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 its head held high. They are bursting with flavor and yes, even the pot liquor is bangin! : )
Watch me make these vegetarian southern collard greens from start to finish!
This is my favorite family recipe for collard greens made WITHOUT chicken broth and smoked meat. It’s healthier but doesn’t sacrifice taste! You won’t even miss the meat.
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-eye. Not with this recipe though!
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 a kick. The collard greens just soak up all that yumminess.
I love this recipe because it’s so easy and sometimes I just want a meat-free version of soulful dishes like collard greens.
Get the Recipe: Vegan Southern Collard Greens
- 1/2 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
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 lbs collard greens
- black pepper
- hot sauce
- Coat a large deep skillet or pot with vegetable oil.
- Saute onions until almost tender over medium heat and then add in garlic.
- Cook until onion and garlic are fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in vegetable broth.
- Season broth with smoked salt and red pepper flakes.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Make sure it's to your liking because this is how your greens will taste.
- Bring to a simmer and reduce heat.
- Add in the greens. Green will wilt down as they cook.
- 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.
- Add in more smoked salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and hot sauce, if desired. ( I always do!)
- Add hot sauce or vinegar if desired.
Any type of smoked salt can be used.
Cooking time may vary.
Add fresh tomatoes and red peppers if desired.
Thanks for this. I’ve been on a whole food plant based (WFPB) eating program for the last 15 months and have lost more than 90 lbs. I also have an urban garden where I grow all sorts of vegetables. One of my best crops is Collard Greens. Up until I saw your recipe, I had never thought of cooking my collards without some meat for flavoring. I’ve mastered vegan fried cabbage (green and red). Now I have the basis for vegan collard greens. Thanks
The first (& only) time I’ve ever tried collards was at a farmer’s market in Brooklyn over 10 years ago. I was not a fan at all (maybe it was the way they were prepare, maybe my palate has changed?). In any case, I’ve discovered that I now love collards because of your delicious recipe. It’s made it’s way into meal rotations & I am so grateful to you for it! Thanks so much & be well! xoxo
The first (& only) time I’ve ever tried collards was at a farmer’s market in Brooklyn over 10 years ago. I was not a fan at all (maybe it was the way they were prepare, maybe my pallet has changed?). In any case, I’ve discovered that I now love collards because of your delicious recipe. It’s made it’s way into meal rotations & I am so grateful to you for it! Thanks so much & be well! xoxo
My wife is pescetarian, so I have been looking for a definitive greens recipe that does not use ham hocks, etc. Only substitutions were garlic powder for the fresh garlic and smoked paprika for the smoked salt (about 1/2 t. each), added with the onion. I think using the vegetable broth was the biggest part of what gave these greens such great flavor. Simmered them the full 90 and they were the best ever!