Southern Collard Greens Recipe Written by: Olivia Frymark

Collard greens are a traditional dish that have been grown and cooked in America for centuries. The southern style of the dish originated with the arrival of African slaves to the southern colonies. They began cooking the greens down in pots of water or gravy and drinking the juices. Southern collard greens became a staple within these communities as the greens were a main and important source of nutrition.

Today collard greens are cooked in a variety of dishes and add delicious texture, color, and flavor to everything they are added to. Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron, and magnesium. They are also high in fiber, which keeps you feeling full long after you enjoy your greens! While it’s not the traditional way, VIDA’s director of Nutrition, Addie Claire Jones, likes to buy hers already washed and cut to save time and mess 🙂


6 small bunches collard greens

1 extra large smoked ham hock make sure it is meaty!

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp bacon grease

1 tbsp seasoned salt

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes you can go down on this to 1/2 teaspoon if you like less heat.

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 cup finely chopped onion


  1. Start by pulling and tearing greens away from stems. Take a hand full of greens, roll them up and cut the rolls horizontally into small pieces. We personally remove the stems but this is a personal decision.
  2. Next, add greens to empty clean sink and wash them removing all grit, sand and debris thoroughly with cold water until water becomes clear.
  3. Next rinse the ham hock very well then add to a large pot along with enough water to fully submerge the ham hock then cover with a lid. Cook over medium high heat for about 45 minutes or until ham hock is near being tender.
  4. Once ham hock is almost tender, add greens and about 4-5 additional cups of water or enough to just barely cover greens to the pot. This will become your pot likker.
  5. Add along the rest of the ingredients to the pot and cook while covered for at least 2 hours or until completely tender. Most water should have evaporated by this point just having enough to barely cover the greens.