“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!

The Recipe

Vegan Southern Collard Greens

By Divas Can Cook
Cook time
Total time
5.0 from 33 reviews


  • 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.