Collard Greens

Collard Greens
Collard greens are well known in the South.  Their sweeter flavor makes them a favorite of the greens and the fact that they retain some of their texture when cooked down makes them a good starting place for those who are new to greens.  Actually a member of the cabbage family, the large leaves with thick, tough stems are cut from a center stalk.  It is a cool season vegetable predominately available in the spring and fall.  They actually get sweeter after a frost.


Choose collards that are about 8-12 inches long and dark green with no yellowing.


Collards store better than other greens.  Loosely wrap in moist paper towels or place in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for about 5 days.


Be sure to wash collards (and all greens) well as dirt likes to cling to the leaves.  The center stems are tough so need to be removed.  You can cut them out, but the easiest way is to fold the leaf in half along the stem and starting at the cut end pull with your hand to remove the leaf from the stem.


The leaf is the edible part.  The tough center stems are inedible and need to be removed.


Collards can be thinly sliced and added raw to salads but are more often cooked.

Try long braising in chicken or beef broth to break down the leaves for a great side dish.  You can add some garlic and red pepper flakes for added flavor.

The leaves can be stuffed, like cabbage rolls, and baked with a tomato sauce.

Collards can also be quickly cooked like stir frying.  Use in place of bok choy or green cabbage.

Add to pasta dishes cooked down with tomatoes.

Add to vegetable, pasta or bean based soups.

Cook down until tender and add to dips in place of spinach (frozen collards are good for this).


Nutrition Label Collards
Excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. Good source of fiber and calcium.
Season Chart Collards


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Braised Chicken Thighs with Collards​
Braised Chicken Thighs with Collards

Cooking Techniques

  • Boiling
  • Braising
  • Sautéing
  • Stir Frying

Flavor Pairings

  • Pork or chicken
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinegar
  • Hot peppers
  • Garlic