A tasty sauteed Vegetarian Apple Cider Collard Greens recipe that you will love!! Collard greens are dark leafy greens belonging to the cabbage family (examples of vegetables belonging in the same family are kale and mustard greens).
Collard greens are normally prepared with bacon or ham but you can still enjoy this delicious recipe without meat! They are a great side dish and pair up well with most mains. I have also included the Instant Pot instructions, for those who own an Instant Pot or pressure cooker and would like to save on time needed to make this dish.
The best part? Super easy recipe with simple-to-follow steps. I used smoked salt in this recipe to get that smoky flavour, but you can also use liquid smoke. This recipe is paleo and low carb suitable.
Recipe tips related to this Vegetarian Apple Cider Collard Greens Recipe
Cleaning collard greens The collard leaves sometimes hide a lot of dirt, mud or tiny insects.This means it is important to properly clean the leaves to avoid ruining the dish. To clean collard greens:
- Start by making sure your kitchen sink is clean. Fill the sink with warm water and allow the collard greens to soak in the water for about 5-10 minutes. Soaking the collard leaves helps the dirt to settle at the bottom, making it easier to get clean leaves. You can also add about a third of a cup of vinegar or salt to the soaking water. You can alternatively fill a large container with water if you are not comfortable using your kitchen sink.
Time to cook Collard greens normally require about 25 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot. The 25 minutes comprises of approximately 15-20 minutes actual cook time and a natural pressure release time of about 10 minutes.
It is okay to use the quick pressure release function if in a hurry, but take care as the collard leaves may not be as tender as you would like them to be. This vegetarian collard greens recipe uses the natural release method.
It takes approximately 50-60 minutes to cook collard greens on the stovetop.
Are collard greens healthy? They are very nutritious. You can read more about the health benefits of collard greens here. Also, greens are great for those on special diets (such as keto, low carb, paleo and whole 30) as they are high on fibre, making them good for the digestive system.
Can you use a normal pressure cooker for this vegan collard greens recipe, if you do not have an Instant Pot? Most certainly. The steps remain pretty much the same. Only thing is, you will have to time it manually (e.g. using a kitchen timer or your cell phone).
The stovetop and Instant Pot instructions are included in the recipe card below.
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Frequently asked questions
Tenderizing collard greens - you can tenderize your collard greens by:
- adding about an eighth of a cup of vinegar while cooking. Alternatively, you can squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and add some more salt. I would advise you to start with approximately half a teaspoon of salt (you can always add more later).
- add about half a teaspoon of baking soda. This also helps the collard greens retain their colour.
- combine the collard greens with a cup of spinach or swiss chard during cooking.
- cook your greens longer (90 minutes, in comparison to the usual one hour).
- get rid of the stemmy parts as much as possible during the cutting process. The stems tend to be hard and chewy so getting rid of them helps.
Preservation - You can keep these vegetarian apple cider collard greens in the fridge for 4-5 days. Just make sure to store them in a suitable airtight container as collard greens tend to have a strong smell and can make your fridge smell. You can also freeze the cooked leaves. To freeze, simply keep in suitable containers then add the date labels.
You can also freeze uncooked collard leaves. It is best to first chop or slice the leaves before freezing.
Vegetarian Apple Cider Collard Greens
- Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot (3,6 or 8 Quart)
- Wooden spoon or spatula to stir
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 16 oz collard greens - roughly chopped approx. 450 g
- 3-4 cloves garlic finely sliced or minced
- 1½ cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 small sweet or white onion sliced
- 2 tbsp honey (or suitable low carb sweetener for keto)
- ⅛ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp smoked salt
- Start by cleaning the collard greens. To do so, fill your sink or a large container with water. Add the collard greens and allow to soak for 5-10 minutes, to enable the dirt to settle at the bottom. You can also add about a third of a cup of vinegar to the water (this helps get rid of any small insects that may be hiding behind the leaves).Remove the leaves from the sink making sure they are all clean. You can clean any remaining dirt under running tap water.
- First, separate the hard stems from the leaves. You can pull-off the leaves or simply use a knife to cut the stems off. Once you have a pile of collard green leaves (enough to fit in one hand), lay the leaves flat on a chopping board and use your knife to slice the collard greens into thin ribbons.
- Press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot and set it to saute for 4-5 minutes. Add olive oil to the inner pot of the Instant Pot and allow to heat. Stir in the sliced onion and fry until translucent. Next, stir in the garlic and fry until fragrant.
- Pour in the vegetable broth, apple cider vinegar and honey and stir. Next, add in the sliced collard greens to the Instant Pot and mix.
- Press CANCEL on the Instant Pot to cancel the Saute function. Close the lid and make sure to set the top on the SEALING setting. Press the PRESSURE COOK function and program the time to 10 minutes. After about a minute, the display will show 10 minutes, this being the count down time before the cooking is done.Once the cooking time is done, allow the Instant Pot to naturally pressure release (NPR) for 10 minutes.
- Once the Instant Pot has naturally released its pressure, set the lid to vent, to release any pressure that may still be in the Instant Pot. Stir-in the crushed red pepper flakes and serve while warm or hot. You can also cube one tomato and use it as garnish.
- Clean the collard greens thoroughly by soaking them in a container filled with water (see the Instant Pot Instructions above). You can also clean them by cleaning each leaf under running tap water, but this is not so environmentally friendly.
- First, separate the hard stems from the leaves. You can pull-off the leaves or simply use a knife to cut the stems off. Once you have a pile of collard green leaves (enough to fit in one hand), lay the leaves flat on a chopping board and use your knife to chop the collard greens.
- Set a large pot or pan under medium heat and allow it to heat. Add the olive oil and allow the oil to get hot (this will take about 1-2 minutes).
- Stir in the sliced onion and fry until translucent. To the pot, add the garlic and fry until slightly brown and fragrant, taking care not to burn.
- Pour in the vegetable broth, apple cider vinegar, honey, collard greens and stir. Cover and allow to simmer under medium to low heat for 50 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring from time to time.
- Stir-in the crushed red pepper flakes and serve while warm or hot. You can also cube one tomato and use it as garnish.
- You can use brown sugar instead of honey. However, kindly note that brown sugar is not suitable for the paleo or low carb diets.