Brazilian collard greens Fast2eat

Collards are normally associated with long, slow cooking, but cutting them into thin strips reduces cooking time dramatically. The result is a bright, lively flavour that will make you realize these greens are more versatile than most people think. This dish can be made year-round and served as a side to any protein.

There really is no secret to make this collard greens recipe. It is super quick and easy to pull together. The most time-consuming part of the process will be removing the stems and cutting the collards into the thinnest strips. And after that, all you got to do is sauté in olive oil and garlic, season with salt and voila: bright green delicious collards are ready to be devoured!

Both kale and collard greens are among the world’s healthiest foods since they are nutritionally dense and loaded with many health benefits and vitamins. This version retains the collards’ vibrant colour and satisfying crunch.

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Brazilian Collard Greens Fast2eat

Brazilian Collard Greens Fast2eat

Easily cooked collard greens, bright, garlicky, and crisp-tender. And the best part? You will only need 4-6 ingredients and less than 15 minutes to make them!
It is a wonderful way to serve these healthful, somewhat bitter greens.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil - extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp Butter - optional
  • 1 tbsp Garlic - minced - 4 cloves
  • 1 bunch Collard green - rinsed, with the tough stems discarded, leaves cut into strips
  • Black Pepper - optional to taste
  • Salt - to taste


Wash the collard greens

  • Fill your kitchen sink or a large bowl with water. Swish them up and down and side to side to try to loosen any lingering dirt. Then rinse them off individually under cold water.

Cut collard green leaves into ribbons

  • Prepare collard greens by trimming out the large vein of the stem (in the center of the leaf), keeping leaves whole.
  • Stack the collard greens in a pile, starting with larger leaves on the bottom. I find it easier to do two or three piles per bunch.
  • Roll up each stack of leaves tightly into a cigar shape cylinder so the stem runs along the length of the roll.
    Brazilian Collard Greens Fast2eat
  • Hold it tightly, and using a sharp knife, cut them crosswise into very thin slices, as thin as possible – about 1.5 mm (1/16 inch) wide - making ribbons. Repeat with remainder cutting all the greens this way.
  • Use your fingers to shake up the strands, so they are loose. Reserve.
    Brazilian Collard Greens Fast2eat

Sauté the collards greens in plenty of fat

  • Use a large skillet with a tight-fitting cover. Melt butter and heat olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant and beginning to gain some colour.
  • Add the collard greens and sauté, tossing with the garlicky oil.
    Brazilian Collard Greens Fast2eat
  • Mix in the pepper and salt.
  • Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until they are wilted, silky, bright green and crisp-tender.
    Brazilian Collard Greens Fast2eat
  • Note: young collard greens will cook up relatively quickly. Older greens may take longer to tenderize. The time will vary on your personal taste; however, Brazilian Collard Greens do not simmer for hours like the US Southern version. A quick sauté – around 5 minutes – until they are tender and bright green is all that is needed! More than that, and you risk the collards getting bitter. I find that they taste fresher and less bitter when they are only sautéed until crisp-tender (meaning there is still a bite to them).
  • Transfer collards to a serving bowl. If need, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.


What are collard greens?

Collards are in the same family as kale, cabbage, mustard greens, and other hearty greens.
The leaves are dark green, and the stems are tough, that need to be removed before eating.
The flavour of collards is a cross between cabbage and hearty kale, like Swiss chard.

Should you cut the collard into strips or chopping it?

It would be best if you cut the collard greens into strips instead of chopping them. It is the traditional way.

Collard or curly kale?

In terms of flavour and texture, kale is the closest match to collards and can be used interchangeably.
If you use curly kale instead of collard, despite using a very sharp knife and the best kitchen skills, you probably will not achieve the thin kale shreds the recipe calls for, so the result will not be quite the same, but that does not detract from the flavour of the final result.

Shopping for collard greens

Look for collards with firm and even green leaves and look fresh with no yellow spots or bug holes. Avoid collars that have browned or wilted leaves or show other signs of age.
A bunch will only feed 4, with no leftovers, grab more if you need to serve more people or if you want to have some left to enjoy the next day!

Storing raw Collard Greens

They will keep for about 4 to 5 days in your fridge.
Place them in a large airtight plastic bag, unwashed.
If your collards are soft, slimy, yellow/browned or smelling bad, they are spoiled and should be discarded.


Cooked collard greens, stored in an airtight container, will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat, warm them up on a pan over medium heat, or use the microwave.

Can I freeze cooked collard greens?

Can you? Yes. Should you? In my opinion, no.
Collard greens will get mushy when frozen and thawed. I prefer them when they are freshly made or reheated from the fridge.
However, you can freeze cooked collard greens in freezer bags for up to 3 months if you do not mind the texture alteration.


There are a few variations of this collard greens recipe.
  1. Bacon or bacon fat - The most common variation. Use it for flavour. It provides an excellent balance to the natural bitter of the collard greens. When serving the collards with feijoada, I do not include bacon because feijoada already has it. But if I am serving with a simple meal, like grilled chicken, I find that the bacon is a nice addition, adding a bit of smokiness to the dish.
    • Bacon - sauté the bacon until golden brown before adding the garlic and proceed with the recipe as written.
    • Bacon fat - replace for butter.
  2. Onions or shallots - You can also sauté finely chopped onions or shallots with the garlic before adding the collard greens.
  3. A squeeze of lime or a pinch of red pepper flakes can sometimes transform this simple side dish into something with a little more punch.

What are collard greens served with?

In Brazil, collard greens are one of the sides served with feijoada (black bean stew).
You can also serve them with rice, beans, and a protein, like grilled or breaded chicken, a steak, roast, pork or Sausage.
You can also use them in soups, such as Caldo Verde, Tutu de Feijão or use them to make Feijão Tropeiro, risotto and even pasta!
How to Keep Your Cutting Board from Slipping?
A cutting board that slips around as you chop is risky business.
The easiest way to keep your board stable is to grab a paper towel or a damp Kitchen Towel (thin cotton), or a piece of the non-slip mat or sponge cloth.
Wet it and wring it out as much water as possible, so it's just damp, then lay it out flat on your counter under your cutting board to create traction between the board and the counter.
It acts as a grip, preventing your board from moving around.

To properly prepare your recipe, you may need to use the conversion tables to accurately convert the weight, volume, length, and temperature of all the necessary ingredients. These Fast2eat conversion tables will allow you to ensure that your recipe turns out perfectly and that all measurements are precise and accurate.

Disclosure: “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchases made using these links don’t cost any extra and provide Fast2eat with a few pennies to keep the lights on.”


Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2472IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.

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