Easy Vegan Collard Greens – A Nutritious Delight

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My advice for a delightful dish Homemade Vegan Collard Greens Recipe Key to its charm, fresh collard greens, and aromatic spices meld together. Homemade garlic and onion sizzle, infusing earthy flavor. A splash of apple cider vinegar adds zest. This may help transform your green recipe into a savory, heart-healthy staple. Great way to ensure your meal is both nutritious and irresistible.


  • Utilizes fresh vegetarian collard greens, packed with nutrients, for a healthful boost.
  • Simple seasoning with garlic and smoked salt adds depth without overpowering.
  • Vegan-friendly, catering to a wide range of dietary preferences.
  • Quick to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknights or meal prep.
  • A versatile healthy side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses.

Have you ever faced the challenge of creating a meal that’s both healthy and full of flavor? As a vegan, I remember the struggle well. That’s where my journey to perfecting the Vegan Collard Greens Recipe began.

In my quest for a nutritious yet delicious dish, I stumbled upon the magic of southern-style collard greens. This leafy green, often overlooked, became my canvas for culinary creativity.

Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

By experimenting with a blend of spices, garlic, and onion, I found a way to elevate the humble collard green into a star dish.

This easy recipe is not just a testament to health but also a celebration of taste, proving that plant-based eating can be both simple and sensational.

What Are Vegan Collard Greens Recipe?

Vegan Collard Greens Recipe is a nutritious and flavorful dish made from collard greens, a leafy vegetable known for its health benefits. In this vegan version, the greens are typically cooked without animal products.

Instead, they’re simmered with ingredients like garlic, onion, and a variety of spices to enhance their natural flavor. A splash of apple cider vinegar often adds a tangy twist.

This dish is a staple in vegan cuisine, offering an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It’s a hearty, comforting food that caters to health-conscious individuals and those following a plant-based diet.

Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

Quick Fact: Collard greens are rich in vitamin K, A, and C, as well as fiber, making them a nutritious addition to any meal.

Recipe Directions

  • Prepare the Skillet: Coat a large, large skillet or pot with vegetable oil.
  • Sauté Onions: Over medium heat, sauté onions until they’re almost tender.
  • Add Garlic: Add garlic and cook until the onion and garlic mixture is fragrant for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add Vegetable Broth: Pour in the vegetable broth.
  • Season the Broth: Season the rich broth with smoked salt and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed, ensuring they are to your liking, as this will influence the overall flavor of the greens.
  • Simmer: Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat.
Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

  • Cook the Greens: Add the delicious collard greens to the pot. They will wilt down as they cook.
  • Simmer the Greens: Continue to simmer for 1 to 1 hour 30 minutes. Avoid boiling. Add more veggie broth if necessary. The greens may need more or less time, so checking them after 30-45 minutes is advisable. When done, they should be dark green, tender, and free of a bitter taste.
  • Final Seasoning: If desired, add more smoked salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce to taste.
  • Serve: Enjoy your Vegan Collard Greens Recipe! Optionally, add hot sauce or vinegar for an extra zing.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 


  • Spicy Kick: Add extra red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños for a spicy version.
  • Smoky Tempeh: Incorporate smoked tempeh pieces to mimic the traditional smokiness of bacon.
  • Southern Staple: Mix in a splash of apple cider vinegar for a tangy Southern flavor.


  • Beans: Stir in black-eyed peas or kidney beans for protein and texture.
  • Mushrooms: Sauteed mushrooms can provide a meaty texture and umami flavor.
  • Nuts: Top with crushed almonds or pecans for crunch.
Vegan Collard Greens Recipe


  • Vegan Parmesan: Sprinkle homemade or store-bought Vegan Parmesan cheese for a cheesy finish.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro for freshness.
  • Lemon Zest: Add lemon zest for a citrusy accent, enhancing the greens’ natural flavors.
Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

Vegetable Substitutes

  • Onion/Garlic Alternatives: If onions or garlic aren’t available, use shallots or leeks. They offer a similar depth of flavor.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables Broth: Water with a bouillon cube or homemade vegetable stock can be used without vegetable broth.
  • Sea Salt: If smoked salt isn’t handy, regular sea or kosher salt can be used. Add a dash of liquid smoke or smoked paprika for that smoky flavor.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: For less or more heat, adjust the amount of red pepper flakes or substitute with cayenne pepper or a mild paprika.
  • Collard Greens: Kale or Swiss chard can replace collard greens, though the taste and texture will vary slightly.
  • Seasonings: For varied flavor profiles, experiment with different herbs and spices, such as thyme, bay leaves, or cumin.
  • Hot Sauce: Customize the heat level with your choice of hot sauce or a vinegar-based sauce for tanginess.

Quick Tip – Massage collard leaves with lemon juice or vinegar before cooking to help tenderize them and reduce bitterness.

Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

Best Side Dishes 

  • Quinoa Or Brown Rice These whole grains provide a hearty and nutritious base, balancing the greens’ lightness.
  • Roasted Sweet Potato Salad Their natural sweetness contrasts beautifully with the savory greens.
  • Cornbread A classic choice, especially if you’re aiming for a Southern collard greens-style meal.
  • Grilled Tofu Or Tempeh These provide a protein-rich complement, making the meal more filling.
  • Steamed Vegetables Like broccoli or carrots, for added nutrition and color.
  • Black-Eyed Peas Or Lentils These legumes add a comforting, earthy element and boost the protein content.
  • Cauliflower Mash A low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes, it pairs well with the robust flavor of collard greens.
  • Fresh Salad A light, crisp salad can add a refreshing contrast to the dish.
  • Vegan Mac And Cheese For a more indulgent, comforting side.
  • Garlic Bread Adds a crunchy, flavorful element to the meal.
Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

How To Serve?

  • Side Dish Staple: Serve Vegan Collard Greens Recipe as a classic side dish alongside your favorite main course, such as grilled tofu, roasted vegetables, or plant-based burgers.
  • Southern Comfort: Pair Vegan Collard Greens Recipe with traditional Southern fare like cornbread, black-eyed peas, and mashed sweet potatoes for a soulful and satisfying meal.
  • Brunch Boost: Incorporate Vegan Collard Greens Recipe into your brunch spread alongside tofu scramble, roasted potatoes, and whole-grain toast for a hearty and nutritious morning meal.
  • Wrap It Up: Use vegan recipe as a nutritious, gluten-free alternative to tortillas or collard wraps. Fill them with quinoa, roasted vegetables, avocado, and hummus for a tasty handheld lunch option.
  • Soup And Stew Enhancer: Add chopped collard greens to soups, stews, or chili during the last few minutes of cooking for a vibrant pop of color and a nutritious boost.

Quick Tip – Use vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor when simmering collard greens.

Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Store cooked vegan collard greens in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the vegan collard greens up to 2 days in advance. After cooking, let them cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Reheat before serving.
  • Freezing: Vegan Collard Greens Recipe can be frozen for up to 2 months. Let them cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Flavor Enhancement: For even more flavor, let the cooked collard greens sit in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. This allows the flavors to meld and intensify.

Quick Fact – Vegan collard recipes often feature creative substitutes like smoked paprika or liquid smoke for a satisfying smoky flavor.

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Ahead: Chop your collard greens and store them in the fridge to reduce cooking time.
  2. Use Pre-Minced Garlic: Save time by using pre-minced garlic instead of mincing it yourself.
  3. Batch Cook: Make a large batch of Vegan Collard Greens and freeze portions for quick future meals.
  4. Quick Rinse Technique: Instead of individually washing leaves, submerge and swish them in a large bowl.
  5. Buy Pre-Cut Greens: Many stores offer pre-cut collard greens, eliminating the need for chopping.
  6. Simmer Efficiently: Cover the pot while simmering to cook the greens faster and more evenly.
  7. Use A Pressure Cooker: A pressure cooker can significantly reduce the cooking time of collard greens.
  8. Microwave To Wilt: Quickly wilt your greens in the microwave before adding them to the pot to cut down on simmering time.
  9. Ready-To-Use Broth: Opt for ready-to-use vegetable broth instead of making it from scratch.

Vegan Collard Greens

Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

Savor the flavors of Southern comfort with our Vegan Collard Greens Recipe. Tender collard greens simmered with aromatic onions, garlic, and smoked paprika create a rich and satisfying dish. Finished with a tangy apple cider vinegar splash, it's a nutritious, cruelty-free twist on a classic favorite.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Rest Time 5 mins
Servings 6
Calories 150 kcal


  • Large Deep Skillet or Pot
  • Cutting Board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula
  • Colander
  • Airtight Containers
  • Garlic Press (optional)
  • Ladle
  • Tongs


  • 1/2 Small Yellow Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2-3 cups Vegetable Broth (as per preference)
  • 1 teaspoon Applewood Smoked Salt (or any smoked salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 lbs Collard Greens
  • Black Pepper To taste
  • Hot Sauce To taste


  • Prepare the Skillet: Coat a large, deep skillet or pot with vegetable oil, ensuring even coverage to prevent sticking.
  • Sauté Onions: Place the skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions until they're nearly tender and translucent, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Add Garlic: Add minced garlic into the skillet, stirring continuously, and cook until the onion and garlic mixture becomes fragrant, typically about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add Vegetable Broth: Pour the vegetable broth into the skillet, ensuring it covers the onion and garlic mixture adequately.
  • Season The Broth: Season the broth with smoked salt and red pepper flakes according to taste preferences. Good stir to distribute the flavors evenly. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed, ensuring the broth has a robust flavor profile.
  • Simmer: Bring the broth mixture to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer.
  • Cook The Greens: Add the prepared collard greens to the simmering broth, ensuring they're submerged. They will gradually wilt down as they cook.
  • Simmer The Greens: Allow the collard greens to simmer in the broth for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes, ensuring they're tender and flavorful. Avoid boiling, as this may overcook the greens. Add more vegetable broth if needed to maintain an adequate liquid level in the skillet.
  • Final Seasoning: Taste the collard greens and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add more smoked salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce according to personal preference.
  • Serve: Once the collard greens are cooked to perfection, serve them hot as a delightful side dish or main course. Optionally, offer hot sauce or vinegar on the side for an extra kick of flavor. Enjoy your delicious Vegan Collard Greens!


  • For a richer flavor, consider adding a splash of apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice towards the end of cooking.
  • To enhance the smoky essence, substitute smoked paprika for regular paprika.
  • For added depth, experiment with additional seasonings such as cumin, thyme, or liquid smoke.
  • Collard greens can vary in toughness, so adjust cooking time accordingly for desired tenderness.

Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

Nutrition Table 

Vegan Collard Greens Recipe Nutrition Table 

Vegan Collard Greens Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Other Greens Instead Of Collard Greens?

Yes, you can substitute with kale, Swiss chard, or mustard greens. Adjust cooking time accordingly, as different greens may require varying cooking durations.

Can I Make This Recipe In Advance?

Absolutely! Vegan Collard Greens taste even better the next day as the flavors meld. Simply reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

How Do I Store Leftovers?

Store leftover collard greens in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat as needed, adding a splash of water or vegetable broth if they’ve thickened too much.

Can I Freeze Collard Greens?

Yes, you can freeze them for up to 2-3 months. Allow them to cool completely before transferring to freezer-safe containers or bags. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Is This Recipe Gluten-Free?

Yes, this easy collard greens recipe is naturally gluten-free. However, always double-check ingredient labels to ensure they’re free from gluten if you have specific dietary requirements or sensitivities.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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