Healthy Collard Greens

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Tender leafy greens that simply melt in your mouth

There’s no doubt about it. Everyone should include more healthful, dark, leafy greens in their diets. This healthy collard greens side dish is a great addition to any meal.

Collard greens are rich in vitamin K, with a stunning 1,045%  of the recommended daily allowance of the vitamin in one cooked cup! Vitamin K contributes to strong bones, healthy arteries, and regulation of the clotting of your blood. Collard greens also are an excellent source vitamin A, C, folate, manganese, and calcium, and a good source of other B vitamins.

Traditionally, ham hocks (pork legs) are used in collard greens recipes, providing smokiness and making the greens more tender. Here, we have provided three healthful options, two of which are meatless: smoked turkey wings, dried smoky chiles, or liquid smoke. All of these can infuse the leaves with that smoky goodness, with the chiles adding spiciness. Choose the ingredient that you prefer!

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Healthy Collard Greens

This dark and leafy green side dish pairs well with a variety of main dishes.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 6 people
Serving Size 0.5 cup collard greens and 1/2 cup broth
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Universal
Author SkinnyMs.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 smoked turkey wings or legs see alternatives in notes section
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, low sodium preferred
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar optional
  • 2 pounds bunches fresh collard greens about 2 bunches


  • Prepare the collard greens by first removing the stems. Pull them off by hand or cut them out with a knife. Wash the leaves in a very large bowl of water or clean sink filled with water, allowing the soot from the greens to sink to the bottom of the container. Repeat by cleaning the container, and resubmerging in clean water. To test a leaf for no grit, simply bite into one. Never dump the leaves into a strainer with the water, or the leaves will get dirty.
  • Stack the leaves and cut across into about 1- inch sized ribbons.
  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, add oil and onions. Saute onions for 5 minutes over medium-high heat until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and saute quickly for an additional 30 seconds or so, just until golden and fragrant. Add the turkey wings, the stock, the greens, and the salt and pepper and bring just to a boil.
  • Optional cooking method: Steam just until wilted to maintain the amazing nutrients of collard greens.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, until the greens are tender.
  • Remove the smoked turkey wings( if used) from the liquid. Remove the skin and bones from the turkey wing and tear the meat into bite-sized pieces. Remove the chiles and discard. Add the turkey meat back to the liquid. Stir the vinegar into the greens, if using, just prior to serving or serve on the side, to be sprinkled in as a condiment.
  • Use a slotted spoon to serve on a plate, or serve in individual side dish bowls with the broth and dip cornbread, corn muffins, or other biscuits into the broth when eating, as is traditional.


*Cooking liquid from greens, often called Pot Likker, can be served and cornbread can be dipped into it (as is traditional), or if not served, cooled to room temperature and then frozen to use for stocks or to make beans in.
Alternative to smoked turkey wings or legs: 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (vegetarian/vegan option) or 2 whole dried chipotle chiles or ancho chiles (and omit the chili flakes or cayenne later)

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.5cup collard greens and 1/2 cup broth | Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 379mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5
Keywords Diabetic-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Keto

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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  1. Where are all the points coming from? If using liquid smoke or dried chipotles, wouldn’t the point count drop and only counting the olive oil?

  2. Hi! Is there a way to make this where there isn’t so much broth left over? I don’t want it to go to waste.

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made it with smoked turkey and added red pepper flakes. I used less broth (for steaming) and it came out perfect!!!

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