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Vegetarian Southern Collard Greens
Pass the hot sauce! It's on and poppin!!!

Vegetarian Southern Collard Greens

“What!  You didn’t use any meat in these greens? Yeah right!”  is usually what I hear when I serve these vegetarian collard greens. They can stand right up to my soulful, southern style collard greens recipe with it’s head held high. They are bursting with flavor and yes, even the pot liquor is bangin! : )

This is my favorite family recipe for collard greens made WITHOUT chicken broth and smoked meat. It’s healthier but don’t expect to have to sacrifice taste! You won’t even miss the meat.

vegetarian southern collard greens recipe healthy vegan

Pass the hot sauce! It’s on and poppin!!!

This vegetarian southern collard greens recipe is family approved which isn’t easy to do in my deep south, tell it like it is, family. Try bringing a pot of collard greens to dinner that doesn’t have a slab of smoked meat in the pot and there are bound to be some issues and major side eyeing. Not with this recipe though!

Vegetarian Southern Collard Greens Recipes

Smokey, slightly salty, slightly vinegary goodness!

These collard greens are full of southern flavor! The key to a pot of guuuud, yes guuuuud, vegetarian southern collard greens, or any kind of collard greens for that matter, is to create a savory broth to slowly simmer the collards in. This recipe starts with a broth made with rich vegetable broth for maximum flavor, fresh garlic and onions, smoked applewood salt for that smokey, bacon taste and red pepper flakes for kick. The collard greens just soaks up all that yumminess.

Vegetarian Collard Greens Recipes broth

Yum!! Here is the flavorful, smokey broth we’ll be simmering our collard greens in!

I love this recipe because it’s so easy and sometimes I just want a meat-free version of soulful dishes like collard greens.

Watch me make these vegetarian southern collard greens from start to finish!

5.0 from 13 reviews
Vegan Southern Collard Greens
Cook time
Total time
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth ( I only used 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon applewood smoked salt (or any kind of smoked salt)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs collard greens
  • black pepper
  • hot sauce
  1. Coat a large deep skillet or pot with vegetable oil.
  2. Saute onions until almost tender over medium heat and then add in garlic.
  3. Cook until onion and garlic are fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in vegetable broth.
  5. Season broth with smoked salt and red pepper flakes.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Make sure it's to your liking because this is how your greens will taste.
  7. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat.
  8. Add in the greens. Green will wilt down as they cook.
  9. Simmer for 1 hr to 1 hr 30 mins. Do not boil. Add more vegetable broth if needed. May need more or less time so be sure to check them after 30-45 minutes. When done, greens will be dark green, tender and will not have a raw taste.
  10. Add in more smoked salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and hot sauce, if desired. ( I always do!)
  11. Enjoy!
  12. Add hot sauce or vinegar if desired.
~TIPS~ Any type of smoked salt can be used. Cooking time may vary. Add fresh tomatoes and red peppers if desired.


  1. I am a new vegan, it’s delicious recipes like this that made me so happy that I became vegan, Thank u Diva these greens are Devine I had to order the applewood salt so glad I did! These greens Rock, don’t miss the meat at all, thanks a million!!

  2. I am a recent vegan convert and this recipe is really working for me and my honey!

  3. This was a surprising hit at yesterday’s chicken and waffles party!

  4. I’m drooling! Going to make this right now!!!

  5. Just wanted to say that these greens were fabulous! I made them for Easter and added a combination of Trader Joes Smoked Sea Salt and Their South African Smoke Seasoning blend and the flavor was outrageous! I did add a splash of vinegar and everyone who tried them could not believe that there was no meat in them. Thanks for a fabulous recipe. AND you are absolutely right about the pot liquor! It pained me to get rid of it.

  6. Being from GA, I was having trouble finding a bacon/hamless collards recipe that would get approval from my husband!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

  7. Omg, I love me some greens! I have been a vegetarian for 2 years now. I cannot wait to try this! May you please do MORE veggie dishes??? Please? Lol again thanks a lot for this, I have tried a good size of your recipes and so far they have all came out perfect! I taught myself how to cook and your website and youtube channel has helped me SO much! <3

    Peace and Love

  8. These green were delicious! I added sliced red bell peppers half way through cooking. Thanks so much for this recipe! It’s a refreshing change from the usual collards.

  9. Yes ma’am!!! This recipe is AMAZING!!! I’ll definitely be using this again:)

  10. I made this recipe for the first time on New Year and had my meat loving family over for dinner and it was a HIT!!!! I made it like this for my husband who has decided to become a pescetarian and he absolutely loved it.

  11. Just going through ya videos and I just love how u show the video on how to cook this stuff. I will be trying collards soon. Trying to cook more veggies for hubby me and the kids.

  12. Can you use a vegetable bouillon if you don’t have vegetable broth?

  13. We add quinoa to this great recipe to turn it into a full dinner meal for our family. It’s become one of our very favorites. So flavorful and healthy. We never feel “gross” after this great meal! :)

  14. Made greens this way earlier this week. They were great.Love the idea of using broth instead of plain water. Thanks once again. :)

  15. Live*Laugh*Love

    I will be trying this over the weekend …. I made your Rosemary, lemon garlic chicken, your Grandma.’s cabbage & the mac/cheese w/ smokes cheddar tonight & I LOVED everything….my 12yr old picky eater loved the chicken & Mac to my surprise! Keep up the good work so we can keep eating good…lol…thanks

  16. This was really really good! I did not have smoked salt so I just used sea salt and hickory smoke flavoring separately. The hot sauce really gives it a kick. Thanks for sharing! I’m serving mine with BBQ tofu…yum! : )

  17. Another winner Mo. I have been making my greens like this for sometime except with chicken broth so good. Thanks again.

  18. Love the vegan version- and I’m not vegan! That smoked salt makes all the difference. I got my applewood smoked salt at Wegmans. Thanks for the updated version. Keep the recipes coming:)

  19. you dang right about washing your greens again b/c “somebody could’ve been having a bad day”, lol . you crack me up. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try…it looks really heathy

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