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2-Quart Slow Cooker Collard Greens

Learn how to make slow cooker collard greens, a classic Southern dish, cooking the greens low and slow will develop that deep flavor and wonderful pot liquor (broth) of a classic collard greens recipe.  This recipe is simply delicious and tried and true comfort food.

You may also, enjoy my slow cooker cabbage recipe. Greens go great with my New Year’s Day Black Eyed Peas recipe or an easy black bean recipe.

Collard greens cooked in small crockpot.

Whats Special About this Recipe

The combination of simple ingredients cooked low and slow in your slow cooker creates an amazingly flavorful meal.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Collard Greens leaves, chicken broth, bacon bits, and seasoning on marble board.
  • Collard Greens – Use fresh collards with a dark green color and trim off the stem and tear them or chop them into bite-size strips. If you can’t find the collard greens then use mustard or turnip greens. A combination is also very tasty.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Add a bit to add a little tangy flavor to the greens.   
  • Bacon – Having parents from the south, bacon fat was a staple ingredient in our house. A little bit goes a long way in adding that bacon flavor to the greens.  The crumbled bacon gives each bite a nice crunch.
  • Brown Sugar – This gives the greens a slightly sweet flavor.
  • Seasonings – Add red pepper flakes, onion powder, and garlic powder for a touch of heat and spice.
  • Chicken Broth – The chicken broth is the main liquid to cook the greens, and I suggest a lower sodium version or even homemade if you have it available.
  • Optional Tomatoes, Onions, and Garlic – Make the meal meatless by leaving out the bacon quick sauté in some onions, tomatoes, and garlic a little butter to add wonderful flavor depth to your greens.   

Variations

I used packaged bacon bits, however if yu have the time, cook up the bacon fresh and reserve the bacon grease to add into the crockpot for a wonderful old fashioned flavor.

How To Chop Collards and Prepare for Cooking

Collard Green leaf with stem partially cut away from leaf.

Step One: Start by cutting off the stems below the leaf.

Step Two: Once the stems are removed, roll them up and slice them as thick or thin as you like.

Step Three: Place the cut greens in a bowl of cold water and let them soak for 10-15 minutes to lose up any dirt that might be stuck to the leaves. Transfer to a colander and rinse.

Cooking Directions

Fresh collard greens cooking in a small crockpot.

One Step: Add the ingredients and prepared collards into a 2-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for about 6 hours, until the greens are tender.

Tools Used

A 2-quart slow cooker is great for making small batches of collard greens. Here is an Amazon link to the 2-quart model I use often. 2-Quart Crock Pot.

How to store leftovers

Refrigerate any leftovers within 2 hours; remember the recipe includes bacon and bacon fat. Store the greens in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Gently reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

FAQ’s

Can I use a different green than Collards?

Absolutely yes! Collards do take a long time to cook down into a tender state. If you are looking for a suitable alternative, try Cabbage, Mustard Greens, or Turnip Greens. All of these options are very tasty.

What is pot liquor?

Pot liquor refers to the cooked-down liquid left in the pot after cooking meats or vegetables.

Can I use canned Collard Greens?

Yes, but you must alter the cooking time, and canned collards might be pre-seasoned. Put the canned greens into the slow cooker, add a little seasoning like brown sugar and red pepper flakes, and cook on low for about an hour to give the extra seasoning time to blend.

What are Ham Hocks?

Ham hocks are typically cured or smoked and often used as a flavoring ingredient in soups, stews, and other dishes. They can also be roasted or braised, but they are not typically eaten as a standalone cut of meat due to their toughness and high-fat content.

What to Serve with Collards

Serve your collard greens with homemade cornbread to soak up the delicious pot liquor (the cooking broth), or alongside other comfort foods like pan fried chicken. One of my favorite ways to serve greens is over garlic butter rice.

Did you make this recipe? I would love it if you left a comment or review! Be sure to sign up for the email list and follow “A Weekend Cook” on Pinterest and my Facebook page.

Collard greens cooked in small crockpot.

Slow Cooker Collard Greens

Collard greens are a classic Southern dish and this method is the easiest way you can cook them. Cooking the greens low and slow in a slow cooker will develop that deep flavor of a classic collard greens recipe.


5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 1 servings
Calories: 96kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

  • 5 leaves collard greens washed, remove stems and cut into 1/2 strips
  • ¾ cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons bacon bits
  • teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Rinse the greens and remove the tough stem and chop into smaller strips about 1/2 inch wide.
  • Add the chopped collard greens, chicken broth, salt, pepper, bacon bits, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar into a small 2-quart slow cooker slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Notes

  • Cook your collard greens on the low setting of your slow cooker for about 6 to 8 hours. This gentle cooking method makes them incredibly tender.
  • Depending on your slow cooker, the greens might need more or less time. Check for the desired tenderness and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Collard greens will release water as they cook. You don’t need to completely submerge the greens in liquid; just enough to cook them without drying out.
  • Before serving, taste the collard greens and adjust the seasonings as needed. This might include more salt, pepper, vinegar, or a hint of sugar to balance the flavors.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 457mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g
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See more guidelines at USDA.gov.

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