What Do Collard Greens Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Do Collard Greens Taste Like? 

Collard greens are leafy greens that are similar to kale and mustard greens. They have an earthy bitter taste that is refreshing and mild, unlike that of kale or the sweeter spinach. They work best when slow-cooked and added to soups, stir-fries, or as a wrap-up. 

This is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about the taste and quality of collard greens. 

Let’s dive right into it. 

What Are Collard Greens? 

Collard greens are fan-like leafy greens that have big green leaves and a thick stalk. They fall in the same group of veggies like kale, cabbage, or mustard greens.

They are rich in nutrients and are usually used in soups and braises, quite popular in Southern cuisines.

They are mostly used in recipes that use slow cooking and braising since the stalks are tough and hold firm for a long while. 

What Do Collard Greens Taste Like? 

The collard greens can be bitter and earthy in taste. But compared to kale or similar greens, the collard greens are milder in flavor. Especially once it is heated or cooked, the flavor gets mild and refreshing. Though you can find collard greens all year round, they taste best in the colder months.

Collard greens have a coarseness to them which can soften as it cooks. Due to its texture, it gets chewy once cooked and is a pleasant addition to stir-fry or stew.

Before cooking it can also have a strong acidic smell.

If you are looking for greens that are packed with nutrition but have a muted earthy and bitter taste, the collard greens are the best option.

It tastes great when sautéed with some garlic. 

What Do Cooked Collard Greens Taste Like? 

Once cooked, the bitter and earthy taste of the collard greens gets further mellowed. They are soft and chewy with a pleasant refreshing taste that marries well with garlic and other veggies in the mix.

Since the leaves and stalks are hard, it needs a thorough cook time so that they can soften and get less bitter over time. 

Do Collard Greens Taste Like Kale? 

The collard greens fall under the same group of veggies like kale and can taste more or less the same. But the collard greens have a less overpowering bitterness and have a mellow earthy flavor.

The kale in contrast has a more pronounced “green” taste and is more bitter.

Do Collard Greens Taste Like Spinach? 

Collard greens and spinach have quite a lot of similarities, and both are rich in nutrients. But they have distinct tastes. While collard greens are more on the bitter and chewy side, spinach has a sweeter note.

Once cooked, the collard green gets milder in flavor while the spinach gets more acidic and stronger in flavor.

Are Collard Greens Sweet or Bitter? 

Collard greens are known to be bitter and earthy in flavor, though not as strong as kale or such greens. The bitter taste gets further dialed down once it is cooked and it marries well with garlic and is a great addition to soups or stir-fries.

How to Remove the Bitter Taste of Collard Greens? 

Although the bitter taste of the collard greens is on the mild side, you can use the following trick to reduce the bitterness.

Add salt and lemon juice to the dish and mix it in while cooking till the bitterness dials down and you get the desired taste.

Are Collard Greens Chewy? 

Yes, collard greens are tough and chewy when they are raw. But with proper cleaning and cook time, they can soften and get easier to eat than in their raw form.

It is advised to cut the leaves and stalks into smaller chunks to help with the softening as it cooks.

How to Make Collard Green Taste Good? 

The collard greens taste great when slowly cooked with garlic.

If you are not a fan of the bitter taste, you can add salt and lemon juice to the mix to remove the bitterness.

Cooking the collard greens in stock can also give them a delicious flavor.

Can You Eat the Stem of Collard Greens? 

Yes, you can eat the stem or stalk of the collard greens. Be sure to clean them thoroughly and cut them into bite-size portions, and you should be good to go.

They might take a while to get tender, but they work just as well as the leaves in soups or stir-fries. 

What Are Some Substitutes for Collard Greens? 

Collard greens can be substituted by quite a few green veggies. You could use kale, spinach, mustard greens, or Chinese broccoli in your recipes. But keep in mind that each of these substitutes has a distinct flavor.

So, depending on the desired taste you are looking for, you can choose the appropriate substitute.

Bottom Line 

I hope this article helped you figure out the taste and distinct notes of collard greens. 

Feel free to share this article with all your veggie-loving family and friends!

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About Irene Clark

Irene is a supermom of 4 kids who always has a smile on her face. She's an amazing dancer - you should see her moves! - and she loves to eat, especially with wine. She also loves pop music and travels across the country with her family and friends.