Collard Greens Recipe

One of my friends described the feeling of coming back from New Orleans as “NOLA withdrawal.”  That makes sense because while in New Orleans for a friend’s wedding we tasted many delicious foods ranging from po’ boys to turtle soup to smoked bbq to boudin (a ridiculously amazing cajun sausage).  At Mother’s Restaurant in New Orleans (famous for po’ boys and baked ham sandwiches), a friend got some turnip greens, which were nice, but I think we were all hoping deep down that she would get some stereotypically southern collard greens instead.  The turnip greens were really good though, so it all worked out.  In honor of our Southern escapades in New Orleans, I decided that I really wanted to make a Southern style dish and it doesn’t get much more Southern than collard greens. I was extremely pleased with how this first attempt turned out and I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed either.

One pot = 497 Calories
Makes about 4 – 6 servings of 124 – 83 calories per serving


  • 5 Cups of fresh loosely packed and chopped collard greens (about 25 cal. per cup or 125 cal. total)
    Note: I was fortunate enough to find a huge bag already cut and washed at my grocery store. Keep an eye out!
  • 4 strips of bacon (about 30 cal. per strip or 120 cal. total)
    Note: If you’re a vegetarian, I feel bad for you, but I guess you can skip the bacon.
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (about 100 cal. per tablespoon or 200 cal. total)
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped (about 40 cal.)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed/pureed garlic (about 12 cal.)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you want more spice then add more and if you REALLY want spice, then add the red pepper flakes AFTER boiling)
  • Salt and Black pepper to taste (maybe 1/2 teaspoon each to start)
  • Optional: Your favorite hot sauce.


  • Large soup pot
  • Colander
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Wooden Spoon or Heat Resistant Spatula


  1. Fill a soup pot 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil on high heat.
  2. If you weren’t able to get pre-washed and chopped fresh collard greens, then wash very well and roughly chop them.
  3. Roughly chop the onion into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces.
  4. Slice the 4 strips of bacon into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces as well.
  5. Add the collard greens to the boiling water with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Mix them together and let them boil on medium-high heat for 15-20 min. until tender.
  6. After 15-20 min., drain the collard greens well in a colander and rinse out the soup pot.
  7. Place the soup pot back on the stove on medium heat and add two tablespoons of butter to melt.
  8. Once the butter is melted, add the bacon and stir the bacon with the butter often until the bacon starts to brown.

    In hindsight these bacon bits were larger than I would have liked, so chop them up a bit more.
  9. Add the onions and stir the ingredients until the onions become translucent.
  10. Then add the tablespoon of crushed/pureed garlic and stir all of the ingredients together.
  11. With all of the ingredients cooked and combined, add in the drained collard greens.
  12. Mix everything very well and add some salt and fresh crushed black pepper to taste (start with a half teaspoon of each and go from there).
    Note: I apologize, but the greens smelled so good and I was so eager to eat, that I forgot to take a picture of the greens in the pot at the end.

    Serve warm as a side dish and top with your favorite hot sauce if you want some extra kick.

10 thoughts on “Collard Greens Recipe

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  1. Just made this!! Nom nom nom 🙂 Bacon + onions + greens = happy belly. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Laurette! Collard greens are a leafy vegetable similar to spinach, but the leaves are much thicker. That is why they require boiling to make them tender. They are especially popular in Southern food in the U.S.

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