Recipes, Vegetables

How to Make Collard Greens in the Slow Cooker

Collard Greens are traditionally a dish you’ll find on a Southern menu. But now you can enjoy them anywhere! Make this easy recipe in your slow cooker this week.

Collard Greens are traditionally a dish you'll find on a Southern menu. But now you can enjoy them anywhere! Make this easy recipe in your slow cooker this week.

Collard Greens have several healthy benefits!

When I moved to Tennessee at age 14, I had never paid attention to the fact that “greens” were a staple part of many people’s diets. To this day, I’m still not a big fan, but my oldest son LOVES them! When he was around age 4, we stopped by one of our favorite Fayetteville, Tennessee eateries – Marvin’s Family Restaurant. As he started enjoying a plate, several elderly people stopped to comment and admire that a young child was eating something so healthy.

Collard greens can be purchased year-round, but it’s common knowledge that they are tastier during the colder months of January through April. Nearly 2,000 years ago, these greens were being grown by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Today, they are enjoyed all over the world and known for their cancer prevention, detox support, anti-inflammatory properties, heart health, and digestive support.

Collard Greens are traditionally a dish you'll find on a Southern menu. But now you can enjoy them anywhere! Make this easy recipe in your slow cooker this week.

How to Pick and Clean the Best Greens

Collard greens are relative to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale. Like all other vegetables, they are best when in-season, but you can get a great dish when you pick the best. The leaves should get most of your attention. Make sure the leaves easily pull away from the stem. They’ll need to easily tear for cooking. The fresh greens can be stored, uncleaned, in your refrigerator for 3 to 5 days when kept in a plastic bag.

If you’ve never held fresh greens, you’ll be surprised to discover that the leaves have a sandy texture. Before cooking, the greens need to be extremely clean. Using a large bowl or your sink, fill with cool water and submerge your leaves. I let them soak for a few minutes before starting to rub them with a back-and-forth scrubbing motion. Rinse and repeat until you stop seeing grit in the bottom of the sink after scrubbing. Do not skimp on this step!

I like to use the slow cooker because I can essentially set it and forget it – especially if I’m making them while I’ll be away from home. My mother-in-law uses a big pot on the stove to cook hers and it works just as well. Use a heavy-bottom pot for the stove to prevent any burning if your liquid boils out.

Ingredients and Tools You Will Need:

Collard Greens
Mustard Greens
Ham Hock
Bacon (optional)
Chicken Broth
Apple Cider Vinegar
Brown Sugar
Soy Sauce
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Peppercorns
Slow Cooker
Slow Cooker Liner (optional)

Collard Greens are traditionally a dish you'll find on a Southern menu. But now you can enjoy them anywhere! Make this easy recipe in your slow cooker this week.

How to Cook Collard Greens:

Washing the greens is the most important part of this recipe. Using cool water, scrub the greens until no grit remains in the bottom of your sink. You may have to rise and repeat several times. I promise that this extra work is worth the effort. This enables the leaves to absorb all of your flavors from the ham hock, bacon, and broth.

After washing the greens well, remove the ribs and stems from collards (discard them). Tear or cut the greens into smaller pieces.

If you are adding bacon, cook an entire 12 oz. pack. Cut/tear into small pieces.

Add the greens, broth, ham hock, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, and peppercorns to the slow cooker and stir well.

Set your slow cooker to cook on low 8-10 hours or until tender, or on high for 4-6. I prefer low as I feel like the flavors are more deeply-absorbed.

If you used a cut up turkey leg, your greens are ready now and you can add the meat.

If you used a ham hock, remove it and shred the meat, and add it back to the greens and stir.

Serve with broth from the slow cooker. They’re best when paired with cornbread!

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Collard Greens are traditionally a dish you'll find on a Southern menu. But now you can enjoy them anywhere! Make this easy recipe in your slow cooker this week.

Ingredients

  • 2 large bunches collard greens
  • 2 bunches mustard greens
  • 1 smoked turkey leg (cut into pieces), or ham hock
  • 1 package bacon, cooked and chopped into pieces (optional)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Brown sugar
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Peppercorns

Instructions

Washing the greens is the most important part of this recipe. Using cool water, scrub the greens until no grit remains in the bottom of your sink. You may have to rise and repeat several times. I promise that this extra work is worth the effort. This enables the leaves to absorb all of your flavors from the ham hock, bacon, and broth.

After washing the greens well, remove the ribs and stems from collards (discard them). Tear or cut the greens into smaller pieces.


If you are adding bacon, cook an entire 12 oz. pack. Cut/tear into small pieces.


Add the greens, broth, ham hock, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, and peppercorns to the slow cooker and stir well.


Set your slow cooker to cook on low 8-10 hours or until tender, or on high for 4-6. I prefer low as I feel like the flavors are more deeply-absorbed.


If you used a cut up turkey leg, your greens are ready now and you can add the meat.


If you used a ham hock, remove it and shred the meat, and add it back to the greens and stir.


Serve with broth from the slow cooker. They're best when paired with cornbread!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 952mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 11g

his data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 6/6/2021

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Collard Greens are traditionally a dish you'll find on a Southern menu. But now you can enjoy them anywhere! Make this easy recipe in your slow cooker this week.

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