You won’t believe how good collard greens are until you’ve tried Southern-Style Collard Greens. We’re sharing our secret to the very best way to make them.
Collard greens are a staple at any southern table and it’s easy to see why once you try this recipe. Quite honestly, the whole country should get involved. We’ll say it again just in case you didn’t already learn this from our Creamy Kale and Bacon dish. Any vegetable dish that has bacon in the recipe is worth making, but this has even more savory crave-able ingredients. I mean, bacon, apple cider vinegar, garlic – isn’t your mouth watering just thinking about it?
The perfect collard greens dish is tender, smoky, savory, a bit sweet, and a touch spicy. We find that it’s best to prepare this in a Dutch oven or large stock pot. That way you can brown the bacon bits in the same pan that you cook the greens in for added flavor.
We also add some maple syrup and hot sauce to bring a sweet heat to the dish. To easily cut the greens, we recommend cutting out the stems, then washing the greens well and chiffonading them like you would basil. It makes it simple. Your family is sure to love this dish, and you’ll be happy they’re eating their greens.
- 1 lb. collard greens
- ⅕ lb. (approx. 5 slices) bacon, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock, plus more as needed
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 10–12 dashes hot sauce (like Tabasco), plus more for serving
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Start by washing and drying the collard green leaves well. Cut the thick stem out of each of the leaves and discard. Roll the collards up so you have a log of leaves and slice into ribbons or chiffonade. Set the collard greens on a paper towel to dry fully while you cook the bacon.
- Dice the bacon and place it into a pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the bacon, remove it from the pot and set it on a paper towel to drain.
- While the bacon cooks, dice the onion and mince the garlic. When the bacon is cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon but leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- Add the onion to the bacon fat and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and collard greens. Cook and stir for 1 minute and then add the apple cider vinegar. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brownings.
- Add the chicken stock, maple syrup, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, and the cooked bacon. Stir and bring the pot to a boil.
- Reduce to a low simmer and cook until the greens are tender, 1 and ½ to 2 hours. Remove the lid every 10 minutes or so to stir the greens and check the liquid level. If all of the liquid has evaporated, add another ½ cup of stock. You may need to add stock several times throughout the cooking process. Serve hot!