Easy Collard Greens Recipe

Cook ham hocks and banana peppers in a reinforced chicken stock base, then use it to stew the most flavorful collard greens of your life.
collards normal
Photo by Eric Wolfinger and Demetrius Smith

Serves: 6 to 8 
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours


12 quarts|11 liters water 
2 smoked ham hocks
1 cup|160 grams chicken bouillon powder
2 banana peppers 
½ cup|80 grams finely chopped yellow onion 
12 garlic cloves
10 bunches collard greens, or 5 (32-ounce|907-gram) bags pre-cut collard greens
1 tablespoon seasoning salt, or as needed 
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or as needed 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil



  1. In a large stockpot over high heat, combine the water, ham hocks, bouillon powder, banana peppers, onion, and garlic and bring to a rolling boil. Turn the heat to a low boil, cover, and cook until the ham hocks are fully tender, about 2 hours. 
  2. Meanwhile, if using bunches of collard greens, strip the leaves from their stems and discard the stems. Working in batches, stack several of the leaves on a cutting board. Grab one edge of the stack, roll it up tightly, and then cut the roll crosswise at 1-inch intervals. You should end up with somewhat long, 1-inch-wide slices. Repeat until all of the greens are sliced. Skip this step if using precut greens. 
  3. Fill a large pot or bowl or your sink with water and submerge the greens in the water. Lift the greens from the water, discard the water, and then submerge the greens in two more changes of clean water. Set aside. 
  4. Once the ham hocks are tender, add the seasoning salt, then taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Add the greens and top with the red pepper flakes and vegetable oil. Simmer until the greens are tender but not overcooked, about 45 minutes.
  5. When the greens are ready, pull the ham hocks from the pot, cut or break off the meat, return the meat to the pot, and discard the bones. 
  6. Serve the greens, hot, with some of the meat and broth. (Leftover collards will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Be careful not to overcook the greens or reduce the liquid when reheating.)

Reprinted with permission from “Bludso's BBQ Cookbook: A Family Affair in Smoke and Soul.” Copyright © 2022 by Kevin Bludso. Photography Copyright © 2022 by Eric Wolfinger. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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