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Quick Collard Greens Recipe

This quick collard greens recipe is a Southern classic made simpler and faster. A side dish of collard greens is a splendid way to add a pop of color and a wealth of nutrients to your meal. The collard greens are sautéed with garlic and olive oil until they're tender and flavorful, then finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon for a bright, tangy contrast.

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Photos of Quick Collard Greens Recipe

Collard greens might not be as commonly found as other leafy greens in some areas, but they are a staple in Southern cuisine. They're usually available in the fresh produce aisle of most supermarkets. Look for a bunch that has vibrant green leaves with no yellowing or wilting. You'll also need a lemon for this recipe. Choose one that has smooth, bright yellow skin and feels heavy for its size, which indicates it's juicy.

Ingredients for Quick Collard Greens Recipe

Collard greens: These leafy green vegetables are packed with vitamins and fiber. They have a slightly bitter taste that pairs well with the other ingredients in this recipe.

Extra-virgin olive oil: This oil provides a healthy fat for cooking and adds a mild, fruity flavor.

Fine sea salt: Adds flavor to the collard greens. You can adjust the amount to taste.

Garlic: Garlic adds a punch of flavor and complements the other ingredients.

Red pepper flakes: These add a touch of heat. You can add more or less depending on your preference.

Lemon wedges: The juice from the lemon wedges adds a bright, tangy finish to the collard greens.

One reader, Jeromy Carrasco says:

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This quick collard greens recipe is a game-changer! The greens turned out tender and flavorful, with just the right amount of garlic and red pepper flakes. The dish was a hit at my dinner party, and I received so many compliments. It's now a staple in my recipe collection!

Jeromy Carrasco

Techniques Required for Making Quick Collard Greens

How to prepare collard greens: Remove the thick center rib from each collard green, stack the rib-less greens, and roll them up into a cigar-like shape.

How to cook collard greens: Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add all of the collard greens and the salt. Stir until all of the greens are lightly coated in oil, then let them cook for about 30 seconds before stirring again. Continue stirring in 30-second intervals until the greens are wilted, dark green, and some are starting to turn brown on the edges. This will take between 3 to 6 minutes.

How to add flavor to collard greens: Once the collards are just about done, add the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir to break up the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat.

How to serve collard greens: Immediately divide the cooked collards onto plates and serve with a lemon wedge each.

How To Make Quick Collard Greens

These quick and easy collard greens are cooked in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes, then served with a lemon wedge.

Preparation: 8 minutes
Cooking: 7 minutes
Total: 15 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 10ozcollard greens,1 large bunch
  • tbspextra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼tspfine sea salt
  • 2medium cloves garlic,pressed or minced
  • pinchred pepper flakes,optional, scale back or omit if sensitive to spice
  • lemon wedges,for serving

Instructions

  1. Cut the thick center rib out of each collard green. Stack the rib-less greens and roll them up into a cigar-like shape.

  2. Slice over the “cigar” as thinly as possible (⅛ inch to ¼ inch) to make long strands. Shake up the greens and give them a few chops so the strands aren’t so long.

  3. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add all of the collard greens and the salt.

  4. Stir until all of the greens are lightly coated in oil, then let them cook for about 30 seconds before stirring again.

  5. Continue stirring in 30-second intervals until the greens are wilted, dark green, and some are starting to turn browns on the edges. This will take between 3 to 6 minutes.

  6. Once the collards are just about done, add the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir to break up the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat.

  7. Immediately divide the cooked collards onto plates, and serve with a lemon wedge each.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 141.36kcal
  • Fat: 11.03g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.48g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 7.43g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.36g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.33g
  • Fiber: 5.93g
  • Sugar: 0.86g
  • Protein: 4.55g
  • Sodium: 315.63mg
  • Calcium: 336.39mg
  • Potassium: 323.77mg
  • Iron: 0.82mg
  • Vitamin A: 355.86µg
  • Vitamin C: 54.68mg

Technique Tip for Perfectly Cooked Collard Greens

When preparing your collard greens, make sure to thoroughly wash them before cooking. Collard greens can often have residual dirt or grit on them, and washing ensures you're not adding any unwanted texture to your dish. Additionally, when removing the thick center rib, use a sharp knife and cut along the sides of the rib for a clean removal. This will make your greens more tender and enjoyable to eat.

Time-Saving Tips for Quick Collard Greens Recipe

Prep ahead: Wash and chop the collard greens in advance to save time. Store them in an airtight container with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

Use pre-cut greens: If available, opt for pre-cut collard greens to skip the prep work and streamline the cooking process.

High heat: Cooking the collard greens over high heat allows for quicker wilting and browning, reducing overall cooking time.

Garlic paste: Substitute minced garlic with garlic paste for a quicker and more evenly distributed garlic flavor in the dish.

Lemon juice: Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a small container in advance for easy access when serving the collard greens.

Substitute Ingredients For Quick Collard Greens Recipe

  • collard greens - Substitute with kale: Kale is a suitable substitute for collard greens as it has a similar texture and flavor profile, and it cooks relatively quickly.

  • extra-virgin olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a high smoke point and a mild flavor, making it a good substitute for extra-virgin olive oil in cooking.

  • fine sea salt - Substitute with kosher salt: Kosher salt can be used as a substitute for fine sea salt in most recipes, as it has a similar texture and flavor.

  • garlic - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can provide a similar aromatic flavor to garlic and can be used as a substitute in recipes where garlic is a primary flavor component.

  • red pepper flakes - Substitute with cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper can be used as a substitute for red pepper flakes to add heat and spice to the dish.

  • lemon wedges - Substitute with lime wedges: Lime wedges can be used as a substitute for lemon wedges to add a similar citrusy flavor to the dish.

Essential Tools for Making Quick Collard Greens

  • Knife: A sharp knife is essential for slicing and chopping ingredients with precision.
  • Cutting board: A sturdy cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and preparing ingredients.
  • Skillet: A skillet is a versatile cooking pan that can be used for sautéing, frying, and even braising.
  • Garlic press: A garlic press is a handy tool for quickly and efficiently mincing garlic cloves.
  • Lemon squeezer: A lemon squeezer is useful for extracting fresh lemon juice without the hassle of seeds.
  • Tongs: Tongs are helpful for tossing and turning the collard greens while cooking.
  • Grater: A grater can be used to finely grate garlic or citrus zest to add flavor to the dish.
  • Citrus juicer: A citrus juicer is perfect for extracting fresh juice from lemons to enhance the flavor of the collard greens.
  • Cooking spoon: A cooking spoon is essential for stirring and serving the collard greens.

How To Store and Freeze Cooked Collard Greens

  • Let the collard greens cool completely before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep fresh for up to 4 days.
  • If you want to freeze the cooked collard greens, let them cool completely first. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
  • When freezing, it's a good idea to portion the collard greens into serving sizes so you can easily thaw and reheat only what you need.
  • Frozen collard greens will maintain their quality for up to 6 months in the freezer.
  • To reheat frozen collard greens, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Then, heat them in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a splash of water or olive oil to help revive the texture.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the thawed collard greens in the microwave. Place them in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat in 30-second intervals until heated through, stirring between each interval.

How To Reheat Leftover Collard Greens

  • To reheat leftover collard greens, start by placing them in a microwave-safe dish. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel, which will help prevent the greens from drying out during the reheating process. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the greens are heated through. Stir the greens halfway through the reheating time to ensure even heating.

  • Another option is to reheat the collard greens in a skillet on the stovetop. Add a small amount of olive oil or water to the skillet, and heat over medium heat. Add the leftover greens to the skillet and stir occasionally until they are heated through, which should take about 3-5 minutes. If the greens seem dry, you can add a splash of water or vegetable broth to help moisten them.

  • For a crispy texture, you can reheat the collard greens in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the greens out on a baking sheet and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the greens are heated through and slightly crispy on the edges. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

  • If you have a steamer basket, you can also reheat the collard greens by steaming them. Fill a pot with a small amount of water and bring it to a boil. Place the leftover greens in the steamer basket and place the basket over the boiling water. Cover the pot and steam the greens for 2-3 minutes, or until they are heated through.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to season the collard greens with additional salt, pepper, or your favorite seasonings to taste. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can also help brighten up the flavors of the reheated greens.

Random Fact About Collard Greens

Collard greens are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants. They are also low in calories, making them a healthy addition to any meal.

Is This Quick Collard Greens Recipe Economical for Home Cooking?

This quick collard greens recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. Collard greens are affordable and packed with nutrients, making them a great choice for budget-friendly meals. The addition of simple ingredients like olive oil and garlic enhances the flavor without breaking the bank. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $5, making it an economical choice. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Are Collard Greens Healthy or Unhealthy?

This quick collard greens recipe is generally healthy, as it features nutrient-dense collard greens and heart-healthy olive oil. Here's a breakdown of the recipe's health aspects:

  • Collard greens are low in calories and packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber, calcium, and antioxidants
  • Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health
  • Garlic contains compounds that may boost immunity and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases
  • The recipe uses minimal added salt, which helps keep sodium intake in check

However, there are a few ways to make this recipe even healthier:

  • Use a smaller amount of olive oil or replace some of it with vegetable broth to reduce the overall calorie and fat content
  • Add other nutrient-dense vegetables like diced tomatoes, onions, or bell peppers to increase the fiber and vitamin content
  • Experiment with different spices and herbs, such as smoked paprika or thyme, to enhance flavor without relying on added salt
  • Serve the collard greens alongside lean proteins like grilled chicken or tofu and whole grains like quinoa or brown rice for a balanced meal

Editor's Thoughts on This Easy Collard Greens Recipe

This quick collard greens recipe is a simple and flavorful way to prepare this nutritious green. The technique of wilting the greens in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes brings out their natural flavors while adding a hint of heat and brightness from the lemon. The dish is easy to prepare and makes a delicious and healthy side dish. It's a great way to enjoy collard greens in a short amount of time without sacrificing flavor.

Enhance Your Quick Collard Greens Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, topped with a dollop of butter.
Grilled Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and drizzled with a balsamic glaze.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Caramelized sweet potatoes roasted with a touch of cinnamon and maple syrup, sprinkled with toasted pecans.

Other Tasty Greens Recipes Similar to Quick Collard Greens

Savory Roasted Vegetable Medley: Roast a variety of your favorite vegetables with olive oil, herbs, and spices for a flavorful and colorful side dish.
Hearty Beef Stew: Simmer tender chunks of beef with hearty vegetables and savory broth for a comforting and filling stew.
Fresh Fruit Salad with Citrus Dressing: Toss together a refreshing mix of your favorite fruits and drizzle with a zesty citrus dressing for a light and healthy dessert or snack.

Why trust this Quick Collard Greens Recipe:

This quick collard greens recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to add a healthy and flavorful side dish to their meals. The use of fresh collard greens ensures a vibrant and nutrient-packed dish, while the addition of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of fine sea salt enhances the natural flavors. The inclusion of garlic and a hint of red pepper flakes adds a delightful kick, elevating the dish to a whole new level. Trust the simplicity and deliciousness of this recipe, and enjoy the satisfying taste of wholesome collard greens in just a matter of minutes.

Want to share your quick collard greens recipe or discuss tips and tricks for preparing this leafy green vegetable? Join the conversation in the Recipe Sharing forum!
FAQ:
What are collard greens?
Collard greens are a type of leafy green vegetable that are often associated with Southern cuisine. They have a slightly bitter flavor and are packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants.
Can I use other types of greens for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use other types of greens such as kale or Swiss chard if you prefer. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly as different greens may wilt at different rates.
How do I know when the collard greens are done cooking?
The collard greens are done cooking when they are wilted, dark green, and some are starting to turn brown on the edges. This usually takes between 3 to 6 minutes of cooking.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
While collard greens are best when served fresh, you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time by washing and cutting the collard greens and mincing the garlic. When you're ready to cook, simply follow the recipe as directed.
Are collard greens healthy?
Yes, collard greens are highly nutritious. They are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a great addition to a healthy diet.

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