• 2 to 3 pounds of collard greens
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/3 Diced small yellow onion
  • 2 Slices of bacon (for the fat)
  • 1/4 Stick of butter (depending on how much fat the bacon renders you may need to add more butter).
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Fresh lemon

Good traditional southern collard greens can take a while to cook. Even though it’s well worth the time because of the amazing flavor that you get from them this is a quick and easy alternative that I developed that is similar to how I’ve made many spinach dishes before.

You can make this in under half an hour in a skillet so it’s a great side dish to whip up if you happen to see collard greens on sale or happen to have some lying around in the refrigerator.


1. Wash and de-stem the collard greens and chop into decent size edible pieces.

2. Turn the skillet on medium and cook off the bacon keeping the grease. Toss the bacon.

3. Add the diced onion until almost fully cooked then add the garlic and cook until before the garlic browns. (Under a minute).

4. Add the collard greens and salt and pepper. Toss all together and cover.

5. If it seems that there isn’t enough bacon fat to cook down the greens then feel free to add a little butter to the mixture.

6. cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

7. Cut your lemon into eighths and serve on the side for squeezing on the dish!

Tips and Tricks

Collard greens can be bitter which is why we use the bacon grease and butter. If you like you can substitute for something a bit healthier for you and your family like olive oil but if you do so people like to add a little sugar to offset the bitterness. I just do it to taste and you can too.

You can also make it a little more traditional by adding red pepper flakes when you add the garlic and serve with a bit of white wine vinegar or hot pepper sauce.