Cajun Okra and Tomato Bake

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Cajun Okra and Tomato BakePeople have a problem with okra, and I get it. It can be downright slimy when not cooked right. Hey, what’s this new Cajun dish you’re feeding me? Two bites in: Eeew, Cajun’s ruined forever! That goop is called mucilage, a by-product of natural sugars that break down as the okra fruit—yes, fruit—ripens. The acids in a tomato break down this offensive mess, so the two are a match made in heaven. And … with Cajun potentially ruined forever, here we solve that problem!

  • Yield: 10 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes


  • 3 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2½ cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 12 oz frozen sliced okra, thawed
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 lb prepared cornbread, from above or store-bought
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
How to Make It
  1. To make the cornbread from scratch, preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, ¾ cup of the olive oil, and eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined completely. Do not overmix.
  2. Coat the bottom and sides of a cast iron skillet or baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Scrape the cornbread batter into the vessel and transfer to the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the top begins to brown and crack.
  3. Remove the cornbread from the oven and set it on a cooling rack on the counter, uncovered, overnight to dry out.
  4. To make the bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Place a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add onion and 1 teaspoon of salt, and sauté until the onion becomes almost translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic to the skillet and continue to sauté for 1 additional minute. Remove the onion mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  5. To this bowl, mix in the oregano, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, okra, tomatoes, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Then roughly crumble pre-made cornbread on top.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and broth or water. Pour the egg mixture into the bread mixture. Stir to combine until the liquid is fully absorbed.
  7. Using a paper towel or pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides of a baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour the contents of the mixing bowl into a baking dish, gently pressing to ensure everything fits in one solid layer. Place the baking dish onto the center rack of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned and crusty. Allow the bake to rest for 10 minutes before serving heaping spoonfuls.

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