There's something magical about the tender, flavorful texture of Slow Cooker Collard Greens. By letting them simmer away in the crockpot, we unlock their full earthy potential, accented by a dash of tangy vinegar and a sprinkle of heat-inducing crushed red pepper. This easy-to-follow recipe provides a delectable side dish, ensuring your weekend dinners are always a hit!
As a Southern girl, collard greens have always been a part of my diet.
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 stove.
This easy slow cooker collard greens recipe is a fabulous way to add more green to your diet.
Ingredients for Making Crockpot Collard Greens
- 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.) You can even use turkey wings or ham if you like.
- 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. Vegetable broth is also a great option.
- 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 in these crock pot collard greens. You can use whatever sweetener you like - honey, maple syrup, sugar, or brown sugar all work.
Buying & Storing Collard Greens
When you're planning to make a delicious dish like collard greens in the crock pot, the freshness of your ingredients is key!
Firstly, make sure you pick collard bunches that have sturdy, vibrant leaves and stiff stems. These are signs of freshness and quality. You should avoid greens that have yellowed or wilted leaves; these are indications that the greens are past their prime and won't deliver the best taste or nutritional value.
The color of the leaves also matters. Look for dark green colored leaves. However, it's normal for the leaves to have light-colored veins and stems .
Once you've purchased your collard greens, remember not to wash them before storing. Wrap your collards in a paper towel and place them in an unsealed plastic bag. If stored properly, fresh collard greens can last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- For Vegetarian and Vegan Slow Cooker Collard Greens, omit the bacon. Prepare the recipe as directed and add 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke.
- Add a ham hock for even more flavor.
- For an extra touch of sweetness in this crockpot collard greens recipe, increase the honey to 2 tablespoons.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to cook collard greens to preserve their nutrients?
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, so your slow cooker is a great solution. I use it to cook mustard greens and turnip greens as well!
How do I store cooked collard green recipes?
You can store leftover cooked collard greens in the refrigerator for up to four days.
They may be frozen for up to three months. Freeze them in individually portioned containers for a quick and easy side.
Tools Needed to Make Crock Pot Greens
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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.
More Crockpot Sides to Try
- For a hearty, nutritious side dish that's easy to prepare, you'll love our Slow Cooker Black Beans recipe, packed with flavor and perfect for any family meal.
- Looking for comfort food at its finest? Our Crockpot Mac and Cheese is incredibly creamy and delicious, sure to become a favorite in your household.
- Who doesn't love the creamy, buttery goodness of mashed potatoes? Our Crockpot Mashed Potatoes recipe will show you how to perfect this classic side dish in a whole new way.
- Add a sweet and savory touch to your dinner table with our Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole, a delightful blend of flavors that's as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.
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.