These authentic Southern Mustard Greens Recipe with Smoked Turkey are slowly braised in a savory smoked turkey flavored pot liquor with a kick of spice until it becomes the soul food meal dreams are made of. Different from the texture of my Creamed Spinach, this Braised Cabbage, or Collard Greens, these are a must try. Serve with hot water cornbread, traditional cornbread or my corn muffins and hot sauce for a true down home meal.
Greens are a quintessential component to Southern cuisine: they serve as the ultimate side dish to every delicious entree. Whether you’re at a BBQ where greens are being served alongside smoked meats or it’s New Years Day and you’re plate is filled with black eyed peas and collard greens, the green can sometimes steal the show. They are tender, acidic yet sweet, smokey and slightly spiced. Is there a better way to get your veggies in? I think not.
I grew up on greens, I could smell them slowly stewing in the kitchen while the baked macaroni and cheese cooked and the buttermilk fried chicken. Even at a young age I understood that the greens offered balance to every meal it was served with. As an adult, a soul food meal isn’t complete in my house without the greens.
One of the best things about greens is their ability to be customized to your own preferences. You can add or subtract sugar to adjust sweetness, adjust the amount of red pepper to control heat or reduce your use of vinegar if you prefer things on the less acidic side. Personally, I love to change up the kinds of greens I use in order to achieve a slightly different texture and flavor.
What Are Mustard Greens?
The use of Mustard Greens rather than Collard Greens is a great way to revamp and old recipe or explore something new. Mustard greens are much lighter green than collards. They are thinner and more tender, and shrink to a much smaller amount during cooking than collard greens do. As for flavor, mustard greens are quite peppery and lively in flavor, while collard greens tend to be strongly leaf-flavored and bitter.
I absolutely love how easy this recipe for Mustard Greens is to pull off. In just a few easy steps you have a pot of greens that you can either keep to yourself or share with others. I won’t judge.
Prep your mustard greens by tearing the leaves from the stems, rolling them up and cutting them horizontally once resulting in medium pieces.
We personally believe in removing the stems but this is a personal choice. Some people keep them for extra nutrients.
How to Clean Mustard Greens
Next, wash your greens thoroughly with cold water to ensure that all the dirt is long gone.
If you don’t properly clean your greens it’s asking for a gritty texture and a dirty aftertaste. Be sure to rinse your turkey wing as well.
How to Cook Mustard Greens Recipe
Add the turkey to a large pot along with enough water to fully submerge the turkey then cover with a lid. Cook over medium high heat until turkey is just about tender which should take about forty-five minutes.
Add about 4 or 5 additional cups of water or enough to just barely cover greens to the pot. Cover your pot and cook your greens for about an hour or until they are tender and flavorful. You will have most of the water evaporate leaving the pot likker.
Tip: if you have a lot of water left, keep cooking because you have too much.
Lastly, serve your greens and wait to see how long they’ll last. Spoiler alert: it won’t be long.
Smoked Turkey for Greens Recipe
When selecting your smoked turkey, you should really be able to smell that great smoked scent outside of the package. They should also be nice and meaty.
We personally use smoked turkey wings for our greens but you can use whatever you prefer. You can also substitute the smoked turkey for ham hock. We have also used Smoked Turkey Necks as well with great success. This is totally up to you and your preference.
How Long to Boil Smoked Turkey Wings
We personally boil the turkey wings for at least an hour. The turkey wings should be incredibly tender before you add your greens to the pot.
What to Serve with Mustard Greens
Because Mustard Greens is truly a staple in Soul Food cuisine, you definitely want to pair it with Southern classics. Here are some amazing ones to consider!
- Fried Chicken Gizzards
- Salmon Croquettes
- Black Eyed Peas
- Smothered Pork Chops
- Oven Fried Catfish
- Fried Corn
- Fried Okra
The BEST Southern Mustard Greens Recipe
- 5 medium bunches of mustard greens
- 1 extra large smoked turkey wing
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp seasoned salt
- 2 tsp worcheshire sauce
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes you can go down on this to 1/2 teaspoon if you like less heat.
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- Start by pulling and tearing greens away from stems. Take a hand full of greens, roll them up and cut the rolls horizontally once resulting in medium size pieces.
- Next, add greens to empty clean sink and wash them removing all grit, sand and debris thoroughly with cold water until water becomes clear.
- Next rinse the turkey very well then add to a large pot along with enough water to fully submerge the turkey then cover with a lid. Cook over medium high heat for about 45 minutes or until turkey is almost tender.
- Once turkey is almost tender, add greens then add about 4 or 5 additional cups of water or enough to just barely cover greens to the pot. This will become your pot likker.
- Add all ingredients to the pot and cook while covered for about an hour or until completely tender and excess water has cooked down level with the greens. Most of the water should be gone.