Collard Greens (1)
5/5 - (1 vote)
  • Food: Collard Greens
  • Writer: Lizzie Green
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

I’m having a thing for sautéed collard greens right now. I know, this is exhilarating news, isn’t it? I’ve made mashed potatoes using cooked kale, and I’m presently sautéing collard greens for every meal.

These collards have a garlicky, lemony flavor that is quite enticing. They’re the ideal quick and healthy side dish, and exactly what I’m craving now that spring has here.

Collard greens are often associated with West African cuisine (I put collards in my peanut soup). Maybe you’ve tried slow-cooked Southern collard greens with bacon or something similar.

Southern-style collard greens, as well as Brazilian collard greens known as “couve à mineira,” were inherited from Africa.

I prepared these collard greens in the Brazilian way, which involves quickly sautéing them in hot oil with garlic and pepper flakes.

In Brazil, collards are usually served with the national food, “feijoada,” a hearty black bean stew with pig and rice on the side. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, these collard greens would taste delicious served with black beans and rice.

How to Cook Collard Greens?

Years ago, my friend Matt taught me to this cooking approach. It creates the best collard greens, in my opinion! This is how you do it:

  1. Remove the collard greens’ thick core ribs and arrange the leaves on top of one another. Roll them up into a cigar-like form from one end, then slice them across the roll to make slender collard strips. Make your slices as thin as possible using a sharp chef’s knife—ideally around 1/8-inch wide. Break the collards apart with a few additional chops.
  2. Warm a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat (cast iron works well). Drizzle a good amount of olive oil on top (the oil will later help your body absorb the nutrients in the greens). After that, add the greens and a pinch of salt. Stir in the greens until they’re all softly shimmering from the oil and turning a darker green color.
  3. Allow the greens to cook in 30-second intervals against the pan, stirring in between. Some of the collards will get crisp, browned edges as a result of the heated oil in the hot pan—these are delicious!
  4. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes once you see some browning action. Because the garlic will burn by the time your collards are done, I recommend adding it now rather than later.
  5. To stop the collards from cooking, transfer them to plates. You’re done when you serve it with a wedge of lemon.

How to Serve Collard Greens?

Collard Greens yum (1)
Food: Collard Greens (Source: Cookie With Katie)

To be honest, the flavors in these collard greens would complement practically any robust main course. Here are some suggestions:

  • These greens have a Mediterranean flavor because to the lemon and garlic. Serve with pasta, lasagna, or other Italian or Greek main courses. With these collards, make a simple spaghetti dish.
  • As previously said, these collard greens pair well with rice and black beans.
  • Add chopped peanuts to make a dish inspired by West African cuisine.

Switch It Up

If you can’t get collard greens or have an extra bunch of kale, it works well as a substitute.

These quick-cooking collard greens go surprisingly well with Asian spices. Because kale and collards are similar greens, you might like this idea if you’ve ever cooked my kale fried rice.

Reduce the salt (we’ll add salty sauce afterward) and replace the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger for an Asian twist.

Add a drizzle of store-bought teriyaki sauce to the skillet once the collards are done cooking, or 1 teaspoon tamari or other soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. (Remove the lemon.) It’s fantastic.

Collard Greens

Time to Prepare: 8 minutes

7-minute cook time

15-minute total time

Serving: 2 servings

With a dash of lemon juice, these collard greens are rapidly sautéed in olive oil. These nutritious, vegetarian collards will be a hit! This recipe serves two people as a side dish.

Simply repeat the ingredients and procedures below to produce multiples (cook each batch separately for best results).


  • 1 large bunch (about 10 ounces) of collard greens
  • 1 ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional, scale back or omit if sensitive to spice)
  • A couple of lemon wedges, for serving


Collard Greens yummy (1)
Food: Collard Greens (Source: Cookie With Katie)
  1. To make the collards, follow these steps: Each collard green should have the thick middle rib removed. Stack the rib-free greens in a cigar-like shape and roll them up. To construct lengthy strands, slice the “cigar” as thinly as possible (18′′ to 14′′). Shake the greens and give them a couple of chops to shorten the strands.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add all of the collard greens and the salt once the oil is shimmering.
  3. Stir until all of the greens are lightly coated in oil, then simmer for another 30 seconds without stirring. Stir in 30-second intervals until the greens are wilted, dark green, and some are beginning to brown around the edges (this is delicious). It will take 3 to 6 minutes to complete this task.
  4. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes when the collards are almost done (if using). Stir to break up the garlic and heat for 30 seconds, or until aromatic. Turn off the heat in the pan.
    Immediately divide the cooked collards onto plates, and serve with a lemon wedge each.