Boiled Greens
Recipes > Vegetable Dishes > Boiled Greens

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Recipe Checklist:
  • 16 oz. of Dark Leafy Greens
  • Water (enough to fill your Stock Pot)
Tools & Equipment
  • Stock Pot and Lid
  • Stove
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
Estimated Time
15 Minutes
Serves 4-6
+ -

If you are looking for a fast and easy, down and dirty way to get more Greens into your Meal Planning, look no further. Boiling Greens is a fairly quick process that, after the initial Preparation, does not require much focused attention. As a group, we don’t think Boiling is always the “highest and best use” of healthy Greens in terms of taste, but Boiling Greens has its place.

If you are not a Food Safety and sanitation stickler (and maybe you should be), you can also save a few steps and some time by “washing” your Organic Greens as they boil in a deep stock pot. For non-organic Greens take the extra time to wash and rinse separately to remove as much pesticide residue as possible. Obviously, a quick rinse under the tap is better even for organic Greens and you should definitely wash any Greens with obvious visual issues such as bird droppings, bugs or even heavy grit.

Put if you are pressed for time and your organic Greens pass visual inspection, you can likely get away with combining the two steps of washing and cooking as the rolling Boil agitates the organic Greens so that the bugs, dirt and sediment fall to the bottom of the deep stock pot.

This Boiling process will work on any variety of Greens ranging from Spinach to Swiss Chard to Kale to Cabbage to Asian Greens such as Choy Sum.


If you are not extremely pressed for time, wash and rinse your greens under cool water from the faucet. Remove any foreign objects (bugs, dirt, rocks) and any wilted or damaged leaves. If you have the time and inclination, you can also De-Stem the Greens and cook with only the more tender leaves. The Stems/Stalks will improve your Yield, but depending on the item itself, may also make for a “Tough Chew.”

With the Greens washed, you can Rough Chop the leaves (and stems if applicable) into bite-sized pieces. You can also accomplish the same result by tearing them with your hands.

You can prep your Greens up to (1-2) days in advance. If you do plan to store them, pat them dry and/or use a salad spinner to dry them before putting them away in the refrigerator, wrapped in a paper towel and held in a plastic bag.


Fill your deep Stock Pot or Sauce Pot about 2/3 of the way with water. Bring the water to a boil using High Heat. Once the water reaches a good boil, carefully add in the Greens.  Also add in an optional Sachet D’Epice or Bouquet Garni for extra flavor and Flair.

Cover the pot and Boil the Greens for 3-5 minutes (or sometimes much longer). You'll know that they're done when they turn bright green. When the Greens are brighter green and al dente, use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the Greens from the pot. Be careful not to stir up any of the sediment at the bottom of the pot. In this case, to avoid the grit, we would also not use a colander, china cap or sieve to separate the Greens from the hot water.

Serve as is or dress the Greens with Oil or a CondimentToss them all together to achieve the best results.

Many Vitamins and Minerals are water soluble (while others are fat soluble). If you have pre-rinsed and pre-washed your Greens, and you are a health nut, consider saving the vitamin and mineral rich cooking water called the “Pot Liquor,” for a vitamin boosting addition to smoothies or drinks.