I had one lone bunch of collard greens growing in my garden and, as much as I hated to do it, I had to pull them to make room for my spring veggies. The collards were so pretty and tender and green, I didn’t just want to saute them with garlic – my standard go-to side dish for greens on busy evenings. Why not stuff them and make them the main course? These baked stuffed collards were delicious! A big hit with the kids and the husband. And super easy.
For these baked stuffed collards, I decided to use chorizo. I have a small chorizo addiction. I use it in everything. If you don’t share my love of chorizo, use ground beef or any ground meat you prefer! Just know that chorizo packs so much flavor, it means less work for you when it comes to seasoning! If you use a plain ground beef or something similar, you might need to kick up the flavor on your own.
These baked stuffed collards require a quick blanching of the collard green leaves and some precooking of the chorizo and rice. Three simple tasks that can all be done ahead of time!
For the stuffing, all I did was combine a pound of chorizo with a cup of cooked rice and some shredded cheddar cheese. If you like an extra kick, you need to use the Habanero cheddar cheese from Cabot. It’s out of this world! For these baked stuffed collards, I used sharp white cheddar for half of the filling and the habanero cheddar for the other “adult” half! 😉
After you blanch the collard greens, let them cool for a few minutes so they are easy to handle. Put a couple of tablespoons of the chorizo and rice filling on each collard green – smack in the center. Fold over the sides and then roll tightly – kind of burrito style. Place the “seam” of the stuffed collard green down and pack them in one after the next in an 8×8 pan.
To finish off your baked stuffed collards, ladle a simple marinara sauce over the top of all the stuffed collards and then sprinkle with additional cheese. That’s it. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and you’ve got dinner ready! We served our baked stuffed collards with a fresh arugula and radish salad. This meal is great to make ahead and then pop in the oven when you walk through the door. Because everything is precooked, the baking time is only needed to bring all the flavors together and melt the cheese. Enjoy!
Baked Stuffed Collards
- 12 to 16 collard green leaves
- 1 lb chorizo
- 1 cup dry rice , cooked
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups marinara sauce
- 4 to 6 oz shredded cheddar cheese , divided
- Wash and dry 12 to 16 collard leaves, trim stems
- Cook 1 lb chorizo, drain excess fat
- Prepare 1 cup rice, white or brown
- Shred 4 to 8 ounces of cheese
- Boil a pot of water large enough to cover the collard greens. Drop the collard greens into boiling water and keep in the hot water until they are bright green and very soft. Remove from the water. Drain.
- Combine cooked rice and chorizo. Add about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
- Lay out one collard green. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons or so of chorizo and rice and cheese onto the center of the collard leaf. Fold the sides over the filling and then fold over the ends so the filling is neatly contained inside.
- Place the filled collard, seam side down in an 8x8 pan.
- Repeat for the remaining collard greens. Pack the stuffed collard greens together in the pan.
- Ladle 1 1/2 to 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce over the stuffed collards.
- Sprinkle with additional cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.
Super special thank you to Biscuits and Burlap for including this recipe for her new year collard round up! Click here for 12 awesome recipes using collards.
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