My boyfriend being from the south introduced me to collard greens on our third date. He invited me over to his apartment for a home-cooked meal. What followed was a southern feast – fried chicken, collard greens cooked in bacon fat and mac and cheese. At the end of the night, the button on my jeans felt like it would pop off but that meal sealed our relationship. A man that knew his way around the kitchen was a keeper and I was right. 8 years later we’re still together.
I rarely if ever cook my collard greens in bacon fat like my boyfriend does. I take a lighter approach and leave them raw or stuff and bake them. In this case, I went with the later.
These Italian Stuffed Collard Greens are savory, light and full of flavor. Ground chicken is mixed with eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and herbs, then placed in the collard green leaves and rolled. Marinara sauce is poured over top before baking.
Instead of indulging in a hearty bowl of pasta for Valentines Day, treat your love one to a healthy Italian meal that doesn’t lack in flavor, only calories. Enjoy!
If you decide to take a chance on these Italian Stuffed Collard Greens don’t forget to #youngbrokehungry on Instagram so I can see it. High five!
- 1 bunch of collard greens, 6-8 leaves, stemmed
- ½ eggplant, diced
- 1½ teaspoons garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried red chili pepper
- 1 handful fresh spinach
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Run the collard greens under hot water for about 5 minutes, until they are slightly softened. Set aside.
- In a pan over medium heat, sauté eggplant, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes with the oil and herbs, until the eggplant is tender, about 8 min. Throw in handful of spinach and let it wilt. Transfer to a bowl.
- In the same pan, brown ground chicken. Drown off any fat rendered and then add the cooked chicken to the bowl with the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Line a baking dish with one cup of marinara sauce.
- Place ⅓-1/2 cup (depending on the size of your leaves) of the mixture in each green collard green leaf, roll and place in baking dish. Repeat until the mixture is completely used. Pour the other 1 cup of marinara sauce over top. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Serve!