Pan-Fried Greens Recipes

These pan-fried greens Recipes are easy and delicious, and can be made oil-free if that is your preference.  While the QB Greens are as easy as it gets, this method is a really flavorful way to prepare dark leafy greens, onions, and a variety of vegetables.  

It's a slight variation from preparing a stir-fry, which is a quick cooking method done on a high heat while continually stirring.

Basic Pan Fried Greens Recipe

I prepared my greens without any or with very little oil for a long time, and I will say that I much prefer the greens prepared with the oil!  To quote David Briscoe, of Macrobiotics America, it adds 'sumptuousness' and helps improve absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.  

Here is the basic recipe which can be modified to include whatever vegetables and seasonings you like.  I've included a low-fat version, and a couple other pan-fried greens recipe variations below.

  • 1-2 tbsp. good quality cooking oil 
  • 1 medium - large onion, sliced, cut into half-moons, or chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Several of your favorite mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 cloves sliced garlic, sliced or minced
  • 1 carrot, cut in half and sliced 
  • Greens of choice (spinach, beet greens, kale, collards, etc.)
  • Sea salt and pepper
  1. Warm a big pan on a heat just above medium, and add oil.
  2. When the oil is warm, but not over heated/burning, add onions.  They should make a spattering noise.  
  3. Season with a grind or two each of good quality sea salt and black pepper, and let cook a few minutes before beginning to stir.
  4. Add mushrooms and garlic.  Stir, then add carrot.
  5. When the onions and mushrooms are pretty soft, add greens.  Feel free to pile them into the pan.  Add a splash of water if needed, then cover, and reduce to just below medium.  
  6. Let cook until the greens have softened.  Cooking time will vary depending on the type of greens used.


  • I love beet greens prepared with the onions, mushrooms, and a handful of dried cranberries.  If you have leftover chicken or turkey meat, chop it up and add to the pan-fried greens to warm through.  Delicious!
  • The onion, mushroom, and spinach combo goes well with leftover beef.  We added diced rump roast made from the previous day.  Add raisins or cranberries for a touch of sweet if desired. 
  • Vary the vegetables, and even how you cut them for variety and enjoyment.

Here is a low-fat pan-fried greens alternative preparation method.  

The oil is optional, but I think it adds a buttery richness to greens, and helps improve absorption of essential fatty acids.

  • 1 buch dark leafy greens like kale or collards, de-stemmed and chopped 
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced in half moons
  • Few salt granules, plus 2 grinds of sea salt (& optional black pepper)
  • QB Greens/Veggie broth or water (About 1/4 cup, divided)
  • 1-2 tsp. XV olive oil, or cooking oil of choice
  • 2+ tsp. low-sodium, naturally fermented soy sauce or tamari 
  • Several shakes of hot sauce like Tapatio, or Sriracha
  1. Place a few salt granules in a big pan.  Add onions, and turn heat to medium.  Let cook for a few minutes, until onions begin to soften.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of water, and stir onions.  Continue to cook and stir, scraping up any good browned bits.  You can let it cook for a while to caramelize, or just a few more minutes.
  3. Add greens, 1-2 grinds of sea salt, and the rest of the broth/water.  Put the lid on, turn to medium-high, and let the greens steam for 2 minutes, longer if using collards.  They should wilt, and brighten.  
  4. Add oil, if using, soy sauce and hot sauce.  Turn to low, cover, and let steam another minute.  Turn off heat, and keep the cover on for another minute.  Adjust seasoning if needed.  Total cooking time of many greens is pretty short, longer for collards.

Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, or as desired.

Pan-Fried Bok Choy:

  • 1 pound or so of baby bok choy, or regular bok choy, cut in slices on the bias
  • 2-3 Tbsp. QB broth or water
  • A little fresh minced ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • 2 tsp. regular or toasted sesame oil
  • 2-3 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  • .5 tsp. rice vinegar (or more if you like)
  1. Place broth/water in a big pan, and turn heat to medium-high.  Add garlic, ginger, followed by bok choy.  Cover, and let steam for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl, then add to bok choy.  Cover, turn to medium, and let simmer another couple minutes.  
  3. Stir, and adjust seasonings if needed to taste.

Variations:  Try adding any of the following:  sliced shiitake mushrooms, scallions, red bell pepper, or pea pods.

For those who want to keep their pan-fried greens low in fat, adding a few grinds of sea salt, and/or a few tablespoons of water or veggie broth leftover from preparing QB Greens to the pan first to help prevent sticking.  Start to saut√© the onions first, adding a little oil once the liquid begins to evaporate.  This also prevents a lower-heat oil from over heating.

Adding something a little sweet and juicy to your pan-fried greens will help balance the  more dry and  bitter flavor and texture of the greens, like in the recipe below.

Pan-Fried Greens w/ Raisins & Radishes:

  • 1 bunch collard greens, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped, or cut into confetti strips
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 5-6 radishes
  • Water/broth
  • 1-2 tsp. XV olive oil (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 lemon
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • Optional pinch stevia or small pinch of sugar
  • Optional .5-1 tsp. soy sauce
  1. Add 2-3 Tbsp. water/QB broth to a big pan.  Turn to medium heat.  Add radishes and raisins.  Let cook until radishes become translucent.  Add water if needed to prevent sticking.  If using stevia, or sugar, you can add it now, or with the sesame seeds.
  2. Add greens, then oil and juice from lemon.  You can also add lemon zest if you are motivated.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Turn heat up a little, cover, and let the greens cook for 5-7 minutes, until softened.
  3. Remove lid, and add sesame seeds.  Stir to coat the greens.  

The greens will have a deeper color, but should still be bright, not olive green.  They will be soft and tender when ready.

Tips for preparing delicious, simple, healthy greens recipes:

*Pair crisp and juicy or tangier veggies with dryer, more bitter ones.  

*Collards can be de-stemmed, layered, then rolled up like a big cigar, and cut into 'confetti' strips, or coarse chopped.

*Add a few cut up tomatoes into your pan-fried greens recipe for a juicy broth that is good with a little lemon, salt & pepper, and olive oil to balance the acid.  

*Also good with some fresh or dried oregano or basil!

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his QB Greens recipe, along with many more great vegetable recipes are all in Make Every Bite Count along with 150 recipes including fruit salads, smoothies, fresh salads with home made dressings, porridge recipes, soups and color photos, along with meal plans, great tips, and my 5 Step Plan for optimal weight loss and health.  Add lean cuts of animal protein sources to any of the recipes in that cookbook, or look for my future recipe book featuring the foods of our Trust Your True Nature Diet Plan.