Easy Collard Greens Recipe

It’s the day I wait for all fall…that third frost that tells me my collard greens are sweet enough to harvest from the garden.  It may be an old wives tale, but I never pick collards unless they have been frosted on three times. With our unexpected snowfall last weekend, I was ready to spend a few hours this week cooking up a big batch of collards.  I like to cook them all at once and then freeze them so I can enjoy them all winter long.

How to Cook Collard Greens

There are a dozen different ways to cook collards, but I have found my family likes them a bit sweet with a touch of bite. It is one of those vegetables that you either love or hate, but I can always count on my family getting a good dose of vitamins when I cook up a batch of my favorite fall greens.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to cook collard greens:

 Step #1 – Wait until they have been frosted on three times. This takes the bitterness out and leaves them sweet and ready to harvest.

let the frost hit your collard greens

Step #2 – This recipe calls for a five-gallon bucket filled overflowing with collard greens.

bucket of collard greens

Step #3 – Wash the leaves 2-3 times in cold water to make sure all dirt and sand is washed from their leaves.

wash collard greens

 Step #4 – Remove the center stem by folding the leave in half and pulling off the hard stem.

fold leave in halfpull steam from leave

Step #5 – Layer 4 to 5 leaves together, roll them and slice into 1/2″ pieces.

roll collard leavesslice in pieces

 Step #6 – In an extra large kettle add sliced collard greens and all the ingredients found below in the recipe.

cooking collardscooked collard greens

Step #7 – If possible, cook your collard greens outside to keep your house from smelling like cabbage. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 3 hours or until tender.

cook collards outside

Step #8 – After they’ve cooled, separate and freeze in individual containers. 

freeze collards

Step #9 – Enjoy all winter long!

Does your family like collard greens, what is your favorite way to cook them?

Fresh Collard Greens - From Garden to Freezer
Yields 10
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
4 hr
  1. 20 quarts of chopped fresh collard greens
  2. 2 quarts of apple juice
  3. 1 large chopped sweet onion
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 1/4 salt
  6. 2 tablespoons black pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon red pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  9. 1 stick butter
  10. 1 cup bacon grease
  11. 4 quarts of cold water
  1. Wash, remove stems, and slice into 1/2" pieces.
  2. Chop onion and add all ingredients to a very large kettle.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for three hours or until greens are tender.
  5. If you are freezing let greens cool before separating into individual containers.
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collard greens recipe

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

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