clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
collard greens in a small white bowl with a silver fork

Southern Collard Greens Recipe

  • Author: Quin
  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Cook Time: 2hr
  • Total Time: 2 hr 20m
  • Yield: 8-10 1x


A truly authentic and timeless southern collard greens recipe that is amazing for any occasion! Fresh collard greens broken down into bite-sized pieces that slowly simmer away and tenderize in a rich, meaty, and flavorful broth; better known as the pot likker. This quintessential staple among Southerners and Black folks is an absolute must to be had!



  • 2 tablespoons oil, canola/vegetable
  • 2 large smoked ham hocks (or 2 lbs of alternate choice of meat)
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 4 cups (32-ounces) chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 lbs collard greens; cleaned, de-stemmed, and cut into pieces


  1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add in ham hocks/other meat, and let cook on all sides for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add in onion and stir around with meat until onions soften and become translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Then add in garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, chicken stock, hot sauce, and stir to combine. 
  3. Cover pot with lid and let mixture cook over medium-low heat for at least 1 hour to simmer. Meat should be very tender.
  4. Remove meat from pot and let cool for a few minutes. Using a fork or your hands, tear meat off bones, discard bones, and add pieces of meat back into pot.
  5. Add in sugar, vinegar, and collard greens. Stir to combine all ingredients. Greens will wilt down. Cover pot again with lid and let slow cook over medium-low heat for another hour. 
  6. Taste greens and season with more salt/pepper, and hot sauce, if desired. Serve and enjoy!


  1. Collard greens will keep in refrigerator for up to one week in an airtight container.
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: sides, collard greens