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+ servings
collard greens

Vegetarian Southern Collard Greens

These southern collard greens are braised low and slow in broth with tons of spices, liquid smoke and brown sugar!
3.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 6 servings


  • 6 small bunches collard greens
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 32 oz container of vegetable stock four cups
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • ½ - 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • hot sauce like Franks, for serving


  • Pull leafy greens away from tough stems and transfer greens to a large sink, discarding stems.
  • Cover greens with water and with both hands, rub and toss greens in water to remove dirt and grit. Drain water and repeat process 3-5 times until greens are clean and no dirt is evident in water. Roughly chop cleaned greens by rolling bunches of leaves up and slicing with a sharp knife.
  • Heat butter and oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
  • Add greens in three batches, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition to wilt greens. After all greens have been added, pour in stock and stir to incorporate. Bring greens to a boil.
  • Once greens come to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add spices, brown sugar, liquid smoke and vinegars. Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Cover pot and simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Check flavor and consistency of greens after about 30-45 minutes of cooking. Add more seasoning to taste. Replace lid and continue cooking for another 30-45 minutes, depending on desired level of tenderness.
  • Once greens have reached your preferred level of tenderness, transfer them to a serving bowl with some of the cooking liquid. Top with a few dashes of hot sauce before serving if desired.


Start with the lower measurement of each spice as you can always add more during the cooking process.
Keyword collard greens, southern recipes
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