Kickin’ Collard Greens

This recipe is going to be a hit with you if you enjoy collard greens that are soft. They have a fantastic flavor that is derived from the bacon and onions. If you want more of a kick, use additional red pepper!

Collard greens prepared in the Southern way are a tasty comfort dish that has a pleasantly zesty kick for you. For a deliciously tender finish, this traditional, down-home side dish is made with freshly cut collard greens that have been simmered with crumbled bacon and chicken stock. After you have learned how to cook this mouthwateringly spicy Southern meal, you may have the meat and three delivered straight to your door. Find out the most effective techniques for storing and freezing the food.

Ingredients for Collard Greens

This cherished dish is made with simple pantry goods and inexpensive fruit. The flavor basis is comprised of bacon, garlic, and onion, with chicken broth serving as the braising liquid. Red pepper flakes give a spicy element that you can adjust to your liking.

Collard Greens: How to Cut and Wash Them

Because collard greens grow in the ground, you’ll want to wash them thoroughly before using them. You can wash the greens whole or sliced, but we recommend cleaning them after cutting for the most complete clean (remember to rinse the cutting board and knife as well).

Kickin' Collard Greens
Kickin’ Collard Greens

1. Begin by separating the woody stem from the leaves by plucking or cutting it.
2. Cut the greens into two-inch strips or sections. Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. NicoleMcMom), a culinary producer, suggests rolling or folding the huge leaves to make the 3. 4. procedure go faster and easier.
5. It’s time to wash the greens once they’ve been chopped. Allow the grit to settle to the bottom of a big bowl or salad spinner filled with water.
6. Drain in a colander and rinse under running water again.

Collard Greens Recipe

It couldn’t be easier to make a soft, fragrant pot of collard greens. The full recipe with step-by-step instructions can be found below, but here’s what you can anticipate if you prepare this top-rated recipe:

1. Begin by crisping the bacon slices in a pan.
2. Remove the bacon from the pan, crumble it, and return it to the pan with the onion and garlic.
3. Then, to the mixture, add freshly chopped collard greens. Cook them gently until they begin to wilt, then add the broth and seasonings.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer the collard greens slowly – around 45 minutes will yield smooth, peppery greens that any Southern grandmother would be delighted to offer.

Collard Greens: How to Serve Them

These traditional collard greens go well with everything from fried chicken to country ham. Nicole recommends pairing them with barbecue chicken and cornbread for a hearty supper that will satisfy everyone at the table.

Collard Greens Storage and Freezing

Fresh (unwashed) collard greens can be stored in the refrigerator for four to five days before cooking. They can also be frozen ahead of time – blanched greens can be stored in the freezer for months before cooking.

How about the leftovers? Southern collard greens are typically cooked in large batches, so freezing the leftovers is a terrific way to have a delightful side dish on hand when time is limited. Cooked collard greens can be frozen in little plastic bags. They have a 12-month lifespan.

Tips and Praise from the Allrecipes Community

“I just cooked these greens with black-eyed peas, cornbread, and pork chops,” Shelby says. “We live in the South, and my husband eats a LOT of collards.” He’s having a fit right now!”

“Just the right balance of flavors,” comments Alexis, a reviewer. “The only changes I made were to add more bacon and onions, as well as a dash of apple cider vinegar.” I doubt I’ll ever make these any other way!”

“I had no idea what to do with collard greens because I’m from the north,” Laura adds. “I used this recipe and discovered that not only are collard greens easy to prepare, but I also enjoy them!”


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes


  1. Gather all of the ingredients.
  2. In a big pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook until the bacon is crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan, crumble it, and return it to the pan.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Cook until the garlic is aromatic. Fry the collard greens until they begin to wilt.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and pour in the chicken broth. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the greens are soft.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!


1. What exactly are Kickin’ Collard Greens?
Kickin’ Collard Greens are a Southern-style cuisine that combines collard greens with savory ingredients such as smoked meat, spices, and a hint of heat from peppers or hot sauce.

2. How should I prepare Kickin’ Collard Greens?
To begin, thoroughly wash the collard greens to remove any dirt or grit. Cut the leaves and remove the stiff stalks.
Cook smoked meat (such as ham hocks or bacon) in a large saucepan or Dutch oven until the fat renders.
Add the onions, garlic, and any spices or peppers to taste. Cook until the mixture is aromatic.
Add the collard greens to the pot with a mixture of broth or water and cook until soft.

3. Can I add flavorings other than ham hocks or bacon?
Absolutely! Smoked turkey wings or legs, pork neck bones, or smoked sausage are all fantastic flavoring options.

4. How can I give the collard greens a kick or spice?
To add spice, use red pepper flakes, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or sliced jalapeos. Depending on your spice preferences, adjust the amount.

5. Should I cook collard greens for an extended period of time?
To tenderize and enhance taste, collard greens benefit from a longer cooking time. It is normal to simmer them for at least an hour or more.

6. Can I use collard greens that have been pre-cut or frozen?
To save time, you can use pre-cut or frozen collard greens. Just make sure they’re completely thawed before cooking.

7. What dishes can I pair with Kickin’ Collard Greens?
They’re traditionally served as a side dish with Southern classics like cornbread, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, or black-eyed peas.

8. Is it possible to make Kickin’ Collard Greens vegetarian or vegan?
Absolutely! Instead of smoked meat, use vegetable broth or water. Smoked paprika can also be added for a smoky flavor.

9. Do collard greens have any nutritional value?
Collard greens are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’re abundant in vitamins A, K, and C, making them a healthy addition to your diet.

10. Can these collard greens be made ahead of time?
They actually taste better the next day after letting the flavors to blend. Refrigerate them and reheat them when ready to serve.

11. Can I save leftover collard greens?
Collard greens can, in fact, be frozen for later use. For up to 2-3 months, store them in airtight containers or freezer bags.


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