Eating your leafy greens has never been more delicious–or easy! Bacon adds an extra punch of flavor to the turnip and mustard greens in this Easy Braised Southern Greens recipe that is both healthy and comforting!
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
Being from Wisconsin, I had never made or eaten Southern-style greens before moving to Tennessee. So, the first time I had to cook Southern-style greens for a personal chef client, I was pretty befuddled.
Thankfully I was able to get some coaching from two lovely Southern ladies in the grocery store that day. Their advice:
- Keep it simple.
- Combine turnip and mustard greens.
- To add flavor to the greens, use bacon for ease instead of ham hocks or other smoked meats.
Perfect! This Easy Southern Braised Greens recipe is all of that!
I’ve been doing it their way ever since and have pleased some pretty discriminating Southern palates! And now I’m hooked on them, too!
Let’s make ’em!
How to Make Braised Southern Greens:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe along with how to prep. See the greens recipe card below for the exact quantities.
- Turnip Greens: Turnip greens taste a little like turnips–peppery with a touch of bitterness. They can be muddy so be sure to wash them well. You may be able to find bagged greens that are ready to cook. You can also use collard greens.
- Mustard Greens: Like other dark leafy greens, mustard greens are slightly bitter but with a spicy mustard flavor. The mustard flavor is not overpowering but mellows with cooking. These can also be muddy so wash them well unless you use bagged greens that are ready to cook. You can also use collard greens.
- Bacon: Use pork bacon, turkey or beef.
- White Vinegar: The least expensive vinegar! Apple cider or red wine vinegar may be substituted.
- Gather and prep all the ingredients.
- Wash the greens thoroughly and coarsely chop.
- Place the bacon in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Cook over medium heat it until it’s nice and crisp.
- Tip the pot and remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease. (You can keep it all if you don’t mind the added saturated fat.)
- Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven and bring to a boil.
- Add the greens by the handful, allowing each addition to wilt before adding the next.
- Reduce the heat then cover with the lid slightly ajar.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the greens are tender.
- Add white vinegar, hot sauce and salt and black pepper to taste.
- That’s it! Healthy and delicious Easy Braised Southern Greens!
Chef Tips and Tricks:
- Short on time? Use precooked bacon or recipe-ready bacon pieces that are available in the salad dressing section of the grocery store. You won’t have the bacon grease but it will still add flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Most Americans have come to associate greens (collards in particular) with the American south. It is believed that braised greens originated with Africans brought here to be slaves. However, they actually originated in northern Europe. Though greens did not originate in Africa, the habit of eating greens that have been cooked down into a gravy and drinking the juices from the greens (known as “pot likker”) is of African origin.
Braising greens means that they’re cooked in both fat and liquid such as this braised greens recipe.
Traditionally black-eyed peas and cornbread are served alongside but almost any Southern-inspired dish will do! Serve alongside my:
Crustless Southern Tomato Pie
Nashville Style Hot Fried Chicken
Spicy Shrimp and Grits Casserole with Gouda Cheese
More easy green sides!
Get all my delicious vegetable recipes here! Vegetable Side Dishes – From A Chef’s Kitchen
Join the FROM A CHEF’S KITCHEN MAILING LIST to get all the latest posts and more!
Easy Braised Southern Greens Recipe
- 6 slices bacon - turkey, pork or beef, sliced into small pieces
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 large bunch turnip greens - washed, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
- 1 large bunch mustard greens - washed, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons white vinegar - or to taste
- Tabasco sauce - to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- Place bacon in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly browned and crisp.
- Tip the pot and remove all but 1 tablespoon oil from the Dutch oven.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add greens by the handful, waiting in between each addition until the greens wilt.
- Cover with the lid slightly ajar and cook 20-25 minutes or until greens are tender.
- Add vinegar, tabasco and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.