Can you cook kale like collard greens?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you cook kale like collard greens?” We’ll also explore how kale can be cooked like collard greens, what the difference between kale and collard greens is, what the nutritional value of kale and collard greens is, and which of the two is healthier to eat. 

Can you cook kale like collard greens? 

Yes, kale can be cooked similarly to collard greens, and may even be used alongside collard greens in some recipes. Separately or combined, these two greens may be sautéed, boiled, steamed, roasted, stewed, etc. 

Even though kale and collard greens are not the same, many recipes indicate how to cook either one, or both combined. 

It should be noted that soft-leaved kale has a mildly bitter flavor that may not always make it an ideal replacement for collard greens, which have no bitterness and the leaves are hardier. 

Also, collard greens are commonly linked to Southern recipes, where they are often cooked with pork and other vegetables, whereas kale is more widespread throughout other types of cuisine.  

How can kale be cooked like collard greens? 

Kale can substitute collard greens in several recipes. Once cooked, both have a similar taste and consistency, which means that one can easily be swapped for another. 

Like collard greens, kale leaves must first be rinsed to remove any dirt or other particles from their surface, and then the excess water can be dried off using a salad spinner. 

Once dried, the leaves can have the base of the stem removed (as it concentrates a somewhat bitter flavor) and can then be stacked, then cut crossways into one-inch strips. 

From here, the kale strips can be used in different recipes that can be sautéed, braised, stewed, baked, and fried. 

Kale has a different flavor from that of collard greens, but cooking will break it down and make it barely noticeable. Kale can also stand-in for other leafy greens such as cabbage, spinach, mustard greens, and swiss chard. 

What is the difference between kale and collard greens? 

Collard greens and kale are different varieties of leafy greens, but both are members of the same species of plants and are closely related to cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, to name a few. 

At first glance, one can observe that kale has a different appearance; its leaves are curly and the coloring on them varies from shades of green to purple. 

Collard greens, on the other hand, have plain, “flat” surfaced leaves that are always green, though in varying shades. 

Taste-wise, kale leaves are softer and have a slightly bitter flavor, whereas collard greens have a more rigid consistency and a milder taste. 

What is the nutritional content of collard greens? 

On average, 128 g of boiled collard greens contain: 

  • 63 calories
  • 5.15 g (g) of protein
  • 1.37 g of fat
  • 10.73 g of carbohydrate, of which 7.6 g are fiber and less than 1 g are sugar

Additionally, collard greens are a source of various minerals and vitamins such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, vitamin C, folate, vitamin A vitamin E, and vitamin K

Which is healthier, kale, or collard greens? 

Kale may be considered healthier than collard greens,  although both are nutritious options for consumption. They differ in their concentrations of micronutrients, as kale has higher concentrations of vitamins (such as vitamin K and vitamin C), and minerals such as calcium and iron. 

Both can be consumed with fat such as cooking oil, as many of the vitamins present are fat-soluble and will be more readily assimilated if cooked with lipids.

In terms of fiber, both kale and collard greens are rich sources. Per 100 grams, each one has around 4 grams of dietary fiber.

Sugarwise, kale has roughly double the amount that collard greens have, but for either one, it’s a negligible amount, as kale has 0.99g of sugar per 100 grams, and collard greens have 0.46 grams. 

When it comes to protein, fleshier collard greens have little more than kale, 3 g and 2.9g of protein per 100g, respectively. 

In terms of saturated fat, both of these leafy greens have quite low concentrations; per 100g, kale has 0.18g while collard greens have 0.06g, making either ideal for those looking to cut back on fat consumption. 

Readers may choose one leafy green over the other or easily combine them in a recipe to reap the benefits of both.  

Other FAQs about Kale that you may be interested in.

Can you cook kale?

Can you cook kale and spinach together? 

How to keep kale fresh?


In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you cook kale like collard greens?” We’ve also explored how kale can be cooked like collard greens, what the difference between kale and collard greens is, what the nutritional value of kale and collard greens is, and which of the two is healthier to eat.