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A white bowl of paleo collard greens with bits of bacon on a blue and white towel.
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4.93 from 14 votes

Southern Style Collard Greens

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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: collards, greens, paleo, southern
Servings: 8 1 cup servings
Calories: 192kcal



  • 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.



Serving Suggestions & Uses
We like to finish our greens with a little pepper vinegar and a touch of extra salt and pepper. The pepper vinegar mellows out any leftover bitterness in the greens. Collard greens are an amazing side dish for any kind of dinner, but we enjoy them as an acidic side dish to otherwise heavy or greasy meals, like fried catfish or fried chicken.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Are collard greens healthy?
Yes! Collard greens are an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium as well as a pretty good source of Vitamin K, Iron, Vitamin B-6, and Magnesium. Collard Greens also contain thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and choline. More on the nutritional benefits can be found here.
🤢 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.
Do you need to soak collard greens?
I like to use frozen greens - it is much easier and faster - but if you use fresh greens, they should be soaked in tap-cold water for 5 - 10 minutes and swished around to rinse off any dirt. You might need to do this a few times to get off all the sand and dirt. I like to do this in a salad spinner - just submerge the greens and swish them around, then lift the strainer portion out, rinse one more time, then put them back in the empty salad spinner and spin them to dry them off.
Are collard greens a superfood?
It seems so, yes. This article has some more information on that.
  • Add leftover ham, seasoning ham, or a ham hock to give a more meaty and smoky flavor to collard greens.
  • Serve collard greens with a little pepper vinegar.
  • We love to enjoy collard greens with "fried" chicken meatballs and Copycat Raising Cane's Sauce.
  • They are also really good with a side of homemade cornbread.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 826mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5746IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 279mg | Iron: 1mg