Sauteed Greens

Overhead view of sautéed greens on white plate

When we joined our CSA here in Dallas, I was both excited and scared. Excited to be receiving locally grown vegetables and fruits from a local farmer and scared because of the ‘what ifs’ that were rampant in my mind. What if I didn’t like the vegetables that were grown? What if we were given too much or too little per week? What if I couldn’t find any recipes to go along with the vegetables, and they all tasted like dirt because I messed up on the cooking aspect? What if, what if, what if.

Collard greens were one of the first vegetables we were given, and I was terrified, y’all. I can work with sweet and spicy peppers, green onions, sweet potatoes and the like, but collard greens? Or any other greens? I’m a Southern girl, and I’ve had some great greens in my time. Needless to say, I was terrified I wouldn’t do the leafy vegetables justice with my poor attempt to make them. I felt out of my element, and I turned to my trusty pal, Google, for some help.

After talking myself down from having a conniption fit, I realized I can do this.

And I did.

This recipe is crazy simple, and it’s crazy delicious. The greens — you can add a mixture of greens or go straight collards, whatever floats your boat — take on a meaty, hearty quality, and I could honestly eat this side as a entree any day. One piece of advice: Make sure to have some breath mints for afterward… because while this recipe is tasty, the garlic packs quite a punch!

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    Other dishes with greens: Kale MadelineBacon Collard GreensVegan Tuscan Kale BruschettaHearty Holiday QuicheMandarin Kale Salad 

    Overhead view of sautéed greens on white plate

    Sauteed Greens

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    A light, savory greens recipe that is quickly made and enjoyed.
    5 from 2 votes
    Servings 4 servings
    Calories 222 kcal
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes


    • 7 cups chopped greens
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
    • ½ tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

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    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water has reached a rolling boil, put the greens in it, boiling for a total of 15 minutes.
    • Once the greens have shrunken and boiled for the 15 minutes, strain them and set aside.
    • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
    • Add the minced garlic to the pan, stirring until you can smell the garlic cooking.
    • Add the drained greens to the pan, mixing with the garlic, and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
    • Pull the skillet off the heat and add the 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice, stirring until the greens have soaked it in.
    • Serve warm, and enjoy!


    You can use whatever greens you've got on hand! In the past, I've used a combination of collard greens, kale and mustard greens. But you can use just one of these or fresh spinach, and it'll work out beautifully!


    Serving: 1 servingCalories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 17gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 77mgFiber: 13gSugar: 1g
    Keyword collard greens, easy side, easy side dish, easy side dish recipe, kale, mustard greens, quick side dish, stovetop, stovetop side dish, vegan side dish, vegetarian side dish
    Course Side Dishes
    Cuisine American
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    Do you have any cooking fears? Have you faced them?

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    1. I tackled collard greens for the first time this weekend! And it was completely a case of “I’ve never made greens before and they kind of freak me out.” We did bacon in a big pot, added water and a bit of red pepper, then simmered nearly three pounds of collards for about 30 minutes. Easy and delicious!

      1. Haha. I’m glad that I wasn’t the one one who had that freak out! And I’m happy to hear yours turned out wonderfully! They sound delicious, especially with that bacon and red pepper!

    2. I love collard greens! We just joined a CSA three weeks ago and the only thing I’m having trouble with using is the squash. One squash a week is a LOT for 2 people! The spinach we get is amazing, though. I’ve been sauteeing it with olive oil, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes and serving it over bowtie pasta with a sprinkle of parm. YUM.

      1. You and me both, girl. What kind of squash are they giving y’all? We’ve been given some squash, but we’ve been given smaller ones, so it’s a lot easier to handle. Aaaaaand that spinach sounds divine. Yum!

    3. Cooking fear? Dealing with any recipe that calls for water bath. For one, I don’t own a bowl that would fit on any pan or pot of mine. Also, I’ve had a glass measuring jug burst to a million pieces some years ago because of hot liquid. I am still not over that phobia.

      On sautéed greens, this is pretty much how we have our greens every single day. I like to cook any greens this way because it’s simple and the flavour of the greens is not masked by sauces and fuss. It’s fresh, healthy and easy.

      1. Jayne, I totally feel you on the water bath, too! I’ve had a similar pitcher burst into a million pieces, and I don’t think I’ve ever used a water bath for that very reason. 🙂

        I love that this is how y’all make greens at your home. They’re truly delicious, and I agree: it’s simple, and the flavor of the greens isn’t masked by anything. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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