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Collard Greens - a Southern Recipe Using Neck Bones or Ham Hocks.

Updated on January 19, 2020
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don and his wife love to cook. They enjoy new and different recipes and experimenting with interesting combinations of ingredients.

Collard Greens - Cooked Southern Style using pork meat

Collard Greens cooked with Ham hocks
Collard Greens cooked with Ham hocks | Source

A Southern Recipe for Country Cooking using neck bones or ham hocks

Collard Greens are a seasonal Southern Vegetable green that typically grown in early Spring and late Fall).

These greens have a unique taste of their own that separates them from other popular greens such as Spinach, Turnip, and Mustard.

Although each of these other vegetable greens are delicious in themselves, Collards, as they are commonly known, can be found to be grown and eaten more often in sections of the South, than in other parts of the country.

If you add a Ham Hock and maybe some Bacon or Bacon "drippins", and maybe a chunk of Butter you will have a flavor combination that will "knock your socks off".

I was recently reminded by a fellow reader that some foods are not just foods for the body, but foods for the Soul!

Old recipes can be enjoyed for what they are, of course, but often they are made even better for the old memories they bring back to a person.

As I told him, these special dishes are to be savored twice; once for the wonderful flavors, but while eating, you may find yourself savoring those special memories of times gone by.

Collard Greens - INGREDIENTS

2- large bunches of fresh Collard Greens, washed

1- lb. Smoked Meat (Ham Hocks, Smoked Neck Bones, Smoked Turkey Wings, etc.)

1- tbs. Seasoned Salt

1- tbs. Bacon Drippings

1- tbs. Butter

3- qts. Water

Collard Greens - DIRECTIONS

1- Bring the water to a Boil and add the Smoked meat and Salt.

2- Reduce the heat to MEDIUM and cook for 1-hour.

3- Wash the Greens thoroughly and pat dry.

4- Remove the leaves from the main stems.

5- Stack 6-8 leaves on top of each other and roll each stack up.

6- Slice the stacks in 1/2 to 1- inch pieces.

7- Place the Greens into the pot with the Meat, then add the Bacon drippings, and Butter.

8- Cook for about 45-minutes.

9- Taste and season to your taste, then Serve

Southern style recipe Cookbook

Deep South Dish: Homestyle Southern Recipes (Best of the Best Presents)
Deep South Dish: Homestyle Southern Recipes (Best of the Best Presents)
I am from the South and I use this great cookbook often to pick out a nice recipe of southern-style food dishes.

Collard Greens NOTES and TIPS

NOTE: Some people like to add a little of their favorite Hot Sauce to their Greens when eating, so have some handy.

NOTE: By the time this dish is done, the meat should be falling off of the bones. And every serving should get a little bit of the meat.

NOTE: Some people will combine Collards with either Turnip or Mustard Greens to get a little different flavor. But, it's all good!

How to cook Southern Style Collard Greens

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Don Bobbitt


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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Zehra -mIt is an old Southern Classic that when I grew up, everyone made when Collard Greens, (or any other greens) were in season. Using Neck Bones or Ham Hocks added that great seasoned Ham flavor to the greens.

      I hope you enjoyed the recipe.


    • Tanzeela zehra profile image


      2 months ago from Pakistan

      I did not know this recipe.good job

    • Readmikenow profile image


      11 months ago

      Don, I had never experienced collard greens until I visited a friend's home who lived in Georgia. They made a dish they called collard greens and ham hocks. I really liked it. My wife now fixes collard greens with different meals. I enjoyed reading it.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      11 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      Its worth a try. This recipe is one of my mothers and its a pretty standard way to cook Collard Greens in the South.

      Have a Nice day,


    • Rinita Sen profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      11 months ago

      This is a simple but interesting recipe. Will it be good with spinach as well? We make something called spinach chicken and it tastes heavenly, so wondered.

    • profile image

      Martha Durrett 

      2 years ago

      Looks good. Haven’t cook them in a while Tomorrow

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Rachelle - glad you are making them ith your Thanksgiving meal. But ..... shhhhhh . don't tell everyone, then the price will go up. LOL! Have a great Thanksgiving with your family,


    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Mike - Many of my RV friends mention that they only see Collards in specialty food stores and just never tried them. But, once they did, especially if they used a southern recipe with a little pork fat, they loved them. Add the fantastic nutritional value and you have a good side dish for anyone.

      Have a great day,


    • Rachelle Williams profile image

      Rachelle Williams 

      2 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      Don, I'm making some today! Unfortunately, most of my family is now vegetarian, so no neck bones...but got me wanting to make "meat laden" just for myself! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    • Readmikenow profile image


      2 years ago

      My wife and I were in the south visiting some friends. They showed us how they made collard greens and it was delicious. So, since then, we have regularly have collard greens with our meals. I'm surprised when I mention this to some people they're shocked I eat collard greens. I don't understand this and I really don't care.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      2 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Rachelle - I agree, they have a great flavor, and I remember, from when I was young, they were a cheap way for my parents to fill us kids up. The flavor of the fat from the neck bones really kicked up the taste.

      Good memories.


    • Rachelle Williams profile image

      Rachelle Williams 

      2 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      I can eat collard greens every day of the week! ;)

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      3 years ago from East Coast

      This is a popular dish in the south) for the holidays as well. Great hub, recipe, and delicious looking photo & video.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      pstraubie48 - Many of these old Southern standards are no longer cooked. It's not that they are hard, but it seems to be that many of these old recipes are considered to be "poor folks food".

      Shame really!

      Other than the fat from the neck bones, fresh Collards are often cheap seasonally and are a very nutritious vegetable to eat.

      Thanks for the comment,


    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from North Central Florida

      Yes, please. My Momma used to make these when I was a little girl growing up in Virginia. These makes me long for those days.

      Angels are headed your way this morning ps

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Charmain- Collard Greens are a great side dish, but is that the limit? Honestly, as a Kid, I remember eating this great food for the whole season that it was "coming in". Today, we can all go to the supermarkets and generally we can find Turnip Greens and Mustard Greens, which are both good also, but it is becoming harder and harder to find Collards, especially canned or frozen. Such a shame, because Collards have such a unique flavor of their own that I think everyone should try.

      Anyway, thanks for the read and comment,


    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      ComfortB- Oh Yeah! A big CrockPot filled with fresh Collard Greens, Neck bones, and a few spices just can't turn out bad. I never thought of adding Shrimp though. I assume you add the shrimp just a few minutes before you serve the greens so they will cook but not get hard and rubbery?

      Anyway, thanks for the read and the comment.


    • Charmain English profile image


      5 years ago from Northern Virginia

      One of my favorite side dishes for the holidays!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Your hub image is to close to the real thing. I suddenly feels the urge to go and eat some greens.

      Have you tried collard greens sautéed with fresh shrimps and bacon? Those are great too. Great hub. Thanks for sharing!

      Voted up and useful.

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 

      5 years ago from Jackson, MS

      very helpful Don, thank you! I tried using just cotton towels to cut down on paper waste. I see the error of my ways. Not worth the germs!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      fpherj48- Glad you are interested in Collards. But, just in case they are rare up there on Lake Erie, you can use Turnip Greens or Mustard Greens, or mix all three together. Each has a distinct flavor, but I have had them mixed before, and it was really good.

      And, Cook? Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah!


    • prasetio30 profile image


      5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      It sound delicious and healthy as well. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Voted up!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      vocalcoach- You make this recipe and you will be ruined for life with any other "cooled green". LOL!


    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Carson City

      Being a damned Yankee (LOL) I have heard of these greens but never tried them. I love all veggies and this sounds really I'm going to give it a try. I'm sure I can find collard greens somewhere around here!

      I take it you like to cook.....UP++tweeted

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This 'soul food' is one of my favorites. Very popular in Tennessee. Your photos made my little mouth water. :) Up, more and sharing.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      xanzacow- Thanks so much for your kind words about my Hub. We make this Southern Standard often, when we can get some really fresh Greens to use.

      And, that's exactly how you cook them. Slow and for a long time to get those flavors to mix into the fantastic dish this is.



    • xanzacow profile image


      7 years ago from North Myrtle Beach, SC

      One of my favorites! I am the only one in my family who eats them but once in a while I treat myself. I use the bacon or "fat back" and a ham hock and cook and cook and cook. They are plentiful here in South Carolina and if you drive about 10 miles inland you can find farms offering them for $1 a bunch! I grew up in Martinsville, Va. We were practically neighbors! You are right, wrong side of the tracks! I do not miss it one tiny bit. Delicious hub!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      What a Kind remark, Feenix! One of the things that I have found, over time, is that when you go back to what some people call "the Basics" of cooking you invariably are dealing with Comfort Foods, you are also dealing with Memories. Memories of the past, Past times and passed people. People that you cherish and at least kept the "good memories" of.

      When I eat some of these old favorites, I spend half the meal savoring the dish, and the other half savoring the memories.

      Have a great day, my friend!

    • feenix profile image


      8 years ago

      Hey, Don,

      Quite frankly, I learned that you had written this hub about two weeks ago, but I avoided reading it because I knew that by doing so, I would end up missing my late mother -- who was a "Grand Master" when it came to preparing and cooking collard greens.

      Well, I just read your hub and even though it did, in fact, cause me to think about my mama, it caused me to think about her in very happy and positive ways.

      Your recipe is a terrific one and is almost identical the one my mama followed (that's no surprise because, after all, she was a Southerner).

      Thank you for writing and publishing this post and I am printing it out, so I can refer to it the next time I cook some collard greens.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      gypsy, as kada94566 mentioned in a comment above, Swiss Chard, or Chard is in the same family, and has a similar flavor. So it should do well in this recipe. Thanks for the Comment.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Sounds good to me. Will have to see if we can get them here in Latvia.

    • Jaime Brewise profile image

      Jaime Brewise 

      8 years ago from Oregon

      Collard greens aren't really my style but the bacon drippings might just resurrect this recipe :-)

    • Wmod514 profile image

      William Odell 

      8 years ago from Upstate South Carolina

      I have grown to love greens Don...been experimenting and my last batch kicked butt...may have to post it the frugal blog by the way, keep it going, I appreciate the props !!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Is that the same Swiss chard? I usually cook it the same way you do but with a baked chicken and red potatoes. Kay

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Thanks for the Kind words emichael and zzron.

    • zzron profile image


      8 years ago from Houston, TX.

      I'm not much of a greens eater but I do try. I will have to try this recipe. Thank you so much.

    • emichael profile image


      8 years ago from New Orleans

      This looks great! I love collard greens, but I've never made them before. Will definitely have to give this a try.


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