Gina's Best Collard Greens

Total Time:
2 hr 15 min
15 min
2 hr

8 to 10 servings

  • 5 bundles collard greens
  • 4 cups salted water
  • 3 large smoked ham hocks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Thoroughly wash collard greens. Be sure to pull leaves apart and remove any sand. Chop collard greens.

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of salted water to a simmer. Place smoked ham hocks in salted water and cover for about 90 minutes. Cook ham hocks until slightly tender. In the same saucepan, add remaining ingredients and collard greens.

Cover and cook greens for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

*Cook's Note: Make sure at least half of ham hocks are covered with water. If not, add additional water.

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    122 Reviews
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    This was yuuuuummmy! Some must have modifications: Used turkey necks/wings (we don't eat red meat) and the first time i followed recipe as is and it was way too sweet so second time only put like 1/3 sugar. Also used chicken stock instead of water and seasoned it with a generous amount of chicken bouillon powder (about a cup). Once turkey had simmered for hour and half, added maybe half cup vinegar, 1/2 cup more bouillon, red pepper flakes, season all, and the collards? 
    Absolutely delicious. After reading review I cut down a bit on the sugar to 1/3 C. (just my preference) added 1/4 C. apple cider vinegar and 2 T. pepper flakes. Turned out great. Thanks for sharing.
    THE BEST!!!! I've always been a little afraid of "Collard Green" because we grew up on Turnip, Mustard, with a little spinach in my family but I wanted to try something different. After all I believe that's the point of cooking, exploring and being creative and open to new things. I just want to say Thank You to Pat & Gina, not only does your love and playfulness remind me of my parents but your food does as well!!! Once again Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!!
    I decided to give this recipe a try and was not to thrilled with it. The 1 cup of sugar just made the greens sweet and that's not how I grew up eating them. I think I'll just go with my grandmothers recipe since that's never failed me.
    Love this dish! It is my signature dish for Thanksgiving and I get special requests throughout the year to make it for friends. It's so simple with 5 ingredients and cheap to make; I spend less than $10 for the ham hocks and collard greens. THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS RECIPE!!!
    They were delicious!! My husband and I loved them - I did take the advice of some of the other viewers and decided to only add a 1/2 cup of sugar and I added some garlic powder. And, I had to add my hot sauce after I put them on my plate. Love you Pat and Gina.
    I loved it! I had never cooked collards. This was my first attempt and it came out excellent. I did alter the recipe a little by using pork jowl bacon, but it still worked.
    Loved it! I cut the sugar out for the Diabetics in the family.
    I want to give this recipe 5 stars - but it needs a time edit. Total cook time is listed as 2 hours 15 minutes BUT if you read the directions you have two stages to the cooking that total 3 hours plus prep. I didn't catch this until I was already cooking and had to take short cuts to get them done in time.
    Was very tasty - I might consider cutting the sugar to 1/2 cup but otherwise I'd make this again!!! Very Good!!
    Loved it!!!!!!
    Pat, Gina tried and will continue to cook this version of this recipe. I used chicken broth instead of water. 1/3cup of sugar. I can't have to much sugar. The greens turned out Great! Keep on keeping on you two. I love the books and show.
    I loved them except the sugar. I knew it would be too sweet for my personal taste so I cut it back to about a third the recipe asked for it was perfect. Not a recipe flaw but just a matter of personal taste. They turned out fantastic and my fiance is still talking about them a week later.
    Cut a huge load of collards today and used this recipe for the first time. Added 1/4 C apple cider vinegar. Used 1/3 C sugar and 2TB red pepper flakes. Cut greens' cooking time down to 45 minutes b/c I don't like them mushy. Stellar!
    OUTSTANDING! I followed the directions but I used smoked turkey legs I did on the grill. Cooked them down for about 1 hour, the next morning I threw the greens in the crock pot and cooked them on the low setting for about 6 hours....delicious! I also used red pepper powder with fresh garlic and onion.
    These were the best collards I've ever eaten, let alone cooked myself! I agree with reducing the sugar a little, but think you need a little sweetness to balance with the red pepper flakes. Only thing I'll do differently next time is cook a larger amount; there were no leftovers :(
    making them today to go with our smoked turkey. I agree with the others who decided to cut the sugar; mine was too sweet the 1st time too. I'll also try the suggestion of the garlic powder.
    This is just the way my grandma cooks her collard. I having been cooking like this for along time. always love the favor. Agree with a lot of veiwer using less sugar so it want take away from the taste of the collards.
    love the taste but change the sugar to 1tbs of garlic powder
    Way too sweet. I would suggest cutting the sugar entirely and adding a bit of garlic instead.
    I actually made Paula Deen's collards recipe HOWEVER, I borrowed the idea of adding sugar suggested in this recipe. My collards were DELECTABLE. Definitely cut the sugar in half and add ONLY a 1/2 cup otherwise, it will be really sweet. This new addition gave the collards that "something, something" and that something was GOOD.
    I saw Gina cook this with Paula Deen and knew I had to try it. It was awesome. Loved the sweetness and the kick. Ive always had to add a bit of Louisiana hot sauce or pepper sauce in the past. this doesnt really need that now. will make it my go to greens recipe.
    Absolutely fabulous! Even the kids loved it. I would definitely cut the sugar though. I thought that as I was measuring but you live and learn. We like things a little more spicy in our house so I'm going to increase the red pepper flakes next time. Went perfectly with the Turkey with holiday rub recipe they included in the app. I <3 the Neely's!!!!!!!!
    Gina girl sure knows what she is doing!! Loved this recipe. I will cut the sugar in 1/2 the next time I make it. I did add a little vinegar on mine but hubby (who was cracking up the whole time loved his just the way Gina is a new "New Years Day" tradition in our home!!!
    This reciepe is so simple and it's so good. I'm going use this recipe from now on. Everyone loved my collard greens. I did read the reviews prior to preparing it and per everyone's suggestions I cut the sugar by half and it was perfect.
    This is a great collard recipe! Very Southern and with the right amount of salt with the sugar the flavor is awesome.
    Great recipe for "authentic" collard greens!!! I've struggled for years with getting the flavors right with my greens and this recipe hits the mark. I modified a little bit by slightly reducing the amount of sugar and using a smoked turkey leg, instead of hamhocks.
    I've been using this recipe for a few years now and I love it, my guess also love them..
    Yep, this recipe rocks!!! Although I only use half the sugar she recommends, it still has so much flavor. The meaty ham hocks really are great Love them with the hot vinegar I make.
    Gina's Collard Greens were slammin. 
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