What to Serve with Collard Greens – 20 Southern Recipes

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Collard greens, a Southern staple, have a rich history and a unique flavor profile that pairs well with a variety of dishes, especially deep Southern recipes! Whether you’re a seasoned collard greens enthusiast or a newcomer to this nutritious leafy green, learning what to serve with collard greens can take your meal to new heights.

collards in pan overhead

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Here are 20 perfect options to serve with collard greens, some side dishes, some main dishes, all delicious!

1. Cornbread

A classic choice, the slightly sweet and crumbly texture of cornbread complements the hearty and savory taste of collard greens and makes a delicious pairing. For a spicier version try our cheesy jalapeño bacon cornbread recipe too!

fried chicken in brown bowl

2. Fried Chicken

The crispy exterior and juicy interior of fried chicken create a delightful contrast, making it a timeless combination with collard greens.

3. Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy mac and cheese is a simple side dish that adds a comforting element to your collard greens. It’s a perfect balance of textures and flavors.

black-eyed peas over white rice in bowl

4. Black-Eyed Peas

Boost the nutritional content of your meal with black-eyed peas, providing a protein-packed and earthy complement to the leafy greens.

5. Smoked Ham Hock

Enhance the smokiness of collard greens by incorporating a smoked ham hock, infusing a deep and savory flavor. You can find these in the meat section of the grocery store.

buttermilk biscuits on white plate

6. Buttermilk Biscuits

Light, flaky buttermilk biscuits are a heavenly addition, soaking up the flavorful potlikker from the collard greens.

fried okra in white bowl

7. Fried Okra

Fried okra screams Southern cooking! Crispy okra adds a delightful crunch and a hint of sweetness, creating a perfect side dish to serve when you’re cooking collard greens. 

red beans and rice in bowl

8. Red Beans and Rice

The combination of red beans and rice offers a hearty and satisfying side dish that pairs exceptionally well with collard greens. This is a great way to complete the meal since beans are full of protein and nice and satisfying!

candied yams on white plate

9. Candied Yams

The sweetness of candied yams complements the slightly bitter taste of collard greens. 

close up of shrimp and grits in white bowl

10. Shrimp and Grits

Elevate your meal with the rich and creamy texture of grits with succulent shrimp for a Southern-inspired delight. Paired with Southern style collard greens, this makes a seriously indulgent meal. 

creamed corn in blue bowl

11. Creamed Corn

Creamed corn provides a luscious and sweet contrast to the robust flavors of collard greens. This is one of the best side dishes in Southern cuisine!

pulled pork sandwich on crumpled wax paper

12. Pulled Pork Sandwich

A classic barbecue option, pulled pork sandwiches bring a smoky and savory kick that pairs wonderfully with fresh collard greens.

13. Sautéed Mushrooms

Earthy and flavorful, sautéed mushrooms are a great addition to your collard greens, creating a sophisticated and umami-rich combination.

wooden spoon stirring hoppin' john

14. Hoppin’ John

A traditional dish made with black-eyed peas, rice, and bacon, Hoppin’ John offers a hearty and flavorful companion to collard greens. Top with a little hot sauce to complete this dish!

plate of fried catfish filets

15. Fried Catfish

The crispy coating of fried catfish complements the tender texture of collard greens, creating a delightful contrast in every bite.

16. Pork Chops

Juicy and flavorful pork chops add a hearty and savory element to your Southern-style collard greens. Fry the pork chops or bake them in the oven!

sweet potato casserole in white baking dish

17. Sweet Potato Casserole

The sweet and creamy goodness of sweet potatoes is a nice contrast to the savory notes of collard greens and works well with main dishes like fried chicken, pork chops, or steak.

deviled egg potato salad in white bowl with spoon

18. Potato Salad

Creamy and tangy potato salad adds a refreshing element to your fresh greens. Savory collard greens and potato salad paired with a meat of your choice is a delicious way to enjoy a hearty meal.

southern string beans in white bowl

19. Green Beans with Ham Hocks

Tender green beans infused with the smoky flavor of ham hocks or other smoked meat create a savory and comforting side dish for a Southern collard greens recipe.

close up of fried green tomatoes with ranch

20. Fried Green Tomatoes

Crispy and tangy fried green tomatoes with tangy remoulade sauce offer a unique and flavorful addition, adding a burst of freshness to your collard greens. This summer side dish never disappoints!

tomato pie with slice being removed

21. Tomato Pie

There is a brief time in the garden when tomatoes are plentiful and the collards haven’t bolted yet so you can enjoy Southern tomato pie along with your collard greens!

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