Spicy Vegan Collard Wraps

If you’ve been looking for a sign to eat more meat-free meals, this is it, wrapped up in a leafy collard green.

Vertical image of green vegan and gluten-free rolls, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

It’s nearly impossible to prepare these perfectly seasoned vegan wraps without contemplating making the switch to a healthier diet if you’re not already there. Or maybe vegan meals already hold a permanent place in your repertoire, or you’re on a gluten-free diet.

Either way, these tasty veggie-based wraps offer everything you need in one mouthful. They’re creamy, spicy, crunchy, juicy, garlicky, and fresh.

Vertical top-down image of vegetable rolls on a white plate next to a prep area on a wooden cutting board.

Is there anything on that list of adjectives that doesn’t make you want to immediately run to the store and buy a bunch of collard greens?

I didn’t think so! The combination of ingredients in this vegan lunch is sure to satisfy. And unlike a simple green salad, there’s plenty of protein in the mix thanks to the quinoa and chickpea-based hummus that will keep you feeling full until dinnertime.

Although the tomato-fennel bruschetta topping that’s included here only makes up a small portion of the total filling, it punches up the flavor enough that you don’t want to miss it. Trust me on this.

Vertical image of vegetable rolls on a white plate in front of a prep station on a wooden cutting board.

Coming in at a close second, it’s a toss-up between the rich, velvety fillings and the sweet, crunchy ones.

The buttery avocado is a nice complement to the creamy hummus, while sprouts and carrots add a fresh, crisp flavor and a touch of sweetness.

Vertical top-down image of vegetable rolls on a white plate next to bowls of quinoa and bruschetta.

Red pepper flakes bring some heat. And if you needed a cue to add more chef-like flair to your meals while maximizing the flavor in every bite, cleverly seasoning the quinoa with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper is it.

I still want my barbecue chicken pizza and juicy bacon cheddar burgers on occasion, but these vibrant green handhelds have fully convinced me to incorporate more plant-based eats into my diet. They’re colorful, loaded with flavor and texture, and leave me feeling satisfied and surprisingly full of energy.

Vertical close-up image of half of a vegetable roll on a white plate.

Keep following these signs and I promise all roads lead to flavor town.

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Horizontal image of vegetable rolls on a white plate next to bowls of quinoa and bruschetta.

Spicy Vegan Collard Wraps


  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 wraps 1x

Description

Layered with quinoa, veggies, and garlicky tomatoes and fennel, these spicy vegan collard wraps are a light and satisfying meat-free lunch.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8 large collard greens (6-ounce bunch), stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1/2 cup tomato-fennel bruschetta topping
  • 1 large ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1 cup firmly packed shredded carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa, kale, radish, or broccoli sprouts

Instructions

  1. Combine the vegetable broth, quinoa, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a bowl or baking sheet to cool.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, fill a large mixing bowl with ice and water to make an ice bath. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and stir in the vinegar. Add the collard greens a few at a time and blanch until pliable, about 30 to 45 seconds. Carefully remove the leaves from the water with tongs and submerge in the ice bath to cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining collard greens, and transfer to paper towels to dry.
  3. On a cutting board or clean work surface, lay out one of the leaves. Centered in the bottom third of the leaf with a 1/2-inch border on either side, layer the hummus, quinoa, tomato-fennel mixture, avocado, red pepper flakes, carrots, and sprouts on top, using about 1/8 of each ingredient so you will have enough for all of the wraps. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  4. Roll the wrap away from you, tuck in the ends on either side, and continue rolling to form a tightly sealed bundle. Repeat with the remaining wraps. Slice in half and serve. 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Wraps
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: vegan, collard greens, wrap, quinoa, tomato, hummus, sprouts

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Gather, Prep, and Measure Ingredients

If you haven’t already, make the tomato-fennel bruschetta topping. It combines juicy tomatoes, fresh fennel, garlic, basil, and balsamic vinegar for a tasty filling that’s perfect in wraps, or served atop tiny toast rounds.

Horizontal image of assorted ingredients and condiments in bowls next to collard greens.

After you’ve let the flavors meld, measure out what you need, allowing the excess liquid to drain with a slotted spoon. In a pinch, you can sub in diced fresh tomato.

Measure the vegetable broth and quinoa. Rinse the quinoa under cold water to reduce the taste of bitterness.

Measure the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and apple cider vinegar.

Measure the hummus. To make your own from scratch, try one of our recipes for homemade hummus.

Choose 8 similarly-sized leaves from your bunch of collards, and skip any with large holes or tears. Rinse well to remove any dirt.

Horizontal image of prepping a leaf.

Slice off the tough, woody stems at the base of each leaf.

If any have large or thick ribs, you can lay the leaf flat and shave the rib down using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler. This will help the leaf lay flatter while you’re assembling the wraps and it will roll more easily.

Horizontal image of slicing the stem from a leaf.

Peel and shred the carrots on the largest holes of a box grater. You can also make thin carrot ribbons with a vegetable peeler. I avoid using bagged pre-shredded carrots, as they can be dry and will not taste as fresh.

Measure the sprouts, and slice the avocado. To prevent browning, you can squeeze a little citrus juice over each slice.

Step 2 – Cook the Quinoa

In a medium saucepot over medium-high heat, add the vegetable broth, quinoa, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.

Horizontal image of cooked quinoa.

Feel free to flavor the quinoa however you like. For smokier, earthy notes, you can add 1/8 teaspoon each of smoked paprika and ground cumin.

Bring to a boil, cover the pot with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. You’ll also know the quinoa is done when the grains look like they’ve popped open and are revealing the germ.

Turn off the heat and let the quinoa stand for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the grains and then transfer to a bowl or baking sheet to cool to room temperature.

Step 3 – Blanch the Greens

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the vinegar. A splash of vinegar adds a tangy note that reduces bitterness and helps to balance the vegetal flavor of the greens. But keep in mind that we’re only blanching the greens for this recipe, and we don’t want to overcook them.

Horizontal image of blanching leaves in a boiling pot of water.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set the ice bath aside near the stove.

A few leaves at a time, drop the collards into the water and blanch until they’re tender, pliable, and bright green, for about 30 to 45 seconds.

Chilling leaves in an ice bath in a metal bowl.

Use tongs to transfer the leaves from the water to the ice bath. Allow the leaves to cool for about 2 to 3 minutes before setting them aside to dry on paper towels or clean dish towels.

Step 4 – Assemble the Wraps

On a cutting board or clean work surface, lay out one or two of the leaves. Don’t overcrowd your work surface! You’ll want to layer the ingredients towards the center of the bottom third section of the leaf, leaving about a 1/2-inch border around the edge.

Horizontal image of assembling the layers of a vegetable roll on a leaf.

I prefer to start by spreading about a tablespoon of the hummus as the base onto each leaf, which acts like glue for the whole wrap.

Top the hummus with 1/2 cup quinoa, a tablespoon of the tomato-fennel mixture, a few slices of avocado, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of shredded carrots, and about a tablespoon of sprouts. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Horizontal image of assembling the layers of a vegetarian roll topped with sprouts.

You’ll repeat this with each of the remaining leaves after rolling in the next step.

Step 5 – Roll, Slice, and Serve

Begin by rolling the leaf away from you like a burrito, starting at the bottom. Once the fillings are sealed in, tuck both ends underneath so nothing spills out. Continue rolling away from you to seal the tucked ends inside, creating a tight bundle.

Horizontal image of assembling wraps.

Repeat with each wrap.

Horizontal top-down image of vegetable rolls on a white plate next to bowls of quinoa and bruschetta.

Using a sharp knife to slice cleanly through the collard wraps, cut each one  in half. Arrange on a platter and serve or pair with a vegan dipper like cashew chipotle sauce.

Why It’s Perfectly Okay to Eat the Paste

When you reach for your favorite flavor of hummus to slather over your blanched collards, it will stick to the leaves as you roll, acting like an edible glue.

Horizontal image of vegetable rolls on a white plate next to bowls of quinoa and bruschetta.

Go on, eat the paste. The teacher isn’t looking.

Just be mindful of any greens with tears because that’s a great way to accidentally squirt hummus on your shirt. If a few holy leaves couldn’t be avoided, I like to use a pinch of carrots or sprouts to cover the holes.

Will you scout out a creamy dip to slam dunk these wraps or munch on them just as they are? Share your vegan condiment ideas in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.

Fiber-packed quinoa is so easy to prepare. For more dishes that feature this quick-cooking grain, try these recipes next:

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on June 4, 2013. Last updated on April 11, 2022.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Fanny Slater

Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”

25 thoughts on “Spicy Vegan Collard Wraps”

    • Thanks so much — what a nice thing to say! Hope you get to try this and would love to hear what you think!

      Reply
  1. It’s so easy to focus on those big moments isn’t it? The special vacations and dinners and conversations. But it’s every day life that really makes those all possible. These wraps sound like the perfect way to celebrate those moments.

    Reply
  2. Beautiful post. Brought tears to my eyes. Totally going to try making these. I basically have a month off work so time to experiment with recipes. 🙂

    Reply
  3. This is so true Shanna! All of life’s moments are important in one way or another. It’s easy to forget though.

    Your honeymoon (and these collard wraps) sound lovely! 🙂

    Reply
  4. These look good and something different! I’m after warm food at the moment – do you think it would work to bake the wraps….? P.S Thanks for my writer chats post, my family were super excited to see me and my words on your blog!

    Reply
    • Oh, I’m so glad, Harriet! Thanks again for contributing your thoughts! And as far as the collard wraps, I don’t think *these* particular wraps, with this filling, would be best cooked; however, I bet there are recipes all over the Internet for cooked wraps of some kind. PS does that mean it’s cold over there now? The different seasons still amaze me!

      Reply
  5. This is beautiful! I’ve been thinking about the same kinds of things recently and how we make trips so memorable and yet drag along in our daily lives. So I’m trying to do things to make my regular days memorable too, like eating on the back porch and staying outside until the sun has almost set and remembering that we have a bath tub and opening the windows to the woods outside.

    Reply
  6. I’ve never tried collards – its the kind of vegetable i would pass by in a store and think, “what on earth can I eat that with?”. and I suppose, it’s also the sort that if I had no choice but to eat it, I would imagine it has to be cooked in salted water till wilted and tasty. However, your way of eating collards has made me rethink my initial impression of collards. I’m imagining eating it the way they do in Thailand, to make wraps filled with minced meat and spicy sauces, and of course, your way sounds amazing too!

    Reply
  7. Beautiful. I’m quite good at longing for the past, or some sort of version of the future while at the same time missing the joy in the right now – of which there is plenty.
    I have ginormous kale leaves in the garden and think they may make a nice wrap.

    Reply
    • You and me both, my friend. And ginormous kale leaves in your garden! I am loving everything about that idea.

      Reply
  8. Such a beautifully written and honest post. A good reminder to cherish + find joy in the day to day. Also, I absolutely love collards used as wraps and the ingredients you used for this recipe. A fantastic summery meal that I will be making soon!

    Reply
  9. I’ve always wanted to try collard wraps! These look delicious! It looks like your 2nd year of marriage is full of things to love. You two are the cutest.

    Reply
  10. Such a lovely post. I agree – all the days are important; we tend to get fixated on highlights, but it’s the day in/day out that makes up most our life.

    My wedding/honeymoon is somewhat of a blur, too – but I love when some memory comes rushing back and I live it once more, just for a moment. xo

    Reply

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