Find Okra in the Grocery Store.

Bonus Tips

If you're not sure exactly how far down the okra pod to cut when you're trimming the ends, this video will show you how.