Collard Greens with Bacon

  • Active Time 10m
  • Total Time 1h 50m

Serves 4

A time-honored tradition in southern kitchens, collard greens are typically cooked for a long time to temper their tough texture and smooth out their bitter flavor; cooking them a day ahead and then reheating makes them all the better. The greens go perfectly with rich main dishes, such as fried chicken.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar mixed into 2 cups water
  • 5 bunches collard greens, about 5 pounds total weight, stemmed and carefully washed
  • Tabasco or other hot-pepper sauce, optional


In a large stockpot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the bacon and fry, stirring constantly, until cooked through but not crisp, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a dish. Set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the pot.

Return the stockpot to medium heat. Add the garlic, salt and black and cayenne peppers and sauté for 1 minute. Carefully pour in the vinegar-water mixture, stirring until blended. Return the bacon to the pot and boil for 1-2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the greens. (Do not worry if the pan is very full; the greens will cook down.) Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and stir well. Add a few drops of Tabasco, if desired, re-cover and reduce the heat to very low. Simmer, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if needed to keep the greens damp, until the greens are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Spoon the greens into a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2403

nutrition information per serving

384 calories; 24g total fat; 23mg cholesterol; 435mg sodium; 34g carbohydrates; 21g fiber; 17g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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