ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Collard Greens That Had My GRANDMOTHER Asking For The Recipe

Updated on December 12, 2009
Fresh, Grown Collard Greens
Fresh, Grown Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Collard greens are one of my favorite southern, soul food dishes. It makes an appearance at Sunday family dinners and just about every single holiday.

Normally my grandmother, who is known for her outstanding southern cooking that made a preacher cuss (but that's another story), makes the collard greens because everyone else is too scared to make them. For Thanksgiving this year we decided to give her a break from cooking and let each family bring a dish. Guess which dish I was in charge of? Yep, collard greens!

I was excited about preparing them. I always knew I made a mean pot of collard greens but nobody in my family had ever tasted them. I proudly brought my pot of collard greens and placed them on the Thanksgiving food table. They were gone in a matter of minutes! Everybody raved about how flavorful they were and nobody believed I made them. Even the kids were going back for more. I think I gave out this recipe over 10 times that day.

I felt so honored, but nothing made me feel more honored than what happened a week later. My grandmother called me on the phone and the first thing she said was "Tell me how you make those collard greens" I nearly hit the floor. The queen, no GOD, of southern, soul food cooking was asking little ol me for my recipe?! PRICELESS!! I can now die a happy, accomplished cook.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Southern, Soul Food Collard Greens

I bet you can't eat just one bowl!
I bet you can't eat just one bowl!

The Secret on How To Prepare The Most Flavorful Pot Of Southern, Soul Food Collard Greens


  • 1-2 bunches of collard greens
  • 1 fully-cooked, smoked turkey leg or wing (can also use pork)
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 of white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt, pepper, vinegar, hot sauce (optional)


  1. Remove the collard green leaf from the steams. Discard the stems.
  2. Wash the collard greens several times in cold, salted water to remove the dirt and grit. Tear collard greens into bite size pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat a Tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the chopped onions & garlic and sauté until tender.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth, red pepper flakes and smoked turkey leg. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for about 10-20 minutes.
  5. Add in the collard greens. Cook on med-low heat for about 45-60 minutes or until tender.  Do not boil the collard greens, let them steam cook.
  6. When done, season with pepper and hot sauce if desired.
  7. Serve the meat right alongside the collard greens and don't forget that you can drink the juice!


  • Use chicken broth instead of water. Using chicken broth really kicks up the flavor of these smokey greens and makes the juices downright addictive!
  • Let the meat cook in the broth before adding the greens. This allows the broth to become infused with the meat, onions, garlic and red pepper which will then infuse into the greens.
  • Don't boil the greens no matter what you've heard. Cooking the greens on low and steaming them allows them to keep that gorgeous green color, preserves more nutrients and produces a tender leaf. Boiling can cause overcooking. Nobody wants to eat mushy greens.
  • Although this recipe really doesn't need it, If you desire to season the greens with pepper, hot sauce or vinegar do so after it is done cooking and in individual bowls.

How to Prepare This Collard Greens Recipe From Start to Finish

Have you ever made collard greens?

See results

Here's a Lil History on Southern Style Collard Greens

For centuries collard greens have been used and cooked. The southern way of preparing these collard greens was created by the African slaves who were brought to the southern colonies. Collard greens were not generally seen as "food" but the slaves needed a cheap way to satisfy their hunger and provide food for their families. Greens did not originally come from Africa, but the method of eating greens that were cooked down into a low gravy, and drinking the juices from the greens (known as pot likker") has it's African roots. During these times, slaves where given the scraps from the plantation kitchen which consisted of turnip tops, pigs feet & fat, vegetable peels and various other "inedible" items. They were forced to create meals from these leftover scraps and one of these creations were southern collard greens. Collard greens that were boiled low and slow with spices and a chunk of meat to give flavor.

Eat Up They're Good For You: The Nutritional Value of 1 Serving of Collard Greens


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • BoriquaFlavorSoul profile image

      Angelique Santos 

      3 years ago from Bronx, New York

      This recipe sounds amazing and I can't wait to try it. I have been wanting to learn how to make this for the longest. I never had collard greens til about 6 years ago and I loved it. I have always loved soul food but never tried the collard greens. I am Puerto Rican and we eat all kinds of food and I make delicious Puerto Rican dishes. I know how to make mac & cheese and fried chicken really good but now because of your article I can make the collard greens. Thank you and enjoy your day.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      looks good

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love it

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you! Soul food's history is deliberately omitted from American history in order to continue perpetuating stereotypes about black people: we don't eat right, don't eat vegetables, soul food is exclusively fattening and unhealthy as supposed to what southern food? The stereotypes go on despite the fact that the American diet has been for decades full of salt, sugar, and grease but soul food is bad for you. White people and the media deride us for eating fatbacks and such but the fact that we as slaves were given scraps to feed our families is a small part of a national disgrace kept quiet. Now, collard greens and kale are considered leafy green vegetables (as if they only recently became that) fit for gourmet cooking. A gourmet dinner staple made popular for whites to eat by Gordon Ramsay and popular media. Because it's gourmet now it's expensive. Years ago it was "poor black people's food".

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      7 years ago from USA

      I enjoyed your hub about collard greens. What a tribute to your talent as a masterful chef. I am definitely going to try your recipe and sharing with others. Thanks!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      7 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Love your video. Just a note though. You said that 'Greens did not originally come from Africa'.

      Well, it is true that the slaves could not have brought the greens with them, but the fact remains that greens and starchy foods was a staple for the slaves back when they were in Africa, way before they were taken as slaves. Thus the, way of cooking, which was carried over, like you said, 'down into a low gravy, and drinking the juices from the greens' , was just a reflection of what they knew.

      The only difference was the type of green being used.

      Love how your son kept popping up here in the video.

      Interesting hub. Thanks for sharing. Voted Up and Useful!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Pretty kool.. Yet sad it was that way... But makes for a good recipe.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This recipe is awesome!!! I live in Houston, Texas and grew up on soul food but never cooked it. Your video and step by step recipe is so on it. We just finished dinner and I received rave reviews. Thanks for teaching me how to cook Collard Greens to perfection.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      WOW!!!!!!! This is the first and last recipe I have tried. I have never had collards and it is AMAZING when you make this recipe!!!!! I absolutely love this recipe and I can't wait to make this again!!!! Thank you!!!!

    • profile image

      Miss B 

      8 years ago

      Like my kids say... O.M.G.!!! I've made collards all my life and they have NEVER tasted as good as this recipe. Thank you for sharing. This is definitely a keeper!! Took them to work for a luncheon, everyone wanted "my" recipe!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I just finished making this recipe....WOW! I couldn't stop eating them! This is absolutely the best greens recipe I have ever tasted! I deleted all the other greens recipes I have saved, won't ever use those again. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and your tips to perfect greens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a wonderful story! I would have been so honored to have been asked for a recipe from my grandmother!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)