If you live in the south, collard greens are definitely a staple. Especially amongst black folks! 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!
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. You can choose to purchase your collard greens pre-washed and cut to save time, or you can purchase them whole and wash them yourself.
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.
The only other prep you’ll need to do for this Easy Vegan Collard Greens is dicing the onions and fresh garlic if you don’t use jarred, 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!
In a large pot, add the chopped onion and minced garlic with a little bit of oil, salt and pepper.
Cook them on a medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and the onions have been cooked down.
Next, add in your chopped collard greens along with the remaining ingredients– your vegetable broth, more salt, pepper, sugar, red pepper flakes, ground paprika, and liquid smoke.
Grab a large spoon and stir all of the ingredients together until combined.
Increase the heat to a medium high temperature until you’ve reached a low boil (covering the pot with a lid helps speed this along).
Once you’ve reached a low boil, reduce the heat (keeping the lid on) to a low temperature and allow the greens to simmer for at least one hour. When they’re finished, they’ll be a deep green color.
How to Cook Easy Vegan 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.
- Can these be made in a slow cooker? Yes! Check out my Slow Cooker Collard Greens Recipe with Fire Roasted Tomatoes!
- Can I make these ahead of time? Absolutely! These store really well and if you need to, you can even freeze them! Just place them in an air tight container and store them until needed. They should keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Can I use pre-cut collard greens? Sure can! This will actually save you some time on the prep, so go for it!
- What’s the sugar for in this recipe? Will they be sweet? The sugar helps remove the bitterness from the greens and helps to balance out the overall flavor. They won’t be sweet. Promise!
- Can I add vinegar to these collard greens? If you prefer greens with vinegar, you can most certainly add some! I would start with 1 teaspoon at a time and adjust as needed so you don’t overdo it. I prefer my greens without vinegar, so I can’t offer much advice other than this!
What to Pair with Easy Vegan Collard Greens:
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!
- Spicy Chicken Fried Cauliflower
- Easy Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese
- Black-Eyed Pea Fritters
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Crispy Baked Breaded Tofu
- Easy Vegan Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins
- Southern Black-Eyed Peas
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!
Easy Vegan Collard Greens (Classic Southern Recipe) [+VIDEO]
- In a large pot, saute minced garlic and diced onions in olive oil until fragrant over medium-low heat.½ heaping cup white onions, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp minced garlic
- Stir in the collard greens along with the vegetable broth and bring to a low boil.1 lb collard greens and large veins removed, 2-2¼ cups vegetable broth
- 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).1½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, ¼ tsp paprika, ½ tsp liquid smoke, 2 tsp sugar
- When finished, remove from the heat serve immediately. Enjoy!