Vegan Collard Greens

Collards are often cooked with a smoked ham hock to add a meaty, smoky flavor; this mildly spicy vegan collard greens recipe from Boricua Soul, a Puerto Rican–Southern restaurant in Durham, North Carolina, achieves the same depth of flavor with quality vegetable broth, adobo seasoning, and a hint of liquid smoke. Soak up the juices (potlikker) with cornbread, or drizzle over steamed rice. 

Vegan collards at Boricua Soul
Photo: Lauren Vied Allen
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins


  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 6 medium bunches collard greens (about 10 ounces each), washed, stemmed, and cut into 1/2 -inch-thick ribbons (18 to 20 packed cups)

  • 12 cups vegetable broth (such as Zoup! or Brodo)

  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Frank's RedHot)

  • 1 tablespoon adobo all-purpose seasoning powder with pepper

  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt (such as Lawry's)

  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (such as Morton's), plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium-high until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic are translucent, about 6 minutes. Working in batches, add collards, stirring constantly after each addition, until wilted and all greens fit in pot, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in broth, and bring to a boil over medium-high. Add hot sauce, adobo seasoning, seasoned salt, kosher salt, black pepper, and liquid smoke.

  2. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until collards are tender but not mushy, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Season with additional salt to taste. Using a slotted spoon, transfer greens to a large bowl to serve, adding potlikker as desired.

Make Ahead

Collard greens can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Related Articles