Stewed Okra and Tomatoes Creole Style

This classic Southern stewed okra and tomatoes recipe with bacon, bell pepper, onions, and celery makes a flavorful side dish.

Stewed Tomatoes and Okra recipe

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

There's a reason why the Southern dish of stewed okra and tomatoes is timeless. It's just plain good!

First you start with browning some bacon, then you add the holy trinity—onions, bell pepper, and celery, then the tomatoes, okra and spices. Everything is cooked together until tender and almost falling apart.

Okra is a summer vegetable but you can get frozen okra all year round which is perfectly fine stewed like this. If you don't have access to okra at all, you can prepare green beans in a similar manner (see recipe).

Stewed Southern Okra and Tomatoes

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

Do you have a favorite summer okra dish? Please let us know about it in the comments. I love okra and am always looking for ways to cook with it.

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes Creole Style

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 4 servings

You can use either whole or thickly sliced okra for this recipe.

Obviously we believe this dish is best with bacon, but if you don't eat bacon or want to make a vegetarian dish, leave it out and use a tablespoon or two of olive oil instead.


  • 2 ounces bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch wide slices (lardons)

  • 1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium onion)

  • 1 cup diced bell pepper (about 1 bell pepper)

  • 1/2 cup diced celery (about one rib)

  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 1 clove)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes and their juices

  • 1 pound (16-ounces) of frozen or fresh okra, whole or thickly sliced, trimmed of tough tops if whole, defrosted if frozen

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

  • 1 pinch cayenne

  • 1 pinch cinnamon

  • 1 scant pinch ground cloves (a little goes a long way)

  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Cook the bacon lardons until lightly browned:

    Place the bacon lardons in a thick-bottomed pot (3 or 4 quart). Heat on medium and cook until the bacon is lightly browned and much of the fat has rendered out.

  2. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, then garlic:

    Once bacon has browned, add the onions, celery, and bell pepper. The bacon should have rendered enough fat to cook the vegetables, but if not, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.

    Cook over medium high heat until onions, celery, and bell peppers are lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.

    Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients, water, then simmer:

    Add the tomatoes, okra, and salt to the pot. Add the black pepper, cayenne, thyme, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir to combine.

    Add 1/2 cup of water.

    Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

    Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
131 Calories
5g Fat
14g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 131
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 574mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 72mg 358%
Calcium 115mg 9%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 437mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.