Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey

5 from 1 reviews

These collard greens with smoked turkey are tender and full of flavor! Everything you love about Southern-style greens, minus the pork!


  • 3 pounds of fresh or bagged collard greens, thoroughly rinsed and chopped
  • 1 smoked turkey neck, leg or wings
  • 4 tablespoons of salted butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 45 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of worcestershire sauce – optional


*Refer to the notes section below for instructions on how to clean and chop the collard greens.

  1. Saute the aromatics: in an 8-quart stock pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and saute the onions, garlic and crushed red chili flakes over medium heat, until the onions are translucent. 
  2. Brown the meat: add the smoked turkey meat to the pot and brown it on all sides.
  3. Make the braising liquid: add the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and half of the chicken broth to the pot. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce and sugar, and bring the pot to a simmer.
  4. Braise the greens: turn the flame down low, and add the greens to the pot. Pour the rest of the chicken broth over the greens. Cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for an hour and a half.
  5. Shred the meat: remove the turkey leg or wing and use a fork to break the meat up. Disregard this step if you’re using a turkey neck. Discard of any bones and fatty pieces and return the meat to the pot. Stir the pot and taste the greens. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt and pepper to your liking. 
  6. Finish braising: Cover the pot with a lid, and let the greens continue to simmer for another 1-2 hours, depending on how tender you want your greens. Once the greens are done, turn the flame off and let them sit for 10-20 minutes to let the flavors settle. Give them a final stir and serve!


Cleaning and chopping the collard greens

  1. Cut off the part of the stem that extends past the bottom of the leaf and discard it.
  2. Roll up each leaf tightly and slice the greens as thin as you would like.
  3. Soak the sliced greens in cold water for 10-15 minutes, then rinse and repeat as necessary. A large stainless steel mixing bowl or clean kitchen sink can be used to soak the greens.

Serve the collard greens with a dash of hot sauce

Keywords: greens, turkey, smoked turkey, southern, easy recipe, collard greens, vegetables, sides