Sautéed Mustard Greens with Garlic and Lemon

This dish is a fast take on the usual long-simmered greens.

Cornmeal Popovers
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Food Styling: William Smith; Prop Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
8 serves

You won't have a hard time getting a Southerner to eat their vegetables when you're serving mustard or collard greens. This super fresh, garlicky, lemony mustard green recipe is the perfect mustard green recipe you've been waiting for your whole life. Coated in light olive oil and sautéed with plenty of garlic, red pepper, salt, and pepper, these mustard greens pick up a ton of fresh flavor that compliment rich holiday menus like no other. Low on fat but remarkably high on flavor, this dish is a simple and quick way to serve greens at your holiday meal. You can also use any other kind of tender winter green like mustard, baby kale, Swiss chard, or even spinach. And always use fresh green ingredients, never frozen. Also buy from the bins, not from the bags: the bags tend to have more stems than the leafy whole plants, and the stems are not so tender. It's easy, fresh, and flavorful—no slow cooker required. And it never hurts to incorporate a few vegetables into your holiday meal, right? Whipping up this Christmas vegetable side dish will make you feel a little bit better about all that delicious white cake you're about to eat. This dish is a fast take on the usual long-simmered greens. Swap out other hearty greens like kale, collards, or turnip greens for the mustard greens if you prefer.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 3 pounds mustard greens, washed, trimmed, and chopped (about 24 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • .25 to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add garlic; cook, stirring often, until garlic is golden brown and crispy, about 1 minute. Stir in greens, in batches; cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes, before adding more greens. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in an additional ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, if desired.

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