Sweet Collard Greens with Smoky Bacon

Think collard greens are too bitter? Think again! Cooking these nutritious greens with vinegar and a touch of sugar gives them a sweet/tart flavor that will have you asking for seconds!

Collard Greens | Jessie @ The Happiness in Health

A benefit to living in nearly every major area in the continental U.S. is that we’ve had a chance to sample a variety of local cuisines. (Even if I didn’t write about them on THIH.) There was wine and coffee and doughnuts in Oregon, deep-dish pizza and pumpkin everything in Illinois, tacos tacos and more tacos in California, and, of course, anything related to our childhoods in the Northeast states. And that’s not to mention all the places to which we’ve traveled.

(Side note: Could I be any more reductionist in my assessment of each region’s culinary offerings? My apologies to those living in these areas who take their food very seriously.)

Collard Greens | Jessie @ The Happiness in Health

Now, we live here:

Collard Greens | Jessie @ The Happiness in Health
In the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, obviously.

(Side note, part 2: While searching for posts to link to in the first paragraph, I came across this post about our visit to Nashville that mentions Peter trying to get us to visit Disneyworld since college. Seeing as we now live two hours from Disneyworld and have visited three times since we moved to Florida, I think it’s safe to say Peter has some latent clairvoyant ability. Also, I find it somewhat amusing that I complained about the heat and humidity in that Nashville post, only to find myself now hauling two kids around in the swamps of the southeast. Life, dear reader.)

Collard Greens | Jessie @ The Happiness in Health
Hello, Jessie? I’m just kind of waiting here.

Ah, yes. Food. Thanks, staged bowl of collard greens that I didn’t bother to photograph in flattering natural light.

Collard Greens | Jessie @ The Happiness in Health
You are welcome. Sort of. Please stop the tangents.

Can do! While collard greens are enjoyed in many places, they are most frequently associated with the southern U.S. states.

Another association? Bitterness.

Talk about a bad reputation. It’s a shame, because this vegetable is packed with fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamins A and K. Plus, phytonutrients in collard greens may benefit your heart and reduce the risk of some cancers. You can enjoy all that nutritious goodness for only 12 calories per cup. Not too shabby.

Collard Greens | Jessie @ The Happiness in Health

Can I tell you a secret? Collard greens, like many other greens, don’t have to taste bitter. By cooking them with a splash of vinegar, a spoonful (or two) of sugar, and a little bacon, these greens soften and provide a mellow flavor that’s pleasing to the taste buds. Serve this side dish with bread or cornbread to soak up the sauce. Recipe adapted from this one.

Collard Greens | Jessie @ The Happiness in Health

[bctt tweet=”Add collard greens to your veggie rotation with this sweet/tart recipe!” username=”JessieHealthRD”]

Sweet Collard Greens with Smoky Bacon

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 6)

    • 4 strips bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 yellow onion, chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
    • 1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
    • 2 pounds collard greens, stems removed, sliced into 3-inch-wide strips
    • 1 cup chicken broth (or water)


Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon strips in the skillet until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add onions and garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in sugar, hot sauce, and vinegar, then bring mixture to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by half.

Add collard greens and broth/water and bring to a simmer. Reduce temperature to medium-low and simmer until greens are wilted. Serve warm with fresh ground pepper and additional hot sauce.

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One Comment

  1. mmmmm….everything’s better with bacon!
    Glad to see you are expounding the deliciousness of collard greens.

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