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Slow Cooker Collard Greens

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This slow cooker collard greens recipe uses fresh greens, onions, and a blend of spices, delivering a rich and hearty Southern dish. Make this recipe in a slow cooker for a stred-free and delicious recipe.

cooked collards greens in slow cooker


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In the South, collard greens are a staple in any family or Holiday meal. But the time it takes to prepare and cook them on the stove can be daunting, especially when cooking a million other dishes. That’s when my slow Cooker comes in handy.

I’ve shared these delicious pressure cooker collards, but if you don’t have a pressure cooker or prefer the low and slow braise of collard greens in the slow Cooker, this recipe is for you. It’s flavorful, easy to make, and has a delicious pot liquor you’ll want to drink up.

I chose to make this dish meatless because I know not everyone wants meat in their greens. However, I still use a little bacon grease. I couldn’t help myself, it’s delicious. If you like this dish, you’ll also love this turnip greens recipe.

collard greens in slow cooker with spoon sticking out

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Collard Greens:

  • Fats – I use bacon grease and unsalted butter in this recipe but feel free to use all butter or replace it with oil. The added fats in collard greens help tame the bitterness of collards and provide excellent flavor and mouthfeel.
  • Yellow onion – for flavor!
  • Fresh collard greens – these must be properly rinsed, dried, and chopped. You can use bagged collard greens if you don’t feel like cutting your collard greens.
  • Cajun seasoning – for a delicious flavor. It’s subtle yet delicious.
  • Chicken Broth – your collards will need some liquid to cook properly. Feel free to sub with vegetable broth if need be.
  • Apple cider vinegar – adding vinegar to collards is a game changer! I can’t make collards without it.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
ingredients for slow cooker collard greens on blue background

Tools Needed

  • Slow Cooker – I use a 6 Quart slow cooker when making these greens.

How to prep Collard Greens

  1. Wash: Start by soaking your collard greens in a tub or sink full of water. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, rinse the leaves to remove any dirt or grit. Repeat these steps 1-2 times until all dirt and grit is removed.
  2. Remove stems: Lay the leaf flat, cut along the sides of the central stem to remove. The stems have a tougher texture and require more cooking time than the leaves, so it is best to remove them.
  3. Chop: Stack several leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, then slice the roll crosswise into strips. You can make these strips as wide or narrow as you like depending on your preference.

How to Make Slow Cooker Collard Greens:

Transfer the chopped greens to the slow Cooker.

Add the bacon grease, unsalted butter, onion, chicken broth, and cajun seasoning to the slow Cooker. Cover the slow Cooker and cook collard greens on low for about 6-7 hours until the greens are tender and full of flavor.

ingredients for collard greens in the slow cooker insert

Stir once or twice during cooking to distribute the melting butter and bacon grease.

Once done, add apple cider vinegar and season the greens with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy.

collard green in black slow cooker

How to Store Cooked Collard Greens

  • Refrigerator Storage: Store the cooked collard greens in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh and flavorful for up to 4-5 days. You can use a microwave or reheat gently on the stovetop until warmed through.
  • Freezer Storage: To freeze the cooked collard greens, let them cool completely before transferring them to freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Be sure to leave some space for expansion. They can be stored for about three months. When ready to eat, thaw the greens overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat.

Serving Suggestions

  • As part of a Southern Meal: Create a true Southern feast by pairing these collard greens with classic dishes like cornbread, fried chicken, black-eyed peas, and mashed potatoes.
  • Pair with Grains: The hearty flavor of these collard greens pairs beautifully with simple grains. Try serving them with a side of cornbread, over brown rice, or even quinoa.
  • Complement with Protein: These slow-cooked collard greens can greatly accompany various protein-based dishes. Consider serving alongside grilled chicken, roasted pork, or for a vegetarian option, grilled tofu or tempeh.

Why Make Collard Greens in the Slow Cooker?

Using a slow cooker saves time and lets ingredients simmer together for a tastier flavor. Plus, you can set and forget the slow Cooker, making it an easy side dish for any meal.

Make it your own

  • Sub chicken broth for vegetable broth, and use olive oil or butter instead of bacon grease.
  • Add smoked meats, like ham hock, turkey, or cooked bacon, for a smokey flavor. Add large smoked meats, like ham hocks or smoked turkeys, at the beginning of the slow cooking cycle.
  • Use bagged collard greens for ease if you don’t feel like prepping the collard greens.
  • Add red pepper flakes for a bit of spice.
cooked collards greens in a white dish


Can I Use Mustard greens, Turnip greens, or Kale Greens?

Absolutely! This recipe works great with any hearty greens you have on hand. Use them alone or in combination with collard greens for a flavor-packed dish.

How do I know when the collard greens are done cooking?

The collard greens should be tender and flavorful after about 6 hours of cooking on low. If they’re still tough, you may need to cook them longer.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

To make this recipe vegan, replace the bacon grease and butter with plant-based oil, like olive or avocado oil. Sub the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

Can I use frozen collard greens?

Frozen collard greens can be used if fresh ones aren’t available. Remember that the texture may be slightly different, and the cooking time may need to be adjusted.

Are slow cooker and crockpot collard greens the same thing?

Yes, a crockpot is a slow cooker.

Looking for more greens recipes? Try these out:

cooked collards greens in slow cooker
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4 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Collard Greens

This slow cooker collard greens recipe uses fresh greens, onions, and a blend of spices, delivering a rich and hearty Southern dish. Make this recipe in a slow cooker for a stred-free and delicious recipe.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword slow cooker collard greens
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 114kcal
Author Tanya


  • 2 Tablespoons bacon grease*
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 lb collard greens rinsed, dried, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Add the bacon grease, unsalted butter, onion, collard greens, cajun seasoning, and chicken broth to the slow Cooker.
  • Cover the slow Cooker and cook on low for about 6-7 hours, stirring once or twice during cooking, until the greens are tender.
  • Once done, add apple cider vinegar and season the greens with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy.

Suggested Tools


  • If you don’t have bacon grease, you can substitute it with extra butter or a plant-based oil for a vegetarian alternative.
  • Sometimes collard greens can be bitter. If your collards are too bitter, add about 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar to tame the bitterness.
  • I usually add ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ black pepper to this dish before serving.


Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4241IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 1mg
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Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 14th of February 2024

Followed exactly. I didn’t change anything. Came out very greasy. Husband did not like either.


Thursday 15th of February 2024

Thank you for your feedback. We don't find it greasy. However, if you make this again, I'd cut the amount of bacon grease for your preference.