Collard greens are one seriously underappreciated vegetable (hello, health perks).
I used to overlook them all the time. But, once I figured out what to do with them, they became a mainstay in our kitchen. Let me show you how.
This dish is simple, requiring just 1 pan, 20 minutes, and 8 ingredients to make!
My version is modeled after traditional, Southern-style collard greens, which typically require bacon or ham.
Instead, I relied on garlic, Coconut Bacon, and red pepper flake. Coconut sugar brings balance to the dish, while lemon juice is the perfect finishing touch for a bit of acidity and brightness.
I think you are going to LOVE this dish! It’s:
& Easy to make
These veganized Southern-style collard greens would make the perfect side dish to mains like my Best Vegan Pulled ‘Pork’ Sandwich, Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger, or Vegan Sloppy Joes. Or pair it with BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich and Best Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread for the ultimate comfort meal.
For more collard green recipes, check out my Coconut Curried Greens and Collard Green Spring Rolls with Sunbutter Dipping Sauce!
Last but not least, if you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Coconut Bacon Collard Greens (15 minutes!)
Easy 20-minute, 1-pan collard greens with coconut bacon for a smoky, crispy crunch! A delicious, healthy, plant-based side dish or snack.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Southern-Inspired
- 1 heaping Tbsp (20 g) coconut oil (or sub other neutral oil like avocado or grape seed oil)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp or 9 g)
- 2 large bundles (250-300 g) collard greens*, finely chopped (see photo | organic if possible)
- Healthy pinch each salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp (10 g) Coconut Bacon (or sub Eggplant Bacon)
- 3-6 Tbsp (45-90 ml) vegetable broth
- 1-2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
- optional: 2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice (for serving)
- Heat a large metal or cast-iron (my preferred) skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and very slightly golden brown.
- Add collard greens and a pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally until bright green in color and slightly soft.
- Add coconut bacon, vegetable broth (start with 3 Tbsp or 45 ml), a bit more salt and pepper, coconut sugar (start with 1 tsp), and red pepper flake. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Continue cooking to desired tenderness. I like mine with a little crunch left, so I leave the vegetable broth at 3-4 Tbsp, but you could continue adding vegetable broth (up to 6 Tbsp) and simmer up to 15 minutes for more tender collards.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more coconut sugar for sweetness / flavor balance, salt and pepper for overall flavor, red pepper flake for heat, or more coconut bacon for smokiness and crunch.
- Serve immediately with additional coconut bacon and a squeeze of lemon juice (optional). Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
*If you can’t find collard greens, curly kale will work in this recipe as well. Just reduce cooking time by a few minutes, as it typically requires less time to become tender.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 2 servings calculated with coconut bacon.
Serving size: 1 of 2 servings Calories: 166 Fat: 12.9 g Saturated fat: 10.2 g Carbohydrates: 12.9 Sugar: 2.5 g Sodium: 351 mg Fiber: 5.6 g Protein: 4.6 g