The Best Collard Greens, Ever

I am certain that my husband makes the best collard greens in the state of New York, if not the world. He was sweet enough to share his recipe. Keep in mind that the word recipe is used lightly here. Collard greens are one of those things that most Southern cooks don’t use a recipe to make. You get the basic concept and improvise. I’ve never seen him use a measuring spoon when making greens.

1 large bunch of collard greens (Well washed. My Aunt Georgia once washed a particularly dirty bunch in her washing machine.)
6 slices of thick-slab peppered bacon
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons salt
Cayenne pepper and hot sauce to taste


  • Fry bacon in a large soup pot, remove and set aside, leaving bacon fat in the pot.
  • Add onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat until onions are tender.
  • Chop collard greens and cook until wilted.
  • Add vinegar, sugar and salt.
  • Add chicken stock and bacon, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour. My husband, like a true Southerner, cooks it for at least three, since the flavor deepens with time. Stir greens occasionally, adding water if needed (you don’t want the greens to stick to the bottom of the pot). Season to taste.

3 Responses to “The Best Collard Greens, Ever”

  1. Sam says:

    I learned how to make collards from Andrew…I haven’t stopped eating them! I don;t use vinegar in mine, though…man, I love bacon…

  2. Diann says:

    I absolutely LOVE collard greens. I went to a wedding shower hosted at a home where the sister to the bride cooked all the food rather than spending out for catering and getting back bland everydays. I got the recipe from her (and no, neither she nor I ever measure). Collard greens, ham hock, apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, roasted red pepper flakes… it was to die for.

    This is so cool and indeed in March I am going to a southern-style restaurant that is supposed to be truly authentic, and I am planning on ordering a double portion of their collards.

  3. robert king says:

    great recipe.
    I usually go 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours also. I use rice wine vinegar for the tang and serve with Franks red hot sauce.
    This goes great for grilling holidays-like this memorial day.

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