Collard Greens with Bacon

Side DishCollard GreensGreens

Collard greens cooked until wilted with bacon, onion, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and a dash of hot sauce.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My father found this Louisiana recipe for collard greens in the Wall St. Journal earlier this year that we’ve now made several times.

Each time I wonder why we don’t make them more often, they’re so good!

The combination of the bacon, onions, sweetened cider vinegar and hot pepper sauce seem to neutralize the natural bitterness of the greens.

collard greens and bacon

Do you like collard greens? If so, what’s your favorite way of preparing them? Please let us know in the comments.

Collard Greens with Bacon Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Chef's tip: don't overcook the bacon. It should be barely brown around the edges and still somewhat raw-looking in the middle.

Ingredients

  • 4 strips thick-sliced bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Several dashes hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 2 pounds collard greens, stems removed, sliced into 3-inch-wide strips (can substitute kale or chard)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or water)*

Method

1 Cook bacon and onions: Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Cook the bacon in the skillet until it just begins to brown around the edges, stirring occasionally.

Add the onions and cook until they have softened and are just starting to brown.

2 Add the garlic, salt, pepper, sugar and hot sauce. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, about a minute.

3 Add the vinegar, bring to a simmer, and cook until the amount of liquid is reduced by half, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

4 Add the collard greens and the chicken broth (or water) and bring to a simmer. Reduce the temp to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the collard greens have wilted and have lost their brightness.

Season to taste with additional vinegar and hot sauce.

Serve with some of the pan juices from the pan.

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Adapted from a recipe by Chef Donald Link, of Herbsaint and Cochon in New Orleans.

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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107 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Michelle

    The steps in this recipe gave me life today!
    I modified the ingredients a bit, but the steps had me enjoying tasty collard greens in less than 30 mins.
    Elise, thank you for these simple steps.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Merrie Harl

    Maaaaan. This recipe I tell ya..it’s smells more and more deelicious as I add each ingredient. The aromas filled the house and my kiddos came running. This recipe will go down in history in my home, I’ll be passing this recipe down to my kiddos who I hope will pass on to there’s. Thanks so much for sharing this little gem! I appreciate you!

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Mike

    Yeah, the collard greens with the bacon is great!

  4. Jared

    Made this with steak and another side. It was the most talked about part of the dinner.

    I used less apple cider vinegar and added double the bacon. Also 1/2 the onion called for and one more teaspoon of white sugar.

    No chicken stock used as well.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. anselyn

    i added a little maple syrup and it was divine! sweet, hot and bitter -all in one!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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