Vegan Collard Greens

Easy Vegan Collard Greens (Just 9 Ingredients!)

If you live in the south, collard greens are definitely a staple. Especially in the black community! You can’t go to any “soul food” or “southern” restaurant without them being on the menu. And if by chance they’re not on the menu…RUN! These Easy Vegan Collard Greens are everything you’ve been wanting in a traditional batch of greens. Tender, smoky and flavorful!

Vegan Collard Greens

The problem with most traditional collard green recipes is that they typically involve the addition of meat. It’s not uncommon for recipes to include a smoked turkey leg for a little added flavor. Well, obviously that’s not gonna fly around here! Lucky for us, there are other ways to make tasty greens without animal products.

These collard greens are made WITHOUT the addition of chicken broth and smoked meat, yet are still filled with southern flavorful and delicious.

How to Make Vegan Collard Greens

Making collard greens is actually pretty simple. Especially these days. Whenever I make greens (typically only for the holidays), I buy them pre-washed and chopped. Washing greens isn’t exactly on my list of favorite things to do.

Collards are one of those veggies you have to wash thoroughly, so you definitely don’t wanna cut corners when doing so. Buying pre-washed and chopped greens really help speed up the process and cut down on your prep time.

Vegan Collard Greens

The only other prep you’ll need to do for this recipe is dicing the onions, which shouldn’t take much time at all. The minced garlic and onion will provide the greens with a nice base of flavor. The seasonings used in this recipe are really simple, but also help to add a bold flavor to these easy vegan collard greens. You probably already have all of them!

Once all of the ingredients are combined, you’ll want the greens to simmer over a low heat for a period of time. In the recipe below, I’ve noted the cook time as 1 hour and 30 minutes, but you can definitely let them simmer longer if desired.

This part is completely up to you and based on your preference. Like most veggies, if you let them cook for too long the nutritional value is greatly reduced.

Vegan Collard Greens

How to Cook Collard Greens Without Meat

The key to making these easy vegan collard greens without meat is my secret weapon… LIQUID SMOKE! This stuff is amazing! It’s truly a game-changer when it comes to giving your collard greens that extra something if you’re not adding meat.

If you’re new to making meat-less collard greens, you might be surprised to find that the process to cook them is a lot similar to cooking them with meat (just without the meat of course).

In my opinion, it’s actually much easier because there’s not that added component, just simple veggies and seasonings cooked up together to make for an amazing side dish.

You’ll start by sautéing your garlic and onion, then simply adding the remaining ingredients. The fresh chopped collard greens, oil, seasonings (including your liquid smoke), and vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and allow to cook on low for at least an hour.

Next thing you know, your delicious, easy vegan collard greens are ready to enjoy!

Vegan Collard Greens

What to Pair with Easy Vegan Collard Greens:

Whenever I make collard greens I pair it with a bunch of other holiday fixings, but if I want a quick plate, I love collards, mashed potatoes and cornbread together. Something about that combination really does it for me. Especially when they’re leftovers.

Is it just me, or do some things just taste better the next day? That’s definitely the case for these Easy Vegan Collard Greens. Once all the flavors set in overnight, they taste even better!

Vegan Collard Greens

I made these Easy Vegan Collard Greens for Thanksgiving this year and it was a hit! Wanna know my favorite part? I cooked them in advance because not only do they taste better, but it helps save time for things that actually have to be cooked on the day of.

I don’t know about you, but preparing holiday meals can be a bit much at times. So if there’s anything that can be made ahead of time, I’m on it!

Hungry yet? Go ahead and give these Easy Vegan Collard Greens a try. I know you’ll love them! Let me know what you think of them in the comments below!

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Easy Vegan Collard Greens
Vegan Collard Greens
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5 from 20 votes

Easy Vegan Collard Greens

Easy Vegan Collard Greens made completely meat free!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword Collard Greens, Collards, Greens
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 37 minutes
Servings 6



  • In a large pot, saute minced garlic and diced onions in olive oil until fragrant over medium-low heat.
  • Stir in the collard greens along with the vegetable broth and bring to a low simmer.
  • Stir in all seasonings and liquid smoke. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Let cook for at least 1 hour (or more according to your preference).
  • When finished, remove from the heat serve immediately. Enjoy!


  1. Tracy Briscoe

    5 stars
    I absolutely love collard greens and was a little Leary about vegan greens. BUT to my surprise this recipe may be my ALL TIME FAVORITE. I was so surprised at how flavorful they were and I even let my friend (who is a chef) try them and she could not believe how good they are. I cannot wait to make these for my family. Thank you so much for your creations. They are top notch.

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  3. 5 stars
    This is the first time I’ve made collard greens. This recipe is so simple and the end result was absolutely delicious. I plan on making these again and again, my family loves them. Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    OMG, THESE GREENS WERE SOOOOOO GOOD! I doubled this recipe with the intention of eating half and freezing the rest. I ended up eating the whole batch throughout the week! This was my third attempt at vegan greens but this was the first success and my new go-to recipe. Thank you so much, Desiree!

  5. Is it okay to use prepackaged greens

  6. Charlotte

    5 stars
    This is the first time that I’ve made perfect greens! I always used to struggle but this recipe made it so easy. They came out awesome! That liquid smoke is a game changer for sure!

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  10. 5 stars
    I just made these collards with dinner tonight and they were FAB! So easy to make and insanely flavorful. I already know I’ll be making this recipe again and again!

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  12. O.M.G. So I made these greens (along with your macaroni and cheese) last night for Sunday and GIRL!! My fiancé and I loved every single bite. I always make vegan collard greens, but you put me on with the liquid smoke. A total game changer! I can’t wait to try your other recipes. Please tell me you have a cookbook coming soon!

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  14. nancy a davis

    5 stars
    I loved your recipe!

  15. Sintia Stewart

    My husband is going to love these!! Never used liquid smoke should I use hickory or mesquite? Help!

  16. If I were to want to simmer it for a few more hours, do you think the vegetable broth volume listed here would still be enough? Or would I probably want to add a bit more?

    Thank you!

    • Hey Brent, if I had to guess I’d say you’d probably need to add a little more broth. I’d just keep an eye on it and adjust as needed.

  17. 5 stars
    Sooooo good! You were right, that liquid smoke is it. Added extra pepper flakes and garlic because were all in for those (and a bit of smoked paprika too). Easy to follow, absolutely delicious recipe!

  18. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy! Approved by my non vegan family!

  19. 5 stars
    Okay, this was DE LI CIOUS!! I have never cooked collards myself, so I was worried I wouldn’t do it correctly, but it’s honestly so easy and flavorful! I used a mixture of Korean mustard greens and collard greens that I had at home.
    My only note is to check the amount of sodium in your broth and maybe adjust salt accordingly depending on your taste.
    I plan on making these again next week!

  20. 5 stars
    This is by far the best collard green recipe I have ever tried!!! My meat eating fam members loved it too!!!! So freakin good!

  21. 5 stars
    Hi Desiree! I’m thoroughly impressed with your recipe! Delicious 😋 I added smoked paprika and didn’t add the sugar but it makes sense. I will definitely check out your other recipes.

  22. 5 stars
    This recipe is the bee’s knee’s! The flavor was bold and vibrant! The juices demanded to be soaked up with cornbread to ensure that no drop was wasted. My Matriarchal linage is from the south and collard greens on any festive occasion is a must. Now that I am having my mom transition to a plant based diet, this recipe did not disappoint! Thank you for proving that you do not need to use meat to stew your greens and have them taste delicious!

  23. 5 stars
    This is now the only vegan collard green recipe I will make! I’ve tried a few different ones since I’ve become vegan, but they all fell short until this one. I did change two things – I had a large leek in the house, so I used it instead of the onion, but sure onion would have been great, too, and the second is I only used 1/2 teaspoon of sugar since I don’t like my greens to be too sweet. Really excellent! Thank you!

    • 5 stars
      Thank you for the recipe, I’ve gotta use canned greens and will omit the veggie stock, will cut up vegan hot dogs and eat these with a side of Diced, roasted sweet potatoes 😋

  24. These greens are sooo good!!! These flavors remind me of down south cooking. Thank you for this delicious recipe.

  25. Hi I am actually making these in about an hour for thanksgiving how do you recommend I substitute the liquid smoke? Can I do smoked paprika instead? And how much of it?

  26. 5 stars
    Paired with the black eyed peas recipe and they were amazing!!

  27. Krystal Taylor

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe. It was easy to make and my mother who is a meat eater was floored by the taste. I will be saving this recipe.

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