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

  • 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.


  • 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)*


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


See more collard greens recipes at Food Blog Search.

Showing 4 of 81 Comments / Reviews

  • 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!

  • Tonya

    Collards are always sweeter after the first frost. If you want to make sure that your collards are less bitter, without adding sugar, put them in the freezer overnight. My Granny has done that for years! Also, I prefer corned meat in my collards, and if you’ve never tried a collard biscuit, it is time! Add a teensy bit of mayo, black pepper, and raw onion for an extra treat!

  • Debbie Christensen

    I enjoyed the collard greens but found them too sweet. Would reduce the sugar by at least 1/2.

  • Dixie Sullivan

    Dear Elise,
    I’m so glad I found this recipe. I bought collard greens this week and wasn’t sure how I was going to cook them. They’re simmering on the stove now and I have bbq chicken in the crockpot. Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!! You’re the best! P.S. I never cook my turkey breast side up anymore!

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Collard Greens with Bacon