Almost all Southerners (and many not) love their greens. Spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens …. nothin’ finer than a big kettle of greens and cornbread in a skillet. Long a staple of po’ folks, they are now seen as a delicacy of sorts when done right. I’m going to give you one version of collards done right.


You will need the following on hand:

  • Heavy cooking pot (large)
  • Patience
  • left over ham, and/or fat back/salt pork
  • medium to large onion
  • At least 3 batches of fresh collards (one batch cooks down so much it isn’t worth the effort)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbl spoons of sugar or Splenda
  • more patience


  • Wash collards in clean sink and strip off the stems (that is why most folks say they hate greens … they’re bitter). And by wash, I am referring to rinsing, several times. Tear collards in small pieces (or use kitchen scissors if you prefer)
  • Fry up the fat back in the cook pot.
  • Slowly add collards to simmering cook pot (looks like a lot, but it isn’t … really)
  • Add diced or chopped onion
  • Stir, cook on simmer … leave lid slightly off.
  • After a bit, add salt, pepper and sugar, stir and cook some more.

The magic word here is cook … cook … cook …… until they are super soft/tender.

When done, remove the fat back and toss it. Serve with whatever meal you have planned (pork chops, chicken), or if you’re like me and just want the greens, grab a hunk of skillet cornbread and big bowl of greens and enjoy.

I have never tried collards in a crock pot, but imagine if cooked on low all day they would taste just as great! If all else fails, do as I do, and go to my sisters in South Carolina and have her cook them :-)