Southern Vegetarian Collard Greens

Southern vegetarian collard greens

Southern-style collard greens are often made with smoked ham hocks, smoked turkey legs or bacon, giving them a savory, smoky, meaty flavor. And while our vegetarian version might be lacking meat, it’s certainly not lacking any flavor.

Collard greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols, which may guard against prostate, breast, ovarian, lung, bladder and colon cancer. They are rich in calcium and vitamin K, which both support bone health. Getting enough calcium is important, especially for postmenopausal older women. The calcium content in collard greens can help reduce gradual bone loss, which is part of the aging process. Vitamin K can improve bone mineral density in osteoporotic people and can reduce fracture rates.

Collards are also a good source of fiber. Fiber promotes regularity and feeds the healthy bacteria that protects the lining of your gut. Additionally, collard greens contain the compound sulforaphane, which can help prevent the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can attack the lining of the stomach and cause bloating, nausea and stomach pain.

Recipe courtesy of Christian Eggerling, City of Hope's director of culinary operations. 

Yields: 8x 4oz servings. 


3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled, small dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
1 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
4 bunches collard greens,
washed, chopped
2 qt vegetable stock
3 oz unsalted butter
7 tomatoes, washed, seeded,
medium dice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper, table grind


1. In a sauté pan, heat oil to smoking hot. Add onion and brown well.
2. Add garlic and brown well. Add chili flakes and toast lightly.
3. Add greens and sauté well until leaves have decreased by half in volume.
4. Add stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add butter and tomato. Season with salt and pepper and serve.