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Southern-Style Greens

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I don’t live (and haven’t ever) where greens are a staple. I love vegetables and have been looking for lots of new ways to prepare them, so when a southern-food-loving missionary in our area told me he missed eating greens, I took that opportunity to give them a try.

I turned to the queen of Southern Food, the illustrious Paula Deen to learn just how long to cook greens (I had no idea), then made them my own by concocting a flavorful broth for stewing. They were delicious.

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I simmered the broth about an hour before adding the greens. If you don’t have time to do this, you can skip this step, but the flavor really develops well when it has this time to simmer.

The smoked ham really lends a delicious flavor. (If you avoid pork, you could certainly use smoked turkey instead.) I LOVED how they turned out. Even though they cook for a good 45 minutes, the greens were still not over-done. They were delicious! I loved this recipe and am really excited to come up with a meat-free version soon.

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southern style greens with ham

Southern-Style Greens

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  • Author: Emily Dixon, One Lovely Life
  • Yield: 46 as a side dish 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This easy southern style greens recipe is amazing with a side of beans and cornbread! Add it to your favorite southern meal for a delicious dinner.


  • 1 large bunch collard greens
  • 1/2 pound (8 oz.) smoked ham (or ham hocks, or smoked turkey)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of Tabasco or other red pepper sauce


  1. Bring Water To A Boil. To start, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over medium-high heat in a large pot.
  2. Combine Ingredients. Add ham, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and Tabasco to the pot
  3. Simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour. (This can be done ahead of time if desired).
  4. Rinse greens and remove the tough center stem from each leaf. Slice into 1″ thick ribbons. Add greens to the pot. Return to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove greens from cooking liquid and serve as a side dish. If desired, slice or dice ham to serve with greens.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


    1. Katherine–these sound delicious. 45 minutes might seem long, but actually most southern-style recipes I looked through called for 50 minutes to an hour! We found they still had great texture, even with this cook time. If you’re worried about it, though, you could always pull the greens out sooner. Thanks for the suggestion!

  1. This looks like a Christmas salad, perhaps because of the mix of green and pinkish-reddish colors. Lovely and healthy! This is one way of enjoyin greens. Thanks for sharing a great veggie post!

  2. I’ve been cooking greens for 35 + years and love, love, love them! I chop up bell peppers and onions and let them cook in the water with the hamhock till the meat on the hamhock starts falling off. Then put the washed/chopped greens (avoiding the tough ends) in the pot (I generally have to make 5-6 bunches as they have to last 2 days around here). I then add garlic powder and seasoning salt to the pot. After they have cooked for about an hour (we like ours pretty well done) I add some sugar to cut the bitterness of the greens and continue to cook till they get to where we like them. Then take the hamhock out and pull the meat off and put it back in the pot. I turn the heat off and let them sit a while. Serve with cornbread! Delicious!

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