Air Fryer Collard Greens: A Healthier Twist on a Classic

Collard greens are a delicious and nutritious Southern staple, packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Traditionally, they’re cooked low and slow with pork or ham hocks, resulting in a rich, flavorful dish. But for a lighter and faster option, try making air fryer collard greens!

This recipe uses lean protein like turkey bacon or tofu crumbles for a healthier twist. Plus, the air fryer cooks the greens quickly and evenly, without the need for excess oil.


  • 1 bunch collard greens, tough stems removed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup turkey bacon or tofu crumbles (optional)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a large bowl, toss the collard greens with olive oil, onion, and garlic.
  3. If using, add the turkey bacon or tofu crumbles and toss again.
  4. Spread the greens mixture evenly in the air fryer basket, avoiding overcrowding.
  5. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the greens are tender and slightly crispy.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, and smoked paprika
  7. Pour the sauce over the cooked greens and toss to coat.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!


  • For extra flavor, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a splash of hot sauce to the sauce.
  • If your collard greens are very tough, you can blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes before air frying.
  • Serve with brown rice, quinoa, or whole-wheat bread for a complete meal.

Additional notes:

  • Air fryer cooking times may vary depending on the model and size of your air fryer.
  • Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and safety precautions.
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free and can be made vegan by omitting the turkey bacon.

I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious air fryer collard greens recipe!