How to Make Bangin’ (Vegan) Collard Greens

side dishes vegan recipes vegetarian recipes Nov 07, 2018
How to Make Bangin’ (Vegan) Collard Greens

Newsflash: Collard greens without meat can be super delicious. I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in. I grew up eating greens with smoked ham hocks. EVERY black person I know did.

Walk into any Granny, Grandmama, Big Mama, Nana or Madea’s house and you were likely to find a huge pot of greens and ham hocks simmering (if you’re lucky there was some of that cornbread that tastes like cake too).

It wasn’t until I moved down south that I realized that consumption of collard greens and ham hocks wasn’t limited to the culcha. Down south even our less melanated friends also (1) ate greens and (2) cooked them with big ol’ side of pork.

In recent years, folks have started to be a bit more health conscious. You hear it all the time, “oh I don’t eat pork.” So the ham hocks have been upstaged by smoked turkey legs or necks. Healthier but still not gonna work for us vegetarians, vegans and anyone avoiding meat.

So I went to work on a recipe that could bring back the collard greens we grew up on (just without the meat). Enjoy…I hope it takes you back to Big Mama’s house.

Serves 6


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp sugar or agave (or more to remove the bitterness of the collards)
  • 1 healthy pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb fresh collard greens (I’m lazy and buy the bagged version in the produce section)


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant. Add collard greens, and cook until they start to wilt.
  2. Pour in vegetable broth and season with salt, seasoning salt, onion powder, pepper, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender. Taste and add more salt, seasoning salt and sweetener as needed.

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