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This Southern collard greens recipes is slow-simmered with ham hocks just like mama used to make.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
3 hrs
total:
3 hrs 15 mins
Servings:
10
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Southerners know a thing or two about cooking collard greens. Don't believe us? Just try this southern collard greens recipe. Infused with meaty flavor from ham hocks, these tender greens will steal the show on any dinner table. 

Southern Collard Greens Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this southern collard greens recipe:

Onions
This southern collard greens recipe starts with two finely diced sweet onions. 

Ham
The greens are cooked with smoked ham hocks — this is what gives them their savory, meaty, authentically southern flavor. 

Garlic
Four cloves of garlic give these collard greens a powerful punch. 

Broth
Cooking the collard greens in chicken broth instead of water takes the flavor up a notch. 

Collard Greens
This convenient recipe calls for packaged collard greens, which are usually pre-trimmed. If you use fresh greens, just make sure to thoroughly clean and prepare them first. 

Vinegar
Acidic apple cider vinegar cuts the fattiness from the ham hocks and adds flavor. 

Sugar
Just two tablespoons of sugar is all you need to balance the bold flavors in this southern collard greens recipe. 

Seasonings
These collard greens are simply seasoned with just salt and pepper. You can add more seasonings, such as cayenne pepper, to taste. 

How to Make Southern Collard Greens

close up view of Southern-Style Collard Greens
Credit: cindyc

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this southern collard greens recipe: 

Combine the onions, ham hocks, and garlic in a stockpot. Cover with chicken broth and cook over medium heat until the meat is falling off the bone. Add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking until the collard greens are tender. 

What to Serve With Southern Collard Greens

Of course, you'll want to pair this recipe for collard greens with other southern staples. As far as entrees go, you can't go wrong with fried chicken or chicken-fried steak. What about more sides? Cornbread is perfect for sopping up the savory potlikker — and macaroni and cheese has never felt out of place on a southern plate. 

Get more recipe ideas: 

Explore our entire collection of Southern Recipes

Southern Collard Green Storage

Store cooked (and cooled) collard greens in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat on the stove or in increments in the microwave. 

You can freeze these southern collard greens in zip-top freezer bags for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat on the stove or in the microwave. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I was looking for a collard green recipe that tastes like my grandmother's southern greens and this recipe is exactly what I was looking for," says Kristi Ford. "These greens are simply delicious! For a healthier alternative to ham hock, you can use a smoked turkey leg and it still tastes amazing!"

"Oh, this is a great recipe," raves Kristina Moon. "I added some mustard seed, and finished it with a squeeze of lemon juice for a little tang. Easy and delicious. Oh! I also removed the ribs of the collards, to speed up cooking time."

"Wow, you cannot go wrong with this recipe," according to Codie Cacy. "We sautéed bacon (instead of using ham hocks or turkey neck), then added the garlic and onions. Followed with chicken broth after letting everything get fragrant, and then followed with collards from the garden."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams

Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine onions, ham hocks, and garlic in a stockpot; add chicken broth. Cook mixture over medium heat until meat is falling off the bone, 1 to 2 hours.

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  • Stir collard greens, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper into the broth mixture; cook until greens have reached desired tenderness, about 2 more hours.

Tips

If you substitute turkey necks for the ham hocks, the cook time in Step 1 will be only 45 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

189 calories; protein 11.8g; carbohydrates 14.2g; fat 9.7g; cholesterol 33.9mg; sodium 1686.5mg. Full Nutrition
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