Slow-Cooked Collard Greens with Bacon

I had the chance to share this recipe with some friends on New Year’s Eve. After we finished eating, one of them asked that I share my secret for cooking delicious collard greens. I love to share my recipes, so here it is!

I like to make these on New Year’s Eve because eating greens on that day is supposed to bring you good fortune in the coming year, but these are also delicious any time—particularly when it’s cold outside.

Slow-Cooked Collard Greens with Bacon
Serves 6

  • 1/2 pound bacon, thick cut, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bunches collard greens, stems cut off, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste

*Pro tip- Cook these the day before you want to serve them. The flavors will really develop well overnight. Then, before serving, simply heat them up in a saute pan with a little butter.*

Place a large stockpot on the stove on medium-high heat and let it heat up for 3 minutes. Once the pot is hot, add the bacon and butter and cook until the bacon gets a little brown, then add the onions. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the onions and bacon for 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic. Cook the garlic for about 3 minutes.

Add your greens and stir them in well. Add the chicken broth and vinegar, then bring to a slow boil. Once it just comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Keep the heat low, stir frequently, and after about an hour of cooking, check to see how much liquid is left. If it is almost gone, add another cup of chicken broth.

After 2 hours, the green should be soft and the liquid should be just about cooked off completely. Taste the greens and season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. 

Chef Brandon FosterBrandon Foster began his life in the kitchen at the Best Western in Frisco, Colorado, almost 18 years ago. His passion for ingredients and drive to learn technique led him down the mountain to Denver, where he worked in two of Denver’s most fondly remembered restaurants, The Fourth Story and Mel’s. He joined the crew at Vesta in 2005 as a line cook and became executive chef in 2010, focusing on getting back to the roots of cooking through charcuterie and seasonal ingredients. Ultimately, Chef Brandon’s career highlights centered on events like Plates for the Peak, Invest in Kids, and James Beard Foundation dinners where he could play a role in helping people in need- a passion that led him to Project Angel Heart in 2016. Outside the kitchen, Chef Brandon enjoys spending time skiing, camping, golfing, and eating with his wife Larissa and their three kids.