Go Back
+ servings
Overhead of three white bowls filled with Southern Collard Greens with hamhock against gray background
Print Recipe
4.71 from 411 votes

Southern Collard Greens Recipe

These authentic Soul Food Collard Greens are braised in a savory meat flavored and perfectly spiced pot liquor resulting in an amazing tender silky texture. Serve with cornbread or candied yams for a true downhome meal. Looking for the real deal? This is a true Southern’s dream!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time3 hours 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: soul food, Southern
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 88kcal


  • Large Pot


  • 6 small bunches collard greens about 3 - 3 1/2 lbs
  • 1 extra large smoked ham hock make sure it is meaty!
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp bacon grease
  • 1 tbsp 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 into small pieces. We personally remove the stems but this is a personal decision.
  • 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 ham hock very well then add to a large pot along with enough water to fully submerge the ham hock then cover with a lid. Cook over medium high heat for about 45 minutes or until ham hock is near being tender.
  • Once ham hock is almost tender, add greens and about 4-5 additional cups of water or enough to just barely cover greens to the pot. This will become your pot likker.
  • Add along the rest of the ingredients to the pot and cook while covered for at least 2 hours or until completely tender. Most water should have evaporated by this point just having enough to barely cover the greens.



To pick wonderful greens at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, be sure to pay close attention to the leaves. They shouldn’t be too tough. You want to make sure that the leaves are easy to pull away from the stem and tear/cut later when preparing them to cook.
You can scale back the spice to 1/2 teaspoon if 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes is too much.
You will need some liquid left for the pot likker but it shouldn't be way more water than what tops the greens.  You should continue to cook down.


Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 936mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Vitamin C: 3.2mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 0.4mg