Sautéed Bitter Greens

Super healthy, good for you, and really addictively delicious. Bitter greens are ageless.

You don’t really need a recipe for sautéed bitter greens. They’re simple to cook. I always start with a base of garlic and onion (or shallot), sauté, then add chopped bitter greens (dandelion, mustard, turnip, kale, collards) in batches. And, once the greens wilt, I finish with a little vinegar (black or rice wine, if I’m craving Asian flavors, or balsamic for a slightly Mediterranean vibe). This particular “recipe” uses two types of oil, safflower and toasted sesame oil. You can finish with toasted nuts or seeds (peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, or sesame seeds). Serve hot and enjoy!

Sautéed Bitter Greens

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Tania Van Pelt


  • 1 large bunch bitter greens mustard, kale, turnip, Swiss chard, and/or collards, washed and dried, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 small jalapeño seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons black or rice wine vinegar
  • Soy sauce to taste (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet or pan, heat the oil to medium-high, sauté the garlic, shallot, and pepper for a few minutes. Cook them until just before the onion and garlic brown.
  2. Add the greens, in batches at a time. The pan should be full with them but not overflowing. Once the greens start cooking down, add more. (A large bunch of greens will cook down rather quickly.)
  3. Add a big splash of vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir until greens are coated in oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. You can garnish with peanuts, sesame seeds, or toasted walnuts. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Once the greens have cooked down, you can embellish with whatever you want. Add acid like lemon juice or vinegar, a few spoonfuls of soy sauce, fish sauce... Throw in a handful of toasted nuts, or a small handful of dried fruit. Serve as a side dish or add rice or pasta or protein. Enjoy!