How to Make Delicious Southern-Style Kale Greens


veracity83 will always be a Southern Gal at heart. She enjoys sharing yummy recipes from the south with readers.

Easy Recipe for Southern-Style Kale Greens

As we all know, eating green leafy vegetables play an important role in keeping a healthy diet. However, green leafy vegetables are not the most popular of foods—especially with children. I am going to show you how to make delicious southern-style kale greens that the whole family can enjoy!


  • 6 bundles kale greens
  • 1 teaspoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  1. Thoroughly clean and wash kale greens. Get rid of discolored/yellowish leaflets. Chop leaflets into fine pieces, but not too fine (it will cook down substantially).
  2. Place about 2 1/2 cups of water in a pot. You don't want to have too much water—this can lead to the greens tasting watered down. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Place 4 strips of bacon in the boiling water. Let the bacon boil on medium-high for 30 - 45 minutes. This allows for the flavor to soak into the water. Add a little more water if necessary to make sure it doesn't completely boil out. When the bacon is tender, cut into little pieces. You can also leave it whole if you would like.
  4. Next, add in your seasonings in any order that you would like. I typically start out by adding the chopped onion to the pot. Next, I add in the olive oil, black pepper, salt, vinegar, and crushed red pepper. After all seasonings are added, stir well to blend together.
  5. Add your kale greens. You may have to add them a little at a time to allow them to cook down. Once all greens have been added, let boil for about 10 minutes.
  6. Turn heat down to low heat, cover, and let simmer for about 2 1/2 hours. This allows for the flavor to penetrate into the greens. Season to taste as necessary and add just enough water to keep it from boiling out as necessary.

Final Notes

Kale greens are excellent with Jiffy Cornbread or regular homemade cornbread.


The same recipe can also be used for other types of greens such as turnips, collards, or mustards.


Kay on February 13, 2019:

Unbelievably delicious, only cooked 20 mins...

MARCELLE CASSADA on September 14, 2017:

just trying it today sounds good,added a little sugar to cut the bitterness.

Berth Boo 100 on September 17, 2014:

Perrfect......! They was so so delious

chantaye on September 14, 2014:

never had kale greens so I will be making them today using ur recipe minus the Bacon (we don't eat pork) but ill b using smoke Turkey necks...... wish me luck!!!

Creid on November 11, 2013:

This was my first attempt at greens and it came out perfect. Used apple cider vinegar and didn't have any crushed red pepper so put a teaspoon of hot sauce in the pot instead...yum!

paizley from Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 07, 2013:

That's the way I like my greens, long and slow cooked. Perfect. Not chewy and tough but melt in your mouth. I'm making some right now with some chicken broth instead of doing the bacon. Gonna have it with some chicken from the grill later!

SuziCat on July 30, 2012:

Mmmm mmm girl ... that sounds yummmm-mmeee! And it DOES sound like how my great-g'ma and g'ma made it way down in south Georgia. And YES YOU DID suggest Jiffy cornbread mix with it...love it!

Joel D on July 08, 2012:

Great recipe! I added sauteed onions & garlic, 1/2 tsp each of smoked paprika, cumin & mustard seed for a whole other layer of flavor.

J'Hani Hayes on June 15, 2012:

This is the same way I cook Collardgreens.I decided to try something different.I hope it tastes as good as it sounds.

J'Hani Hayes on June 15, 2012:

This is the same way I cook Collardgreens.I decided to try something different.I hope it tastes as good as it sounds.

Jerry Richards on December 27, 2011:

I made kale using your recipe for Christmas dinner and it was absolutely fabulously delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe.

Tracy on September 25, 2011:

Never had kale greens before. Used your recipe, and OMG, such yumminess!!!! Thank you soooo much for the recipe!! We will be making this a regular stape here!!!

Bob on February 25, 2011:

I bet u it taste good

veracity83 (author) from Northern Virginia on January 08, 2011:

For most vegetables, steaming is the best way to obtain the nutritional benefits. However, boiling is still a good way to obtain some nutritional benefits.

a on January 05, 2011:

I am going to try it but I thought in order to get the nutritional benefits you should only steam Kale for 5 minutes. Will try it your way and see how it taste! lol

Sandy on June 17, 2010:

I've never had Kale before and I made this last night, it was SO good! My 14 & 12 year old boy's loved it! Thanks so much for posting, I'll be making this dish a lot!

veracity83 (author) from Northern Virginia on March 04, 2010:

Good!! So glad you guys enjoyed it!!

SouthCarGigi on March 04, 2010:

Just made it (minus the meat, we're watching our weight) -- delish! kids loved it too, thanks!

Nina on January 19, 2010:

I gotta tell you.. For sure the one most important thing... We gotta "boil them greens" I love Kale greens and make them with a smoke turkey wing.. but just like yours they go about 2 and a half hours... very important.. beautiful.. thanks!

Latoya on July 27, 2009:

I really love how you set this up. Very creative and you made it simple. Now I have to try the recipe. Im sure I will love it because I love Greens. LOL.

veracity83 (author) from Northern Virginia on July 26, 2009:

I am a Georgia Girl born and raised!!!!

tiffany on July 24, 2009:

I'll definitely try this recipe with collard greens!! Thx Triv....u should apply to be on The Next Food Network Star!

claudia on July 24, 2009:

If I didn't know any better, I would think you were a Georgia girl. That is such a good way to cook Kale and enjoy it. Thank for the tips.

Bryant on July 24, 2009:

Sounds like Mama's recipe! All you missing is cornbread and fish..hint hint..

Christina on July 24, 2009:

How could anyone go wrong? You have it all laid out. This is good for people like me :)

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