Try One of Our Very Best Collard Greens Recipes for Dinner Tonight

crispy salmon with coconut-ginger collards served with fresh cilantro
Photo: Nico Schinco

Move over, kale! Healthy, nutritious, and delicious collard greens are coming. Traditionally, collards are paired with ham hocks and other pork for flavor and richness, but we have plenty of delicious vegetarian options.

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collard greens
David Malosh

A robust leafy green, collards are part of the cabbage family. They are a culinary staple in the South, where they're traditionally cooked in a long, slow braise. In other cuisines, collards are prepared differently, and you might be surprised to learn that these greens also lend themselves to faster recipes and pair nicely with both hearty and light flavors. If you're not already familiar with collard greens, you might not realize they have a mild taste—really, there's just a hint of bitterness.

Collard greens are also incredibly healthy. They are packed with vitamins B6, C, and E, and are an excellent source of calcium, folate, and beta-carotene. Plus, their antioxidants may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

You can find collard greens year-round in the produce aisle, but because they are a cold-weather crop, their peak season is from January through April. When shopping for collards, choose crisp, dark-green leaves with no discoloration, and look for smaller leaves, which are younger and more tender. Once you get them home, wrap unwashed leaves in damp paper towels, and store them loosely in a plastic bag. You can refrigerate them for up to five days in the crisper drawer.

Collards can be gritty, so be sure to wash them in several changes of cool water until no dirt remains at the bottom of the bowl before cooking. It's also important to remember that their thick stalks are too tough to eat and should be removed; to do so, simply cut them out with a sharp paring knife.

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Crispy Salmon with Coconut-Ginger Collards

crispy salmon with coconut-ginger collards served with fresh cilantro
Nico Schinco

Even if you already consider collard greens a favorite vegetable, we bet you haven't cooked them quite like this before. As a delicious pairing with salmon fillets, the dark leafy greens are cooked with coconut milk, ginger, and chickpeas.

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Vegetarian Collard Greens

David Malosh

A Parmesan rind is the umami packed ingredient that gives these meat-free collards a flavor punch. Just remember to remove the rind before serving!

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Stuffed Collard Greens

David Malosh

Spelt, white beans and tomato sauce fill these nutrient-rich (and vegetarian) bundles of collard greens.

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Collard Greens with Bacon

Collard Greens with Bacon
Quentin Bacon

This is a pretty classic recipe for collard greens, where they're braised with bacon and onion and brightened with a splash of apple cider vinegar. For maximum flavor and tenderness, cook the greens a few hours in advance, store in the refrigerator, and reheat them just before serving.

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Minestrone with Collard Greens and White Beans

José Manuel Picayo Rivera

Collard greens replace the usual kale or spinach in this vegetarian take on minestrone soup. In addition to the canned diced tomatoes and collard greens, other vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, celery, or green beans, can be added to bulk up the dish.

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Spaghetti with Collard Greens and Lemon

Johnny Miller

A handful of lemon zest coats the noodles and lends brightness to the collards in this quick pasta dish. The recipe calls for farro pasta, which has a complex, nutty flavor, but you could substitute whole-wheat pasta.

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Chicken, Collard Greens, and Sweet Potato Stew


Hearty but not heavy, this satisfying chicken stew combines dark leafy collard greens with tender chicken, sweet potato, and brown rice for a colorful and warming dinner.

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Sautéed Collard Greens with Raisins

José Manuel Picayo Rivera

Raisins add pleasing bursts of sweetness, and toasted almonds add crunch to sautéed collard greens. To turn this side dish into a complete meal, toss the greens with penne pasta and add cannellini beans or chickpeas.

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Gumbo Z'Herbes


Also called green gumbo, this Louisiana dish is traditionally served on Good Friday, but it's just as delicious on other occasions. In addition to collard and mustard greens, use any other greens you like in your gumbo z'herbes such as turnip, beet, and dandelion greens; spinach; watercress; parsley; and arugula.

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Fast Collard Greens


Super-fast collard greens? Yes, there is such a thing. Lucinda Scala Quinn learned this technique for finely chopping collards from a Brazilian friend.

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Shrimp with Bacon and Collards


In this quick supper, collard greens are braised with canned diced tomatoes and shrimp, topped with crisp bits of bacon, and served over rice. Bonus: This easy dish is made in one pan.

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Stewed Collard Greens and White Beans

Stewed Collard Greens and White Beans
Con Poulos

There's no pork in this vegetarian update on the traditional collard greens and black-eyed peas combo. Cannellini beans and Parmesan rind give the dish a Mediterranean twist.

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Scrambled Tofu with Collards and Turmeric

Bryan Gardner

Collard greens add a hearty vegetable note to this colorful, protein-packed breakfast. It's flavored with digestion-aiding spices ginger and turmeric, and it also makes a delicious dinner.

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Stewed Collard Greens


In this basic recipe for collards, the greens are stewed with chicken broth and red pepper flakes for about an hour, until tender. To make this side dish vegetarian-friendly, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

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Cumin-Dusted Shrimp with Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens


Black-eyed peas are simmered with red bell pepper, onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaf until tender and flavorful, then seasoned with cumin and cider vinegar. The beans are mixed with sautéed collard greens and topped with pan-seared shrimp for a filling meal.

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Braised Collards with Tomatoes


Build flavor slowly in this braised dish where collards are cooked with canned tomatoes and a smoked ham hock for three hours, until super tender and smoky. Canned black-eyed peas are stirred in at the end to add substance to the meal. Serve with rice or grits for a perfect dinner.

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Pasta with Cauliflower and Collards


Collard greens are sautéed until bright green and crisp-tender, and tossed with roasted cauliflower and lemon zest in this vegetarian pasta dish. Before serving, top with grated Parmesan and toasted breadcrumbs or chopped walnuts.

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Braised Collard Greens

José Manuel Picayo Rivera

Collard greens become tender, rich, and smoky when braised for an hour with a smoked ham hock. Serve with hot sauce and skillet cornbread.

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