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How to cook collard greens- Southern Collard Greens Recipe

How to cook collard greens- Southern Collard Greens Recipe

If you love Southern Soul Food, then you will love this Southern Collard Greens recipe. I take you step-by-step on how to cook collard greens just like your grandma would have made them.  They turn out soft, tender, and flavorful.
Course Low Carb, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Paleo, Southern, Whole 30
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 222kcal


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ lb smoked ham hocks you can substitute smoked turkey wings or smoked turkey neck bones, or bacon
  • 3 lb collard greens
  • 2 tbs hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large stock pot, bring chicken broth and smoked meat to a boil. (If using bacon, chop bacon, then cook bacon. Do not remove the grease. Then add broth.) Cover and cook on medium heat for 1 hour. 
  •  Fill your kitchen sink with water and let the collards soak in it for about 10 minutes. Swish them up and down and side to side to try to loosen any lingering dirt. Then rinse them off individually to double check for any remaining sand.
  • Remove the stem that runs down the center of the collard green leaf. The smaller, tender, young leaves won't need stripping. Then cut your leaves into strips.
  • Once the broth, add the collards in big batches. You won't be able to put them all in at once. Add a big batch, cover them, and cook about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and mix the collards around. This will make room for you to add another big amount in. Keep doing this until you fill the pot. 3lbs sounds like a lot of collard greens, but they are cooked down to half the size of your pot once they are finished. 
  • Once they are all in add the hot sauce and mix. cook them covered for an hour at low heat, stirring occasionally. Do a taste test to see if they are completely done after an hour. If they are not completely tender and flavorful, cook them another 15 minutes. An hour usually does it, but sometimes it takes a little longer. Most of the liquid will be sopped up by the collards. Any broth left over is the pot likker which is delicious with corn bread.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with apple cider vinegar, vinegar, or hot sauce. 



Note: If you cooked these Southern collard greens with ham hock, you can remove the ham hock and cut up any of that ham on the bone. Then add back the ham for extra flavoring.


Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 738mg | Potassium: 598mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 6830IU | Vitamin C: 59.8mg | Calcium: 335mg | Iron: 1.8mg