Smoky, Spicy & Scrumptious Vegan Collards
Seriously my favorite food. 🤤
Not as in all collard greens, but these collard greens, made this way. My absolute favorite of dishes. I just told my husband this morning, “these collards are now my absolute favorite food.” You know, in case the question ever comes up on a game show. Just sayin’.
I really didn’t know how much I loved these beautiful greens until about 5 years ago. I was a struggling vegetarian and I started working each Saturday at Worden Farm’s veggie stand at our local farmer’s market (still do today!). I was introduced to some of the most beautiful, organic collards I had ever seen.
I had really only heard of the southern kind of collards. You know, boiled with lard and ham hocks or some other meaty fatty product, so, I found a few recipes online for vegetarian collards, noticed some of the common ingredients, went to the kitchen and made those bad boys MINE!
Over the past few years, I make this dish so often I don’t even measure anything. And, when I don’t have a go-to ingredient, I simply adjust the best I can to this recipe. For instance, I didn’t have fire roasted tomatoes one day and I totes was not going to the store. I just used regular diced tomatoes and added the liquid smoke. From then on, I discovered the liquid smoke was a great addition to my “normal” recipe.
Remember, adjust don’t quit!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I get that collard greens are like the epitome of green food and can be a bit strong, especially for a vegan-curious eater more used to greens like say…iceberg lettuce. 🤷♂️ But give them a try and let me know.
I’d love to hear YOUR intimate stories about collards in the comments below!
Smoky, Spicy & Scrumptious Vegan Collards
- 3 bunches* organic collard green leaves - chopped if you get frozen, buy the big bag!
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth you may use more or less depending on the size of the collards and how much they cook down
- 1 medium onion - diced
- 6 cloves fresh garlic - finely diced adjust to your liking...we LOVE garlic
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes I use a little more than this because we love heat. Add more if you can handle it!
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes - diced or crushed** 14.5 oz - I love Muir Glen brand
- 1 can regular diced tomatoes - low sodium** 14.5 oz
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil or EVOO, or veg broth if NOSS
- 1 tsp Maldon Smoked Sea Salt***
- cracked pepper to taste
- Gather all of your ingredients and create your set up (mise en place). Heat a cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and the onions. Stir the onions, add a pinch of salt and saute until translucent. About 5 min.
- Stir in the garlic and the red pepper flakes and saute for another couple minutes. Once fragrant, add just a touch of veg broth to de-glaze the pan.
- Start adding the chopped collards by the handful. Once a handful starts to cook down, add another handful. Continue stirring. About 1/2 way through adding your pile of collards, add a little bit of veg broth to keep it cooking down. Also, a pinch of salt to build flavor. (This process takes a good 10-15 minutes).
- Once all collards are added and cooking down, add the diced tomatoes and stir those bad boys in real good. Stir in the vinegar and liquid smoke. Add some more veggie broth so it's simmering in the broth. Add the cracked black pepper.
- Reduce heat to low and cover slightly. Stir every 10 - 15 minutes and add more broth if needed. Taste the collards for flavor and texture after they have been simmering for about 45 minutes.
- Add more heat or smoke if desired. Collards should be tender with a little bite. Lastly...enjoy as a side or all by themselves all week long!
Here’s a shot of my normal breakfast, with my Smoky & Spicy & Scrumptious Vegan Collards.
Note: Nutrition Facts on all recipes are an approximation only, using the Very Well Fit recipe nutrition calculator.
Certified Plant-Based Chef and Holistic Nutritionist veganizing the planet one meal at a time. Bringing fans vegan food, brand, travel & lifestyle news while offering clients personalized vegan chef services in the Tampa Bay area. For the health of it! View all posts by Jennifer