Collard greens with bacon

Collard greens with bacon

Collard greens with bacon
Collard greens with bacon (pictured with smoked pulled pork)

Ever since we got a grill, we’ve been eating a lot more barbeque. And smoked meats lend themselves to delicious Southern sides — including coleslaw, mac and cheese, and collard greens. Last Sunday, Michael smoked a rack of spareribs, so I decided to make these collard greens, which are one of my favorites, as a side. (We ate the leftovers with pulled pork, as pictured above.)

These collards are especially delicious because they’re sauteed in bacon grease with plenty of onions and garlic. I’ve also successfully used fresh kale as a substitute for the collard greens in this recipe (on a side note, spinach is not an appropriate substitute, because it doesn’t have enough structure to stand up to cooking, and will turn into a mushy mess). I will note that you need to simmer the greens for 30-45 minutes, so you may want to try this recipe on the weekend when you have a little extra time.

Collard greens with bacon
Serves 3-5
By Jane and Michael’s Gourmet Extravaganza

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 1 medium to large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz. of frozen collard greens or 10 oz. of fresh collard greens or kale (I buy the pre-trimmed, pre-washed bag)
  • 2 cups of chicken or beef broth
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon slices and cook until crispy (keep the heat relatively low so you don’t cook away the bacon fat). Remove the bacon strips from the pan (keep the bacon grease in the pan) and crumble into small pieces.

Return the crumbled bacon to the pan, along with the diced onion. Saute the diced onion in the bacon grease for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring often. Add the garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more, while stirring. Add the collard (or kale) greens and saute until wilted (if you’re using fresh greens, you may need to add them in batches in order to have enough room).

Add the chicken broth, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the greens are tender (you may need a little extra time if you used fresh greens). Taste and add additional salt or pepper, if desired. Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from

Pairs well with:
Smoked pulled pork or spareribs
Beef brisket

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