Southern Collard Greens with Bacon is the ultimate favorite side dish recipe!
Grits. Chitlins. Gumbo. There are so many dishes that I never heard of growing up in Michigan that I discovered when I moved to the south a decade ago. Southern Collard Greens with Bacon was definitely on that list too. I had no knowledge of how to make this southern favorite, but now it’s one of my favorite – and best – southern side dishes to make. It’s one of those that my wife and daughter actually get excited to see on my meal planning board. So how do you make this southern fav? Grab your apron and let’s dive in.
Southern Collard Greens with Bacon 101
- Pretty much the most important step here is to cook the collards in the rendered bacon fat. Don’t worry, we won’t call your cardiologist. The best way to render fat is to start with a cold pan. What I do is stick the pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes, place it on the non-lit burner, add the bacon to the pan and then turn the burner on medium. This will get the most fat out of the bacon, leaving it for your collards.
- There’s very little extra seasoning that needs to be done here, don’t get too fancy!
- When you add the collards to the pan, cook only until the leaves begin to wilt. At that point, add in your chicken broth and reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue the simmer until the stems are tender. This will take about 30 minutes if your leaves are well shredded.
- Add your bacon back to the pan when its a couple of minutes away from being done. Serve hot alongside your favorite main dish. Personally, I love it with a good rack of St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs.
Why I love Southern Collard Greens with Bacon
I don’t make too much southern food (my heart thanks me for that), but man, when I do, you simply can’t skip a good side of greens. This dish is everything that southern cooking is about. The fusion of leafy greens and crisp, tender bacon will leave your mouthwatering with anticipation as it cooks.
Collard Greens with Bacon
Southern Collard Greens with Bacon is the ultimate side dish, super easy to make and absolutely delicious.
- 1 lb Collard Greens shredded
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 cup chicken broth
Render fat from bacon. To do this best, start with a cold pan (place it in the freezer for 15 minutes), set it on an unlit stove, add your bacon and then turn the heat up to medium.
Cook bacon until it begins to brown. Remove from pan and set aside on plate with paper towel to soak up excess fat.
Remove pan from heat and add collard greens to pan. Stir to cover greens with bacon fat and return to heat.
Continue cooking greens until leaves begin to wilt.
Add in chicken broth and reduce heat to simmer.
Continue simmering until broth dissolves and stems are tender, about 30 minutes. Can be longer depending on how big your shreds are.
Crumble bacon and add back to pan. Stir into greens and continue to cook for 5 minutes.