Slow-braised Collard Greens

This recipe from Scott Jones, former Executive Food Editor of Southern Living, is an update to his grandmother’s recipe. “My Mema used a smoked hock in her greens, along with a generous shake of hot sauce and pinch of sugar. I get my subtle sweet-tart pop from balsamic vinegar and the heat from red pepper flakes.”
Scott made the recipe a tad healthier by using bacon and fat-free chicken broth, which he also thinks helps create a cleaner tasting potlikker. Scott’s been known to ladle the greens and potlikker over a bowl of creamy stone-ground grits.



Prep time

10 minutes

Cook time

10-15 minutes




  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 1-pound packages fresh collard greens, washed well, heavy stems removed and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the bacon in a cast iron Dutch oven until crisp. Remove the bacon to drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons of the drippings in the pot. Crumble the bacon.
  2. Cook the carrot in the hot bacon drippings over medium-high heat, stirring a few times, for 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring a few times, until the carrot and onion begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the vinegar and cook 30 seconds. Add the collards, crumbled bacon, broth, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the collards are tender, about 1 hour.

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