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Southern-Style Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey

Southern-Style Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey

  • Author: Chef Resha
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 to 14 servings


Incredibly delicious southern-style collard greens, reminiscent of my grandmother. These do not contain pork, but you could swap the smoked turkey for ham-hocks if you prefer. These are eyeball measurements to get you started. Please taste as you go and adjust to your liking.


  • 4 large bundles of collards, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 stick butter (salted)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, chopped and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bundle of fresh thyme, tied with kitchen twine
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 1 teaspoon garlic & onion mix (SEE NOTES BELOW)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, garlic, chili & chives mix (SEE NOTES BELOW)
  • 2 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 smoked turkey necks
  • 2 smoked turkey wings
  • 1 quart high-quality chicken stock (not low sodium)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (with the mother, if possible)
  • 1 tbsp wildflower honey


  1. Remove the thick fibrous stems from your collard greens. Rinse the leaves of the greens thoroughly to remove any dirt and sand. Roll the leaves up and chop them into manageable bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a large tall stock pot, sauté the leeks and onion in the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add kosher salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper. Cook until the leeks and onion are translucent, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring to distribute. Add the thyme bundle, and smoked meat. Stir for about a minute to help the thyme release its flavor into the onion mixture.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and water, then add the spice blends. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes with the lid on. Taste the broth mixture, season to taste/adjust.
  5. When you’re satisfied with the flavor, add the collard greens. Push them down and stir them around until they’re submerged. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
  6. Add the vinegar and honey, and cook and additional 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the collard greens are melt-in-your-mouth tender and the smoked meat is falling off the bone.
  7. Remove the smoked meat bones from the pot, let them cool just enough so you can handle them. With gloved hands or a fork, pick the meat from the bones and add it back to the greens. Taste and adjust.
  8. When the greens are perfectly seasoned and balanced, serve and enjoy.


The spice mixes I used are from The Gourmet Collection, found at Homegoods, Tuesday Morning, Amazon, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc.

  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 2 hours

Keywords: southern style collard greens, collard greens, smoked turkey, how to cook collard greens, the best collard greens

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