Vibrant veggies like collard greens make the perfect winter evening meal. And when you’ve got a bunch of delectable sides lined up for the taking, what’s not to like? If you’d rather enjoy collard greens as a stand-alone meal, then there’s no disputing your personal preference. However, the contrasting textures and flavors, make it impossible to deny the delectable side dishes that call out your name!
Table of Contents
- What Are Collard Greens?
- What Goes Well With Collard Greens? 7 Scrumptious Ideas
- Collard Greens Recipe
- Collard Green Pairings
What Are Collard Greens?
Collard greens are a type of leafy green related to cabbages. They have huge brilliant green leaves with robust stems. Generally, collard greens (like kale) impart a slightly bitter taste when eaten raw. However, the cooking process completely changes that.
Collard greens are traditionally stewed with pork for hours, then flavored with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Southern-style collard greens pair well with cornbread, spare ribs, sweet potatoes, and more!
What Goes Well With Collard Greens? 7 Scrumptious Ideas
The rich bitterness of collard greens pairs well with a variety of flavorful sides. From sweet to spicy dishes there’s something exceptionally delicious enough to have you salivating. Take a look at some of the scrumptious ideas below!
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Macaroni and cheese
- Potato salad
- Sweet potato casserole
- Bacon green beans
- Devilled eggs
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Let’s begin with a classic side dish – mashed potatoes.
Though simple, these squashed potatoes are anything but disappointing. Their simplicity is what ties any meal together beautifully. A classic bowl of creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes, paired with rich and slightly bitter leafy greens, creates the ultimate evening treat!
Macaroni and Cheese
This simple but scrumptious side dish is made with macaroni pasta, smothered in a cheese sauce prepped with a variety of cheeses. The rich flavor and creamy texture of macaroni help balance the overpowering taste of collard greens.
You can even opt to enhance this simple pasta dish, with a bunch of spices, for a tongue-tingling treat!
Potato salad is a typical side dish served at picnics or garden parties. It’s made with pre-boiled potatoes slathered in a mayonnaise dressing featuring a wonderful blend of flavors and spices. Potato salad is a scrumptious and filling side, that helps balance the potent taste of collard greens.
Cornbread is another popular side dish that complements rich salads like collard greens. The bread is incredibly moist, enabling you to serve and enjoy it with almost any main dish. Cornbread is typically enjoyed with soups, stews, and salads
Cornbread is made from a batter consisting of cornmeal and flour; often the batter contains elements of sweetness such as honey, to sweeten the bread, which effectively balances the bitterness from healthy greens like collard green.
Sweet Potato Casserole
A deliciously sweet, sweet potato casserole features sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and crunchy pecans.
The sweet flavor and hint of crisp texture complement the collard greens wonderfully, as it offers a subtle sweetness followed by a delicious tanginess that’ll have your gut growling in satisfaction!
Bacon Green Beans
Bacon provides an excellent smoky essence to any dish, which is why it’s another great accompaniment to have alongside collard greens.
Green beans are showered with salt, then sauteed alongside some onions and bacon. Bacon fat also provides an abundance of flavor that is great when drizzled over green beans and served alongside the best collard greens.
For a side dish that offers both texture and flavor, try these deliciously tangy devilled eggs.
Devilled eggs come in a variety of flavors, with mayonnaise being the base ingredient. The eggs are boiled, halved, and filled with a mixture consisting of mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, and paprika.
Collard Greens Recipe
Collard greens are incredibly delicious especially when cooked with rich flavorful meats like bacon or turkey bacon. Take a look at the recipe below:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 slices of bacon
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 pound of chopped collard greens
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, cooking until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot, cut this into ½-inch pieces and set aside.
- Add minced garlic to the pot and cook until fragrant. Add collard greens and stir fry until they begin to wilt.
- Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and brown sugar into the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring the broth to a boil and reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the cooked bacon back to the pot and stir for a couple of minutes. Plate this up and enjoy!
Collard Green Pairings
While collard greens may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is a great way to incorporate some nutrition into your diet. I struggle with accepting the importance of greens in a diet, but these rich collard greens coupled with some scrumptious sides only make this dish worth eating!
What Takes the Bitterness out of Collard Greens?
Salt is the best ingredient for collard greens, especially when you’re looking to eliminate their bitter flavor. You can even include additional ingredients like anchovies or cured meat to tone down the bitter flavors in collard greens.
What Meat Can I Put in My Collard Greens?
Meat like pork can provide intense flavor to your collard greens. However, if you don’t want to use pork you can opt for turkey legs, smoked turkey wings, or neck bones.
Do Collards Cause Gas?
Collards are loaded with fiber, which takes longer for your body to digest compared to other substances. Eating collard greens in moderation is completely harmless, however, eating too much fiber can lead to uncomfortable side effects like bloating or gas.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Collard Greens?
Collard greens are nutrient-dense and incredibly low in calories. They’re also an excellent source of calcium, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.