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Vegetarian Collard Rolls with Rice Pilaf

These vegetarian collard rolls filled with rice pilaf take their cue from dolmades, the traditional Greek parcels of rice, nuts and herbs. Instead of the usual grape leaves, fresh collard leaves become the wrappers. 

Collard Rolls with Rice Pilaf | Letty's Kitchen

The flavorful filling for these collard and rice rollups begins with brown rice cooked with onion and vegetable broth. When the rice is done, it’s mixed with sautéed garlic and zucchini, fresh herbs, crunchy walnuts and sweet raisins.

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Collard Rolls with Rice Pilaf ready to bake, with tomato sauce and lemon slices.

Essential are chopped fresh herbs, your choice which ones. Classic Greek dolmades call for dill and mint. Here I used parsley, basil, and rosemary because, along with the collards, they came in our CSA farm share box. The walnuts and raisins replace classic pinenuts and currants.

The collard leaves themselves get a quick dip in boiling water, to make them pliable for rolling around the rice pilaf filling.

Nestle the assembled rollups in a pan on top of extra rice pilaf, ladle a simple tomato sauce over the rollups and pop them in the oven.

Made with love, these collard rolls with rice pilaf are well worth the effort. To make it easier,break the steps down into several days. The rice filling can be made earlier in the day, or days beforehand. Even easier, use a boxed rice or quinoa mix!

collard greens ready for filling for Collard Rolls with Rice Pilaf

filling the collard leaves for Collard Rolls with Rice Pilaf

collard rollups nestled in extra rice pilaf for Collard Rolls with Rice Pilaf

Collard Rolls with Rice Pilaf recipe notes:

  • Allepo pepper’s fruity undertones provide agreeable spice. Substitute black pepper if you don’t have Allepo. (I order Aleppo pepper from World Spice Merchants in Seattle. Or you can buy Aleppo via my Amazon link here.)
  • Save time and use a boxed quinoa or rice mix for the filling.
  • Cooked rice keeps well in the freezer. And, once assembled, the rolls can be frozen. Let them thaw before baking.
  • These would be fabulous with a simple dessert of thick creamy yogurt and fresh peaches with honey drizzled over.

Here’s another recipe featuring collard greens: Black-eyed Peas and Collards

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Nutrition information is meant to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

Nutrition Facts
Collard Rolls with Rice Pilaf
Amount Per Serving (2 g)
Calories 327 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 585mg25%
Potassium 585mg17%
Carbohydrates 51g17%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 848IU17%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

6 comments

  • I love the idea of this. I still remember how delighted I was when I realized I really liked collard greens! Reply · 15 July, 2014

  • Letty, I love your creativity and uniqueness! Reply · 16 July, 2014

  • John Vrabel

    I made my 2nd batch of your Very Herb + Viniagrette dressing yesterday…..very yummy… Thx!!! Reply · 17 July, 2014

    • Letty

      Awesome!!! Reply · 20 July, 2014

  • kathleen

    This looks wonderful, I can’t wait to try it! My collard isn’t quite ready in my garden, might try using swiss chard. Reply · 18 July, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Kathleen. Swiss chard will work fine to wrap the filling. Dip in the water about a minute only, though. Reply · 20 July, 2014

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