15 Best Okra Substitute For Gumbo Or Soup Recipes

Okra, although widely eaten as a vegetable, is really a fruit. It belongs to the Abelmoschus esculentus plant family, hence it is a fruit rather than a vegetable, as most people believe.

Okra, often called as lady finger because of its long, thin form like a woman’s finger, is commonly used in salads. It may also be served fried as a side dish. It is used in cooking to add flavor to foods and to thicken stews and soups.

The vegetable is popular in hot climates like as India, Africa, and the Caribbean. Okra may be purchased frozen or canned, but it is best utilized fresh to get the most flavor from the fruit.

Did you know

Although okra is widely used as a vegetable, did you know that it is really a fruit?

The green undertone of the okra contributes to the dish’s thickness. When cooked slowly, it becomes fairly soft, but when cooked fast, it has a crispy quality.

Okra has several health advantages. It has been linked to cancer prevention, brain and heart health, blood sugar management, and pregnancy support, among other things.

It is high in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals like as magnesium, folate, niacin, and thiamine. As a result, it has become a culinary staple in many families today.

However, there may be situations when you need okra but do not have any on hand. Don’t worry, there are numerous excellent substitutes for the component depending on the meal and what you want okra to supply.

15 Best Substitute For Okra Or Lady Finger

You may get the necessary taste profile even without okra, whether you need to thicken your soup or stew or you want to offer your meal with okras moderately sweet, grassy flavor.

The following are 15 of the finest okra substitutes:


Asparagus, a popular vegetable, may be used in lieu of okra in a variety of cuisines. When breaded and fried, it has a little different flavor than okra, but it has the same excellent texture with a touch of crunch.

Asparagus may be used in place of okra as a vegetable side dish or snack. It may also be fried and served as an appetizer.

Summer Squash

If you have summer squash on hand and need an instant substitution for okra in your jambalaya meal, you’re in luck. Simply cube the veggie and use it in the same way you would okra.

It is not a terrible idea to utilize summer squash since it is considered an authentic jambalaya component. While its color and taste vary from that of okra, summer squash will give a distinct flavor to your meal.

See also  What Can You Substitute Parma Ham With For Your Sandwiches?

Xanthan Gum


If you’re looking for an okra alternative to utilize as a thickener, xanthan gum is a fantastic option. While xanthan gum is not a common home cooking ingredient, it is often utilized by commercial food producers in a variety of consumer items such as gluten-free cake mixes and ice cream.

Yes, a packet of xanthan gum is pricey, but you won’t need much for this dish. Only a tiny bit of the okra replacement will thicken your meal.

Xanthan gum thickens your stew or soup without changing the taste. It is also a commonly accessible product, which can be found in a variety of health food and grocery shops.

Corn Starch

Okra’s propensity to thicken meals like as stews, gumbo, and jambalaya, among others, has been widely documented. If you need a thickening agent in your recipe but don’t have any okra on hand, don’t worry as long as you have some cornstarch on hand.

Corn starch, like flour, is available in powder form. Corn starch will not alter the taste of your meal when used as an okra alternative to thicken it. In addition to okra, maize starch may effectively substitute rice flour in recipes.

Gumbo File


Gumbo is often thickened with okra. Gumbo file may be used as an okra substitute for this purpose.

The wonderful sassafras leaves are processed into a fine powder that may be used as a herb. The powder may then be added to your gumbo. It should be noted that its root beer-like flavor is an acquired taste that may not appeal to everyone right away.

Use the:1 replacement ratio when using gumbo file for okra in your recipe. This translates to one tablespoon of powder for every cup of sliced okra.


Zucchini is another easy-to-find substitute for okra in your recipes. Zucchini, like okra, is a fruit, yet both are widely eaten as vegetables.

One of the benefits of zucchini is its adaptability. It may be cooked in a variety of ways and used in a variety of dishes.



In many aspects, arrowroot is comparable to corn starch. In the absence of okra, you may use it to thicken your recipes and get the necessary texture.

See also  How To Reheat Quiche In 3 Quick And Simple Ways

The powdered root of the tropical plant Maranta arundinacea is used to make the component. All you need is a tiny bit of the powder to thicken any meal.

Arrowroot has little taste and merely thickens the meal. This makes it an excellent alternative for okra wherever a thickening is required.

Because of its therapeutic properties, the culinary ingredient has long been a favorite thickening agent. Tapioca, another natural food thickener, also contains arrowroot.

Green Beans

Green beans, like okra, are quite adaptable; you can boil, grill, broil, fry, or sauté them. You may also replace green beans for okra in many dishes, but anticipate a different flavor since green beans have a unique flavor.

Green beans may be utilized in a variety of dishes even when they are not substituted for other components. Just be sure to boil the beans just enough to retain their lovely crunch.

Potato Flour


Dehydrated potatoes are used to make potato flour. And, like okra, it may be used to thicken stew or soup dishes.

When combined with a liquid such as water, the replacement component has a natural taste and has the same okra consistency. You may blend potato flour with other kinds of flour, such as all-purpose flour or rice flour, depending on the cuisine.


Roux is a well-kept secret utilized in numerous culinary styles, including Creole, Cajun, and French. The component is just browned butter thickening agent.

When you run out of okra and need a fast substitution, you may rapidly prepare roux at home.

To create a roux, combine equal parts flour and butter. First, melt the butter, then stir in the flour. This results in a paste-like consistency. To thin down the mixture, add some broth or milk.

Your roux varies in hue from off-white to dark brown. This is determined by how you create the roux.



Nopales are derived from the Prickly Pear cactus. They are the edible pad sections of the plant. The item is often used in Mexican cuisine.

When looking for a decent vegetable alternative for okra, Nopales is one of the greatest possibilities. Nopal has a unique taste, yet some people find it a little tart.

Nopales will provide a unique fresh taste to any meal when incorporated. If you want to try something out of the usual in your recipe, use this alternative ingredient.


If you need an okra substitute, try broccoli florets or chop broccoli into bits. When making a big pot of gumbo or your Jambalaya recipe, the florets are great.

See also  Why Do You Soak Liver In Milk Before Cooking?

Broccoli is high in fiber and a variety of other nutrients. Although the vegetable may thicken recipes, it is primarily renowned for its delicious flavor.


The eggplant is a typical replacement for okra that is sometimes overlooked while seeking for alternatives to use in jambalaya or gumbo.

Instead, eggplant is often used as an okra substitute in dishes such as spaghetti. Just be sure you cook it to bring out the wonderful mellow taste.

Eggplants are also well-known for their adaptability. You may serve them as a vegetable side dish or prepare them in a variety of ways. You can eat them cooked or raw, however the raw vegetable may not be as flavorful as you desire.


Lentils are becoming more popular. They have a lot in common with beans. They also have a delicious flavor and may be used to thicken certain meals.

The veggie is available in three various colors: red, green, and brown. As a result, you have color choices when you want your dish to be a certain hue.

Green lentils and okra are the same hue. This is why green lentils are sometimes used as a replacement for okra in a variety of cuisines.

One of the nicest things about using lentils is that you can cook them separately if you don’t need a thickening in your meal. You may just add them afterwards to the meal.

If your meal requires a little thickening, you may simmer the lentils with the other components. This will allow the lentils to fully incorporate with the other components.

Fresh Okra (to substitute for Frozen Okra in Slow Cooker)

Many individuals on the move and busy families nowadays rely significantly on slow cookers for their daily meals. They utilize frozen products most of the time since they don’t have time to buy for fresh items on a regular basis.

However, using frozen okra in the slow cooker may result in an overabundance of liquid in the meal. This is one case when fresh okra is preferable than frozen.

Okra retains its earthy taste when cooked in a crock pot or slow cooker. Using frozen okra, on the other hand, may result in a significantly watered-down version of your meal, which is plainly less pleasant and less rewarding to consume.


How do you thicken gumbo without okra?

One to two tablespoons cornstarch and two to three teaspoons water may be combined to produce a slurry. Mix it well before adding it to the gumbo to eliminate any lumps. Pour the slurry into the gumbo while stirring, and then let it boil to absorb the thickener. The sauce will thicken while the gumbo cooks.

What is okra comparable to?

Although okra has a distinct flavor and texture, some people believe its mild flavor is similar to that of green beans or eggplant. These two veggies may be used in place of okra in many soups and stews. However, since okra lacks natural thickening characteristics, cornstarch or flour may be required.

Can you substitute frozen okra for fresh?

Fresh okra is used in our fried okra recipes since frozen okra has a softer texture than fresh. We love to use frozen okra in soup and stew dishes, including, of course, gumbo.

What is the thickening agent in okra?

Okra pods feature a sweet, grassy taste and seeds, as well as mucilage, which is a viscous, gel-like material that makes okra a useful thickening agent.

What can you use instead of okra in gumbo?

Finally, there are some excellent okra replacements in cooking. If you want to try a new vegetable or need a substitute for a dish, zucchini, eggplant, fish powder (for Gumbo), green beans, and broccoli florets are all wonderful options.

Is okra necessary for gumbo?

Gumbo may be cooked with or without the use of okra or filé powder. The traditional New Orleans approach calls for a French dark, almost chocolate-like roux. The dish’s taste comes from a variety of civilizations. Shellfish with a dark roux, filé, or both are common ingredients in Creole gumbo.

What is the new variety of okra?

Kashi Chaman, an okra variety discovered at the ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh in the year 2019, can be grown in both the summer and rainy seasons.

What vegetables are in the same family as okra?


Okra, roselle, cotton, and hibiscus are all edible plants.

Is Chinese okra the same as regular okra?

Chinese okra is a bit different from regular okra, and the two aren’t even related. It’s also known as Angled Luffa, and it’s a fruit that’s linked to cucumbers, squash, and melon, with a taste that’s comparable to zucchini.

Rate this post