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Savory Tweaks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Collard Greens

If you’re a fan of southern cooking, then chances are you have heard of collard greens.

This iconic side dish is an essential component in many traditional dishes and its unique flavor evokes all the warmth and coziness that comes with it.

But what can you do if your recipe calls for collard greens but they just aren’t available? Don’t fret – there are plenty of substitutions that will still allow you to enjoy the same great taste without having to settle for something completely different.

In this blog post, we’ll cover five substitutes for collard greens that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest diners.

What’s Collard Green?

Why Seek Substitutes for Collard Greens?

When it comes to collard greens, many people may be familiar with their slightly bitter taste and chewy texture.

But have you ever considered seeking out substitutes for this leafy green? The truth is, collard greens can be a bit challenging to cook with.

They require a longer cooking time than most other greens, and their strong flavor can overpower other ingredients if not properly balanced.

But fear not.

There are plenty of substitutes out there that can offer similar nutritional benefits and a more mild taste.

For instance, kale and spinach can be used in many of the same ways as collard greens, such as in soups, stews, and salads.

Swiss chard and beet greens are also great substitutes that can be used in place of collard greens in recipes like sautés and quiches.

So don’t be afraid to shake things up in your cooking and explore the world of greens beyond collards.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Collard Greens

If you’re searching for the perfect substitute to replace collard greens in your dishes, look no further.

Here are five of our top picks for substituting in place of collard greens:

1 – Kale

Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients that has been growing in popularity over the past few years.

It’s no wonder why – this versatile vegetable can be used in a variety of cooking styles and recipes, from grilled to raw, smoothies to soups.

One of the most common ways to use kale in cooking is by sautéing it with garlic and olive oil, or roasting it with other root vegetables.

It’s also a great substitute for collard greens – try using it in your favorite southern-style recipes for a healthier twist.

But here’s the thing: kale can be a confusing ingredient for many home cooks.

With its tough, fibrous leaves and bitter taste, it can be easy to get intimidated.

However, with the right techniques and recipes, kale can be transformed into a delicious, nutrient-packed addition to any meal.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t overlook this vegetable – give kale a try.

2 – Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is one of those vegetables that you may have heard of but never really considered bringing into your kitchen.

But let me tell you, you’re missing out.

With its glossy, crinkled leaves and vibrant stems that range from ruby red to deep gold, it’s a show-stopper on any plate.

Not only is it visually stunning, but it’s also incredibly versatile and has a unique flavor that’s hard to describe.

It’s somewhere between earthy and slightly bitter, with a subtle sweetness that comes through when cooked.

Speaking of cooking, there are so many ways to use Swiss chard in the kitchen.

You can sauté it with garlic and olive oil, chop it up and add it to soups or stews, or even use it raw as a wrap for sandwiches.

It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals, too.

And here’s a little secret: Swiss chard can be a fantastic substitute for collard greens in recipes.

The tastes are similar, but Swiss chard has a less chewy texture and a milder flavor.

So next time you come across a bunch of Swiss chard at the grocery store or farmers’ market, don’t hesitate to bring it home and experiment with it in your kitchen.

3 – Mustard Greens

Ah, the enigmatic mustard greens.

With their deep, earthy flavor, these leafy greens are often overlooked in favor of their more popular counterparts.

But fear not, for once you discover the versatility and richness that mustard greens bring to the table, you’ll wonder how you ever cooked without them.

From stir-fries to soups, they add depth and complexity to any dish.

One lesser-known fact is that mustard greens can be a great substitute for collard greens in recipes, providing a sharp and tangy flavor that will leave your taste buds humming.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with these greens – they are a chef’s dream come true.

4 – Spinach

Spinach, a leafy green that is filled with essential nutrients, can be a superfood that adds a wealth of flavor and texture to everyday dishes.

It is a versatile ingredient that can be wilted into salads, sautéed in stir-fries, and blended into smoothies for a healthy boost.

The best part about spinach is that it can also be substituted for collard greens in many recipes, making it an adaptable ingredient for vegans and people who are looking for a healthier alternative.

It is hard to imagine a dish that can’t benefit from the addition of spinach.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, you’ll find that spinach is one of the most accommodating and satisfying vegetables you can use.

5 – Cabbage

When it comes to cooking, there are few vegetables that can match the versatility and depth of flavor as cabbage.

You can shred it raw to add crunch to your tacos, braise it with butter and spices for a comforting side dish, or even ferment it to create your own sauerkraut.

But did you know that cabbage can also work as a substitute for collard greens? It might seem like an unlikely swap, but both leafy greens share similar hardiness and toughness, which makes them suitable for long cooking times.

Plus, cabbage offers a sweeter, milder taste compared to the slightly bitter and earthy profile of collard greens.

Whether you’re looking to experiment with new flavors or trying to use up that big head of cabbage in your fridge, don’t be afraid to give this substitute a try.

Recipes Featuring Substitutes for Collard Greens

Are you tired of the same old collard greens recipe? Fear not, because there are plenty of substitutes that can take your dish to the next level.

Whether you’re looking for a lower calorie option or simply want to switch up the flavors, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are all excellent choices that can be easily substituted.

These leafy greens offer similar nutrients and textures to collard greens, while adding their own unique flavors.

Feeling bold? Why not try replacing collard greens with cabbage or bok choy for a fun twist on traditional southern cuisine.

With so many options to choose from, the possibilities are endless.

Try experimenting with different substitutes to find your new go-to recipe.


In conclusion, there are many substitutes available to replace collard greens in recipes.

Kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach and cabbage all offer unique flavors and textures that can be used as alternatives.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to finding a substitute for this staple of southern cuisine – so don’t hesitate to get creative.

Whether you’re trying out a lighter version or just want to try something new, you’re sure to find the perfect substitute for your favorite collard greens recipe.

So go ahead and give these alternatives a try – you won’t be disappointed.