If you love creamed spinach, you will adore this Southern spin on creamed collard greens. Tender greens are sauteed with onion, garlic and heavy cream.
As you may have guessed, The Husband and I have been on a greens kick. After my successful attempt to cook greens in my slow cooker, my mind then moved to adapting my creamed spinach recipe into creamed collard greens.
Creamed spinach is one of my favorite side dishes. But that wasn’t always the case. Like many kids, growing up I detested anything green. I think it wasn’t until I was well into adulthood and dining at a nice steakhouse that I was introduced to creamed spinach.
This has been my go-to creamed spinach recipe for years. It’s so creamy and flavorful that I could pretty much each it as a main course instead of relegating it to a supporting player. Substituting collards for the spinach works well.
How to Cook Creamed Collard Greens
First, you want to start with cooked collard greens. I have a tutorial here for cooking turnip greens. You can use the exact same method for collards.
Heat three tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add some chopped onion and saute until it starts to get tender. Then add three cloves of minced garlic and saute for about another minute.
Next, sprinkle in a few tablespoons of flour. You don’t want to add this all at once. You want the butter to blend in with the onions and garlic, so it’s best to add it one tablespoon at a time, stir until it is mixed in, then add another tablespoon. Once you’ve added all the flour, keep cooking for another three minutes just to cook off that raw flour taste.
Next, slowly add your milk or cream. Personally, this recipe tastes MUCH BETTER with cream. But if you want to cut calories by using milk, I wouldn’t use less that 2%. You just won’t have the same creamy texture with something like 1% or skim milk.
Again, don’t add the cream all at one time. This could cause your flour to clump together and you’ll end up with lumpy greens. Pour the cream in a slow stream with one hand. Use your other hand to whisk as you are stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for about four minutes. You want to keep whisking here to prevent the cream from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once the cream mixture has thickened, add the cooked collard greens. I also like to add a little sprinkle of nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to your preference.
Creamed collard greens has a slightly different flavor than creamed spinach – you get the tang from the apple cider vinegar I used to soften the fibrous greens during cooking. I typically cook my greens with a ham hock or bacon. I didn’t pick out the pork. I just lumped it right into the creamy sauce to add a smoky flavor.
You might also enjoy:
- Pot Liquor Collard Greens Soup
- Slow Cooker Collard Greens
- How to Cook Turnip Greens [Southern Turnip Greens]
Creamed Collard Greens
- 10 ounces cooked collard greens about 1 ½ cups, drained
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream or whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until tender, about six minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute for about one more minute.
- Gradually add the flour, stirring between additions. Cook about three minutes, stirring frequently.
- In a slow, steady stream, add the cream or whole milk. Whisk to prevent lumps. Bring the mixture to a low boil and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens, about four minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the milk from clumping.
- Add the greens and nutmeg. Stir to heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.