This is the last recipe for collard greens that you will ever need. These southern-style collard greens are cooked with bacon, onions, and garlic and couldn't be more delicious.
We made these greens last night and my husband told me that they are the best collard greens he has ever had. Coming from a guy raised in Louisiana - that's saying something. (I have now even adapted this recipe for the Instant Pot and it is just as delicious!)
So, let's talk collard greens. A southern staple, but definitely one of those foods that look and sound gross but taste SO amazing. Collard greens can be bitter, but I have added the perfect amount of heat, sweet, and acid to cut the bitterness. They will blow your mind. (Plus, they are Paleo! )
• fresh or frozen collard greens
• apple cider vinegar
• coconut sugar (or brown sugar): this helps with the bitterness of the greens.
• red pepper flakes
• chicken broth
• olive oil
• Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning: we use this on damn near everything.
🥣 How to Make It
Here's how I make the best southern collard greens:
Step 1: Dice up an onion, bacon, and garlic.
Step 2: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot.
Heat a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add your olive oil. (Picture 1)
Step 3: Cook bacon until mostly crisp, then add your onion.
When your olive oil is hot, add your diced bacon. (Pictures 2 - 3) Once the bacon is a little crispy on the edges but not totally cooked, (Picture 4) add your diced onions. (Picture 5)
Step 4: Saute until onion is mostly translucent, then add garlic.
Saute your onion and bacon until the onion is translucent. (Pictures 6 - 7) Then, add your garlic and saute until your garlic is fragrant - about 2 minutes. (Pictures 8 - 9)
Step 5: Add your collard greens and stir until they are no longer frozen.
If you are using fresh greens, saute until they are soft but not fully cooked.
Step 6: Add your stock, then add all your spices.
Add your stock and mix well to combine. (Pictures 11 - 13) Then add all of your spices (including the coconut sugar) and your apple cider vinegar. (Pictures 14 - 15)
Step 7: Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
Once your broth is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer (Pictures 16 - 18) over low heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally as needed. (Picture 19)
Step 8: After 45 minutes, uncover and serve.
After 45 minutes, the greens will no longer be bright green and they will be really soft. (Picture 20) There will still be broth and it will be delicious.
🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses
We like to finish our greens with a little pepper vinegar and salt and pepper. The pepper vinegar gives it a little extra heat and mellows out any leftover bitterness in the greens. Greens are an amazing side dish for any kind of dinner. (Our favorite is with fried chicken and mashed potatoes 😉 )
🤢 Why Are Collard Greens Bitter?
Collard greens have bitter oils that are produced from a naturally occurring chemical called glucosinolate. It is released when greens are cut, chewed, or cooked. Did you know that some people can find greens to be up to 60% more bitter than other people? If you find greens to be REALLY bitter, you might just have taste buds that are sensitive to glucosinolate.
🥬 How Do You Remove the Bitterness from Collard Greens?
To reduce the bitterness in greens, you need to add sweetness, acid, and heat. I add apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, coconut sugar, and Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. When serving greens, we add a little bit of pepper vinegar.
🍳 Other Yummy Southern Recipes
Southern Style Collard Greens
- a large pot
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pound bacon, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp vinegar, apple cider
- 1/4 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
- 2 pounds collard greens, frozen Frozen collard greens generally come in 16 oz bags so I use two.
- First, heat a large pot over medium heat while you dice up your onion, bacon, and garlic.
- When your pot is hot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- When your olive oil is hot, add your diced bacon. Once the bacon is a little crispy on the edges but not totally cooked, add your diced onions.
- Saute your onion and bacon until the onion is translucent, then add your garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant - about 2 minutes.
- Next, add your collard greens and stir until they are no longer frozen. If you are using fresh greens, saute until they are soft but not fully cooked.
- Now, add your stock and mix well to combine.
- Then add all of your spices (including the coconut sugar) and your apple cider vinegar.
- Bring everything to a boil, and once your broth is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer over low heat. Simmer covered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally as needed.
- After 45 minutes, uncover and serve. The greens will no longer be bright green and they will be really soft. There will still be broth and it will be delicious.
- Finish your greens with a little pepper vinegar and salt and pepper.
Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.