Coconut Collard Greens | Nik Snacks

Coconut collard greens brings tropical flavors and reminds of warmer days ahead. I'm slightly obsessed with collard greens. Add in creamy coconut milk, a little lime, bacon and fish sauce they'll taste like no other least green you've ever had. 

I understand that people don't like them.  That's probably because they've never had good ones. Honestly? They taste like hot, wet grass. Who wants to eat that?

I love collard greens and I've been eating them with nearly every meal. While kale is all trendy and the preferred dark, leafy green of the day, I prefer collard greens because I grew up eating them every which way. The most common way in the south is boiled to death with pieces of fat back or bacon, lots of salt, onions, spice and doused with vinegar. These greens don't taste like any of that.

Hearty collard greens are spiced just right and simmered in creamy, full-fat coconut milk abs braised with thirst-quenching coconut water. Accented with fresh herbs, a little onions and a healthy hit of lime juice for flavor and to cut the richness of the potlikker, these greens will bring you lots of good luck when eaten with Hoppin' John Fritters on New Years Day or any other day of the year. I love these greens. And I think you will, too.

I've adapted my own recipe!

Original recipe can be found in the January/February issue of Southern Cast Iron magazine.

Coconut Collard Greens

Coconut Collard Greens

Yield: 4-6
Author: Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 50 Min


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds chopped collard greens (stems included)
  • 2 cups coconut water or water, plus more as needed
  • 1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed coconut chips, for garnish


  1. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent and soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add collard greens in batches, stirring until wilted between batches. Stir in broth or water, coconut milk, fish sauce, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 25 to 35 minutes, stirring in additional broth or water as needed if greens start to look dry.
  3. Remove greens to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Serve with Hoppin' John Fritters. Garnish crushed coconut chips, if desired.
Please consult a healthcare professional or dietician about nutritional needs for your diet. I am a communications professional, not a physician.
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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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