Easy Collard Greens with Bacon

I know, it’s the middle of summer and I’m the weirdo eating collard greens. Let me tell you why. Our 4th of July weekend started off spectacularly, with sunshine, a cool breeze, a few adult beverages and some super grilling. Glorious! However, our weather good fortune did not want to hold. Which is how I found myself with racks of ribs and a torrential downpour of rain that put out our grilling fire. Literally. So my kitchen escape plans were woefully short lived and the ribs were delivered into the care of my oven. At which point, my summery sides just didn’t really appeal any more. Which is when I remembered I’d stashed collards in the freezer! So I decided to cook up some easy collard greens, slow cooked with bacon to chase away the imposter-winter.

Easy Collard Greens with Bacon

So what makes these easy collard greens so, well, easy? There’s only about 15 minutes of hands on time, all of which is simple: cooking and chopping a little bacon, plus dicing an onion and mincing some garlic. But once those little jobs are done, the actual cooking of the greens requires little to no attention at all. The apple cider vinegar really shouldn’t be skipped if you can help it, as it gives a tiny bit of tang and helps take some of the bitterness out of the greens. I opted to make this dish nightshade free, but if those aren’t a problem for you, a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes in here would be delicious. Lastly, if you can, I highly recommend you make these with pork stock. I try to save my pork bones for stock in dishes like this as it is just so very flavorful. You can totally use chicken stock here and they will come out well, but I really feel like the pork stock gives an extra punch of flavor. Double pork for the win!


Easy Collard Greens with Bacon

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Easy collard greens slow cooked to tender perfection, with garlic and bacon. An almost effortless side that is perfect for BBQ!

  • Author: Rachael Bryant / Meatified
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/2 tbl bacon fat or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs collard greens, rinsed and chopped roughly
  • 24 cups pork or chicken broth (depending on cooking method)
  • 2 tbl apple cider vinegar


  1. Brown and crisp the bacon slices.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, heat a large high-sided pan with the bacon fat or coconut oil. Dice the onion and add it to the pan over low-medium heat. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic for a minute, until fragrant, then add about half the collard greens.
  3. Let the collard greens wilt before adding the remaining collard greens to the pan.
  4. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate when it is done. Let cool a few minutes and then chop into small pieces. Combine the bacon with the wilted greens mixture, then stir in the apple cider vinegar.

Slow Cooker Method:

  1. Add the wilted collard greens mixture to a large slow cooker, along with 2 cups of stock. Cover them and cook on low for 5 – 6 hours.

Stovetop Method:

  1. Turn the heat down to low and add 4 cups of stock. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, then cover and cook until tender, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.


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