Creamed Collard Greens With Bacon Recipe

Collard greens are close cousins to other popular green veggies such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale. They have a mildly bitter flavor, not unlike cabbage, with a more hearty texture. Collard greens are packed full of vitamins and fiber, and they are a great addition to any diet. This humble leafy vegetable is as versatile as it is nutritious. Popular in Southern cooking, collard greens are delicious on their own but can be prepared and cooked up in a variety of ways to create flavorful dishes, from quesadillas to dips to wraps. 

This recipe for creamed collard greens with bacon, from the kitchen of Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye, elevates this common veggie from a basic side dish to part of the main event. The collards are boiled till tender and then mixed into a rich creamy sauce that is flavored with smoky bacon, garlic, and nutmeg. This dish is simple to make and a great option for anyone who wants to find new and exciting ways to make sure they get their 5-a-day. It's the perfect celebration of this powerhouse of a leafy green vegetable. Read on to find out how to cook this creamed collard greens with bacon recipe.

Gather the ingredients for this creamed collard greens with bacon recipe

To begin this creamed collard greens with bacon recipe, first you will need to gather the ingredients. You will want collard greens, butter, shallots, smoked bacon, garlic, chicken stock, cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.

Step 1: Heat the water

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.

Step 2: Boil the greens

Add the chopped greens and boil them for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 3: Blanch the greens

Drain the greens through a colander and then transfer them to a bowl of cold water to blanch them.

Step 4: Set the collard greens aside

Drain and set to one side.

Step 5: Heat a pan

Heat a large deep pan over medium heat.

Step 6: Fry the shallots, bacon, and garlic

Add the butter, shallots, bacon, and garlic, and fry for 5 to 6 minutes until the shallots are soft and the bacon is cooked.

Step 7: Add liquids

Add the chicken stock, cream, and nutmeg, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.

Step 8: Season the mixture

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 9: Add the greens

Add the cooled, drained greens to the cream mixture and allow them to warm through.

Step 10: Serve the collard greens

Serve the creamed collard greens immediately.

How can this creamed collard greens recipe be adapted?

This recipe for creamed collard greens with bacon can easily be adapted to suit a variety of different dietary needs or personal preferences. It's a great option as a side dish for whomever you have around your dinner table. To make this dish suitable for vegetarians, you can either omit the bacon or cook it separately and offer it on the side. And you'll need to swap out the chicken stock for a veggie version. To make this recipe vegan, you will want to swap out the butter for a dairy-free variety or a cooking oil. Similarly, you will need to substitute the cream for a dairy-free variety, such as coconut milk or a soy-based version, or you could use lactose-free cream if you're not trying to keep it completely plant-based.

To adapt the flavor profile of this dish, you could add some sauteed mushrooms to give the creamed collard greens an earthy flavor and to add a different texture to the mix. A really easy way to change the taste of this recipe is through adding different herbs and spices. Smoked paprika makes a delicious addition, especially if you're eliminating the bacon. You could also experiment with oregano, sage, or rosemary. Finally, if you're a cheese lover, why not add some Parmesan to the cream sauce to give it a sharp, cheesy finish?

How can this creamed collard greens recipe be served?

These deliciously creamy collard greens can be served as a side for a wide variety of dishes to create a hearty and well-balanced meal. For the meat lovers out there, these greens make the perfect pairing for most cuts of meat, from grilled steak or pork chops to roast chicken or turkey cutlets. They similarly work well served with fish, whether you prefer more oily fish such as trout or salmon, or lighter varieties such as tilapia or cod.

While the richness of this collard greens recipe means that it pairs well with meat, it's also wonderful when served alongside grains and pasta, which absorb the creamy sauce well. Creamed collard greens also make a great accompaniment for oven-roasted vegetables or as a side dish option for a big roast dinner. Finally, as these leafy greens are commonly used in Southern cooking, you could include them as a part of a Southern-inspired dinner, with cornbread, mac and cheese, and any kind of smoked meat or tofu.

Creamed Collard Greens With Bacon Recipe
4.9 from 29 ratings
Collard greens, a nutritional powerhouse, are boiled till tender and then mixed into a rich creamy sauce flavored with smoky bacon, garlic, and nutmeg.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
4
Portions
creamed collard greens with bacon
Total time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces collard greens, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
  2. Add the chopped greens and boil them for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Drain the greens through a colander and then transfer them to a bowl of cold water to blanch them.
  4. Drain and set to one side.
  5. Heat a large deep pan over medium heat.
  6. Add the butter, shallots, bacon, and garlic, and fry for 5 to 6 minutes until the shallots are soft and the bacon is cooked.
  7. Add the chicken stock, cream, and nutmeg, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the cooled, drained greens to the cream mixture and allow them to warm through.
  10. Serve the creamed collard greens immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 420
Total Fat 38.8 g
Saturated Fat 21.1 g
Trans Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 102.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Total Sugars 4.9 g
Sodium 496.0 mg
Protein 9.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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