How to prepare Sautéed Greens

Sautéed greens and bacon on a red plate with apples and a water pitcher in the background.
Copyright: monamakela

Sautéed greens can be anything you like as long as you use great leafy greens. I’m thinking of chard, spinach, kale and cabbage along with rapa di cima – collard greens. This is versatility itself! It’s a solid healthy low carbohydrate vegan side dish prepared within 30 minutes if you leave out the bacon. Suitable though for meat dishes as well as tofu or other vegan foods.

The individual vegetables are all straightforward to grow so this is really a simple recipe making use of what is most likely an abundance in the garden.

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes max.


  • 700g/1.5 lbs spinach, collard greens, kale, a head of cabbage, cima di rapa, escarole etc. – clean to remove slugs, snails and other insects as well as soil. We place in a bowl or sink of cold water before using for 15 minutes max.
  • 1½ – 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 finely chopped chili or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • four rashers of bacon – chopped into small chunks (optional)
  • black pepper and salt to taste


  1. Roughly chop the greens and discard the harder parts of the stalks. Cima di rapa stalks can be chopped finely.
  2. Heat a large frying pan or skillet on a medium heat. 
  3. Add the olive oil, chili/pepper flakes and allow to fry for about a minute. 
  4. If you are using bacon for flavour, add these before the greens and fry for about 3 minutes. If it is to remain vegetarian/vegan then proceed immediately to step 5!
  5. Add the garlic and when it starts browning add the chopped greens.
  6. Turn the heat up to medium-high.
  7. Use tongs or a spatula/wooden spoon to move the greens around  so they wilt for under 2 minutes.
  8. Do not allow to burn so turn the heat right down and allow these greens to cool completely. 
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve those sautéed greens in a bowl and dish out with tongs.

Look out for our recipe too for braised cabbage which can also be extended to other greens as well. 

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