Collard Greens are the perfect southern-inspired side dish and so full of flavor.
This member of the cabbage family has an earthy flavor and a meaty, tender texture unlike any other cooked green you’ve had before. It’s the perfect side dish!
I absolutely love greens of any sort from Creamed Spinach to this easy collard greens recipe! On a recent trip to GA, I visited Paula Deen’s restaurant and was in heaven with a plate full of fried chicken, mac and cheese, cheesy grits and tender greens! Truly the best.
If you’ve never tried these beautiful greens before, this easy collard greens recipe is a great introduction. I love serving them alongside Black Eyed Peas Recipe (with Ham) with a big chunk of cornbread.
What Are Collard Greens?
Collard greens are a loose leafed cabbage, similar to kale, but with very large smooth leaves, and a milder flavor. They are inexpensive, packed with nutrition, and nice and hearty.
The need to be cooked, they are too tough to eat raw.
Ingredients include onion and garlic, a bit of liquid and some kind of smoked meat (bacon, ham hocks or smoked turkey). I use bacon because I most often have it on hand.
How to Cook Collard Greens
A single bunch of cut collards produces a hefty mountain that will fill your pot to the top, but they cook down by less than half. Because collard greens are quite tough, they take longer to cook than most other greens.
Collard greens can have a lot of grit and dirt and they have a tough stem so you’ll want to make sure you clean them well. More details on how to clean collard greens here (and how to cut them).
- Clean and cut your collard greens into one-inch pieces (as described here).
- Cook bacon (set aside a bit for garnish) and soften the onion in the bacon grease.
- Add the greens and broth. Cook until tender, up to 45 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the reserved cooked bacon.
They will also benefit from slow cooking. To make Crockpot collard greens, start by sautéing, and after the collards wilt, place them in your crock pot, cover, and cook until tender.
How Long to Cook Collard Greens
Most leafy greens don’t take too long to cook, but collard greens are an exception to this rule.
- Stove Top
Collards may seem soft enough after 15 minutes but be sure let them cook for the entire time. The texture and flavor after cooking for longer are incredible. Sauteed collard greens need about 35-40 minutes.
- Instant Pot
Give collard greens 20 minutes to cook in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
- Slow Cooker
Cook in the slow cooker for 3 hours on high or 6 on low.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil – an easy twist on a classic favorite!
- Biscuits and Gravy – so flavorful
- Shrimp and Grits – personal favorite!
- Dirty Rice – my daughter’s favorite!
- Corn Casserole – perfect for potlucks
- Easy Pecan Pie Recipe – don’t forget dessert!
Did you enjoy this Collard Green recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 slices bacon chopped
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 pound collard greens
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash greens and using a sharp knife, cut out the woody stem. Cut into ¾" pieces.
- Cook chopped bacon and butter over medium heat in a pan until crisp. Remove a few slices for garnish.
- Add onions to bacon grease and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add greens and garlic. Cook until slightly wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add broth, cover and cook over a low simmer 35-40 minutes or until tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)