Smoky Collard Greens are full of delicious smoky flavor.
They are a popular side dish on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Easter Sunday.
Enjoy as a side or main dish.
EDITOR’S NOTE (August 10, 2022): Updated PINTEREST pin.
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Delighted to share the ingredients I purchased and used to make this delicious recipe.
All comments are my own.
Excellent with Homemade Self-Rising Cornbread because the crust absorbs the pot liquor.
Also pairs well with Black-Eyed Peas and Ham.
This recipe calls for 2 bunches of fresh or use two pre-packaged bags (16 oz. each) of cut/washed collard greens.
Two 16-ounce bags will make about six servings.
Purchase online from Kroger.
HOW TO CLEAN FRESH COLLARD GREENS
Collard greens fresh from the garden or purchased in the grocery store should be washed in hot, salty water to get rid of debris and insects.
I wash and rinse two to three times. Depends on how much dirt is on each leaf.
Heavily soiled collards should be washed at least three times and rinsed three times.
First, remove the thick portion (bottom end) of the stalk from each leaf.
Place whole leaves in sink to clean.
Cover leaves with hot water. Add 1/2 cup of salt (will not affect taste of collards).
Wash each leaf in the salty water. Rinse.
Wash and rinse three times. Sounds like a lot, but it’s necessary with collards fresh from the garden.
HOW TO CUT COLLARD GREENS
Stack and roll several leaves together.
Cut to desired size.
There are a variety of ways to season collards to make them taste fantastic.
The fresh collard greens in my recipe are seasoned with smoked ham hocks (or use a ham bone), sugar to get rid of bitterness, salt, coarse ground black pepper, Liquid Smoke, and Cajun Hot Sauce.
SMOKED TURKEY WINGS
If pork is not your thing, consider using smoked turkey wings.
SMOKED HAM HOCKS
My favorite seasoning is smoked ham hocks.
The smoky ham flavor is excellent in collard greens.
CURED SALT PORK
Many southerners like my precious aunt, season their collards with pork.
Her preferred brand is the Royal Foods brand, a family-owned company based in Alabama.
A splash of Liquid Smoke adds fantastic smoky flavor.
I use Wright’s Liquid Smoke because it contains water and natural hickory smoke concentrate. No preservatives.
Pairs well with Homemade Self-Rising Cornbread.
To obtain calories and nutritional information by weight, visit popular online nutritional calculator myfitnesspal.com.
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No need to type each ingredient.
Smoky Collard Greens
- 2 large bunches fresh collards Or use two 16-ounce bags chopped collards
- water for washing
- 1/2 cup salt for washing
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar Eliminates bitterness.
- salt to taste
- coarse ground black pepper to taste
- 2 smoked ham hocks 1 medium ham bone OR 1 smoked turkey wing
- water for boiling
- 3 tablespoons Liquid Smoke
- 4 tablespoons Cajun Hot Sauce (optional)
- Remove leaves from thick stalk if using collards fresh from the garden. Discard stalk.
- Remove thick end of stalk from each leaf. This step is optional because the stalks are tasty and add texture.
- Thoroughly wash collard leaves in a sink filled with hot water and 1/2 cup of salt. This will remove debris, large and small insects.
- Rinse in warm water, Repeat 3 times!!
- WASH & RINSE 3 times!!!
- Stack rinsed leaves. Roll and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large saucepan, add collard greens, smoked ham hocks or one smoked ham bone (or preferred meat).
- Sprinkle sugar, salt and coarse ground black pepper over the top.
- Cover with water. Stir until well combined.
- Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes.
- Stir in Liquid Smoke. Cover with lid and continue simmering 10 minutes OR until desired tenderness.
- If water drops low before collards are done, cover with more fresh water. Continue simmering until done.
- When collards are done, remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of Cajun Hot Sauce (optional).
- Serve hot or warm.