Easy Weeknight Garlicky Southern Greens

Easy Weeknight Garlicky Southern Greens

This recipe for Easy Weeknight Southern Greens uses secret ingredients to balance the bitterness of a combination of greens. So, here’s the secret that I learned in culinary school: sweet, acid, and salt can balance bitterness. So, when you add maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt, to bitter wilted greens you can create a balanced flavor. Now, when you think of cruciferous vegetables you probably think of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. However, did you know that collard, turnip, mustard, and dandelion greens are all part of the cruciferous family of vegetables too? That means you can get the same anti-cancer benefits from these greens as well. In addition, you can add some sweeter leafy greens in the form of Swiss Chard for a unique combination of greens.

How to make Garlicky Southern Greens

Wash 1 1/2 pounds of greens thoroughly. I used a combination of collard, Swiss chard, and dandelion.

Cut the stem out of the greens and save for mineral broth. I like to measure out all of the rest of the ingredients.

You can either cook three pieces of bacon and then add the onions or you can heat up a tablespoon of reserved bacon fat (which I keep in my fridge) and use leftover cooked bacon. Place onions in the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, and then add the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and red pepper flakes to the pan.

Start adding the greens to the pan in batches starting with the toughest greens first. In my case I added the collards first, followed by the dandelion greens, and ending with the Swiss chard.

Once all the greens are wilted, add the chicken broth.

Saute the greens over medium heat and cook until tender and most of the broth is evaporated. Add chopped bacon before serving.

Weeknight Southern Greens cooked in stainless steel pan sprinkled with bacon crumbles.

I served Easy Weeknight Garlicky Greens with sliced pork tenderloin.

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Easy Weeknight Garlicky Southern Greens

A mixture of collard, Swiss chard, and dandelion greens makes a great trifecta of greens for Easy Weeknight Southern Garlicky Greens.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds greens (ideally a mix of collards, chard, and dandelion greens) roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 slices bacon cooked


  • Wash greens. Cut out tough stems and save for mineral broth. Measure and and set out the rest of the ingredients (mise en place).
  • Heat medium-sized skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Either cook 3 slices of bacon and set aside bacon while keeping the rendered fat in the skillet, or melt 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat. Add diced onion to the bacon grease and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic to the sauteing onions and cook for 1 minute. Add apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and red pepper flakes to the pan.
  • Start adding greens to the skillet in batches from the toughest to the tenderest. If using, add collards first. After wilted add dandelion greens. Saute the tender chard until wilted.
  • Add the chicken broth and saute the greens over medium heat until dark green and tender. Before serving add finely chopped bacon.
Keyword dandelion greens, kale, Swiss chard

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