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Square overhead shot of stewed okra and tomatoes in a Dutch oven.
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5 from 18 votes

Okra and Tomatoes

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes is a classic Southern dish! Flavored with bacon, onion, garlic and cider vinegar, you know these vegetables are bound to be good.
Course Side Dish, Sides
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword okra and tomatoes, southern okra and tomatoes, stewed okra and tomatoes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 126kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, NOT drained(see note below to use fresh tomatoes instead)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen okra, stems trimmed and cut into ½ -inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, cook bacon until the bacon is starting to get crispy and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion and garlic; saute for 5 more minutes.
    Bacon onion and garlic in a pot
  • Stir in tomatoes (with their juices), sugar, thyme, bay leaf, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Use the juices from the tomatoes to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
    Diced tomatoes in a pot with herbs
  • Add the okra, cover with a lid, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the okra is tender (about 10-12 minutes for fresh okra or 7-8 minutes for frozen okra).
    Square overhead shot of stewed okra and tomatoes in a Dutch oven.
  • Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.



  • Use fresh okra and fresh tomatoes in the summer when the produce is at its peak. Otherwise, frozen okra and canned tomatoes also work beautifully and offer consistent flavor and texture.
  • Frozen okra tends to soften a bit faster than fresh okra, so reduce the cooking time slightly if using frozen vegetables. You do not need to thaw the okra before adding it to the pot.
  • If using fresh tomatoes, you'll need about 2 ½ cups of seeded and diced tomatoes. You'll also need to add about ½ cup of liquid to replace the juice from the canned tomatoes. Water, broth, or red wine will all work well.
  • If you don't have thick-cut bacon, increase the total amount of bacon to 4-5 regular strips.
  • For a heartier meal, add shrimp or sausage to the dish.
  • Try Creole seasoning for a Cajun twist, or a bit of cayenne to make it spicy.
  • Corn is also a nice addition to the pot. You can use fresh corn off the cob, or stir in frozen kernels instead.
  • Recipe adapted from Paula Deen.


Serving: 1/6 of the recipe | Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 401IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2mg