Braised Collard Greens with Turkey Bacon

by lisa on January 13, 2018 · 6 comments

These collard greens are a perfect side dish to many entrees. I lightened things up by using a little olive oil and lean turkey bacon to make this dish a little more healthy. A splash of cider vinegar gives it a nice tang. I could eat this as my main dish any day. 

My husband and son love BBQ joints. They cannot get enough meat. My daughter is a vegetarian and I am somewhere in between. I like to eat meat but don’t need to eat it everyday. Luckily, most BBQ restaurants have plenty of sides to choose from with many being vegetarian. My daughter can always eat the macaroni and  cheese and cold slaw. I prefer the sides over the meat but I will not pass up the chicken or ribs. I love the mac and cheese, baked beans, cold slaw, deviled eggs and collard greens. Yes, I like it all but the collard greens have a special place in my heart or should I say stomach?

The collard greens in BBQ restaurants might sound healthy but they usually have lard, salt and lots of bacon in them. Don’t get me wrong, they taste wonderful. But if I made them like that at home on a regular basis, the jeans would be even tighter than they are now. And after the holidays, the jeans have been barely buttoning so that could get to be a problem. So I decided to make a light, good-for-you version of southern collard greens. I actually have eaten a whole bowl as my dinner.

This past fall, we had plenty of collard greens at my CSA farm that I belong to. You could even say I was up to my eyeballs in collard greens. Have you ever seen giant collards like this? I cooked lots and lots of them and came up with this healthy recipe. Luckily the grocery stores have plenty of collard greens in the winter too so they can be made all year round.

I used a lean turkey bacon in this recipe but who am I to tell you to use less fat. By all means, use regular bacon if you’d like. I am in the new year, “new healthy me” phase right now so I am using turkey bacon. Come March, I might just change my mind. Use what you like as they both will taste good.

Make these with chicken, beef or pork. Or just eat a bowl for lunch or dinner!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Braised Collard Greens with Turkey Bacon
Recipe type: Easy Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
This lightened up version of collard greens has a lot of flavor but light on the fat and calories.
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 strips of turkey bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 very large bunch collard greens, stemmed and sliced into bite size strips
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock, plus extra if needed
  • 3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt, to taste
  1. Heat the oil on medium heat in a medium size sauce pan. Add the bacon and saute for a few minutes or until starting to crisp, then set aside on paper towels, leaving the oil in the pan.
  2. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the collard greens and cook until they begin to wilt.
  3. Pour in the stock, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Let cook until the greens are tender, about 40 minutes.
  4. Uncover, add the bacon, raise the heat to medium-high, and reduce the liquid until there is barely any left. Season with salt if necessary.


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynne Laino January 14, 2018 at 6:39 pm

My guys love BBQ places too! I’m always disappointed if there are no collards or Mac & Cheese. I make then a lot but usually with ham hocks. I’m definitely going to try your recipe Lisa! Thanks!”


Mimi January 15, 2018 at 12:16 pm

This looks so tasty, I would totally eat it as a main too! I love BBQ so much


Marta Rivera January 15, 2018 at 12:19 pm

I love adding smoked ham hocks to my greens. Simmering them for hours so they have just the right bite? MMMMMMM!!! I want a bowlful right now!


Mal January 15, 2018 at 12:32 pm

This sounds delicious!! And Holy Collard Green!!!! The size of those leaves is insane!! (“But who am I to tell you to use less fat!” Literally loling over here 😉


April January 15, 2018 at 8:53 pm

Walmart I love how you prepared these collard greens! They look so healthy and delicious and would be a great option for anyone following the Mediterranean diet.


Holly Lasha January 16, 2018 at 11:30 am

This I’m definitely giving a go. I’m not a traditional bacon fan…so this is great!


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