Collard greens are a tasty and delicious addition to a variety of meals. If you want to save some of your greens for later, try rinsing and boiling them for several minutes. After they’ve cooled off, place them in a freezer-safe plastic bag, where you can store your greens for up to 1 year. Enjoy using your collard greens in a variety of recipes over the next few months!

Part 1
Part 1 of 2:

Boiling Greens to Preserve Flavor and Texture

  1. Wash off both sides of each leaf, checking for dirt and insects as you go. Use your fingers to rub away any obvious patches of dirt. Once you’ve finished cleaning the leaves, set them aside on a dry paper towel or cutting board.[1]
    • You can also place the collard greens in a colander to rinse them. However, make sure that both sides of the leaves get cleaned off if you do this.

    Did you know? Boiling (otherwise known as blanching) your collard greens helps to halt the enzymes that would lead to the leaves browning, fading, and spoiling. While boiling is an optional step, it’s highly recommended for people looking to store their greens for a long time.

    If you’re only freezing your collard greens for a few weeks, you don’t have to worry about this process as much.[2]

  2. Use a knife to trim down the collard greens until only the leaves remain. At this point, feel free to chop the greens into smaller pieces. You don’t need to finely chop them; instead, cut them in half, if you see necessary.[3]
    • Smaller pieces are a little easier to store, and they might be easier to use for future recipes.
  3. Pour enough water into a cooking pot to submerge all of your collard greens completely. Turn the stovetop to the highest heat possible to help the water boil more quickly. Wait for lots of steam and bubbles to be present in the water before you continue.[4]
    • Boiling water is necessary to remove the raw surface layer from the leaves.
  4. Dump the rinsed greens into the pot, making sure that all of the leaves are completely submerged. Use a wooden spoon or set of tongs to push down any floating leaves, if necessary. To keep your water temperature hot, place the lid on the pot while letting the collard greens soak for 3 minutes.[5]
    • The process of boiling leafy greens is also known as blanching.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 2:

Packaging and Storing Collard Greens

  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Use a pair of tongs to move your greens from the pot into the ice water. Soak the greens for 3 minutes to stop the cooking process and cool the leaves.[6]
    • If you’re preparing a lot of collard greens at once, feel free to cool the leaves off in batches.
  2. Move the wet leaves into a colander, then hold the container over the sink. Wait for the extra water to drip out, or gently wiggle the colander to force out any remaining droplets. Once the collard greens are no longer dripping wet, set the colander aside.[7]
    • If the greens are wet when they go in the freezer, then the extra water droplets on the leaves will also freeze.
    • While it’s okay for the leaves to be slightly damp, you’re welcome to blot them dry with a paper towel, as well.
  3. Stack the greens or leaf pieces into a large, freezer-safe plastic bag. Tightly package the greens to avoid trapping any excess air into the bag. Try and leave about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) of space at the top so you can comfortably seal the bag off.[8]
    • If you’re preparing lots of collard greens at once, feel free to use more than 1 bag.
  4. Label the bag with the current date, so you can keep track of how old the greens are. To have the freshest and tastiest greens possible, try to eat them within 1 year of freezing![9]
    • If you didn’t blanch your greens, try to use them sooner rather than later.

    Did you know? Depending on the recipe, you might not need to thaw out your collard greens. If you’re looking to reheat your frozen greens quickly, add them to a pot of boiling water until they look tender enough to use in your recipe of choice. Be sure to drain the greens before using them!

    Check your recipe ahead of time to see if the greens need to be thawed or not.[10]

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Things You’ll Need

  • Knife
  • Large pot
  • Water
  • Large bowl
  • Ice cubes
  • Colander
  • Freezer-safe plastic bags

Expert Interview

Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about cooking, check out our in-depth interview with Julien Miller.

About This Article

Julien Miller
Co-authored by:
Personal Chef
This article was co-authored by Julien Miller and by wikiHow staff writer, Janice Tieperman. Julien Miller is a Personal Chef and the Owner of Cooking with Julien based in Reno, Nevada. Chef Julien specializes in Cajun and Creole cuisines and is also known for cooking delicious hibachi and Southeast Asian dishes. He offers private event catering, meal preparation services, and his famous Louisiana Crawfish Boils. Julien received his Bachelor of Applied Science in Psychology from Portland State University. This article has been viewed 36,484 times.
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Co-authors: 4
Updated: January 12, 2024
Views: 36,484
Categories: Home and Garden