Tourlou – Greek Vegetable Bake with Okra in Red Sauce Recipe

Tourlou (meaning “mixed up” ) is a melange of vegetables baked to sweet and delicious perfection. This recipe is my mother’s and one that I learned as a young adult. It has travelled the world with me. I cooked it regularly when Eugene and I lived in Seattle – for ourselves and our guests. It was one of my signature celebration recipes, until I learned how to make ntomatofai a few years ago and it was dethroned for a while. In returning to this recipe, my family has received it VERY FAVOURABLY!!! There are absolutely no left-overs when I make it!

So please try it and see for yourself why we love it so much!

Again, I emphasise the fact that the okra are simply trimmed, washed and used as they are. They are not salted or brined in any way!!! Their mucous cooks out during baking, leaving behind just yumminess!!!!

On a personal note. whenever I hear the word “tourlou” it always brings to mind Giorgos Dalaras’ beautiful song – Πάμε γι’ αλλού and I get a little nostalgic 💗💗💗

Πάμε γι’ αλλού, πάμε γι’ αλλού
Μονάχα η τρέλα του μυαλού μας έμεινε αμανάτι
Σ’αυτού του κόσμου το τουρλού
Γίναμε εμείς τ’ αλάτι

Which translates to:
Let’s go somewhere else, let’s go somewhere else
Only the madness of our mind was left untouched
In this world’s tourlou
We have became the salt


Tourlou - Greek Vegetable Bake with Okra in Red Sauce Recipe

Alsoknown as Briam or Ratatouille…

Course Appetizer, dinner, entree, lunch, Main Course, Salad, vegetarian
Cuisine Greek
Keyword celery, eggplant, longhorn peppers, okra, vegetables


  • 2 medium purple onions
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 green longhorn pepper
  • 2 red longhorn peppers
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 500 ml passata
  • 300 g okra
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


Preparing the veggies

  1. Cut the purple onions in half, cut each half in half again across its longest length and then cut each quarter into thirds to form “square” onion pieces

  2. Cut top off peppers, cut peppers in half lengthways, cut each half into “rectangular” pieces, approximately 2cm x 3cm

  3. Cut celery into ½ cm thick rounds

  4. Coarsely chop celery tops

  5. Cut eggplant in half lengthways, cut each half into thirds lengthways, cut each length into chunky “cubes”

  6. Using a paring knife, make an angled incision into the okra just below the visible line that separates the stalk from the fruit - continue cutting around the okra to form a conical pyramid at the top of the okra (see Okra 101 video for prep guide)

Preparing the tourlou

  1. Sauté the onions in ¼ cup EVOO in a large baking pan, on medium-high heat, until slightly browned

  2. Add the peppers and celery rounds and sauté till slightly browned too

  3. Add the eggplants, celery tops,salt and pepper and stir through

  4. Add the passata and a generous drizzle of EVOO, before adding the okra and coating with the pan juices

  5. Cover with a piece of ventedfoil

  6. Bake at 180°C fan-forced for 1 hour

  7. Remove the foil and drizzlegenerously with EVO

  8. Bake for 20 minutes more until the okra have browned a little

Serving the tourlou

  1. Serve the tourlou with risoni-rice and thick Greek yoghurt or with fresh crusty bread

    Kali Orexi!

Recipe Video

Key Points

  • Try and keep the okra on the top layer of the vegetables, so they bake well and all of the slime cooks out
Download this Recipe

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