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A close up of a white bowl filled with mustard greens with smoked turkey with hot water cornbread
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4.71 from 34 votes

The BEST Southern Mustard Greens Recipe

These authentic Mustard Greens 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.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: soul food, Southern
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 64kcal


  • 5 medium bunches of mustard greens about 3 lbs
  • 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.


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: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 613mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 128IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg