I love cooking collard greens low and slow. Slow-Cooker Collard Greens are made with classic southern flavors. Tangy vinegar brightens the earthiness of the collards, and crushed red pepper adds the perfect amount of heat. The perfect side for a relaxed weekend dinner!
As a Southern girl, collard greens have always been a part of my diet.
I have early memories of cooking collards we had just picked from my father's garden.
I still enjoy collard greens, which these days I grow them in my Tower Garden.
Cooking collards in the slow cooker is one of my favorite ways to make them.
Cooking them low and slow is the perfect way to get perfectly tender collards without a hint of the bitterness that can come with overcooking them.
Plus, I love not to have to babysit them the way I would if I prepared them on the stovetop.
This recipe is a fabulous way to add more green to your diet.
Ingredients for Making Crockpot Collard Greens
Get My Full Step By Step Walk Through on my Slow Cooker Collard Greens Story.
- Bacon: Use your favorite type of bacon - turkey, pork, or beef. The higher fat will add more flavor, but if you are watching your fat intake, turkey bacon works fine. (Though to may need to add a little olive oil to cook the onion and garlic.)
- Onion: I like a yellow onion in this recipe, but white would work as well.
- Garlic: If you don't have fresh garlic, garlic powder works as well.
- Broth: I like homemade broth (I use this Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth recipe), but purchased broth works too.
- Collard Greens: If you are short on time, you can often find pre-shredded and washed collard greens.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Red wine vinegar could be used as a substitute.
- Seasonings: Old Bay seasoning, celery seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper add a depth of flavor.
- Sweetener: It is a small amount that really brings out all of the other flavors. You can use whatever sweetener you like - honey, maple syrup, sugar, or brown sugar all work.
Buying Collard Greens
- Look for collard bunches that have sturdy vibrant leaves and stiff stems.
- For Vegetarian and Vegan Slow Cooker Collard Greens, omit the bacon. Prepare the recipe as directed and add in 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon liquid smoke.
- Add a ham hock for even more flavor.
- For an extra touch of sweetness, increase the honey to 2 tablespoons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Crockpot Collards are the way to go if you are serious about preserving the nutritional value of your greens. Too high of heat can cause a loss in nutrients.
Collard greens are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin K, which plays an essential role in strengthening bones and lowering inflammation.
One study found that those who had the lowest levels of vitamin K intake from food had a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes.
It is also rich in eye-protecting nutrients such as lutein, which can help protect your eyes from the blue light given off by your computer screen.
Tools Needed to Make Crock Pot Greens
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You can store leftover cooked collard greens in the refrigerator for up to four days.
They may be frozen for up to three months. I like to freeze them in individual portioned containers.
How to Make Slow Cooker Collard Greens
First, start by gathering all of your ingredients.
Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray, and set to sauté. If your slow cooker doesn't have a saute function, use a skillet.
Cook the bacon for five minutes.
Add the onion and cook 8 more minutes.
Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Change the mode to slow cooker. Add chicken broth, collard greens, apple cider vinegar, Old Bay seasoning, celery seeds, honey, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, and sea salt.
Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, until the greens are tender.
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Slow Cooker Collard Greens
- 8 ounces turkey bacon or bacon of choice, chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound collard greens washed, trimmed and chopped
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon honey or sweetener of choice
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and set to saute, Cook bacon for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook 8 more minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Alternatively, if your slow cooker does not have a saute function, use a skillet and follow the directions as written. Transfer to your slow cooker and proceed with the recipe.
- Change to slow cooker. Add chicken broth, collard greens, apple cider vinegar, Old Bay seasoning, celery seeds, honey, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper and sea salt.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.