The Right Way to Cook Greens!


Learn how to cook greens with this tasty recipe that includes a short way and a long way to cook collards, kale, or mustard greens — no excuses will be accepted for tough, bitter greens. This recipe uses pork fat because it helps mask the bitterness of the greens while bringing out their great flavor.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • ¼ cup bacon drippings

  • 4 bunches collard greens, tough stems removed

  • salt to taste

  • 3 cups water, or more as needed (Optional)


  1. Heat bacon drippings in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir greens in hot drippings until limp, tender, and significantly reduced in size, 1 to 4 minutes, depending on how tough the greens are. Season with salt and serve straight from the skillet.

  2. If you prefer extra-tender greens, add 3 cups water to greens in the skillet; season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour, adding more water as needed.


To get drippings, fry 4 to 8 strips bacon in a cast iron skillet or frying pan until most of the grease cooks out and thickly coats the bottom of the skillet.

If you boil the greens without frying them first, you will need to boil them for at least 2 hours with some pork to reduce the bitterness of the greens.

Editor's Note:

The original recipe calls for "a mess" of greens. A mess of greens is about as many greens as you can cram into a plastic shopping bag.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

217 Calories
16g Fat
16g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 217
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 84mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 99mg 494%
Calcium 411mg 32%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 475mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love