Virginia Willis’ Smoky Vegan Collard Greens

Southern Kitchen
Smokey Vegan Collard Greens

Serves: 6

Hands On Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

About the recipe

These collard greens may be vegan, but between the umami-laden tomato juice and spicy chipotle peppers, they’re packed with flavor. This dish makes for a great side dish at a New Year’s party, especially because it can be served to guests with all kinds of dietary preferences.

Chipotles are smoked jalapeño chiles and can be found dried whole or canned in a spicy adobo sauce that is made from a combination of chipotles, tomatoes and other spices for a rich, smoky, flavor. You can find canned chipotles in adobo in the international or Hispanic section of most major supermarkets.

This recipe first appeared in the story, “Virginia Willis has the recipe for a festive but low-key New Year’s Day open house.”


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups tomato or vegetable juice

1 chipotle in adobo, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the jar

12 cups chopped collard greens (about 12 ounces)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a Dutch oven or other large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Stir in the tomato juice, chipotle and adobo sauce. Add the greens and cover.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Photo: Virginia Willis