Raw Collard Greens Salad

I know what you’re thinking. Raw collards… in a salad? Not so sure about that.

I honestly felt the same way when I found this recipe, but then I remembered how much I like to use raw collard greens as wraps and thought I’d give it a try. So glad I did, because it actually turned out great! Just like with marinated kale salads, the oil wilts the greens and makes them more palatable – perfect as a base for a salad.

Raw Collard Greens Salad with apple cider vinegar in a white serving bowl.

The funny thing about this collard green salad (at least to me) is that it still kind of looks like regular ol’ soul food collards with the bacon and all.

Raw Collard Greens in a white serving bowl on a wood countertop.

Only the “bacon” bits are actually sun-dried tomato pieces.

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Raw Collard Green Salad

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4


Adapted from The Daily Raw Cafe


  • 1 bunch collard greens, washed
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 68 chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 13 cloves raw garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. De-stem and chop the collard greens. An easy way to de-stem collard greens is by folding them in half lengthwise along the stem with the darker green side down and then pull up the stem until it comes off and you’re left mostly with leaf. An easy way to chop the collards is to stack a few leaves, roll them up into a cigar shape and cut the through the collard cylinder, making strips.
  2. Place strips in a large bowl. Pour olive oil on collard strips and sprinkle on salt. Massage the oil and salt into the strips with your hands until all pieces are well coated.
  3. Whisk together apple cider vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ground pepper.
  4. Pour apple cider vinegar dressing over the collard green strips. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours, but overnight is best.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 95
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 2g

I’m quite certain I could fool some folks into trying this salad by telling them that it has bacon in it. Once they’ve had a bite, they won’t care that it doesn’t have bacon because it tastes so yummy. Hmm… I wonder how that would go over with Isaac’s family at Thanksgiving dinner? 😉

Probably not the best idea but I could still bring this as a side dish for Thanksgiving. I’m pretty certain it would be a crowd pleaser.

Raw Collards in a white serving dish with a silver serving utensil sticking out.

Like all leafy greens, collard greens have a ton of vitamins and minerals, but most of the time they are submerged in water or cooked for long periods, reducing some of their nutritional content. Not so with this salad – you get to take full advantage of all the nutritional benefits! And it’s the perfect salad for fall/winter because collards are abundant this time of year and the raw garlic + red pepper flakes add a little heat that will warm you right up. Which reminds me, if you don’t like spicy things, I would use a little less garlic and crushed red pepper than the recipe recommends because it does have a punch.

One word of caution, the dressing on this salad has a little bit of a pungent smell. I think it’s the apple cider vinegar and the raw garlic that does it. It’s really not THAT bad but I wouldn’t recommend packing it up to take with you on a plane. The only reason I’m saying this is because it IS travel season and I’m always THAT girl – the one with the stinky food on the plane. As soon as I made this salad I started thinking about some funny experience with me taking this salad on a plane and embarrassing Isaac again. So yeah, that’s just a little warning – but please don’t let that stop you from making this. 🙂

Raw Collard Green Salad in a white serving dish.

In a nut shell, I highly recommend giving raw collard greens a chance – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Happy Thanksgiving week!

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Recipe rating

    1. Tanya
      October 25, 2020 AT 4:06 am

      Tasty! Way betterthan expected..Love the crunch❤🎉

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 26, 2020 AT 12:02 am

        Ahh yay, so glad you loved this salad, Tanya!!

    2. Veggie Browser
      December 3, 2016 AT 10:05 pm

      As an Alabamian with a family that grew up on stewed collards, this raw recipe is surprisingly similar to the cooked dish. Flavor-wise, it’s nearly identical, even without the smoked pork product. I will most certainly be eating this again.

    3. Alison Miller
      January 1, 2016 AT 8:03 pm

      We make this each year for New Year’s Day. Delicious and nutritious way to start the New Year!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 3, 2016 AT 9:26 pm

        That’s awesome. I hope you enjoyed it this year! 🙂

    4. VJ Duffy
      March 16, 2015 AT 12:50 pm

      i chop them up and mix them with cabbage to make cole slaw.

    5. dru
      January 11, 2015 AT 2:54 pm

      Tried someone’s salad. Just great . Sha said go on line and get a recipe. It was so good. I will try.

    6. CJ
      May 22, 2014 AT 3:16 pm

      I just stumbled across this recipe and made it yesterday. It is ridiculously delicious! I was a little heavy-handed with the chili pepper flakes, which made it very spicy, but I like it that way. Thanks for the recipe!

    7. Jennifer
      January 2, 2014 AT 6:31 pm

      I made this for my family for Christmas dinner, and they surprisingly loved it! I think they were scared of raw collards before this. Thanks for a great recipe.

      1. Eating Bird Food
        January 2, 2014 AT 6:38 pm

        I’m so glad to hear that Jennifer. Thank you for trying the recipe. 🙂

    8. Laura Anna
      December 6, 2013 AT 7:17 pm

      I will give this a try soon – can hardly wait! Thanks for the tip re don’t bring on place. I will apply that to work and not bring it there, either.

    9. Ryp1530
      November 5, 2013 AT 3:09 pm

      Tried them…they were great! Thanks for the recipe!

    10. szili
      January 17, 2013 AT 1:47 am

      Thanks. now i know how to eat them raw. Actually wasn’t sure i COULD eat them raw……I will substitute lemon juice for the vinegar but the recipe is great!

    11. Emily C
      December 1, 2012 AT 1:59 pm

      Definitely giving this a try! After moving to Alabama for my dietetic internship in August I have been buying GIANT bunches of collard greens for cheap and eating them in salads. This will be a nice change. Thanks for the recipe!

    12. Kris
      November 21, 2012 AT 8:56 pm

      I heart collard greens!!

    13. Rachel
      November 19, 2012 AT 1:08 pm

      I just bought a bag of collards hahaha I’ll def try this out!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2012 AT 7:28 am

        Awesome! Let me know what you think. 🙂

    14. Liz @ IHeartVegetables
      November 19, 2012 AT 11:02 am

      Well if it’s anything like kale… you KNOW I’d love this 😉 And the sun dried tomatoes sound delicious in there!! (Who needs bacon?! haha)

      Have a GREAT thanksgiving!!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2012 AT 7:29 am

        Happy Thanksgiving to you as well Liz!!

    15. NYC Fit GIrl
      November 19, 2012 AT 10:15 am

      Happy Thanksgiving girl!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2012 AT 7:30 am

        Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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