When it comes to side dishes in the south, one reigns supreme. Collard Greens with Bacon sits atop the throne of Southern dinner accompaniments. Learn how to become king of the potluck - or just a weeknight dinner - with this easy to follow collard greens recipe.
Mike's Recipe Rundown
- Taste: Savory and hearty, the bacon flavor really comes through to lend flavor throughout the bite. The collards themselves are fairly plain, so we need to bring the flavor. Bacon and chicken stock do just that.
- Texture: A full bite, but tender as we slowly cook the leaves and stems down so they're soft on the tooth.
- Difficulty - Easy: This may take some time to come together, but there's nothing really complicated about it. Not many ingredients and only a few steps, sounds easy to me!
- Pros: Great side dish that goes perfectly alongside BBQ or at Thanksgiving or Family Dinners. Easy to scale and cook for a crowd.
- Cons: If you're not southern-bred, collard greens may be a little odd at first. But as a transplanted Yankee, I've come to love collards, and have been told mine are as good as any they make down here.
- Would I make it again? Absolutely! This is definitely in our side dish rotation and goes great whether I need a weeknight side dish, a potluck dish to pass or a something alongside some BBQ smoked ribs.
Find out why people love our most popular recipes, like Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin, Instant Pot Chicken a la King and Homemade Beef Stroganoff. When it's burning hot in Tallahassee, I love to pop some Arnold Palmer Popsicles in the freezer, or cool off with Pomegranate Margaritas.
Collard Greens Tips and Tricks
- If making this for a crowd, it's easy to do. Simply cook it in the pan in batches, then transfer it to a crockpot to keep warm. Load in as much as you want, they'll stay nice and tender until serving time.
- We want to render as much fat out of the bacon as possible, so that it's there to cook the collard greens in. To do that, place the bacon in a cold pan, then place it on the burner over medium heat. Heating the bacon in a cold pan helps slowly render the fat out, instead of quickly frying it away.
- I prefer to go with some non-smoke flavored bacon for this. Sometimes the smokiness doesn't pare well with the collard greens.
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How to make Collard Greens with Bacon
Place bacon strips flat in a cold saute pan . Place plan on stove and bring to medium heat, allowing the fat to slowly render out of the bacon. Cook until underside of bacon has browned, then flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate with paper towel, keeping rendered fat in pan.
Add diced onions to pan and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Next, add chopped collard greens, tossing to get all the collards covered in bacon grease. Season with garlic powder and cook until greens begin to wilt, about 3 minutes.
Add in chicken stock, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Collards are done when stems are fully tender. Add crumbled bacon back to pan and stir together. Serve immediately.
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The perfect southern side dish, bacon and collards cooked to tender perfection.
- 8 strips bacon
- ½ white onion, diced
- 1 bunch collard greens, cut into 1 inch strips
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Place bacon in cold pan, then place on burner and heat to medium. Cook until bacon is browned underneath, then flip and cook until opposite side is browned. Remove bacon to plate with paper towel. When it is cool enough, crumble into small pieces.
- Add onions to pan and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add collard greens to pan and stir around to cover in bacon fat. Season with garlic powder and cook until leaves begin to wilt, about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken stock and reduce heat to low, covering pot. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Collard greens are done when stems are fully tender. Add crumbled bacon back to pan and stir together. Serve immediately.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Southern American
Keywords: Collard Greens, BBQ Side Dish, Potluck Recipe