Total Time
4hrs 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs

My Memaw was a great cook of southern soul food and she taught me this recipe. When I got married, I made it a tradition in my family. The kids know the minute they walk into the house that Dad's making greens (the aroma fills the air). And no matter where we have our holiday meals or who is in charge of the menu, I insist on bringing the greens.


  1. Thoroughly wash greens in a sinkful of cold water.
  2. Break stems off an inch or two below leaf and discard.
  3. Tear/shred the leaves by hand and place them in a large cooking pot.
  4. Add bacon, 1/4 cup of sugar, and about 2 tablespoons of salt.
  5. Fill pot with water up to about 1 1/2 inches from top of pot.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally (water will cook off, so add more if necessary).
  7. After 2 hours, add more sugar (not more than 1/4 cup; I usually add slightly less) and more salt to taste.
  8. Fill the pot back to about half-full with water.
  9. Cover, boil, reduce heat, simmer, and stir occasionally for another 1 1/2-2 hours (if more water is needed, add only enough to keep about three fingers worth in the pot).
  10. Serve with a slotted spoon to drain away water and eat'em up (some folks eat'em with tabasco or pepper sauce).
  11. These are great as a side dish with fried chicken, country ham, meatloaf, turkey, roast, or as a companion to a big bowl of beans.
  12. I usually enjoy the leftovers with nothing but a pan of cornbread.
Most Helpful

Thanks for sharing this recipe. My mother-in-law is famous for her greens but isn't forthcoming with how she makes them. I tried your recipe with mustard greens and I think they tasted better than hers. I made two big pots, one that we had for Thanksgiving and I froze the other in several 4-serving containers so we can have them in the months to come. Thanks Mark.

Jenna Naquin December 04, 2002

UNREAL COLLARDS. My northern-born hubby laughed at this dish...AND he detests most veggies. So I said "okay, just at least try the juice." He was hooked and ate two servings. These greens just glisten. If you have never tried collards...use THIS recipe. Perfect just as is and fool-proof. Also, I was able to find collards in my grocery store that were already washed and torn, although a few stems left in and some rather large leaves, a real time-saver and a big help for someone unfamilliar with the rinsing and tearing process. Thanks x 1,000,000!

Jaymee January 01, 2003

Ok I admit, I was skeptical, timid, ok down right afraid but I decided to give this recipe a go and Mark, my man.....I am so happy I did. I made these this weekend when the family was out so as to not possible scare them with something foreign and new. I did use the mustard greens as I was told they were milder and followed every step of your recipe as I (did not know what I was doing) the results were fantasic (although my kids still wouldn't try them but Dh and I thought they were a slice of green heaven. I have come to find out DH will at least try anything with bacon but he and I truly enjoyed this. Thank you Mark for the dish and bringing more country in the girl!

Just Cher May 25, 2003