This four-ingredient tomatoes and okra recipe with crispy bacon and tender onion will knock your socks off. I mean you did see bacon in the title, right?!
Some of my favorite recipes begin with “first you fry up some bacon…” and that immediately tells you a lot about this dish. Garden fresh spoils of spring and summer blend together perfectly to create a flavor that’ll make your tongue slap your mouth. I’ve made countless variations of this okra recipe throughout the years but this one tends to be my favorite these days — mostly because, well, bacon. I mean, seriously. Bacon.
Take a moment to just stare in appreciation at how beautiful this tomatoes and okra recipe looks all mixed up together in my vintage dish? ~sigh~ Makes my heart happy and my stomach growl. I don’t reckon you could ask for much more than that.
Now, I know there are some okra haters out there. A lot of people avoid okra because they feel it is slimy. However, cooking it how we do in this recipe is going to really help that because we are actually sautéing the okra at very high heat, in bacon grease no less, and this significantly reduces that one characteristic that seems to stand out to some folks. Me? I could eat okra all day long anyway you cook it. But like I said, this dish is a dear favorite and has won over many an okra naysayer.
There’s just something about the juicy tomatoes paired with crunchy okra, crispy bacon, and tender onion that makes this one of my favorite Southern side dishes. Are you ready to give it a go?
- Okra (I used fresh okra from my sweet neighbor, but you can use thawed frozen sliced okra).
- Tomatoes (fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes work).
- Bacon (turkey bacon or pork bacon).
How to Make My Tomatoes and Okra Recipe with Bacon
Chop up your onion and dice your okra and tomatoes.
Then, fry your bacon in a large skillet and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate once it is nice and crispy.
In the bacon grease that is now in the skillet, place your onions and cook over medium-high heat until they are translucent.
If using turkey bacon, as I do now, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet.
Add okra and tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until okra is tender. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper (according to your taste).
Serve immediately because, well at this point I’m usually eating it right out of the skillet anyway.
So if y’all want some of it you better step up pretty fast!
This tastes amazing served alongside any Southern meal.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave and for something different, serve it alongside scrambled eggs for breakfast.
- If you’re using turkey bacon instead of pork bacon as I do often, you won’t get a lot of bacon drippings. Instead, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet before adding the chopped onion.
- For a spicier version, add 1 teaspoon of chili powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Alternatively, serve it with a drizzle of .
- For added flavor, saute 2 minced garlic cloves with the chopped onion. You might also like to add 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning or Creole seasoning.
- If you want to add more fresh vegetables, opt for 1/3 cup each of chopped celery and fresh corn kernels and/or 1 chopped bell pepper.
What do you serve with tomatoes and okra?
Enjoy tomatoes and okra as a side dish with any hearty Southern main dish, like fried chicken, pulled BBQ chicken, chili, Southern fried catfish, or chicken fried steak.
Can I make this into a main meal?
To make tomatoes and okra into a main dish, add some extra protein, like cooked sausage, shredded chicken, or cooked shrimp. Secondly, serve it over mashed potatoes, rice, or grits for a hearty and filling supper.
Check out these other sensational Southern side dishes:
Southern-Style Fried Okra Recipe
Dixie Cornbread With Buttermilk
Hush Puppies Recipe, Southern-Style
Oven-Baked Mac and Cheese (Southern Plate Favorite)
- 5-50 pieces bacon*
- 3 medium to large diced tomatoes
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 handfuls diced okra** (2-3 cups once diced)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy, turning as needed. Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set it aside.5-50 pieces bacon*
- Keep about 4 tablespoons of bacon grease in the skillet and pour the rest into your grease jar to save.
- Place the chopped onion into the bacon grease and continue cooking over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent. Add the okra and tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until okra is tender. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper to taste.3 medium to large diced tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 2 handfuls diced okra**, salt and pepper to taste
- Remove to a serving bowl and generously sprinkle the crumbled bacon bits over the top.
**We use turkey bacon and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet when frying the onions.
“A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink.”
I use all the ingredients you have posted, but I add garlic, chili powder and sometimes the Rotel with habanero peppers. I love this stuff and make it in bigger batches than y’all do.
Instead of fresh tomatoes, I use a can of Rotel. It gives it a little heat and lots of flavor!!!! If you want even more heat, sprinkle Tony’s instead of salt and pepper.
Great idea Stacy!!
This sounds like a great Low Carb side dish? What do you think?
Somehow I missed this when you first posted it. Made it tonight, pretty much doubled the recipe, used the whole package of bacon and also sliced a link of jalapeno summer sausage into it for an electric skillet low carb meal. Two thumbs up from my husband who could not imagine okra without the corn meal. I also left a few okra pods whole and cooked them in with the bacon as I imagined they would take longer to cook – perfection. Served with more uncooked onions and tomatoes. Heaven on a plate!
I am so glad you liked it Melissa!!! Love the idea of cooking a few pods of okra with the bacon!!
I love okra anyway you fix. Especially boiled and pickled. My Granny used to add a Tablespoon of lemon juice when she boiled it water and it does cut down on the slime
This recipe rocks…one of my girlfriends suggested cutting the corn of a couple of cobs…that is good as well if you want a little variation. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It is just wonderful.
I am so glad you liked it Vicki!! Love the corn suggestion, I will have to give it a try!