Flavorful Southern Greens- A Classic Recipe!

Hark, good people! I bring thee a recipe of the most delectable greens that will leave thy taste buds yearning for more. This recipe hails from the Southern part of the land and is known to be a staple dish in every household. It is none other than the Southern Greens Recipe.

Gather round, young and old, as I take thee on a culinary journey like no other. This dish will transport thee to the heart of the South with its distinct flavors, aromas, and textures. It is a dish that has been passed down from generation to generation, each adding their own unique twist to it.

The Southern Greens Recipe is a dish that embodies the essence of Southern cooking with its use of ham hock, smoked ham, onions, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. Ah, apple cider vinegar – a key ingredient that sets this dish apart from all other greens recipes! The vinegar creates an irresistible tang that balances out the bitterness of the greens.

This recipe celebrates tradition while intersecting it with modern twists which make it versatile enough for any occasion – be it a family gathering or a fancy dinner party. Thou must try this recipe as soon as thou dost have thy hands on it because I assure thee it will leave thee feeling soulful and satisfied.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Greens
Southern Greens

Hark! Gather round, good people and let me regale thee with a tale of a wondrous dish that will make your taste buds sing in delight. If thou art a lover of Southern-style cuisine, then look no further! This recipe for Southern Collard Greens is one that you shall surely adore.

The key ingredient in this dish is the mighty collard greens – a vegetable revered in the South for their flavor and nutrients. And when prepared with the right combination of spices, herbs, and meats, they become a symphony of flavors that will make your heart sing.

Picture this: tender greens simmering in an aromatic broth made from onion, garlic cloves, smoked ham hocks, and chicken stock. The flavors meld together to create a rich and flavorful base that perfectly complements the greens. A touch of sweetness from sugar and tanginess from apple cider vinegar cuts through the richness to balance the flavors.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the addition of smoked ham hocks. Oh, how they infuse the broth with deep smoky notes, making each bite a savory explosion of flavor in your mouth. And if thou art a vegetarian or simply prefer different meat options, worry not! Smoked turkey or bacon works just as well in this dish.

And let us not forget about the health benefits of collard greens! They are rich in vitamins A, C and K and minerals such as iron, calcium and potassium. So not only will it tantalize your taste buds but also keep you healthy!

This southern collard greens recipe is both easy to make and soul-satisfyingly delicious. It can be served as a main dish or as a side dish paired with pork tenderloin or fried chicken. So come one, come all and give this recipe a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 Fresh and vibrant!
Fresh and vibrant!

Here are the ingredients needed to make this delicious Southern Greens Recipe:

🛒 Produce

  • 2 bunches of collard greens, washed, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can low-sodium chicken broth
  • Water

🍖 Meat

  • 2 smoked ham hocks

🍯 Flavorings

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

🔥 Optional seasonings

  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Note: For a vegetarian option, omit the ham hocks and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth or water. You can also add smoked turkey or bacon for additional flavor.

The Recipe How-To

 A perfect side dish for any southern feast!
A perfect side dish for any southern feast!

Step 1: Prepare the Greens

Start by washing 2 bunches of collard greens thoroughly, and remove any thick stalks or fibrous parts. Then stack a few leaves on top of each other and slice them into long strips, around 1-2 inches wide. Set aside.

Step 2: Boil the Ham Hock and Make the Cooking Liquid

Fill a large pot halfway with water, then add in 1 smoked ham hock. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and let simmer for 1-2 hours. After the ham hock has cooked for at least an hour, add in 4 cups of chicken broth, 1 diced onion, 2 garlic cloves minced, and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Continue to let the mixture simmer on low heat.

Step 3: Cook the Greens in the Cooking Liquid

With the cooking liquid prepared, add in your prepared collard greens to the pot little by little, making sure each batch is submerged in the liquid before adding more. Cook until tender, around 20-30 minutes.

Step 4: Flavor with Vinegar, Sugar, and Hot Sauce

Once the greens have cooked through, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pot onto a plate or bowl. To finish off your southern-style collard greens, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of sugar, and some hot sauce if desired (to taste) directly into the remaining cooking liquid in the pot. Adjust flavor to your liking.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy!

Pour some of the seasoned cooking liquid over your cooked collard greens (but not too much!) and serve hot as a side dish or main course. This recipe makes enough for several servings, so feel free to adjust according to your needs. Enjoy your homemade southern-style collard greens!

Substitutions and Variations

 These greens will make your taste buds sing!
These greens will make your taste buds sing!

Alack, fret not if thou dost not have all the ingredients on hand, for there be substitutes and variations that may still bring forth a scrumptious greens dish. If thou wishest to make a vegetarian version, thou canst swap the ham hock for smoked tofu or tempeh. For those with dietary restrictions, one may adjust the amount of sugar used or replace it with a natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar.

Aye, if thy budget permits not the purchase of collard greens or if they are not in season during thy time of cooking, thou mayest use kale or even cabbage as substitutes. Or if thou desireth to add more meaty flavor to the dish, one may incorporate bacon or pork tenderloin instead of smoked ham or turkey.

Should’st thou wish to experiment further and venture into other cultural cuisines, incorporating greens into Indian or Liberian recipes wouldst provide a delightful twist. Adding spicy Jamaican hot sauce or sautéed onions to Southern-style collard greens would make them even more lip-smacking good.

Verily, there be many ways to make this recipe thine own and create unique variations that suit thy palate. Let thy imagination run wild and experiment with different substitutions until thou discovereth thy personal favorite greens recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 A healthy green dish that doesn't skimp on flavor!
A healthy green dish that doesn’t skimp on flavor!

Methinks that when one is done cooking these Southern Collard Greens, they ought to be served as a side dish with the main course. These greens are ideal when paired with smoked ham hocks or bacon, served together with cheesy grits and a big slice of cornbread. You can also serve them alongside pork tenderloin or chicken dishes. The delectable taste of these greens pairs well with anything crsipy like fried chicken or even with mashed potatoes or rice. These collard greens are best enjoyed piping hot, fresh out of the pot.

If you’re searching for something more exotic, then try pairing these Southern Style Collard Greens with soul food, Liberian or Jamaican cuisines for an fusion experience . For those who prefer a healthier option, you can opt for Indian-inspired dishes such as roasted vegetables seasoned with garam masala spices.

Remember to have them whilst they are still fresh and hot with dinner rolls on the side. Overall, this Southern Collard Greens recipe offers an eclectic variety of side dishes that will blend well with almost any main course meal you plan to prepare.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Straight from the garden to your plate!
Straight from the garden to your plate!

Ah, the day has come and gone, and you feasted upon the yummy Southern Greens. But don’t you worry, good sir or madam! For there’s more to relish even after the meal is over. Whether you’re planning to make this dish ahead of time, storing it to enjoy later or reheating leftovers, I have rounded up some tips for each situation.

If you’re planning to make Southern Greens in advance, we got your back. The best way to do this is to fully cook your greens following the recipe instructions. Once cooked, simply let them cool down before placing them in an airtight container. Store the container in the fridge for a couple of days or up to a week.

To reheat, use a stovepot or crockpot and add some chicken broth or water if needed. Reheat on low heat for about an hour or until heated through.

When it comes to storing cooked Southern Greens, you can either keep them in their cooking liquid, which will help maintain their moisture content or strain the liquid off before storing them in an airtight container as aforementioned. Do not leave your greens at room temperature for more than two hours.

Speaking of leftover greens, they’re perfect for the days when you don’t have time to cook a fresh batch from scratch. For individual servings, microwave on high heat for 1-2 minutes or until hot. If you have a large batch, reheat by simmering on low heat while stirring occasionally.

Remember that like many dishes made with greens, Southern Greens tend to get better with time as their flavors deepen and develop further. These storing and reheating tips will ensure that you experience this unbeatable taste every time you crave some Southern-style goodness!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A classic southern dish that never goes out of style!
A classic southern dish that never goes out of style!

Hear ye! Hear ye! Thou art about to embark on a journey to make the best southern collard greens ever tasted in all the land. Fear not, for I have gathered some tips that will guide thou to perfect results.

Firstly, it is important to choose thy greens wisely. Make sure thou art selecting fresh bunches of collard greens that are bright green and crispy. If the leaves look yellowish or wilted, they are not fresh and won’t provide the best flavor.

Secondly, do not fear thy ham hocks! They are essential to create the savory broth that will be used to cook thy greens. If thou cannot consume pork, don’t fret; smoked turkey can also work wonders.

When it comes to seasoning, make sure to taste as thou season. Add salt and pepper gradually so that thou dost not oversalt the dish. Furthermore, adding apple cider vinegar and sugar together enhances the bitterness of the greens while balancing out any sweetness.

For a more flavorful dish, add onions, garlic cloves, and diced bacon with thy cooking liquid. It will create a delicious aroma and savory flavors.

Lastly, let thine greens cook thoroughly but do not overcook them! Overcooking can cause them to become limp and lose their bright green color. To test if they are cooked enough, take a fork and pierce through a leaf easily—this is an indication that thy greens are ready.

Follow these tips closely, friends, and I assure you that your Southern-style collard greens recipe will be par excellence!


Hark, my dear readers! As we proceed to the ninth section of this recipe article, let us delve into some frequently asked questions about this Southern Greens recipe. We understand that some may be new to Southern-style cooking, so fear not! With these FAQs come answers and helpful tips to ensure your collard greens turn out to be nothing short of spectacular. Perchance thou hast a question in mind, read on!

How do you make Patti Labelle collard greens?

Alright y’all, it’s time to whip up some mouthwatering collard greens that’ll have you smacking your lips in satisfaction! First, grab some fresh collard greens and toss them in a pan with some rich and flavorful chicken stock. Next, chop up some onions and add them to the mix, along with a sprinkle of kosher salt, a dash of pepper and some zesty seasoning salt. Don’t forget to throw in some smoky, savory smoked turkey too for that extra burst of flavor! Once everything’s combined, cover the pan and let it simmer on low heat for about 35 minutes. You’ll know the greens are cooked to perfection when they’re tender and juicy, but not so soft they fall apart at the touch. Trust me, this recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!

Why do you put vinegar in collard greens?

One way to enhance the taste of collard greens and balance their bitterness is by adding vinegar. While apple cider vinegar is the go-to option, personal preferences may differ, and some people might prefer white vinegar or hot sauce. Offering the vinegar on the side allows for customization and ensures that everyone can enjoy their greens just the way they like them.

What can I put on my greens to make them taste better?

When it comes to cooking southern-style greens, a little bit of chicken broth can go a long way! Instead of using plain water, opting for chicken broth as your cooking liquid can add a rich and savory flavor to your dish. For some extra layers of taste, consider tossing in some chopped onions, garlic or bacon when you’re boiling your greens.

Want to take your greens to the next level? After they’re fully cooked, try topping them with some crumbled, crisp-cooked bacon. Not only will it give your dish some satisfying crunch, but it’ll also add a nice dose of smokiness. And if you’re looking for a little acidity to balance everything out, sprinkle some balsamic or cider vinegar over the top of your greens just before serving. Your taste buds will thank you!

Bottom Line


Thus, my dear readers, I highly recommend that you try making this Southern Greens Recipe as soon as possible. Whether you’re aiming to perfect your soul food game, diversify your palate or even impress your vegetarian friends with a healthy and flavorful dish, this southern-style collard greens recipe is the way to go. With my trusty tips, foolproof instructions and clear ingredient list full of common pantry staples, you have absolutely nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

So go ahead and grab those bunches of collard greens, ham hocks, onion, apple cider vinegar and all the other recipe ingredients. Follow the steps carefully as outlined above, let them simmer for two hours low and slow and get ready to indulge in one of the best southern collard greens recipes ever. I personally guarantee that your taste buds will be dancing with joy from the first bite.

Remember, good food is not only about feeding our bodies but also about nourishing our souls. And what better way to do that than with a bowl of warm and comforting Southern Greens made with love and care? So put on some soothing music, grab a glass of chilled iced tea or lemonade and enjoy this southern classic at its finest. You won’t regret it!

Southern Greens

Southern Greens Recipe

Mustard, collard or turnip greens are a Southern staple. Here is a simple flavorful way to fix them.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 68.7 kcal


  • 2 bunches greens
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pickled tabasco pepper (can take from pepper sauce bottle)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces cubed ham or 1 ham hock


  • Remove stems from and wash and chop the greens. Combine all ingredients with the greens in large pot and simmer until tender, about 2 hours. Best served with cornbread!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 241gCalories: 68.7kcalCarbohydrates: 9.9gProtein: 4.2gFat: 1.4gSaturated Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 16.1mgSodium: 278.9mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 8.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, Greens, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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