The Ultimate Easy Collard Greens Recipe (Dont miss this one!)

Easy Collard Greens Recipe
Prep. time:
55 min
4 dishes

Collard greens are a staple in Southern cuisine, known for their rich flavor and hearty texture.

This easy collard greens recipe will take you on a journey of soulful comfort food, perfect for any family gathering or simple weeknight dinner. With a few simple ingredients and a little time, you can create a dish that is both nutritious and utterly delicious. Let’s dive into this flavorful experience and discover the secrets to perfect collard greens!

Preparation Time and Details

  • Total Time:
    • Preparation: 10 minutes
    • Cooking: 45 minutes
  • Serves: 4-6 people
  • Difficulty: Easy


The Necessary Ingredients (Possible in All Kinds of Variations)

  • 2 lbs collard greens, washed and chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 smoked ham hock or 4 slices of bacon, chopped (for a vegetarian version, use 1 cup vegetable broth)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional, for a bit of heat)

Alternative Ingredients

For a vegan version, replace the ham hock or bacon with smoked paprika to retain the smoky flavor and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. For a gluten-free version, ensure the broth used is gluten-free.

Preparation Time

These collard greens are quick to prepare, making them perfect for both beginners and seasoned cooks. The entire process, including preparation and cooking, takes about 55 minutes.

Steps of Preparation (Possible in All Kinds of Variations)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. If using bacon, add it now and cook until crispy. If using a ham hock, add it to the pot now.
  5. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the chopped collard greens, stirring to combine.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if using.
  8. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low, allowing the greens to simmer for about 45 minutes until tender.
  9. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Nutritional Benefits

  • Rich in Vitamins: Collard greens are packed with vitamins A, C, and K, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin, immune function, and bone health.
  • High in Fiber: This dish provides a good amount of dietary fiber, aiding in digestion and helping to maintain a healthy gut.
  • Low in Calories: Collard greens are low in calories, making them a great addition to any weight management plan.
  • Antioxidant Properties: The presence of antioxidants in collard greens helps combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
  • Good Source of Calcium: Essential for bone health, collard greens provide a plant-based source of calcium.
  • Supports Heart Health: The nutrients in collard greens, including fiber and antioxidants, contribute to cardiovascular health.

Possible Additions or Upgrades

  • Add Smoked Sausage: For an even heartier dish, add slices of smoked sausage during the cooking process.
  • Include Tomatoes: A few chopped tomatoes can add a touch of sweetness and acidity to the dish.
  • Spice It Up: Incorporate a dash of hot sauce or more red pepper flakes for those who like it spicy.
  • Mix in Other Greens: Combine collard greens with kale or mustard greens for a more complex flavor profile.


How do I store leftovers? Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze collard greens? Yes, cooked collard greens freeze well. Store them in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

How can I reheat collard greens? Reheat them on the stove over medium heat until warmed through, or microwave in a microwave-safe dish.

What should I serve with collard greens? They pair wonderfully with cornbread, fried chicken, or a simple bowl of rice.

Can I make this dish in an Instant Pot? Absolutely! Use the sauté function for the onions, garlic, and bacon, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.

Are collard greens bitter? They can be slightly bitter, but the long cooking time and addition of vinegar help to mellow out the bitterness.

Can I use frozen collard greens? Yes, frozen collard greens can be used. Just adjust the cooking time as needed.

How do I clean collard greens? Wash them thoroughly under running water, and remove the tough stems before chopping.

Can I use other greens? Yes, you can mix collard greens with other hearty greens like kale or mustard greens.

What if I don’t have apple cider vinegar? You can use white vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute.

Share this recipe with friends and family, and let them experience the rich, comforting flavors of these easy collard greens. They are perfect for any meal, and we guarantee they will be a hit!

Enjoy cooking and don’t forget to share your creations on social media!

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