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. 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

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  • 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 Tbsp 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 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. 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.

3 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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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.

More from Elise

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

Links:

See more collard greens recipes at Food Blog Search.

84 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Yolanda Magwood

    Yummmy

  • Nancy B

    This is definitely the way to make good collard greens. I started making them this way after my daughter visited New Orleans and told me about them.

  • Rhetta M

    Easy, had all ingredients on hand all time. Just go buy collards and cook ‘em up. My favorite recipe; taste like how my Mom cooked collards while growing up. Delicious! Cooking for one so I downsized recipe and was still good. Will definitely cook again!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Lise K

    These came out EXCELLENT! I admit, I tweaked the vinegar a bit as I LOVE very vinegar-y recipes and I also added more hot sauce. I also cut up and added two hearts of roumaine since I had them lying around. YUMMY. It’s three days later and I’m down to the last of this bowl of collards and plan to make more soon!

  • jud

    I like eating most vegetables, but kale has been one of the few I’ve tried and not enjoyed. That is, until my wife came home with kale recently. I came across your recipe while searching for a different way to cook the kale, and my wife used it to prepare it. I wasn’t prepared for how good that first mouthful tasted. I have become a kale convert! Previous preparations left the kale tough and fibrous. Your recipe rendered it lusciously tender and the flavor was incredible. My wife will be planting kale this spring. Thank you for a recipe that will get regular use!

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Collard Greens with Bacon