Incredibly flavorful and ready in 15 minutes, vegan collard greens will be your new favorite weeknight side dish! This quick collard greens recipe highlights how easy it is to cook them with ingredients that you probably have in your pantry.
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A few weeks ago, I worked with a couple who was interested in preparing flavorful, healthy dishes. One of the recipes we made involved simmering cod and spinach in coconut milk and seasonings. It was seriously SO good!!!
I instantly fell in love with the sweet and salty flavor profile, and have been waiting for the perfect moment to adapt the recipe with my own twists for the Veg World. Ahem, say hello to these Coconut Braised Vegan Collard Greens!
If you have never tried collard greens, they have a fairly bitter taste, so cooking them in fat helps to mellow their taste. That’s why I figured that coconut milk would be a perfect companion to this veggie!
This recipe is similar to my Quick Braised Collard Greens in terms of difficulty (SUPER EASY) but has a much stronger flavor, for those of you who want to take your collards’ game up a notch.
Why You’ll Love Braised Collard Greens
I know what you may be thinking, “collard greens sound pretty gross and kind of boring.” Am I right? WELL, NO, not when you cook them this way.
These creamy and downright delicious vegan collard greens have a lot going for them:
- The coconut sauce is incredibly decadent. It basically tastes like coconut-flavored cream.
- It takes 15 minutes from start to finish.
- You only need 6 ingredients, most of which you probably already have!
- Cooked greens are sometimes more fun to eat than a raw salad, especially in the winter months!
How to Make Vegan Collard Greens
First, gather your ingredients: a bunch of collard greens, full-fat coconut milk (the kind in the can), soy sauce, rice vinegar, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes.
Next, clean the collards, peel the leaves from the stems, and slice them into ribbons. Pour the rest of the ingredients into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the collards and cook until tender. Boom!
Expert Tips to Make Perfect Collards
- To clean collards, fill a large bowl with water and dunk the greens into the bowl. Use your hands to swish them around to remove dirt. Empty the bowl, refill, and repeat until clean.
- Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk, aka the kind that comes in a can. Coconut milk in a carton may not be full-fat, and that kind will not make the sauce as creamy.
- The greens should get darker in color during the cooking process. The darker they get, the more cooked/tender they are. You can feel free to adjust the cooking time based on your preferences.
- These are best eaten right away, but you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave.
- Pour some of the coconut sauce from the pan over your collard greens before eating!
Oh, and these greens would pair well with baked fish (especially cod!) or another lean protein. You can also eat them on the side of fried chicken 😉 (just every once in a while, of course)…
For more recipes using collards, check out the Shredded Collard Greens Salad with Peanut Dressing and the Lentil Risotto with Collard Greens.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Coconut Braised Vegan Collard Greens
- Wash your collard greens by dunking them in a bowl filled with cold water. Use your hands to swish them around to remove dirt. Empty the bowl, refill, and repeat until the collards are clean. Remove the leaves from the stems and slice the collards into ribbons.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the coconut milk, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and bay leaf. Then add the collards, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are darker in color and tender (about 10-12 minutes). Add the red pepper flakes halfway through the cooking time if desired.
- Remove from heat and serve with a few spoonfuls of sauce from the skillet. Enjoy!
- These are best eaten right away, but you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheat in the microwave.
- Pair these greens with white fish or another baked lean protein.
- Use more or less red pepper flakes to adjust the level of spiciness.
- Sub white wine or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have rice vinegar.
- If you are watching your salt intake, choose low or reduced sodium soy sauce. Nutrition facts were calculated with low sodium soy sauce.
Enjoy your greens! – Lizzie