Collard greens are a beloved traditional Southern side dish. They’re typically made with smoked meat, such as hamhocks, making them both flavorful and inexpensive to serve. Try this version with a Cajun twist using thick-cut bacon to add the smoky flavor. For step-by-step visual instructions, launch the slideshow above.
Cajun Collard Greens with Bacon
- ½ lb thick-cut bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 2 lb collard greens, stems removed, sliced into 1 inch ribbons
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp garlic salt
- 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- hot sauce for serving
Slice the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Place into a large deep pot, and cook, rendering the fat. Cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve the drippings in the pot.
Clean and rinse the collards well removing any grit or dirt. Fold the collard leaves over and tear or use a sharp knife to cut and remove the tough stems. Stack and slice into approximately 1-inch ribbons.
Add the collard greens to the drippings in the pot, along with the diced onion and seasonings. Add enough water to cover the greens.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1½ hours. Cook until tender. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
To serve, sprinkle the cooked bacon on top and serve with buttered cornbread and hot sauce on the side.
Makes 8 servings.
About the Author
Melissa Sperka is the creator, publisher, recipe developer and photographer of the blog Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen. After winning the National Flour Power! baking contest, she also gained national attention with her blue ribbon Nested Potato Skins, featured in Southern Living Magazine. To Melissa, “Southern style” isn’t just about regional food, but about serving homemade dishes with grace, charm, and a healthy dose of Southern hospitality. In Melissa’s kitchen, homemade family-style meals are always on the menu.