All greens have a unique flavor and taste. Collard greens are no exception when it comes to such traits.
In truth, there are two types of collard greens: the winter type that is often available throughout the year and the summer type of collards that can be found during the summer months.
The collard greens available throughout the year are typically more challenging in texture and taste sweeter than the summer type of collard greens.
They have a slightly bitter taste, which some people don’t like.
If you have never had collards, you might want to start with a small portion until you learn how much of a flavor punch they pack.
It’s also important to keep in mind that many people use different spices when cooking collard greens.
This makes it challenging to specify a truly ‘correct’ collards recipe because everyone has their favorite type and amount of spices to add.
Most people generally agree that collard greens go well with pork products such as ham, bacon, and sausage; however, it’s also a popular choice for those who enjoy serving the greens with fish dishes.
In this article, we will list the seven best side dishes that we feel make an excellent accompaniment to this type of green vegetable.
Some offer a sweeter taste, while others focus more on adding some tanginess with their flavors.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Collard Greens?
Collard greens are green leafy vegetables that are typically braised for cooking.
They can be served as a dinner side or added to soups, stews, and chowders during the cooking process.
Toppings such as cheese and nuts also make great additions to this type of green leafy vegetable.
In general, side dishes that offer a sweeter taste go well with collard greens, while those that have tangier flavors are also popular when serving up this green leafy vegetable dish.
The side dishes should not overpower the main entree, such as a pasta dish, instead of complement it.
The flavor profiles of collard greens are similar to kale, mustard, turnip, and beet greens.
However, it has a sweeter taste than these other types of green leafy vegetables.
Hence, side dishes that offer a tangier taste are often more readily accepted when served with collard greens than those with sweeter flavors.
It’s even possible to include a variety of sweet side dishes if you desire.
What to Serve with Collard Greens? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Below are seven side dishes you might want to consider preparing and serving up along with your favorite main entree dish containing collard greens:
1 – Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Let’s start by describing a classic side dish – mashed potatoes.
This is often made with a combination of milk and butter and can include salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chives or parsley for added flavor.
Collard greens go well with the traditional flavors found in this type of side dish because it’s already quite tasty on its own.
The potatoes also add a creamier texture to the dish and are milder in taste, which helps compensate for any bitterness that might be found in collard greens.
It’s also a very filling type of side dish.
2 – Macaroni and Cheese
This is made with macaroni noodles, which are covered with a cheese sauce that’s often prepared using a combination of cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and others.
The mild flavor of macaroni helps to balance out the more pungent taste of collard greens.
The cheese adds a creamy texture and is a big hit with children.
It’s also very filling, which makes it perfect for pairing with main dishes such as meatloaf or pot roast, a more traditional American fare.
You can even make it extra special by using some flavored cheese or adding a couple of herbs such as sage.
It’s possible to add a variety of spices to enhance the flavors in this type of dish.
3 – Potato Salad
Potato salad is a typical side dish found at picnics and other outdoor events such as family reunions, church dinners, and even potlucks.
It’s made with cubed or diced potatoes that are typically covered with some mayonnaise-based dressing that contains a combination of spices and other ingredients such as relish, onion, mustard, and celery.
Potato salad is filling and offers a unique flavor that can help to balance out the taste found in collard greens.
The salad isn’t as creamy as some of the other side dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, but this dish typically offers a tangier taste.
It’s also easy to prepare and won’t take up much time preparing dinner for your family or guests.
It’s commonly found at picnics and family reunions due to its versatility and can be made in large batches.
4 – Cornbread with Honey Butter
A popular side dish in the southern part of the United States, cornbread is made from a batter containing cornmeal and flour typically sweetened up with honey or molasses.
The cornmeal used for making it provides a hearty texture that’s more rustic than the type of side dishes you would find served up in a restaurant.
It also helps to balance out collard greens by countering any bitterness that might be found in this green leafy vegetable.
The added honey or molasses counteracts any bitterness and helps to highlight the sweet taste found in collard greens.
The bread is typically moist, which works well with the moist texture that stems from braising this type of green leafy vegetable and can be enjoyed by everyone at the table – even those who might not like having collard greens as part of their dinner.
5 – Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans
This is an excellent accompaniment because it’s even tangier than the traditional mashed potato dishes.
The sweet potato casserole is made with sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and pecans.
The flavor of this dish complements the collard greens wonderfully because it works well in combination with its sweetness and offers even more tanginess than mashed potatoes.
The dish will also provide a crunchier texture that works well when paired up with soft braised collard greens.
This is very filling as well and a great accompaniment that vegans can even enjoy.
The dish has also been an excellent way of introducing vegetables such as sweet potatoes to children who might not normally eat them.
6 – Bacon Green Beans
Bacon is known for adding a smoky flavor, which makes it an excellent accompaniment to collard greens.
The green beans are typically blanched with salt before being sauteed up with some onions and bacon.
Bacon has also been known to add a lot of fat, which helps to enhance the distinct taste of both collard greens and green beans.
The bacon also helps to add a little more saltiness to the dish and is known for bringing out the flavors of both ingredients.
This side dish has been quite popular at family gatherings, church dinners, and even potlucks due to its rich flavor.
Bacon green beans are easy to make and don’t take up much time when preparing dinner.
The green beans are easy to prepare and only take a few minutes to cook up with the help of some added salt, which works well with greener beans.
7 – Deviled Eggs
These are another great accompaniment because they’re traditionally served at church dinners, family reunions, and picnics.
Deviled eggs come in a variety of different flavors but typically contain mayonnaise as their base ingredient.
The eggs are usually boiled before being halved and filled with the mixture made from combining the yolk with the mayonnaise – typically made from mixing up mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, and paprika.
The eggs offer a perfect tangy taste that’s just a little more subtle than other side dishes such as cornbread or sweet potato casserole.
Some recipes might even use bacon grease to enhance the flavor further but can be omitted to make the dish vegan.
These eggs are easy to put together and don’t take long when cooking up a batch.
In conclusion, you now have seven side dishes for collard greens that everyone can enjoy at the table.
They don’t take up much time to make and are very easy to prepare.
You also get to introduce your children and picky eaters who might not like the taste of greens into trying out a variety of different vegetables with these side dishes.
It’s also a great way of having something other than the traditional mashed potatoes with your greens.
So, why consider serving side dishes for collard greens next time you decide to whip up a batch at home? The options are many, and the flavors are rich.