Southern Collard Greens Recipe -
Southern Collard Greens Recipe
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Southern Collard Greens

Recipe by  

"A must-eat dish on New Year's day."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    3 hrs

    3 hrs 10 mins


  1. Place the water and the ham hock in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to very low and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the collards and the hot pepper flakes the pot. Simmer covered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the vegetable oil and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 30, 2003

Okay, for all of you who don't know the right way to eat greens, listen up: FIRST, respectfully forget Brad's recipe above this one -- YOU DON'T PUT SUGAR IN COLLARD GREENS. I am from Georgia and I know. Turnip greens maybe, but not collards! SECOND, you MUST eat collard greens with chopped raw tomatoes and chopped raw onions sprinkled on top (plus pepper sauce if you like it, but if you don't know what this is, forget it, I'm not going into it. Well, okay, I'll try. Suffice it to say it's peppers stuffed into a bottle of white vinegar and left to sit either on a shelf (how the oldens did it) or in the fridge for a few months, then you sprinkle the juice on the greens -- but don't ask me what kind of peppers. I just know they're green, medium hot, and I know them when I see them). THIRD, if you don't want the fat of hamhock or salt pork, you can use smoked turkey wings and the flavor is still quite good. But whatever you do, DON'T try to cook collard greens without some kind of salted meat.

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 24, 2003

If you need to leave out the meat like one review suggested (by using olive oil) you will be missing the much needed saltly, smokey flavor. You can try adding salt and liquid smoke or even better chiptole jalapenos for a little spice.

Jun 29, 2006

This is how I was taught to make collards by a dear friend from North Carolina, with 2 changes - no oil, and a splash of cider vinegar is essential. When the greens are fully cooked, I remove the ham hocks, shred the meat, and add it back to the greens. One tip for when you're prepping - I wash the cut collards in my sink 3 times, adding baking soda to the first wash. This helps remove some of the bitterness.

Jan 23, 2008

Just a little note from another "Southern Belle", suger is sometimes used in greens(even collards)to cut the bitterness. Greens only sweeten after the first cold weather gets to them. My grandparents and parents farmed greens for years and this is what they taught me.

Jun 21, 2010

I don't understand how a person says you should NEVER put this in that and yadda yadda. I NEVER ate collards with freshly chopped onions and tomatoes and my whole family from the sounds good though but NOT a MUST :)! When you cook something cook it to your have to eat it! For those who are not familiar with collards...depending on how fresh your collards are, whether they are in season all are factors to consider. I have had some greens that are soooo tender I can cook em' in a short time (an hour or so). I have had green soooo tough I had to cook them overnight! It depends. Sometimes I add sugar to my greens (depends on the batch again). It's shouldn't be sweet however. I love to top my greens with peppered vinegar and I'm good to go!!! Have fun with your cooking! Don't get frustrated if you get a "bad" batch of greens (tough, real bitter, etc). this is a dish that is worth the effort. Good ol' comfort! One Love :0)

Jan 04, 2007

This recipes turns our collards as good as my grandmother's. I have cooked collards according to this recipe several times and always get rave reviews.

May 26, 2003

Great recipe! I used this recipe to make collards for the first time. At the suggestion of a native southern woman (my boyfriend's mother), I skimmed the fat off of the top of the water before I added the collard greens. She said that this would keep the greens from being too greasy. Apparently, a lot of the flavor is in the water, because the collards turned out great with a wonderful, smokey flavor. One note for novice cookers (like myself): be careful with the red pepper flakes. They can overpower the greens if you accidentally add too much.

Dec 31, 2003

I only cook Collards once a year - on New Year's Day - so I've never had a favorite recipe .... well, I do now! Salt Pork (or Fat Back) can be used to season the greens but after simmering for two hours what ever meat you use will be falling to pieces so I recommend using ham hocks which have less fat. I didn't have any red pepper flakes on hand so I used some southwest seasoning which contained cayenne. I wasn't sure about adding the vegetable oil at the end but I don't think the final product would have been as good if I hadn't.


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  • Calories
  • 471 kcal
  • 24%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 17.4 g
  • 6%
  • Cholesterol
  • 77 mg
  • 26%
  • Fat
  • 34.3 g
  • 53%
  • Fiber
  • 11 g
  • 44%
  • Protein
  • 26.8 g
  • 54%
  • Sodium
  • 130 mg
  • 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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