Collard Greens

Side DishQuick and EasyGluten-FreeCollard Greens

Fresh collard greens cooked with onion, garlic, chile pepper flakes, bacon fat, and dark sesame oil. Learn how to cook collard greens with this basic recipe.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My brother Eddie was over for dinner a while ago one fortuitous night when we happened to be having collard greens. I say fortuitous because Ed introduced us to a wonderful new way to serve these healthful, somewhat bitter greens—with barbecue sauce.

Huh? Barbecue sauce?

Ed explained that whenever he had collard greens it was with barbecued ribs, and the sauce from the ribs would make its way over to the collard greens, making them taste oh so good. Well, that was enough incentive to try it, and I must agree, collard greens are excellent served with a little BBQ sauce.

They are also pretty good on their own with onions and garlic. Here’s a great base recipe, feel free to add the BBQ sauce!

How to Make Collard Greens

Sautéed Collard Greens in Bowl

Collard Greens Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

We use bacon fat here primarily for flavor. Bacon fat provides an excellent balance to the natural bitter of the collard greens. That said, you can easily skip the bacon fat and just use a little more olive oil.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs collard greens, tough stems discarded, leaves chopped
  • 2 Tbsp medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons bacon fat
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil (Dynasty or comparable)
  • Chili pepper flakes, a pinch
  • Salt, a couple pinches
  • Sugar, a couple pinches
  • Barbecue sauce (optional)

Method

1 Use a large skillet with a tight fitting cover. Melt bacon fat and heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté onion until transparent, a couple of mintues. Add garlic and and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2 Mix in the greens, sesame oil, chili pepper flakes, salt, and sugar. Cover and cook until tender, 8-15 minutes. (Note that young collard greens will cook up relatively quickly. Older greens may take upwards of 45 minutes to tenderize.)

If you want, serve with barbecue sauce.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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30 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Vickie

    Made this tonight, it came out so nice. I’m the only collard green eater in the house. Looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow. Thanks :)

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Toni

    Best recipe. 1st time I ever cooked collard greens. Big Hit!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Suzanne

    Delicious recipe. I got a bunch of collards in my CSA box this week so I was glad to find this. I had no bacon on hand and wanted to keep it vegetarian so I sauteed the onion and garlic with a little smoked paprika to give it a smoky taste. And I loved it with the bbq sauce. I never would have thought to use that.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Kim

    Loved the taste of these collard greens! I’ve tried them one time in a restaurant and they were mushy. These came out crispy and very flavorful! Very easy. I used olive oil, no bacon fat.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Pia

    Great recipe. MMMMMMM

    xxxxxyyyyy

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