Quick Creamed Keto Collard Greens Recipe (Dairy-Free)

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This quick creamed keto collard greens recipe features sauteed onions and garlic, collard greens, chicken broth, coconut milk, and a blend of seasonings for a low-carb side dish bursting with flavor and nutrition. With a cook time of just 20 minutes, this easy recipe is excellent for busy weeknights or meal prep. This delicious and healthy collard greens recipe adds Southern-inspired flavor to your keto diet.

Creamed Southern Collard Greens Recipe

Creamed collard greens are a rich and decadent version of a classic Southern dish.

Instead of being sauteed or braised with broth, we cook down the collard greens in a creamy sauce made with broth, coconut milk, and seasonings. This creates a velvety texture and rich flavor, making perfect comfort food.

The best part is that creamed collard greens are an excellent addition to the keto diet, as they are naturally low in carbs and high in fiber and nutrition.

This side dish contrasts flavor, texture, and nutritional profile nicely with your regular roasted veggies.

You will appreciate how quickly this collard greens recipe comes together. Plus, it can be made on the stovetop or in your Instant Pot, making it an excellent option for those short on time.

Using common keto ingredients and simple cooking techniques makes this a convenient side dish on busy weeknights.

Plus, it’s a perfect side dish for those sensitive to dairy or following a dairy-free diet for other reasons. Using coconut milk instead of traditional dairy products like butter or cream creates richly flavored but dairy-free collard greens.

Coconut creamed greens recipe.

How to Make Keto Collard Greens

Gather six main ingredients, plus seasonings, and you’re on your way to enjoying a delicious Southern-inspired side dish.

You’ll only need about 10 minutes of prep time and 15-20 minutes of stovetop cooking.

If you prefer an Instant Pot, the cooking time is just five minutes, with an additional five minutes for natural pressure release. 

Ingredients

  • Collard greens – This leafy green vegetable can be found in most local grocery stores and provides a hearty and nutritious base to this dish. Collard greens taste slightly bitter but are delicious when paired with savory ingredients like garlic, onion, and broth. 
  • Chicken broth – Adding chicken stock or broth to the collard greens helps to infuse them with flavor and moisture. It also helps to balance out the sharp flavor in the greens. Homemade chicken broth is the best option, but if using storebought, check to make sure it doesn’t have any artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Coconut milk – This creamy, dairy-free alternative to milk adds richness and provides a subtly sweet flavor that complements the earthy taste of the greens.
  • Olive oil – A healthy fat like extra virgin olive oil is used to saute the onion and garlic. It adds depth of flavor and richness without overwhelming the other flavors.
  • Yellow onion – Adds sweet and savory flavor that helps balance the greens’ bitterness.
  • Garlic – Adds a lot of flavor to the collard greens with its slightly pungent and savory notes.
  • Seasonings – A simple blend of smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper creates a well-rounded side dish.

Substitutions and Variations

Creamed collard greens have minimal ingredients, making them an excellent choice for a quick side dish for people following any specific diet. Thanks to the coconut milk, these greens are dairy-free and naturally gluten-free and nut-free.

For a more traditional side dish staple in southern cooking, use bacon fat instead of olive oil and add some cooked bacon pieces for flavor and texture variety.

The most important thing to remember is that sometimes store-bought ingredients like broth and coconut milk may have hidden ingredients that may not comply with your specific diet.

For example, canned coconut milk often contains guar gum, which is unsuitable for GAPS. And store-bought chicken broth may have dextrose, which is a simple sugar used to enhance flavor.

Below are some considerations as you adapt Keto Collard Greens to adjust for your particular needs.

  • Paleo diet – Ensure the broth is free from fillers and sugars. Guar gum is permissible on paleo. 
  • GAPS – Use homemade broth and coconut milk without guar gum.
  • Whole30 – Guar gum, often found in coconut milk, is permissible on Whole30. Therefore, this recipe as written is an excellent Whole30 side dish as long as you ensure the broth doesn’t contain any added sugars. 
Creamed greens with egg omelette on a white plate.

Step-By-Step Directions

Follow these simple directions, and you can’t go wrong! Creamy dairy-free keto collard greens come together with only 10 minutes of prep time.

You’ll start with prepping the collard greens first, removing the stems.

From there, you need to decide if you’re cooking them on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot. Either way, the result is a keto southern side dish that’s healthy and flavorful!

Step one: Prep

Remove the tough stem from each collard leaf and discard. This is an important step, so don’t skip it! Chop the leafy greens and set aside. 

Going forward, the directions will change slightly depending on your cooking method. Pick one and follow the instructions for that specific method.

Method One: Stovetop

Cooking fresh collards on the stovetop in a large skillet or Dutch oven is easy and quick but requires you to tend to it.

Step two: Saute

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and saute until softened about 3-4 minutes.

Add the seasonings and stir to combine well. Stir in the chopped collard greens and pour in the chicken broth. Stir well.

Step three: Cook

Cover the skillet and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the collard greens are tender and the liquid has reduced.

Step four: Finish

Add the coconut milk, and stir to combine. Cook for another one to two minutes, or until heated through. 

Method Two: Instant Pot

Using the pressure cooker is my favorite way to make southern-style collard greens. Most recipes require prolonged cooking time, but Instant Pot collards can be on your table in 15 minutes!

Step two: Saute

Turn on the Instant Pot and select the “saute” function. Add the olive oil and heat it until warm. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and saute until softened, about three to four minutes.

Add the seasonings and stir to combine. Stir in the chopped collard greens and pour in the chicken broth. Stir well.

Step three: Cook

Cover the Instant Pot, and select the “manual” function. Set the timer for 5 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. 

Step four: Finish

Stir in the coconut milk, and select the “saute” function again. Cook for another one to two minutes, or until heated through. 

Nutrition Information

Collard greens are one of the cruciferous vegetables and come with many health benefits. When cooked, they may be easier to digest and may enhance the absorption of some nutrients, such as calcium.

There are six servings of this Creamed Collard Greens recipe.

Each serving contains:

  • 108 calories
  • 9 g fat
  • 3 g protein
  • 6 g total carbs
  • 3 g fiber
  • 3 g net carbs

Please note that the nutritional value will change if you substitute ingredients. Use a nutrition app to recalculate and reflect your changes.

Serving Suggestions

Creamed collard greens are a versatile side dish that complements your favorite comfort foods. You can enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and serve it for any occasion.

Add some creamed greens to your favorite breakfast frittata for a tasty way to start the day. Or serve them alongside some eggs, paired with a savory muffin.

Collard greens also make a delicious side dish with a main course, such as pot roast, beef shank, or chicken wings, for a tasty and nutritious meal. Or add it to any roasted veggie to add a colorful and creamy texture. 

But don’t just limit collard greens to full meals. You can serve this keto side dish as a healthy low-carb dip with your favorite veggies or low-carb foccacia. It’s delicious as a snack or appetizer, perfect for parties and game day. 

This classic side dish is a great way to add flavor and variety to your meal while incorporating nutrient-dense greens. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be enjoyed any time of day.

Are collard greens keto-friendly?

Yes, collard greens are keto-friendly.

They are a leafy green vegetable that is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, making them a terrific choice for anyone following a keto or low-carb diet.

Two cups of chopped raw collard greens contain only four grams of carbohydrates, with almost three grams of fiber, resulting in a net carb count of one gram per two cups.

How do you remove the bitterness from collard greens?

While some bitterness is typical in collard greens and is part of their flavor profile, you may want to make it a little more palatable if it is too strong.

The good news is that cooking them well will mellow out the bitterness considerably.

If it’s still too bitter for you, consider soaking the collard greens in cold water for a few hours the next time you make them.

Can you substitute other types of greens for collard greens in this recipe?

Yes, you can substitute other dark leafy greens for fresh collard greens in this recipe.

Kale, mustard greens, and Swiss chard are all great alternatives. You can even use leafy green vegetables like beet and turnip greens.

Remember that different greens have different textures and cooking times, so adjust your cooking time and method to ensure they are cooked to your liking.

If you make this recipe, please leave a review. I appreciate each 5-star rating and review comment!

coconut creamed leafy green recipe

Dairy-Free Creamed Collard Greens

Jessica Haggard
Our quick creamed keto collard greens recipe features sautéed onions, garlic, collard greens, chicken broth, coconut milk, and seasonings. It's a 20-minute, low-carb side dish perfect for busy nights or meal prep. These greens bring Southern-inspired flavor and nutrition to your keto diet, making every meal enjoyable and healthy.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Sides and Salads
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 6
Calories 108 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

Stovetop Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
    ½ cup onion, 1 tablespoon garlic
  • Add the red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine.
    ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Add the chopped collard greens and chicken broth, and stir well.
    2 bunches collard greens, ½ cup chicken broth
  • Cover the skillet and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the collard greens are tender and the liquid has reduced.
  • Add the coconut milk, and stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.
    ½ cup coconut milk

Instant Pot Directions:

  • Turn on the Instant Pot and select the "sauté" function.
  • Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic, and sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
    2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ cup onion, 1 tablespoon garlic
  • Add the red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine.
    ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Add the chopped collard greens and chicken broth, and stir well.
    2 bunches collard greens, ½ cup chicken broth
  • Cover the Instant Pot, and select the "manual" function. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
  • Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
  • Stir in the coconut milk, and select the "sauté" function again. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.
    ½ cup coconut milk

Notes

It is important to remove the stems from the collard greens before cooking, don’t skip this step.

Nutrition & Macros

Calories: 108kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 283mgFiber: 3gNet Carbohydrates: 3g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, please calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients and amounts used, using your preferred nutrition calculator. Under no circumstances shall the this website and the author be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the given nutritional information.

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