A Spicy Perspective

Perfect Southern Collard Greens

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Perfect Southern Collard Greens Recipe – How to cook collard greens. This recipe comes straight off the menu at Homegrown, a local restaurant we love. They are hearty, rich, and comforting. Just how grandma used to make them!

perfect southern collard greens side dish ready to be served

Collards from Asheville’s HomeGrown Restaurant

Today we are serving up Homegrown’s Perfect Southern Collard Greens with bacon and turnips!

Asheville locals Greg and Miki Kilpatrick opened their first business in 2007. Their catering company, Saffron, has been serving up regional flavors for the past four years.

Homegrown opened its doors October 4th, 2010, serving up farm-conscious food with a southern flair. Within the first week, their dining area was packed and their patron list continues to grow.

Today’s fabulous recipe for Collard Greens is generously provided by Greg and Miki. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

southern greens with turnips and bacon

The Home of Collard Greens

Chef Greg focuses on using only ingredients that support our community. They say it’s a philosophy that stems from a Mediterranean way of living; to cook with simple ingredients that are in-season, available, and affordable.

Their goal is to take food the shortest distance from the farm to the table.

Miki shared a deeper goal of helping provide a stable market for our local farmers to sell their harvest, that is, all of their harvest.

She brought up the point that pesticide-free, vine-ripened produce doesn’t necessarily mean “pretty.”

all the  ingredients ready to go into the pot

All Food Is Great Food

Being in the food industry for many years, she’s watched restaurants take only the most attractive produce, leaving farmers with excess they may have a hard time selling.

Restaurants that want to have regional farms provide their food need to consider that ugly tomatoes make just as tasty a sauce as flawless tomatoes.

Buying local produce that is “B” quality in appearance, keeps the cost down, and still allows Homegrown to use the freshest possible ingredients.

Miki wants to build a market that uses the surplus, reduces waste, and keeps farmers on their land doing what they do best.

She stated with conviction, “Homegrown will never be a profit-driven business.” Of course, they want to provide for their little ones. Of course, they want their restaurant to flourish, but they are driven by a greater desire to build sustainability throughout Western North Carolina.

how to cook collard greens

Southern Collard Greens Recipe Ingredients

  • Bacon Strips (or a smoked ham hock)
  • Onion
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Turnips
  • Collard Greens Bunches (or mustard greens)
  • Chicken Stock
  • Vegetable Stock
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper
finished side dish ready to consume

How to Cook Collard Greens

This is a very simple recipe, and good for the soul. It only requires a few steps to make this amazing dish!

  1. Render. Render the bacon in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and turnips. This will take about five to eight minutes.
  2. Saute. Once everything is translucent, add in the collard greens, stir and saute it all together for about 10 minutes. The bacon grease adds much flavor. 
  3. Add and Simmer. Then add in the chicken broth and vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Then reduce and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Season. Season this side dish with nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Enjoy! (If you want some heat you can add red pepper flakes.)

Get the Full (Printable) How To Cook Southern Collard Greens Recipe Below. Enjoy!

southern greens recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I soak the collard greens?

Soaking collards is a standard part of the cleaning process. I usually soak my dark green leaves just to make sure that I get all the dirt that might be stuck to the leaves and stems. Fill up the sink with water and let them soak for about 10 minutes while stirring them in all directions to loosen the dirt that might be lingering. You can also do this in a large bowl.

Are fresh Collard Greens healthy?

Collards are known as a superfood because, just like kale, collard greens are one of the most nutrient-filled foods. Eating collards is a great way to load up on vitamins and minerals. Collard greens can activate your immune system, which in turn, can help fight inflammation in your body. You can find them at your local grocery store. 

How do you get the bitterness out of collards?

On occasion, collard greens can have a slightly bitter note. If your greens have a more bitter taste, adding a little salt or lemon juice will help bring down the bitterness.

Can you eat too many collard greens?

It’s unlikely you could (or would) consume too many collard greens. However, eating too many greens, just like spinach, could result in some unpleasant abdominal pain. As with all foods, enjoy with moderation.

How long does this recipe last?

Leftover greens could last in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days when stored in an airtight container. You can also store cooked greens in the freezer for up to 6 months.

how to cook collard greens

Other Southern Recipes

Check out the printable recipe card below for the nutrition information including calories, protein, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, fiber, vitamin c, and calcium percentages.

Perfect Southern Collard Greens
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes
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Perfect Southern Collard Greens Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Sharing Asheville, North Carolina’s HomeGrown’s Perfect Southern Collard Greens Recipe, made available from the restaurant owners on A Spicy Perspective.
Servings: 6


For the Collards:


  • Place a large pot over medium heat. Render the bacon with the onions, garlic, and turnips until the onions are translucent, 5-8 minutes. Then add the collards and sauté another 10 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and vegetable stock, nutmeg and vinegar, bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Serving: 1cup, Calories: 149kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 793mg, Potassium: 325mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 500IU, Vitamin C: 17.3mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 0.6mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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65 comments on “Perfect Southern Collard Greens”

  1. I love how healthy this is! Such a delicious side dish for my family!

  2. When it comes to the best of comfort food side dishes…this one is at the top of my list!!

  3. Literally one of the best greens recipe I have found out there!

  4. Loved it.

  5. Hi Sommer-where is the recipe for the cheesy grits?! Went to Homegrown and they were easily the best I’ve ever had! So decadent and melt in your mouth amazing! I would love to make them at home too!

  6. I love collards. My friend has this amazing recipe — she won’t tell me exactly what’s in it, but I do know that it’s awesome! Maybe it’s the ham hock? Either way, delicious dishes!

  7. I’m not a big fan of grits (at all), but I love collards that have been prepared properly and these look fantastic. I’m marking this recipe down. Thanks for the interview with the folks in Asheville, for introducing me to their restaurant and to the wonderful recipe!

  8. Nice post Sommer. I love seeing people support each other :)

  9. Looks like a lovely and truly soulful place to eat or just hang out. Never had collard greens cooked like that or grits for that matter (unless grits is like polenta?) but I really would love to try both, cos they sound fabulous and well, I’m just greedy…

  10. Those sound so good. I have just recently started cooking with collard greens and was pleasantly surprised at how much I like them.

  11. hi Sommer

    what I wouldn’t give to enjoy a plate of down home southern cooking like that! Cheesey grits, collards and biscuits! If I am ever down that way I know where I’m going to eat!

  12. I don’t even like collard green and here I’m wishing I had this for dinner! :)

    P.S. – I just started following you on twitter when I saw you unfollowed me because thats whn I realised you were on twitter! :( No hard feeling thts all I wanted to say. Cheers :)

    • Hi Kulsum,

      Sorry about the Twitter unfollow! I have a program that manages Twitter for me and it unsubscribes to anyone I follow who hasn’t tweeted in over 3 months. The idea is to keep an accurate count of who I’m actually socializing with on a regular basis.

      I don’t know if you’ve been busy and haven’t had time for Twitter, or if it’s a glitch, but I’ll re-follow right now! :)

      Thanks for letting me know!

  13. I would LOVE to sit down at that restaurant! Collards and grits? Life doesn’t get any better than that!

  14. Say collard greens and cheesy grits and I come running! This sounds so tasty. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I found your site through Tasty Kitchen. I can’t wait to try the Homegrown’s Collards and Turnips recipe. I’ll have to look for their restaurant when I’m in Asheville next time. We live just down the mountain in TN (Johnson City). Thanks for sharing!

  16. That plate of food looks soooooooo good–really, there is nothing better than cheesy grits and greens.

  17. That does look and sound like a great place…I have not had either of these dishes since I was a child. My dads favorites

  18. That does look and sound like a great place…I have not had either of these dishes since I was a child. My dads favorites :)

  19. Putting this #1 on my list of places to eat next! Thanks for the recipes too! Looks like something even I could fix and make taste good. :-)

  20. This place looks adorable! And I love love love cheesy grits!

  21. Look at that helping of collards! WOW. I like the idea of cutting into ribbons.
    Terrific name for the place.
    Best wishes to them for continued success.

  22. I want those grits right now!!!!! Great write up! Also, I’ve passed my Stylish Blogger Award onto you!!! You can see the post at: http://comowater.com/2011/02/04/hummingbird-cake/. Happy Friday!

  23. We have the most beautiful collard greens in the market right now and I thank you, all of you, for this delicious recipe. The cheesy grits are looking pretty good along side, that’s for sure;-)

  24. What a cute restaurant! The food looks soooo incredible (the blackened trout is calling my name!!). I would have glady devoured everything. Thank you so much for the recipes, I can’t wait to try them. :)

  25. Oh wow! I want to go here. Funky downhome comforting goodness. Loved the photos of everyone at the restaurant and all the decor. But those grits – heavenly!

  26. I love this post Sommer! I want to go back to Asheville just to visit this cute little place. Thank you for sharing these two great recipes:)Lovin’ the Cheezy Grits;)Hope you have a fantastic weekend my friend!

  27. I love the concept of farm to table. I’m glad that they are doing their part to really support the local farms, and using good ingredients even if they may be slightly flawed-looking. Thanks for sharing those recipes too! I love cheezy grits :)

  28. That looks such a relaxing place to eat. Great food and ambience!
    Bon weekend.

  29. Since I live in Greece I am familiar wit the idea of cooking whatever is in season and buy locally. It seems to me that this place will be a hit among conscious people of the community there!

  30. Looks so delicious. I’ve been craving collard greens for a while, but they’re only available from October to December 31 here. so sad. This is certainly a food spot I’d love to go to. It seems as cozy as the food is delicious. Thanks for sharing, and sharing the recipes.

  31. oh my word.. greens.. at least that’s what I used to call them as a child (I wonder if anyone calls them that)? Grits… are just a souther thing…. never grew up there, NYC girl, but did live between the mason dixon….

  32. This looks like a great little restaurant. They always have the best home cooking! I love the cheesy grits, my mom is from the south and used to make them all the time for me when I was younger! Yummy! :)

  33. I remember eating grits back when i lived in the south. they are so good! i haven’t had them in years, since moving out of the region. this post reminds me how i’m missing out. thanks for sharing!

  34. Sommer, Absolutely Beautiful!!! Love those kind of places. They make you feel cozy :)

    Lovely pics,

    Have a great weekend :)


  35. love this kind of dinners. they make you feel like you’re right at home.
    those cheesy grits sound delicious. thanks for the recipe Sommer.
    Have a wonderful Friday

  36. I just want to be cozy in their lovely place and partake. I wish them all good things on this wonderful enterprise. Brava to them for truly supporting their local farmer.

  37. It sounds like these guys know what they are doing. The restaurant and food looks perfect. Every community needs their local food heros!!!
    I have never eaten collard greens or grits. There is no place here on the Alberta Prairies that serves them up, either. When I eventually get to a travel location to try them, I certainly will!!!

  38. Our last trip to Asheville got cut short…you keep making me think it might be time to schedule another!

  39. Love their color scheme. Very cool logo, art, fonts, colors …

    And yours ain’t too shabby, either!

  40. Sommer, I have just have to comment on your exceptional website. I feel I was one of your early followers with my late nights working, walkig up and down the interstate reading your blog. Congratulations on a tremendous job of growing your blog and website. It is super informative, easy reading, and direct to the point. Keep up the good work, and if I was any kind of cook at all I know for a fact I would want Sommer Collier and A Spicy Perspective to do a write up on me!

  41. I am so glad they shared the recipe with your readers… this looks unbelievable! I love cheezy grits! I ws with Pam about the 3rd item… Looks good too though!

  42. What a super place, I love the charm and atmostphere. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Can you plese tell me what the third item on the plate is?
    Is that a tamale?
    What kind of sauce is on the item?

  44. This looks so good! I wish I could taste some homegrown collard greens. The restaurant looks very cozy and the chef sounds trustworthy.

  45. Is the location on merrimon ave?? I love grits cooked right

  46. I love these kinds of places – for their food and their philosophy. Thanks for sharing their vision and awesome greens and grits!

  47. What a great find!! I’m so marking this place. You had be at cheezy grits.

  48. I have magic powers too, Sommer;) Though I’ve been trying me best not to use them lately (smile and kidding).
    I don’t live in Asheville, but Cauldron Boy always talks about taking The Bar in North Carolina. It’s his dream to live in Asheville, so I’ll remember ‘HOMEGROWN’. The food looks really wonderful!

  49. This restaurant is so cute! I totally get you are saying about its ambiance, it looks so welcoming and comforting. I would love to have a joint like that near my place. Food looks amazing too!

  50. Sounds like an awesome restaurant. I love their attitude and philosophy, plus the food sounds delicious!

  51. This was an amazing post. I’m forwarding it to my husband because we would love to do this someday. What an inspiration this is! Thank you so much for sharing it with me…I only wish I could drive over to visit it today!

  52. What a great philosophy! Of course it all tastes great because of the high quality and freshness of the produce. I’ve never had grits or collard greens, but they look beautiful on the plate!

  53. That foods looks wonderful. Next time I go to Asheville I will look this place up. NOthing better than cheese grits!

  54. love little places like this where the owners are passionate about good food this is a fab Southern dish thanks for the encouragement sometimes it just gets me down

  55. this is looking so fresh and wonderful…nothing can beat the freshness of homegrown products !

  56. This sounds like an awesome place, how wonderful of them to share their special recipes for collard greens and grits!

  57. Looks great! Is this what went in where Picnics used to be?

  58. Looks like a lively place to be in, love the collard and the gritzs recipes.

  59. I love it! This place SO fits the Asheville vibe! I will have to keep this on my list of places to eat next time I’m there!! I enjoy hearing about local finds in the area!