Recipe: Southern Collard Greens

Collard greens take me home…way back home to Texas. I love southern soul food and it doesn’t get any more soulful than Southern Collard Greens. 

As a kid, collard greens were one of the first vegetables I remember liking. It’s made with a bit of pork to give it a full bodied and salty flavor. The apple cider vinegar gives it a little twang. And the hot pepper or hot sauce gives your mouth a good kickin’. It bursts with flavor in your mouth. This is one of my favorite ways to eat any kind of greens. You can substitute mustard greens, turnips greens, whatever you pull out of your hat or your garden.

Ode to Greens

Southerners love their greens. A time-honored tradition in southern kitchens, greens have held an important place on the table for centuries. There is no other vegetable that is quite so unique to the region. Greens are any sort of cabbage in which the green leaves do not form a compact head. They are mostly kale, collards, turnip, spinach, and mustard greens.

The traditional way to cook greens is to boil or simmer slowly with a piece of salt pork or ham hock for a long time (this tempers their tough texture and smoothes out their bitter flavor) until they are very soft. Typically, greens are served with freshly baked corn bread to dip into the pot-likker. Pot likker is the highly concentrated, vitamin-filled broth that results from the long boil of the greens. It is, in other words, the “liquor” left in the pot. It is said by southern grandmothers that “Pot likker will cure what ails you and if nothing ailing you, it will give you a good cleaning out.” Let’s get you cleaned out!

Serves 4 | Prep Time: 15 min | Cook time 35 minutes


  • 2 pounds collard greens
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch diced pancetta, bacon, salt pork or hamhock
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • No pork? Add 1 tsp sea salt

Collard greens


Step 1

Cut off and discard the tough stems and discolored leaves from the greens. Cut across the leaves into 2-inch ribbons.

Step 2

In a large stock pot, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the diced salt pork (pancetta), and cook until lightly browned and just crisp (about 2 minutes). Remove to a paper towel lined plate and let cool.

Step 3

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the onion to the pot and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the red chili flakes (or hot sauce) and black pepper.

Step 4

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add Collard greens. Stir occasionally until greens have wilted down. Add the chicken stock, the water and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, then pork and the apple cider vinegar. Serve.

Collard Greens recipe

in Diet/Recipes

Dr Wendy Myers, ND is a detox expert, functional diagnostic nutritionist, NES Bioenergetic Practitioner, and founder of She is the #1 bestselling author of Limitless Energy: How to Detox Toxic Metals to End Exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue . Additionally, Wendy is the host of The Heavy Metals Summit, the Myers Detox Podcast, and the Supercharged Podcast. Passionate about the importance of detox to live a long and healthy life, she created the revolutionary Myers Detox Protocol , and Mitochondria Detox kit after working with thousands of clients, as well as a range of supplements to help you detox from everyday living and maintain a healthy lifestyle!

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Amy Walz
Amy Walz
10 years ago

Hey, wondering why you would include recipes with pork when Dr Wilson warns against this due to parasite infestation…
Just curious.. I have been wrestling with this myself as I had been eating sustainably
raised pork before.
It would be good to have more recipes that follow the nut balancing type diet though.
Also Avocado supposed to be too yin and bad for those with too much copper…
Again just curious. Can you eat these foods now that you are “balanced”?

Angela Stonebraker
Angela Stonebraker
9 years ago

My comment is to this collard green dish. I love collard greens. I make them very similar to this except that I only use maple flavored bacon …and a 1/2 pound cut up into inch pieces. I let the bacon simmer in with the collard greens until the bacon falls apart. I also like to add a little sugar to them….and cajun seasoning.