Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe

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Collard greens are a beloved vegetable in the South. 

They’re both nutritious and delicious, especially when prepared the Black folks’ way – soul food seasoned to perfection!

Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe

Black folks’ soul food collard greens recipe is a mainstay of traditional Southern cooking. Southerners often cook them with a variety of meat additions for that special soul food flavor. 

From fatback to bacon or bacon grease. Smoked ham hock or smoked turkey leg. Then add vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes. The result is rich green leaves that are so good that, like they say in the South – “Make you wanna slap yo mama!” (But please don’t.)

What is a soul food collard greens recipe?

Black folks’ collard greens are the quintessential dish of any Southern soul food dinner. And with good reason! 

Black folks have mastered the way collards soak up sauce and seasonings. Collards are one of those foods you can eat on their own or as a complement to just about anything else on your plate. 

“Why be eye candy when you can be soul food?”

Or both! Because soul food collard greens are the eye candy of the South. But only when they’re seasoned the Black folks’ way!

Are soul food collard greens good for you?

“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.”

As far as nutritional benefits are concerned, this Black folks’ recipe is an excellent source of calcium.

Collards are an excellent food option for keto and plenty full of calcium – unbelievably more than cow’s milk per serving! So feel free to have seconds!

Soul Food Collard Greens

How do you make this soul food collard greens recipe?

And it’s so easy to make soul food collards once you know which seasonings and how much of each. A few bundles of collards, onion, chicken stock, garlic, hot sauce, salt, and pepper are just a few of the pantry ingredients you’ll need. 

Grandmas say a pinch of this and a dash of that. 

Lucky for you, I’ve broken it down – how to make soul food collards in simple recipe measurements with instructions, too!

What is the history of collard greens?

A soul food collard greens recipe is just like soul food baked macaroni and cheese. Meaning that you must be invited in by a retiring-from-the kitchen grandma, mama, or auntie to continue the legacy of making this Black folks soul food delicacy.

(Oh, yeah – it’s that serious!)

But… if you follow my instructions below – this could be your year of receiving the legacy invitation to officially make this dish! 

Made by hand and blessed with love, you’ll lift every spirit at the table as your family indulges in this flavorful dish.

Soul Food Collard Greens In The Instant Pot

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Soul Food Collard Greens Ingredients

How to cook soul food collard greens

Ingredients for Black folks soul food collard greens

  • 2 pounds (3 bundles) of collard greens
  • 1 pre-cooked smoked turkey leg (optional)
  • 1 cup of yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups of tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cups of chicken stock (use vegetable stock to make vegan and vegetarian-friendly)
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon of sriracha or hot sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning or Cajun or Creole seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

How are collard greens sourced?

Instructions for Black folks soul food collard greens in the Instant Pot

  1. Clean the collard greens and cut off the stems. 
  2. Then roughly chop the leaves in half through the midline and then into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Open the Instant Pot lid and add the wet ingredients (chicken stock, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, and hot sauce to the stainless-steel inner pot.
  4. Next, add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, Old Bay or Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and stir to combine the ingredients. 
  5. Finally, add the collard greens, followed by the cooked turkey leg. 
  6. Press down to sink the greens as much as you can into the liquid broth.
  7. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  8. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
  9. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  10. Serve Black folks’ soul food collard greens right away and enjoy!

🎙 Listen to The Soul Food Pod episode: Soul Food Southern Collard Greens Recipe

Keep the podcast conversation going about soul food Southern collard greens recipes HERE!

Instant Pot Collard Greens

Southern cuisine features soul food collard greens as the main staple ingredient to any proper soul food meal. 

But why? 

The availability of these leafy greens all year round has also made it an integral part of Southern Black folks’ cuisine. 

Collards have a robust flavor that pairs well with many spices – garlic, paprika, mustard seeds, or other spices common for cooking down South. Even including other vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, and turnip greens. (Turn up!)

Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe

What do you serve with these Southern soul food collard greens?

Collard greens are typically served with meat. Usually, buttermilk fried chicken, fried chicken deep-fried (or air fryer fried chicken), pork chops, roasted turkey, turkey legs, or oxtail.

Wash down with complimentary drinks like Southern sweet tea or homemade eggnog during the holidays.

What do you serve with these Southern soul food collard greens?

You could make a traditional pot of beans or black eyed peas to serve with your soul food collard greens. Or try another Black folk specialty like chicken and cornbread dressingbaked apple slices, or creamed corn pudding.

It’d be almost sacrilegious to serve soul food collard greens without Black folks Southern candies yams. (Uh-uh. Don’t do dat!)

Collards also pair well with rice dishes, too!

What meat is used to season collard greens?

It’s not required but highly encouraged that if you’re cooking with a Black folks soul food collard greens recipe, you season with the addition of meat. 

A ham hock or a turkey leg are most common, and the latter is exactly what’s used in this soul food collard greens recipe. 

The turkey leg will add a richness and depth of flavor that cannot be achieved using any other type of meat.

How To Cook Black Folks Collard Greens

Black folks soul food collard greens recipe FAQ’s

How do you clean collard greens?

Fresh collard greens, mustard greens, or turnip greens are easy to clean. Simply clean them by running each leaf under cold water, discarding any limp leaves.

What is pot likker?

Pot likker (sometimes spelled potlikker or pot liquor) is the liquid broth left over after cooking beans or greens – like Southern collard greens!

Simmering until the meat drippings, onions, and garlic combine to form a rich, delicious, and tender pot likker stew.

A Southern collard greens recipe’s broth is seasoned with onion, a host of Southern soul food seasonings, and apple cider vinegar. 

How To Cook Soul Food Collard Greens

How are collard greens sourced?

Collard greens can be sourced from farmers’ markets, produce areas at grocery stores, or local organic markets. Farmers’ markets offer an environmentally friendly option while also supporting your community!

Soul Food Collard Greens: What is the history of collard greens?

What is the history of collard greens?

Collard greens are an old-fashioned Southern dish attributed to African Americans. Enslaved Black folks brought their traditional cooking methods from Africa. They elevated collard greens to the Southern soul food cuisine we know and love today.

What is the best way to make collard greens taste less bitter?

Collard greens are one of the most popular veggies out there. But, if you’re not eating collards because you’re afraid of a bitter leafy taste, this soul food recipe is for you! 

So what takes the bitterness out of collards?

This soul food collard green recipe uses apple cider vinegar and chicken stock to braise the greens in a savory liquid, thus no bitter taste.

Why do you put vinegar in collard greens?

Vinegar adds flavor, helps to tenderize the greens while cooking, and cuts the bitter taste.

Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens

Why do people put sugar in collards?

This recipe calls for natural honey instead of refined sugar. Sugar (or honey) helps balance the savory seasoning flavors.

Why put baking soda in collard greens?

Some cooks add a pinch of baking soda when cooking collard greens to preserve the chlorophyll that gives green vegetables, like those in the cabbage family, their naturally vibrant green color.

Baking soda is not a necessary ingredient for collards. It’s only used if you’re concerned and don’t want your cooked green vegetables having a brownish-green hue.

What makes collard greens taste so good?

The precise Southern soul food seasonings, including onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, combine in a savory broth for a delicious flavor to a once coarse and bitter leafy green!

How to make your collard greens tender?

Simmering, pressure cooking, or slow cooking the collards makes them tender.

Black Folks Collard Greens Recipe

How many collard greens do you need?

If you follow this recipe, 2 pounds (3 bundles) of collard greens (chopped and stems removed) is all you need.

How long does it take to cook collard greens?

It only takes 15 minutes to cook collard greens in an Instant Pot, followed by a 15 minutes pressure release. 

This means no more stewing over a hot pot all day at the stove just to enjoy this classic dish!

Can you make soul food collard greens with pre-cleaned and cut greens in the bag, or do you have to use fresh collards?

Great question! And the answer is yes – for your convenience, you can absolutely use the pre-cut greens in the bag if fresh collards aren’t handy. This will save you a step!

Cook Soul Food Collard Greens: What makes collard greens taste so good?

Can you use a crockpot to cook the greens?

Crockpots are fantastic kitchen appliances that allow you to prepare delicious meals without much work. And collard greens are no exception. You can slow cook them in a crockpot if you choose – or an Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting.

Can you use frozen collard greens?

Some might call it sacrilegious, but yes, you can. Simply let them thaw and add the seasonings. Frozen collard greens are a great example of how this vegetable can last in your freezer for months without losing any quality or flavor.

Can you overcook collard greens?

When you’re using this soul food collard greens recipe from The Soul Food Pot and following the step-by-step instructions, you won’t have to worry about overcooking your greens! 

It’s important not to overcook collard greens because they will become mushy and give off an unpleasant sulfur smell when overcooked.

Easy Collard Greens Recipe

What’s the best-smoked meat for making Southern-style collard greens?

It’s not just about the meat. The best-smoked meat for making collards depends on what you want to do with them. If you’re going to use it as a main dish, then your choice of pork is essential because it will be the most prominent flavor in the finished dish. 

But if you are looking for something that will go well with side dishes like cornbread or sweet potatoes, consider using turkey or beef instead.

How can you cook this soul food collard greens recipe without pork?

Meats like pork can intensely flavor collard greens. But if you don’t want to use pork, you can add turkey legs, smoked turkey wings, or neck bones also work similarly to ham hocks. They will produce the same depth of flavor profile for your Southern soul food flavored collard greens!

Can you make this Southern collard greens recipe without meat?

This recipe calls for a turkey leg, but it’s optional. You can make this recipe vegetarian-friendly by eliminating the chicken stock (replace with vegetable stock) and the meat.

How to make your collard greens tender?

What do you think about this recipe?

Collard greens are a vegetable that I’ve been eating my whole life. I grew up in the South, so they were always on our plates. 

For Sunday soul food dinners, on the soul food Thanksgiving menuChristmas dinner, and New Year’s in a hoppin John recipe.

I think collard greens are a staple food for many people because they can be cooked in so many different ways. They’re versatile – just like Black folks.

And soul food collard greens are easy for anyone to make – and everyone to love!

Did you enjoy this soul food Southern collard greens recipe?

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

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Southern Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe
Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe

Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe

What is a soul food collard greens recipe?
A Black folks collard greens recipe is the quintessential dish of any Southern soul food dinner.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern Food, Vegan Soul Food
Servings: 8
Calories: 240kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds collard greens 3 bundles
  • 1 turkey leg pre-cooked/smoked (this ingredient is optional)
  • 1 cup yellow onion diced
  • 2 cups tomatoes diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock use vegetable stock to make vegan and vegetarian-friendly
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce or sriracha sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Clean the collard greens and cut off the stems.
    Clean the collard greens and cut off the stems.
  • Then roughly chop the leaves in half through the midline and then into bite-sized pieces.
    Chop the leaves in half through the midline and then into bite-sized pieces.
  • Open the Instant Pot lid and add the wet ingredients (chicken stock, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, and hot sauce to the stainless-steel inner pot.
  • Next, add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, Old Bay or Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and stir to combine the ingredients.
  • Finally, add the collard greens, followed by the cooked turkey leg.
    Finally, add the collard greens, followed by the cooked turkey leg.
  • Press down to sink the greens as much as you can into the liquid broth.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
    Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Serve Black folks’ soul food collard greens right away and enjoy!
    Serve Black folks’ soul food collard greens right away and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe Ingredients

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 1238mg | Potassium: 786mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 6095IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 302mg | Iron: 3mg
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46 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve never thought about adding tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce to my collard greens but I’m definitely thinking about it now.

  2. Cynthia Williams says:

    5 stars
    Here’s another holiday favorite. Thanks for sharing this recipe and tips using apple Cider vinegar and honey to remove the bitter and sweeten the savory taste.

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is just like mine. 🙂

  4. Robin Armstrong says:

    5 stars
    Thank You for this Recipe!

  5. Melinda Worsham says:

    5 stars
    Collard greens are worth every second of work to make this dish. Thanks for the recipe. Could eat these every day!

  6. 5 stars
    It would not be a complete dinner without BF Soul Food Collard Greens. I love collard greens with corn bread. There is so many ways to flavor greens. I will try your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Crazi Womin says:

    5 stars
    Ohh wow, I just made collards,mac n cheese,cornbread and bbq chicken yesterday! I’ve never tried tomatoes but I’m game, lol. Thank you for the recipe!!

  8. Sheronda Phanor says:

    5 stars
    Love the recipe. I will try it

  9. Elizabeth says:

    5 stars
    I love greens and this recipe seems so easy to make.

  10. 5 stars
    Another yummy recipe to try!