These make-ahead vegan collard wraps, packed with fresh vegetables and a creamy basil pesto are perfect for lunchboxes or picnics.
I’m a bit infatuated with collard wraps lately. I attribute that in some part to my increasing desire for fresh, raw vegetables during the warmer months of the year, but the fact that they’re so simple to prepare and endlessly adaptable also helps.
An all-vegetable wrap like a collard wrap is ideal if you’re in the mood for something other than a salad that also happens to be conveniently portable. They’re an easy and healthy option for lunch and a great addition to picnics since you can make them ahead of time and they require no utensils.
What’s in a collard wrap?
There are 3 basic parts to a collard wrap: the filling, the sauce and the collard leaf to wrap it all up in.
While you can use whatever vegetables you’d like or happen to have on hand, I’m partial to the combination of red cabbage, carrots, cucumber and radishes for maximum crunch. If you have a food processor, you can shred or cut your vegetables into matchstick sized pieces or save yourself the trouble and just buy your cabbage and carrots pre-shredded instead.
The sauce is what really brings all the flavors of a wrap together. Here I’ve used a combination of dairy-free basil pesto with a cashew based cream cheese spread. I usually make the pesto myself and just buy the spread, but you could make both from scratch or just use your favorite store-bought pesto and spread to save even more time.
The last part is the collard greens. The leaves are large, sturdy and flexible, making them a great gluten-free stand in for a tortilla or flatbread.
How to make the wraps:
Making collard green wraps is really more assembly than it is cooking.
- You first remove the tough stem from the collard leaf by running a knife down the center stem and shaving it down until flexible enough to fold.
- Then you spread the cream cheese and basil pesto on the bottom half of the leaf and pile up your prepared vegetables.
- Finally wrap the sides of the leaves in towards the center like you would a burrito and roll upwards. Place the wraps seam side down and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat or slice in half and serve right away.
Each bite is crunchy, creamy and packed with fresh flavor. Enjoy!
More wrap recipes to try:
Collard Green Wraps
These make-ahead vegancollard wraps, packed with fresh vegetables and a creamy basil pesto are perfectfor lunchboxes or picnics.
- For the dairy-free, nut-free pesto:
- ¾ oz/21g basil leaves (stems removed)
- 2 Tablespoons/19g hemp seeds
- 2 Tablespoons/30ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon/5ml fresh lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- For the collard wraps:
- ¼ cup/60ml dairy-free cashew based or almond based cream cheese (substitute goat cheese spread for a non-vegan version)
- 4 large chard or collard leaves, stems removed
- 4 carrots, shredded
- ¼ of a head of red cabbage, shredded
- 2 Persian cucumbers (or zucchini), seeds removed and cut into matchstick sized pieces
- 4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
Make the Dairy-Free, Nut-Free Pesto:
- In a small food processor combine the basil, hemp seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Pulse until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Make the Collard Wraps:
- Place a leaf flat on a cutting board so that thick part of the stalk is facing up. Slice off the bottom part of the stalk and shave down the thick part by running a sharp paring knife down the center of the stalk until
it is flat and the leaf bends more easily. Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Spread the bottom half of the collard leaves with 1 Tablespoon cream cheese and top with a teaspoon of basil pesto. Distribute the prepared vegetables evenly in stacks on top of the cream cheese and pesto base.
- Fold the sides of the leaves in and roll up, starting at the base and tucking in the ends like a burrito. Place seam side down.
- Cut in half and serve with additional pesto on the side if desired or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo
Use pine nuts or walnuts instead of hemp seeds for a pesto that's not nut-free.
Substitute goat cheese spread for the vegan cream cream for a non-vegan version.
Store prepared wraps in the fridge for up to 3 days.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 589mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 11g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.
Teresa Melan says
What do you do with the basil leaves ? Put them in the sauce?
Yes, thanks for catching that! I've updated the recipe to reflect that now.
Kitchen Belleicious says
those wraps with that hemp sauce sounds and looks refreshing for the summer. A light but filling meal and love that you used collard instead of like cabbage or lettuce
najwa kronfel says
Healthy and delicious. A keeper during Summer!
Kate @ Diethood says
They look sooo good! I, too, loooove lettuce wraps! I just stuff them with whatever good-for-you food that I can find. 🙂
Kelly @ The Nourishing Home says
Those look so refreshing and delicious! If only I could reach right through my computer screen. 🙂
[email protected] Tastes Good says
I haven't tried hemp seeds, but I will now. These wraps look amazing and don't get me started on that sauce! Yummmm I'm looking forward to giving it a try!
Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living says
I haven't tried hemp seeds yet - on my list to try though - great idea using it in a sauce.