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Dish of collard greens and another of cornbread on a white napkin with a few garlic cloves on the side

Vegetarian Southern Collard Greens

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American Southern


  • Cast iron skillet or Dutch oven with a lid


  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • sprinkle of hot sauce Optional: Sprinkle finished greens with your favorite hot sauce.


Prep Your Greens

  • Fill a large bowl or sink with water.
  • Submerge your collard greens completely in the water, washing them off.
  • Let them soak for 5-10 minutes.
  • Lift the greens out of the water, being careful to not disturb the bottom of the sink or bowl.
  • Discard the dirty water. Rinse the collards in running water.
  • Pat collards dry with a dishtowel.
  • To cut the collards, lay a leaf flat on the cutting board. Run a sharp knife down each side of the rib in the middle. Discard the ribs. Cut the remaining leaves into strips.

Cooking the Collard Greens

  • In a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, making sure the vessel has a lid that fits, warm the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Saute the peeled, diced onions for at least 5 minutes or until translucent.
  • Add the peeled, diced carrots and saute for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the clean, chopped collard greens on top of the carrots and onions. It is okay if they are still wet. You may need to carefully press the greens down into the skillet.
  • Sprinkle the top of the greens with salt, then cover with the lid.
  • Allow the greens to sweat for several minutes.
  • Carefully lift the lid and stir the collards. You will see the collards beginning to wilt and release liquid.
  • Stirring occasionally, continue to saute the collard greens. Cover with a lid when you are not stirring.
  • When your collards are wilted, tender, and dark green, around 10 additional minutes, remove from heat. Taste and adjust the salt level if needed.
  • Serve warm.