How to Clean Collard Greens





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Growing up in the South, I’ve learned a thing or two about cooking collard greens. Cleaning these leafy greens might seem like a time-consuming task, but trust me, it’s worth it for the delicious end result. To start, fill up your sink with cold water.-

Next, take each collard green leaf and give it a rinse under running water to remove any dirt or debris. After that, carefully remove the tough stems from the center of each leaf by folding them in half and cutting along the stem. Once the stems are removed, stack the leaves together and roll them into a tight bundle.-

Using a sharp knife, slice the bundled leaves into thin strips. Now, it’s time for a thorough wash. Submerge the collard green strips in the sink filled with cold water and swish them around with your hands, allowing any remaining dirt to sink to the bottom. Repeat this process a few times until the water runs clear.-

For an extra level of cleanliness, you can also add a splash of white vinegar to the final rinse to help eliminate any bacteria on the greens. Give them one last swish and then drain the water from the sink. Congratulations! You have successfully cleaned your collard greens and they’re ready to be cooked into a delicious, soulful dish.


  • Rinse the collard greens in cold water
  • Remove any damaged or discolored leaves
  • Separate the leaves and discard the tough stems
  • Soak the leaves in salt water for a few minutes to remove any dirt or insects
  • Thoroughly rinse the leaves again before cooking


  • Don’t skip the rinsing step
  • Don’t use warm or hot water, as it can wilt the leaves
  • Don’t overcook the collard greens, as they can become mushy
  • Don’t season with too much salt, as collard greens can become salty on their own
  • Don’t forget to remove any tough stems, as they can be unpleasant to eat

Step 1

Wash the collard greens thoroughly under running water, removing any dirt or debris.

Step 2

Remove the thick stems from the collard greens by folding the leaves in half and cutting along the stem to separate it from the leaf.

Step 3

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add salt to the boiling water.

Step 4

Place the collard greens in the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until tender.

Step 5

Drain the collard greens and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out any excess water.

Final thoughts 💭

To clean collard greens properly, start by separating the leaves, removing any damaged or discolored parts, and trimming the tough stems. Then, soak the leaves in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes to loosen any dirt or debris. After soaking, rinse the leaves under cool running water and pat them dry with a clean towel or paper towels. Remember to always handle collard greens with care to avoid bruising or tearing. By following these steps, you can ensure that your collard greens are clean and ready to be cooked or enjoyed in a fresh salad.

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