Matt's Four-Pepper Collards on a table in a Studio
Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel
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Matt's Four-Pepper Collards

The pairing of the bright green flavor of chili peppers and the earthy character of collard greens is what's exciting about this recipe, which requires no seasoning meat. The greens absorb the mellow, warming effect of long-cooked hot peppers.

This dish also packs a jolt of color -- not typically a hallmark of collards -- when you use red jalapenos (ripened from green). If you can't find red ones, not to worry: Add a chopped red, yellow or orange bell pepper for color and a green jalapeno for heat.

Adapted from "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen," by Matt Lee and Ted Lee (Clarkson Potter, 2013).


measuring cup
Servings: 8 Makes 8 cups
  • 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
  • 3 jalapeño peppers (preferably red), seeded and chopped
  • 1 large poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped, (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
  • 4 pounds collard greens, stems discarded
  • 6 cups water


  1. Step 1

    Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Once it shimmers, add the jalapeno and poblano peppers. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

  2. Step 2

    Stir in the onion, salt, black pepper, vinegar and smoked paprika.

  3. Step 3

    Working in bunches, stack and roll the collard leaves. Cut them crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick ribbons. Add the collards to the pot by handfuls, moving them around with a wooden spoon, and folding them into the mixture in the bottom of the pot, until the greens appear wilted and slightly darkened, about 5 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Add the water and cover. When the liquid first begins to bubble at the edges, stir once, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 1 hour, then stir again.

  5. Step 5

    Serve drained, but still wet with the broth.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    15 g

  • Fat

    8 g

  • Fiber

    8 g

  • Protein

    5 g

  • Saturated Fat

    2 g

  • Sodium

    760 mg

  • Sugar

    2 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen," by Matt Lee and Ted Lee (Clarkson Potter, 2013).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick