Okra Cornbread

By Melissa D. Corbin | February 15, 2016
I’ve made this recipe for years. It started out a way to introduce my husband to the okra that I grew up devouring. An okra that discredited its “slimy” reputation. This recipe’s foundation has become the perfect vehicle for vegetables. Southern cookbook author, chef and television personality, Virginia Willis’ version adds several pepper varieties to the ingredient list. Her explanation of why we should eat whole grain cornmeal is on point. Country music star and Food Network personality, Trisha Yearwood adds broccoli, Vidalia onions and pepper Jack cheese for an extra kick. Regardless of recipe preference, there’s no denying this American staple’s roots.


  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 5 okra spears sliced thinly on the bias
  • 2 ears of corn cut from the cob


Preheat oven to 450°. Melt shortening in large cast iron skillet. Whisk buttermilk, egg, and oil together in medium-sized bowl. Stir in cornmeal, baking powder and salt until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in vegetables.Test shortening with a drop of batter. If the batter sizzles, it’s ready for the batter to be poured on top. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until edges are dark brown and the room smells delicious. Let bread cool in pan shortly, before turning out onto plate.  

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  • Okra Cornbread