I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I could eat an entire pot, nay, bucket of collard greens all on my own. My sister makes them during the holidays, and I need to be watched at all times around this juicy, savory, ancient superfood. That’s right my friends, not only are they downright delicious, but they are full of nutrients.
You may need to take a seat for what I’m going to say next. This leafy green is so overflowing with good stuff like iron, vitamin K, folate, and antioxidants, that, overall, it’s better for us than kale!
But enough about the healthy part, let’s get back to what makes them so gloriously tasty. The key to good collards are to boil, boil, boil. For truly tender collards, boil them in chicken stock for about 2 hours. Then you want to mix in some fresh onions, garlic, and jalapeño. That’s all there is to great collards.
Now while I’m perfectly happy with the collards alone, you may not be. On top of all their other endearing qualities, collards are versatile, and go with everything from catfish to Mac & Cheese.
If you’re looking for what to serve with collard greens, read on for these, and other mouthwatering sides.
Do you remember that old pair, Batman and Robin? Collard greens and cornbread are the culinary equivalent.
This cornbread is a breeze to whip up, honestly. All you need is a handful of pantry staples: flour, yellow cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, butter, egg, and milk. No buttermilk needed, no creamed corn, no fancy stuff. I reckon you’ve got most of these ingredients in your pantry right now!
Mix those ingredients up in a bowl, pour the batter into a greased pan, and pop it in the oven. It only takes about 20-25 minutes to bake. Yes, in under half an hour, you’ll be sinking your teeth into the crumbly golden goodness of homemade cornbread! Easy as pie… I mean bread!
You can play around with this recipe, make it truly your own. Use a fine or medium ground cornmeal, all-purpose or wheat flour, melted butter or even oil. And if you’re not a fan of sweet cornbread, just cut down the sugar.
It pairs brilliantly not just with collard greens but with chili, barbecue – you name it!
Like Bonnie and Clyde, some duos just make sense. Juicy, flavorful grilled chicken breasts with collard greens? Chef’s kiss.
Yep, I said ‘juicy’ and ‘grilled chicken breasts‘ in the same sentence, quite a feat, right?
Here’s the secret: The marinade.
You pound the chicken thin, which keeps it tender and ensures it cooks evenly. Then marinate it for a good 4 hours, or even overnight if you’d like. By the way, did you know that contrary to popular belief, acidic ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice don’t tenderize chicken?
Quite the opposite, they kind of “cook” the meat, giving it a leathery texture. So, I just use lemon zest which allows for a punch of flavor, without messing with the texture.
Come dinner time, you simply toss it on a high-heat grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side. This quick fix keeps the chicken juicy while giving it a nicely charred exterior. Just let the chicken rest a few minutes after grilling to seal those juices in, and voila! Delicious chicken that’s ready quicker than you can set the table.
If you wonder what meat to serve with collard greens, try Pork Chops – it’s Elton John to collard greens’ piano. Dramatic, flavorful, and when combined with the greens? A show-stealing performance every single time.
You’re probably thinking it sounds complicated, but believe me, it’s a breeze to make. First, you season the pork chops, then dredge them in flour. Give them a quick sizzle in oil and butter and you’re almost there…
The pièce de résistance? An onion gravy, a flavor-packed mix. Caramelized onion slices, a hint of garlic, and some thyme.
Toss in some chicken broth, stir in buttermilk or heavy cream and voila– “the best way to eat a chop,” as my grandma used to say!
Need any more reasons to try it?
It serves marvelously atop mashed potatoes, and it bathes your collard greens with its delish gravy.
A complete meal in mere minutes. And hey, if you want to bring it up a notch, why not pair it with a bold flavored wine like pinot noir?
So, what do you say? Are you ready for a lip-smacking, uber flavorsome dinner?
Ever heard that saying about how black-eyed peas bring good luck? Well, when paired with collard greens, they don’t just bring luck, they bring a party to your palate. It’s like pairing peanut butter with jelly. It’s just… right.
The smell of collard greens simmering away on the stovetop always brings a smile to my face, but, boy, does it make me hanker for a harmonizing side dish. If you’re nodding in agreement right now, I’ve got just the recipe – Southern Black Eyed Peas!
These black-eyed peas are seasoned with an incredible array of spices like garlic and onion powder, seasoned salt, and a pinch of cayenne (if you like it spicy).
The preparation is easy. Simply soak the peas in water overnight and voila, they’re ready to be cooked the next day. If you don’t have time for a soak, no worries, there’s a handy, quick soak alternative. Bring the peas to a boil for about 2 minutes, then take them off the heat and let them sit for an hour then drain, easy as that!
Next, cook your crispy bacon in a Dutch oven, add in your sweet onion and garlic, and let that cook until it’s opaque. Finally, add in your peas, the aromatic spices and chicken stock into the pot, and let it simmer between 60-90 minutes.
I pair these black-eyed peas with thick-cut applewood smoked bacon – the crispy and smoky contrast with the peas is just heavenly.
The combo of your collard greens and these savory black-eyed peas will have you ladling out servings faster than you can say “Good luck!”
Think of collard greens as the elegant ballroom and fried catfish as the belle of the ball. This Southern Fried Catfish it’s as easy as one-two-three and ready in less than 20 minutes.
It’s an incredibly tender catfish fillets, lightly breaded in a Southern seasoned cornmeal mix and perfectly fried. With a perfect crunch on the outside while staying fluffy and delectable on the inside!
Let’s get down to business.
- First up, make sure your catfish fillet is thawed if you’re using frozen.
- Pour some buttermilk, let them soak for a brief 10 minutes to get rid of that “fishy” smell!
- Then, lightly cover your fillets with cornmeal mixed with some good ol’ seasonings.
- Pop those fillets into a hot cast-iron skillet, each side for just about 5 minutes, enough time to whip up that tartar sauce you’re gonna serve it with. Just remember, practice makes perfect.
Flavour-packed restaurant quality catfish fillets at home? Yes, please!
So, if you’ve been searching for a quick and mouth-watering dinner option, look no further. This Southern Fried Catfish ticks all the boxes.
Serve it with a side of steaming hot collard greens for a hearty, homey meal in a jiffy! I guarantee you won’t be needing to swing by the restaurant for catfish fillets any time soon. Enjoy!
You know those days when you need a warm hug? Imagine collard greens and mac and cheese as that hug, but on a plate. Like wrapping up in your favorite blanket, but… edible.
Just like you, I am not afraid to serve a feast fitting for a royale occasion, and what better than some earthy collard greens paired with that childhood favorite, creamy mac & cheese?
It’s my Grandma’s very own recipe, minus the processed ingredients but the love doubled. This gooey, creamy indulgence doesn’t need any fancy spices or a caviar garnish, just a good ol’ whisking and voilà! A cheesy delight (minus the Crisco and Velveeta)!
What I love about this combo is the simplicity and quick-prep time. Seriously, by the time you lively chit chat your way through Aunt Jen’s last hilarious escapade, that serving plate will be ready for a round of wows! And hey, don’t let anyone convince you homemade mac & cheese isn’t as easy as boxed, because with this recipe it so is!
But don’t forget to make room for those juicy collard greens! In your plate and your heart, that is! These two foods go together like smiles and laughter, marrying the creamy with the healthy, the indulgent with the feel-good. I told you, it’s how your belly joins the party!
So, pull up a chair, assume your cheese-pulling powers, grab your fork and dig in. Yes, it’s got gluten. Yes, it’s got dairy. And yes, that second helping is calling your name already! Bon appétit!
Light up your collard green ensemble with the zesty flair of pickled onions. Think of them as the sequins on a dazzling dress – a pop of surprise and sparkle! They add that bright pop of flavor to your dish and they’re a piece of cake to whip up.
Making them is a breeze!
- Slice up some red onions, add vinegar, water, cane sugar, and sea salt.
- Heat it up until salt and sugar dissolve. Takes like a minute, tops!
- Then, pour the melange over the sliced onions.
- Wait till they cool, and put them into the fridge.
They are ready they’ve turned bright pink and tender – could take an hour, or overnight if the onions are thick.
If you’re feeling bold, throw in some peppercorns or garlic cloves to boost their flavor.
This Sweet Potato Casserole is bursting with all the goodies of fall. It’s creamy, buttery, sweet, and has a hint of cinnamon to round things off. And goodness, the marshmallows! You know how I prefer my sweet potato casserole? With a generous dollop of marshmallows on top!
I know, I know, it sounds like a dessert. And trust me, it can double up as one! But, let me tell you, it makes an excellent side dish for glorious collard greens. It’s like the sweet and buttery casserole balances the bitterness of the greens.
This casserole is a breeze to make!
Just bake or boil your sweet potatoes, mix them with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and milk, then top with marshmallows and bake!
Don’t be shy with your marshmallows; measure them with your heart!
You just made a hearty plate of beautiful, vitamin-rich collard greens – and you’re trying to figure out what else to serve with collard greens.
Have you ever tried making grits? When I say this dish is an easy, versatile wonder, I mean it. You can whip up some delicious grits in less than 30 minutes with 5 easy steps!
Grits are a creamy porridge that originates from the indigenous people of the Southern United States, specifically the Muskogee tribe. Grits can be made from either white or yellow corn kernels, but the fun part is, you can either make them sweet or savory!
For breakfast, I’d recommend going sweet with additions like maple syrup, brown sugar, berries or cinnamon. Doesn’t a combo of bananas, honey, and toasted almonds sound delightful?
But if your collard greens are part of a dinner meal, heavenly savory flavors like cheddar cheese, bacon or even a dash of hot sauce can set your taste buds tingling!
And what’s more, we’re using quick grits. That means you’ll be breaking bread – or spooning up grits – in no time. But remember, to get them thick and creamy, you may need to keep them cooking a bit longer than it says on the box.
So the next time you’re serving up some collard greens, consider pairing them with creamy, savory or sweet – as you like – grits.
10. Hot Sauce
For those who like a little kick, hot sauce is the answer! It’s like adding a pinch of thrill to the mix. A bit of an adrenaline rush with every bite! Oh, I’m getting excited just thinking about it!
This recipe it’s simple, yet flavorful.
- Grab a bounty of hot chili peppers (green or red, your choice). You could throw in some jalapenos, serrano peppers, cherry bomb peppers, banana peppers, or fresno peppers for a mild-to-medium heat level.
- If you want it spicier, go for cayenne peppers, fish peppers, thai chilies, or tabasco peppers.
- For the brave souls, habanero, scotch bonnet, or ghost peppers will have you breathing fire!
- Once you’ve picked your peppers, lightly ferment them (don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds).
- Add those bad boys, along with garlic, a splash of salt, and water, into a food processor, and pulse until you see a chunky salsa.
- Transfer this mixture into a clean glass jar for a 24-hour slumber party on the countertop. This kicks off the fermentation process, giving our sauce a distinct flavor.
- A day later, add some vinegar to the mix and let it ferment for a week. I usually go for apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar, but feel free to play around with your own combinations.
- Once a week has passed, blend the sauce into a smooth, savory concoction.
- If you like it thinner, run it through a fine-mesh strainer; trust me, I’ve strained a sauce or two in my time!
The end result? An explosion of flavor that adds a real zing to your collard greens.
The golden, crispy roasted potatoes alongside the deep greens? Think of it as a countryside painting on your plate. Pure, wholesome, and beautifully rustic.
These potatoes are spicy but not too hot; they add a little excitement to your regular dinner table.
Cooking them is super easy and fast.
All you need are potatoes, preferably creamer potatoes or new potatoes, loads of cilantro and parsley, crushed red pepper, garlic, and olive oil. And for that refreshing tang, don’t forget a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Now let’s get to it! Cube your potatoes, then cover them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Slide them into the oven – hot at 425 degrees – and roast them for 30 mins. While the spuds are getting all golden and delightful, heat some olive oil and sauté some fragrant garlic, toss in the crushed red pepper, chopped cilantro, and parsley. Stir for about 30 seconds. Then, add the fresh kick of lemon juice.
Once the potatoes turn golden brown and tender, douse them in the olive oil concoction. Boom! You’ve got spicy pieces of heaven right there.
Mason agrees these potatoes are fantastic served hot, but hey, if you prefer, they can also sit in the fridge for later as a kind of a potato salad. Equally tasty, just not as crispy.
What to Serve With Collard Greens: 10 Best Dishes
- Grilled Chicken
- Smothered pork chops
- Black-Eyed Peas
- Fried Catfish
- Grandma’s Best Creamy Mac & Cheese Ever
- Pickled Onions
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Hot Sauce
- Garlic Roasted Spicy Potatoes
- Pick your favorite side.Enjoy!
My name is Beth, Elizabeth Evelyn to be exact. A native Tennessean, I was born in the South.
I am the author behind Local Milk Blog.
Local milk is a journal devoted to home cookery, travel, family, and slow living—to being present & finding sustenance of every kind.
It’s about nesting abroad & finding the exotic in the everyday.
Most of all it’s about the perfection of imperfections and seeing the beauty of everyday, mundane life.