Southern Greens Recipe

When many of us hear the words ‘cooked greens’, we typically steer clear. Maybe it is a northern thing, but cooked greens are actually very good, especially when done right.

Growing up, my worst nightmares at dinner could have possibly been green beans, canned cooked peas, and brussels sprouts. To this day, they are all of my favorites, with the exception that they are fresh or frozen. Cooked greens in my opinion though are known as things like collards, or kale, and typically trimmed, and cooked really well. The dark greens themselves are bitter. I will be honest, they are bitter, but they are loaded with great nutrients, and nutrients you just cannot get out of many other foods. Cooked greens are mean, they are feisty, and they inflicted fear when my kids saw them. There was no force in eating them, but they were offered when I recently cooked a great Brazilian dish. I am glad my kids were curious, and one day I know they will be eating and enjoying them as well.

Southern Greens Recipe


  • 1 bunch of kale, stalks removed and leaves chopped
  • 3 slices of bacon, diced, and cooked
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp reserved bacon fat (see above bullet point)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 3 cups of boiling water

Begin by cooking your bacon, while at the same time trimming your kale.  Toss your kale into the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. Strain the kale.

Once the bacon is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and reserve about one tablespoon of the bacon grease. Toss in the garlic, saute for a minute, add the stock, drained kale, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook down for about 7 minutes. Add the cooked bacon back in and give a good stir.

Plate and serve with your favorite comfort food. Lightly bitter, and lightly salted vinegar, the cooked greens really makes it worth every bite. I know there is spinach, but thank God for ‘Popeye the sailor man’. Greens make you feel healthy, and this one is no exception.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

2 thoughts to “Southern Greens Recipe”

  1. This looks wonderful. All Southerners love greens especially cooked in some pork fat. A teaspoon or so of sugar will help with the bitterness ( according to my granny). I’ll be whipping up some of these real soon!

  2. When boiling Greens (except for Polk Salat) getting rid of the water, looses much of the goodness(nutrients). For Collards,I do it much as you described but I add a little sugar (as granny told me) and cook almost all the water out and that leaves the “pot Likker”. Yummy with CornBread and greens are a must have for New Years Day “for the greenbacks”.

    Now Polk Salat is my favorite green and cooking that is a whole other kettle of fish. Wash, Wash, parboil – rinse,new water- boil – rinse,strain. Into the skillet with Bacon Grease and fry – add some salt and a cut up hard boiled egg on top – Granny’s favorite.

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