Slow Cooker Collard Greens – Real Food Whole Life

Slow cooker collard greens recipe

Video Slow cooker collard greens recipe

This easy slow-cook kale recipe combines humble cabbages with simple spices for a deliciously tender and delicious garnish you’ll want to make repeatedly.

Aerial shot of kale cooked with a ham hock in a black slow cooker.

About this slow cooker cabbage recipe

These slow-cooker collard greens are tender, silky and lightly smoked, and are cooked to perfection low and slowly in the clay pot.

For added flavor, I use a ham hock to add a smoky richness, but you can also use smoked turkey, sausage, bacon, or making meatless kale, just be sure to check out all those variations, below.

I love serving these tasty cabbages as a simple dish for an easy weekday dinner, but they’re also perfect for Thanksgiving or any festive table.

They go particularly well with this delicious sweet potato, roast potatoes and balsamic chicken casserole.


Aerial firing of green cabbage leaves washed on a cutting board.

Process, advance preparation and storage tips

Cooking kale in the slow cooker allows them to become ultra-tender because they cook slowly and slowly for several hours


Be sure not to remove the lid during cooking time, as it will prevent the vegetables from becoming tender.

Vegetables can be prepared and

chopped in advance, and chicken broth mixture can also be prepared in advance.

Store both,

separated, refrigerated, up to

3 days before. These slow cook cabbages

can also be fully prepared up to 3 days in advance


Store, covered, in the refrigerator, then gently reheat in the slow cooker over low heat for 30-60 minutes.

Aerial shot of sliced kale on a cutting board.

Why make cabbage in the

slow cooker There are a number of reasons why you might want to cook kale in the slow cooker instead of the stove.

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For holidays like Thanksgiving, cooking kale in the slow cooker can save valuable oven space for other dishes. Cooking on


Crockpot also allows you to keep the kalees warm so they’re ready when everyone is ready to eat!

Finally, cooking cabbage in the slow cooker can be helpful when taking the dish to shared meals or to a friend’s house.

Sliced kale aerial shot with a ham hock in a pot  black slow cooker.


With turkey: Use 1/2 – 1 pound of smoked turkey wings instead of the ham hock. With

sausage: Use 1 pound of kielbasa sausage

instead of the ham hock. With bacon:

Use 1 pound of cooked bacon instead of the ham hock

. No meat: Skip the ham hock and use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth.

You may need to add extra salt, so test and adjust as desired.

Sliced kale aerial shot with a ham hock in a black slow cooker.

Key ingredients

Kale: Make sure your vegetables are thoroughly washed to remove any dirt and sand. Kale or other resistant vegetables can also be used.

Ham Hock: Look for a 1- to 2-pound ham hock for this recipe. Smoked turkey wings, kielbasa sausages, and bacon can also be used (see variations, above). For a vegetarian version, see notes, above.

Broth: Chicken broth adds flavor, but water can also be used, although you may need to adjust the salt.

Brown sugar: Add a very subtle sweetness, but feel free to skip it for a low-sugar, low-carb Whole30 option.

Apple cider vinegar: Gives a good taste. Red wine vinegar can also be used.

Freshly ground pepper: Add a little heat. You can also use red pepper flakes, and increase for a spicier version.

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Salt: Between the chicken broth and the ham hock I found that this recipe didn’t need much extra salt. However, salt is a personal preference, so feel free to add more at the end if you wish.

Aerial shot of kale cooked with a ham hock in a black slow cooker.

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