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Braised Collard Greens with Cannellini Beans

Jun 3, 2014
By Kathleen Reutter

Collard greens, a cruciferous vegetable similar in taste and texture to kale, are a nutritional powerhouse packed with fiber, calcium, and numerous vitamins. Here, the Southern classic — typically prepared with ham hocks — is made vegan and brightened by fire-roasted tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. Cannellini beans add protein and elevate this simple side dish to main course status, if you desire. Or, mix genres and layer the braised collards into a tortilla for a hearty vegetarian taco.

In a hurry? See Recipe Tips for leafy green swaps that will enable you to serve this dish up in a fraction of the time.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Recipe Ingredients

2 large bunches collard greens, about 1 1/2 pounds (see Recipe Tips)
1 15-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained (or 1 1/2 cups of cooked cannellini beans)
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly squeezed lemon juice for serving
Salt to taste

Recipe Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the collards. Blanch for 4 minutes and transfer to a large bowl of ice water using a slotted spoon or tongs. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid. Coarsely chop the collards into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a large lidded pan or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and stir often until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and sauté for another few minutes until the onion is tender. Add the collards and tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and simmer for another 5 minutes until the beans are hot. Spoon into serving dishes and serve hot or warm, drizzled with lemon juice.

Recipe Tips

  • There’s no need to remove the stems from these greens. The long cooking time ensures that the stalks will be tender.
  • Can’t find collards? Kale is a good alternative and can be cooked in the same fashion. Swiss chard also works well but requires only take half the cooking time. Spinach cooks faster; simmer for 10 to 12 minutes only.
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Kathleen Reutter

As a registered nurse on One Medical’s Virtual Medical Team, Kathleen provides care for patients when they are away from our offices, over the phone and via email. She enjoys writing health-related content for patients in her spare time. Kathleen graduated from the University of California, San Francisco and is currently a student in UCSF’s nurse-midwifery and women’s health nurse practitioner program.

The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, a national, modern primary care practice pairing 24/7 virtual care services with inviting and convenient in-person care at over 100 locations across the U.S. One Medical is on a mission to transform health care for all through a human-centered, technology-powered approach to caring for people at every stage of life.

Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. 1Life Healthcare, Inc. and the One Medical entities make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.