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Fresh Tasting Canned Greens

This recipe is very convenient and allows the cook to still cook healthily.


  • 2-3 (15 oz) cans of collard greens
  • 6 thick slices smoky or white bacon (about 1/2 pound)
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  • 1 head medium fresh cabbage
  • salt to taste
  • sprinkle of sugar


Fry bacon of choice until done. Remove bacon, drain, cool and chop.

Place greens in a good-sized sauce pan, and add 1 cup water and chopped bacon. Years ago, we would have added a few Tbsp. of the bacon grease along with the bacon, but not today. Cook over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes.

In the meantime, cut up cabbage a little larger than you would do shredded cabbage. Add to the pot, salt to taste and cover with lid. Continue to cook over medium heat until cabbage is done to suit you. Doesn't take very long.

The greens will taste like you just picked them from the garden. It's adding the fresh cabbage that brings the canned collards back from the taste of being canned. I usually add just a sprinkle of sugar to the greens.


When served, you can add hot pepper vinegar if you like. Leftover greens can be frozen or refrigerated. I often add the leftovers to vegetable soup.

We enjoy greens with grilled pork chops and steamed rice. Pass the cornbread, please.

Enjoy. Jula in Boca Raton

Servings: 8-10
Time:1/2 Hours Preparation Time
60-90 Minutes Cooking Time

Source: A trick my mom taught me about 40 years ago.

By pookarina from Boca Raton, FL

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April 17, 20100 found this helpful

Hi pookarina,

I thought I'd tell you that I tried your (canned) greens" trick with cabbage today at lunch. I didn't have plain collard greens, so used my 2 cans of mixed greens. I must say that canned greens have never tasted so good.


We also like turnips greens with the white or purple roots chopped up in them, and I buy the canned ones of those when I can't find fresh greens. We always have nice fresh cabbage all year long. I'm going to try your cabbage trick with those next time. I wish you lived next door.

Thanks for sharing your food knowledge with us. ww

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April 18, 20100 found this helpful

Being from the south, our family also gets greens about once a week. My grandmother always cooked them for us when I was a child adding something she called "corn dodgers" on top of the greens. All us kids loved them. I think they are something like corn meal dumplings although they were like flat cakes of corn. Would you have the recipe for those? She also used a fatty type white salty bacon as seasoning if she didn't have ham.


My own kids like canned spinach, but will not eat cooked fresh spinach. They'll eat it in salads though. I don't know what I do wrong when I cook the fresh. How would you cook fresh spinach? Thanks for help. Lee

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April 18, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Lee,
I'm so sorry that I cannot help you with cooking fresh spinach. I've never cooked it as my family likes it raw and will eat it in salads and they prefer it over any kind of lettuce on sandwiches.

I've heard people talk about wilting spinach with hot bacon grease, but I've not tried it. Maybe someone else here will be able to teach us both a good trick or two.

All the best, Julia

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March 29, 20120 found this helpful

Mmmm - sounds really delicious!

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