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.


  • 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)*


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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98 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Gerry Magnuson

    Being from Hawaii, 5am and I’m cooking collard greens as your recipe suggests plus peeled potatoes and serrano chiles, 5. I cook for 4-6 Senior Ladies once a day, the salt and pepper group. They love their greens. This will be their lunch side, with double fried chicken thighs.


  2. john

    I used brown sugar instead gave them more of a BBQ flavor. best collards at New Years Dinner 3 years running. A++ recipe and so much quicker than traditional ham hock greens.


  3. Melanie Long

    I have a ton of fresh organic collards in the garden, I make this dish probably once a week. I love it, it is delicious. Thank you


  4. Jenn

    So very, very good… the best even. My husband, who is not so hip on these types of greens, remarked, ‘what are these! They’re so good!’ I found diced bacon by Burgers Smokehouse….mmmm! I will use no other collard greens recipe after this! My kids ate them without complaint. Also we don’t use sugar we used Swerve Confectioner’s in lieu of the sugar.


  5. Jennifer

    This recipe was soooo delicious! My husband loved them! I will definitely be making this again!


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