Sautéed Collard Greens

By: Eleni Saltas

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as harvesting fresh greens from your own garden and transforming them into a delightful dish. Our garden collard greens are thriving at the moment, so I decided to make a staple Southern recipe with a little Greek twist—because nobody but a Greek would add oregano to their collard greens. In my rendition, vegetable broth and liquid smoke lend a meatless alternative that still captures the smoky flavor. Leave as is or finish with some crumbled feta and a squeeze of lemon juice for an “Greekier” take.

Prep Time:


Total Time:

70 min



Good For:

Side dish/Meze


  • 2 bunches collard greens (or about 3 pounds)*

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)

  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, or more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, or more to taste

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes, or more to taste

  • 1 cup vegetable broth, or more as needed

  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes (or use one 15-ounce canned tomatoes, drained of their liquids)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons liquid smoke

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • ½ cup feta cheese, for garnish (optional)

  • lemon wedges, for serving

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Cut the tough stems and discard. Chop the leaves in bite sized pieces. I like to chiffonade the greens by stacking a handful of leaves, roll them like a cigar and cut into medium strips with a knife.

Step 2

Heat a medium sized pot to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and season well with salt, pepper, oregano, smoked paprika, and chili flakes. Saute for 5-7 minutes and then add the garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes or until translucent and fragrant.

Step 3

Add the chopped collard greens, stirring to combine with the onions. They will cook down!

Step 4

Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, liquid smoke, and lemon juice. Reduce the heat and simmer until the greens are tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally while cooking and check for flavor. I like to add a little more oregano and smoked paprika here. Add more liquid if needed.

Step 5

Serve the collard greens warm or garnished with feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon. 

Recipe Notes

 *Note on preparing the collard greens: If using collard greens from your garden, be sure to wash well. Fill up your sink or a bowl with water and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and one teaspoon of salt. Add the collard greens and soak and scrub off any dirt. Rinse and drain.