Collard Greens Enchiladas

Collard plants can take the heat and also are among the most cold-tolerant crops, surviving to 20°F.

This delicious and healthful play on enchiladas is gluten-free, full of garden veggies, and easy to adapt to be paleo or vegan by leaving out the cheese. To save time, you could use store-bought enchilada sauce, but we love this thicker, homemade, garden-fresh sauce.

Collard Greens Enchiladas


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 3 cups fresh tomato, diced (reserve 1 cup)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼–½ teaspoon chipotle powder (½ teaspoon creates medium spice)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine or apple cider vinegar

  • Wraps:
  • 8–12 large collard leaves (more if small)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for oiling a baking dish
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced (substitute 1 bell pepper if you want the dish to be mild)
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (omit if you want the dish to be mild)
  • 1 medium zucchini or other summer squash (we used 'Early Prolific Straightneck' Summer Squash)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • Protein:
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed OR ¾ lb. ground turkey, beef, or meat alternative
  • salt & pepper to taste

  • Optional:
  • 1 cup grated cheese (we used sharp, white cheddar, but Cotija would also be tasty)


    Prepare Sauce
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan on medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add onion, 2 cups diced tomato, garlic, oregano, cumin, and chipotle.
  3. Cook tomato mixture until liquid has evaporated, 15–25 minutes depending on the tomatoes used and heat. We used paste tomatoes, which have less liquid than others, and it took about 15 minutes on medium-high for them to start to stick to the pan. Meanwhile, you can prepare the collard greens and filling.
  4. Transfer tomato mixture to a blender or food processor, add the vinegar, and the reserved, diced tomatoes as needed to thin sauce creating a pasta-sauce thickness.

  5. Collard Greens Enchiladas Prepare Collard Wraps
  6. Steam collard greens for 1.5 minutes to 4 minutes depending on thickness. Once leaves have turned bright green and are wilted, place them in ice water to stop them from cooking further.
  7. Remove the midribs on large leaves, cutting the leaves in half. For smaller leaves you can remove the largest part of the midrib by running a knife horizontally along the leaf base.

  8. Filling
  9. Heat a pan on medium to medium high;, add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  10. Once oil is hot, add onion and cook for 3 minutes before adding the rest of the filling ingredients. If you are using black beans, add these in a later step.
  11. Cook filling until done—when any ground meat or meat alternative is browned and veggies are cooked through, about 7–10 minutes. Remove from heat. If you are using beans as the protein, mix them into the rest of the filling now.
  12. Preheat oven to 400°F
  13. Oil an 11"x7" or 9"x9" baking dish.

  14. Assemble Enchiladas
  15. Place several spoonfuls filling in collard leaves and roll, placing them in the oiled baking dish. Keep rolling filling into leaves until filling is used up.
  16. Cover rolled leaves with sauce.
  17. Bake uncovered for 20–25 minutes. If you would like top with cheese, do this when there is 10–12 minutes left to bake.
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