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Grandma’s Collard Greens

My grandmother made the best collard greens recipe in the world. Eating them with a slice of buttermilk cornbread is pure bliss. —Sherri Williams, Crestview, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 2 hours
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons lard or shortening, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large bunch collard greens (about 2 pounds), coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups white wine


  • In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon lard over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender. Add ham hocks, water, seasoned salt, pepper flakes, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 55-60 minutes or until meat is tender.
  • Add collard greens, wine, and remaining lard. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 55-60 minutes or until greens are very tender. Remove meat from bones; finely chop and return to pan. Discard bones. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 204 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 849mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 7g fiber), 10g protein.


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  • Angie
    Feb 10, 2021

    Subbed bacon for ham hocks, skipped the wine and still OMG delicious!!!

  • Katy's mom
    Nov 14, 2020

    This sounds absolutely delicious. I lived in Florida years ago and loved Southern-style greens. I might need to adapt this recipe for frozen collards. I don't know if I can find fresh ones here in Colorado.

  • Cathy
    Jul 11, 2020

    This recipe is perfection! I had only tried collard greens once, at a buffet, and immediately thought they were awful or just not cooked right. A neighbor gave me some to try this week and I found this recipe on a google search. I followed it, using 1.5 tsp of red pepper flakes and I used bacon fat. I would probably just do one tsp of pepper in the future as they were a bit spicy for me. They tasted so good, but I took some to my neighbor to get his opinion, since I'd only had that one experience. He and his wife said they tasted exactly like they should. My husband even liked them, and he does not like any kind of cooked green. Thanks for sharing!

  • Troi
    Jun 8, 2020

    These were wonderful! I didn't have ham hocks so I used a ham bone and added a pound of cut up bacon. Instead of lard I used bacon fat. Yummy!

  • bicktasw
    Mar 29, 2020

    Oh my ..... I'm in collard green heaven! This recipe is collard green perfection! I made a couple of small changes to suit my family's tastes .... for convenience I used about 1 tablespoon of dried onion flakes instead of the chopped onion, omitted the red pepper flakes and used only 1 cup of wine (instead of 1 1/2 cups). I must say..... these are the best collards I've ever had!

  • Lana
    Mar 14, 2020

    Sherri, thank you so much for this recipe!! My Meemaw from Miss. made the absolute best fresh fried chicken and collards I've ever had and I could never find a recipe close!! I've come close, but as you know, nothing's as good as hers!! Bless y'all!! L. K. From N. M.

  • Tina
    Dec 16, 2019

    This recipe is the epitome of perfection! If you think that you don’t like Collards, you will!

  • Abe
    Oct 2, 2018

    Here's an idea to try.. Wash your collard thoroughly and take out stems. Chop and put into pot. Add wrer to about 3/4 of the way to top of greens. Add two tablespoons of beef bouillon and a medium coarsly chopped onion and turn on med heat and cover.. Now.. Make up some buttermilk cornbread and throw in over and cook some peas with snaps and fry up some hog jowl bacon and put about 1/8 cup in with collards and same with peas and snaps. Everything should be done with cornbread.. Break up a piece of cornbread in a bowl, add some peas with snaps without juice and the put collards on top with juice and crumble up some jowl bacon on top and you'll have a new favorite. Will need some pepper but should be salty enough from bacon leavings. My personal favorite..

  • Aaron
    Apr 8, 2018

    The recipe doesn't specify, but I always remove the leafy part from the stem. Cooking the greens with the stem included makes them bitter. I never buy the greens already chopped and ready to cook, because they have chopped the stems also.

  • Anne Maria.
    Feb 23, 2018

    I love it that's talking about soul food . I know you talking my mother made hot water crackle cornbread Fried green tomatoes and banana pudding