These vegan Southern-style collard greens take only 30 minutes to make and are packed with a savory, smoky flavor leaving you thinking you're eating grandma's greens. These collard greens are oil-free and very healthy.
Traditional Southern-style collard greens have always been a staple on the holiday table throughout my life. But those collard greens were typically made with smoked ham, bacon fat, lots of salt, and boiled to oblivion. They were mushy and a brownish-green color. At the time, I liked them, but after my high cholesterol diagnosis in 2007 (when I was only 35 years old), I started looking more closely at the foods I was eating, including my holiday favs like collard greens.
As a nutritionist and someone whose life has been completely transformed by changing what was on the end of my fork, I’ve come to appreciate all the micronutrients, antioxidants, and disease-fighting compounds found in superfoods, like collard greens.
Southern-Style Collard Greens has 7 key ingredients
- Fresh collard greens
- Smoked paprika
- Reduced sodium vegetable broth
- Reduced sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Hot sauce
In addition to the high nutrient density of this holiday favorite, it's also faster to prepare. Most traditional collard greens take between 3 and 4 hours to make. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes.
How to prepare
Thinly slice a medium onion, and set aside.
Chop two bunches of collard greens (about 10 cups) into one-inch strips and soak in water to remove any dirt. Then strain, rinse and strain again.
Preheat a large pot over medium-high heat.
Once hot, add the sliced onion and dry sauté for about 5 minutes. Once it starts to brown, reduce heat to medium-low, and let it continue to cook and caramelize.
Stir in smoked paprika and let cook for 1 minute.
Add in low-sodium vegetable broth and coconut aminos. Stir to incorporate with the cooked onions and smoked paprika.
Immediately add the chopped collard greens, and using tongs, work them into the onion sauce mixture.
Put a lid on the pot and allow collard greens to cook over medium-low heat for about 7 to 10 minutes. They should be bright green and tender, but with a bite.
Finally, add the apple cider vinegar and hot sauce (to taste). Use tongs to incorporate. Remove from heat, dish up, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Leftovers keep well in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. These greens can be frozen for up to 4 months. Another way to use leftovers is to add them to soup or veggie chili.
These greens are healthy compared to traditional collard greens for a few reasons. First, these greens have no added table salt. Instead, it uses reduced sodium soy sauce. Excessive sodium in the diet has been linked to high blood pressure and stroke. Second, this recipe does not have added oil or animal fat compared to traditional collards. Fat is calorie-dense and not helpful if you're trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Third, by not over-cooking these greens for hours, you retain more of the nutrients in the collard greens. Overcooking will cause you to lose more Vitamin C and some B vitamins.
I recommend soaking collard greens to remove the dirt or grit before cooking. To clean the dirt off, chop collards and place them into a large bowl. Fill the bowl with water and gently stir the collards with clean hands. This helps to loosen and remove the dirt. Carefully pick up the collards, put them into a strainer, and rinse them under cool water before cooking. If you find a lot of dirt floating around or settling at the bottom of the bowl, you may consider repeating the step of soaking and stirring to remove the remaining dirt.
Collard greens, as well as kale and broccoli, are a part of the cruciferous vegetable family. These power-packed vegetables are rich in glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that give collard greens a bitter taste. A diet rich in glucosinolates is associated with a lower risk of several chronic illnesses due to its antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory benefits.
If you grew up eating a typical soul food meal for the holidays as I did, this recipe is an example of how you can put a new spin on tradition. Check out our Crustless Vegan Sweet Potato Pie for another example of putting a healthy twist on a holiday favorite.
We hope you love this vegan collard greens recipe as much as we do. Please rate and leave a comment below. Be sure to share a picture on Instagram and tag us @danielsplaterecipes so we can see your creation!Print
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