Tender slow cooked soul food style collard greens and smoked ham hocks recipe.
I just love greens! Seriously I do. It’s hard to believe that there was a time that I didn’t care much for them. When I was a little girl, we had greens almost every darn day, and I hated it. I wanted to just eat mac and cheese, and fried chicken – I didn’t want no darn greens! That was how it was until I was about 12. I don’t know what came over me, but one day my mom made a big ol’ pot of tender collard greens and smoked ham hocks and it was over!! The greens were so freaking tender, and flavorful. The smoked ham hocks were cooked until the meat & fat fell right off of the bone. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water! Yasssssss – my moms greens are the bomb, and I modeled my greens after hers.
One thing that I never understood was why in the heck did my mom stand over that darn stove cooking those greens all day. To me in was, and still is a waste of time. I hate standing over a pot all day, stirring, and seasoning, and tossing stuff in. I’d much rather just put everything into a pot, and go to another dish. At least that’s how I feel when it comes to making collard greens. Let’s be honest, cooking greens is not that interesting. Heck, It’s pretty darn boring. You gotta clean the greens, then cut them, then cook them. What’s interesting about it? Nada darn thing! LOL. However, they taste so dang good. Therefore I make them!
Whenever I make my soul food collard greens and smoked ham hocks, I make it simple. I cook them in my Crock-Pot. That’s right- you heard me! I make my greens in the slow cooker, and they always come out perfect!
I start off with the smoked ham hocks(which adds most of the flavor to the greens). You see, in order to have a plate of bomb greens and ham hocks, you MUST cook the ham hocks right. You want to cook the meat until it falls off of the bone, because you want to make sure that there is ham hocks throughout the whole pot. Also, you want the ham hocks nice and tender.
For for flavor, I also use onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, and apple cider vinegar. If you don’t like, or can’t have spicy food, omit the spicy peppers. If you want it spicier – add more peppers!
Oh by the way, you can use this recipe for turnips, mustard greens, and more! Also if you don’t eat port, substitute the ham hocks with smoked turkey wings.
Watch my video tutorial
Crock-Pot Collard Greens and Ham Hocks
- 2 lbs collard greens washed & cut
- 2 large smoked ham hocks
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 large jalapeno peppers chopped
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 8 cups water
- Place the ham hocks, onions, garlic, and peppers into the slow cooker, then turn pour in 8 cups of water.
- Put the lid on the slow cooker, then set on high for 6 hours.
- After 4 hours the ham hocks should be tender and falling off of the bone.
- Start adding in the collard greens.
- Sprinkle in the salt & pepper, then add in the apple cider vinegar.
- Give everything a stir, then let cook for two more hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
Just want to confirm that the recipe needs to be cooked on HIGH in the crockpot. Thanks so much and look forward to making these.
Yes. on high.
Don Ammons says
Excellent just like my mom made…all my folks ..aunts ..uncles both sides of my family left Oklahoma in 1940 was like one big tribe..grew. up on soul food but I always thought it was Okie food…
I have a 7 quart crockpot and 8 pounds of collards, do I need to double the seasonings. water and cooking time?
No, you do not need to double the cooking time. Season to taste.
I’ve been searching for a recipe for greens for a long time due to mine never turn out right. I have to say I used your recipe & I finally made collard greens the right way. Only difference in mine I used smoked turkey wings instead of hamhocks. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Bridget Flynn says
Fantastic way of cooking collards!! And yes, while not technically a Southerner; i do prefer ham hocks as well, because the bones add flavor too!!
I’m trying this today for thanksgiving they look delicious!!
Let me know if you have any questions! XOXO
They are really good! Rosie I also used your recipe for down home dressing , baked turkey wings and southern Mac and cheese! So far I am so very grateful for your blogs! Everything’s delicious!
Awee. Thank you Robin! Enjoy the holidays! XOXO
I don’t understand the question. 2 tsp in Mac?
If using a turkey leg instead of a ham hock would you still cook it on high for 6 hrs? Will it fall apart like a ham hock?
I cook it for the same amount of time, but you can cook it to your preference.
Hi Rosie I made a mistake put the seasoning and vinegar in with the meat, is that ok? Does it make a difference?
No, it will be fine 😀
Thanks Rosie, your greens was a hit, along with your sweet potato pie, creamy mash potatoes and mac & cheese.
Thank YOU for trying my recipes! XOXO
Kristy Jackson says
I did the same thing, sheesh! I hope they turn out ok.
I want to cook this for my family tommorow ,what count of turkey wings would i need to do to replace ham hocks and how would you recommend cooking the turkey wings?
Hi there! Use the same amount of smoked turkey. I cook my turkey for the same amount of time, BUT you can cook it to your preference. Happy holidays!
donna davis says
hi rosie frist thing you are beautiful i love the way you relate on line it’s just like i’m in your kitchen GOD BLESS you AND YOUR FAMILY KEEP ON COOKING AND warming the HEARTS
OF SO MANY PEOPLE
You are so sweet! Thank you! Happy Holidays!
is it the same if you use turkey for the meat?
dee dee says
thank you.. thank you!!!!!! I made this for thanksgiving and omg everyone raved how great they were!!!!!! Only thing I added was a few red pepper flakes. I used this entire site to make thanksgiving and my family and friends were very pleased
No problem Dee Dee. Thank YOU for trying my recipe!
Will this recipe work for turnip and mustard greens?
Hi rosie I will be trying crock pot greens for Christmas.. can I use the greens in the bag. Like the glory greens do u think they will come out tender like this or should I chop my own ?
You can certainly use the bagged greens. Just be sure to rinse them before using 🙂
Alia Haygood says
You are amazing and a true gift from GOD! Thank you for all your recipes…
I was wondering do you have the actual recipe for stove top collard greens. I previously saw the recipe on your site and now I only see the crock pot version. My husband broke the crock pot so we are stuck doing it on the stove.
I made your greens, green beans and creamed corn for Thanksgiving and it was a smashing hit! So thank you. You made me look like a phenomenon in the kitchen. OH YEA!!!!
Anyway…may GOD continue to bless you and keep you ever so highly favored!
Elijah Jenkins says
Mrs.Rosie I want to use Glory Collard greens and smoked neck bones.l usually add a little sugar to my greens.Is it alright to add a little sugar with this recipe?What are my steps for doing this in my slow cooker?By the way I did the Barbecue Ribs recipe from your blog.I was lookin for someone to slap there were so good.Thanks.Your Awesome
Hi Elijah! You are welcome to use Glory greens, and add sugar if you want. Definitely season, and spice it up to your preference. The steps would remain the same for the ham hocks. Cut the cooking time for the greens down in half.
Hi ms Rosie
I saw this post a couple of days ago and thought what a delicious Picture and I just had to try them I made them yesterday along with
Your barbecued baked pork chops and southern potatoe salad and girl let me tell me you oh my god everything was sooo good my friends where talking about them all night and unfortunately there
Wasn’t anything thing left over wanted to tell you thanks for sharing
Your recipes with us them meal was a great hit will be trying some more of them as the days go on once again thanks for a southern touch to southern cooking gone well you go ms lady
Hi Ms.Felicia! Thank YOU for trying my recipes. I’m glad that you all enjoyed them!
i have made your baked mac and cheese , that was awesome. i know this might sound like a dumb question but what is “pot licker juice”?
It’s the juice from greens. LOL
I just found your recipe and I can’t wait to try it. I was introduced to greens this year by a dear co-worker and have been craving them since. I can’t wait to check out your other recipes after reading the reviews on here. Everything sounds amazing.
Hi Beth! I’m glad that you found my blog. Let me know how the greens come out for ya!
I can’t remember how I found your blog but I am so thankful to God that I did! As a mother of three young children (6 years and under) who works outside of the home I have been struggling to find slow cooker recipes that my family would love. I grew up eating soul food and wanted to do the same for my kids, but I just could never find the time. Also all of the slow cooker recipes that I found before just were not foods that my family likes. And then came your blog. I cannot tell you the compliments I got this week from my husband, mom, and dad when they tasted the slow cooker collard greens and slow cooker mac and cheese! I cannot thank you enough!!! I look forward to cooking now!
Hi Tionnei! I’m glad that you found my blog as well! Glad to hear that everyone liked the recipes. XOXO
I am making these now cus they look amazing. 🙂 I do have a question though, will these freeze well?
Hi Shea! Yes, you can freeze them.
Hi Rosie ! If I make these the day before thanks giving , how should I store and would they be fine to “re heat” or should I just make them the day of ?
Hi Olivia! You sure can make it the day before. Simply store it in a refrigerator safe /plastic bowl, and cover. You can reheat it the next day over medium heat. XOXO
Your dishes look great, can’t wait to try each and everyone
Do you have to add the vinegar? What is the purpose of the vinegar for the taste anyway? Also, Can i replace the water with chicken or vegetable broth?
Thanks in advance for answering all my questions
The vinegar is optional. It adds flavor. Yes, you can use broth instead of water.
Can you use frozen or bag collard greens??? If you do is their any different cooking time?
Yes, you can use either.
Just googled about crock pot greens for Turkey day and so glad I ran across your blog. Thank you for sharing first of all. Question, my family doesn’t like a ton of meat in their greens so the fall off the bone meat won’t work. I figured I could cook the meat for say 2 hours instead and then add my greens making total cook time 4 hours. Do you think that would work? If not do you have an alternative? Again, thank you for your time and have a great Thanksgiving.
Hi Shamis! I’d still follow the recipe, and you can remove some of the meat once done.
I hope mine comes out ok. I got hamhocks already cooked. I have decided to go ahead and put all the beginning ingredients for 2 1/2 hours then I’ll add the greens for 2more.
OH my goodness!! So yummy. I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved how flavorful they were.
I just wanted to let you know I followed your recipe this Thanksgiving for these greens and I got nonstop compliments on it. The only thing I did different was used turkey necks instead of hamhocks, chicken bullion cubes instead of apple cider vinegar and seasoned to my preference. Thank you so much for all of your help!!!!
I just moved back up north after living in Georgia for 7 years, and I cannot wait to make this for christmas! I’ve really enjoyed collard recipes in the past that call for beer; however these recipes usually have bacon instead of ham and I would rather go with ham. Would the dish taste odd with beer and ham instead of bacon? thanks!
I never add beer to my collards. I couldn’t tell you. Sorry.
If I want to half this recipe do I still cook it on 6 hours?
Also will this work with chicken broth? Or do you recommend just using water
Yes to both questions.
Fern Winegar says
Can you use fresh ham hocks instead of smoked
You can, but will have to add more seasonings for taste 🙂
Muguet Bradbury says
I have two ham hocks totalling about 2 pounds but only a one pound bag of collards. Can I use both ham hocks? I personally don’t mind extra meat but I wanted to check. I have some kale that I could add if it would help.
You sure can! Happy New year!
Laura Harris says
Rosie, will you be doing a cook book and if so, please let me know. I am willing to purchase from you.
Absolutely! Make sure that you are on my mailing list for updates. XOXO
Laura Harris says
I already subscribed to your list and that crockpot collard greens came out sooooo perfect. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Everyone was eating three and four helping of it 🙂
Awesome!! I have more Crock-Pot recipes coming 🙂
Laura Harris says
Oh wow, I can’t wait 🙂 I will be on the lookout for those 🙂 My next dish to make is your yummy mac n cheese and baked chicken for my son. We can’t wait to try it 🙂
I always cook my ham hocks in the slow cooker with the seasonings on low overnight, then pour all into a pot to cook the greens. Never thought about putting the greens in the slow cooker, too!
Yeah, it saves time, and it’s one less pot to wash 🙂
Lady T says
Great recipes how can we save your recipes easier than printing for me..
As of now, printing is the only option. Sorry.
Wade Smith says
Sounds good will give it a try.
shantel collins says
I have a large family so I want to double the recipe so I will have to cook it on the stove top. Can you tell me how long to cook the hamhocks with the othet ingredients listed. And then how long to cook the greens once added to the pot? Sorry, I know the point is to use the crockpot but the amount I need won’t fit.
Hi Shantel! Please check out my other collard green recipes.
Phil Hensley says
What is your pot licker made from?
The leftover juices from the greens. Whatever is left in the pot 🙂
Jeffrey Ouimet says
Rosie, this recipe is fabulous! I’ve eaten greens all around the country and these are simply the finest. Thank you so much for sharing this for all. I love your blog. God Bless and keep up the great job!
Hi Jeffrey! So glad that you like my recipe!
Vickie Jefferson says
Well, I am a Southerner but I have never cooked hamhocks nor even purchased them. A lady helped me find hamhocks and things are moving along with your easy recipe. My only problem is that the recipes I like all require a crockpot and I only have one! The recipes look so good so I will find a way. I am serving the dry large limas with the greens. A pone of cornbread and BBQ pork will complete my meal. Sound good? Come on over.
That sounds amazing! Mail me a plate HAHA!
Clarence Terry says
I can say one thing I have family from Virginia and Alabama this is one of the best green recipe that I have ever tried
Hi Clarence!!Thanks so much! I’m glad that you like my recipe 🙂
Hi Rosie!! If I decided to use smoked turkey instead, should I allow the meat to cook the same amount of time you let your ham hocks cook (4 hours)? Thanks in advanced.
Hi Ronnie! Sometimes smoked turkey takes less time. Try 3 hours 🙂
If i decide to do 4lbs of greens is the cook time is still the same or do I need to cook it longer then the two hours
No, the same time frame should work 🙂
Kim Quinn says
I have no crock pot but a large corning cassarole that has a heavy glass lid.
Inside I have all your ingredients but the greens are a mix of collards and tuscan kale. What is the oven equivalent of high on crockpot? I have it set at 359 for now? Higher and how long, ballpark. I had no hocks or wings so made do with slices of smoky spiral ham…a generous amount. So happy! Added 6C water. Any advice appreciated. Just put in oven now. Wednesday, 10/25/17.
Hi Kim! Try using my stovetop Collard Green recipe here.
Kim Quinn says
So sorry, meant 350. New to your site and love it!
If I’m making this recipe for 12 people would you suggest doubling all the ingredients? Also, if doubled will everything still fit in a 6 quart crock pot?
Hi Kyla! Yes, you can double the recipe. It should fit in a 6qt 🙂
You have given me hope!
Over the last year I have used a bunch of your recipes and what do you know. I hear chatter from my roommates that I can cook!!
Excited to try this for our friendsgiving.
Let me know if you have any questions! XOXO
I only have 5 hours to make these greens. Would you put the greens, spices and vinegar in after 3 hours in this case? Would the hocks be cooked through? LOVE this recipe! I have used it several times. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!
The ham hocks might not be as tender as you’d like 😀
Made these for Thanksgiving. OMG they were delicious. Next time I’ll put a hint of jalapeno peppers in there.
I made these for Thanksgiving. Oh my God they were so delicious! I will never make greens another way again, this is the ultimate recipe. Thank you do much for sharing this.
Thanks so much for trying my recipe Jessica!
Cierra Peters says
Made this for Friendsgiving (doubled the recipe for 16 people) and everyone LOVED them! One friend almost walked out the door with my 2nd crockpot full of these greens! She was so in love! Definitely a holiday/fancy dinner staple moving forward!
I added Adobo (because my ancestors wouldn’t let me NOT add it lol) and a bit more ACV
Thanks for trying!! I will try adding Adobo next time!
Marlesha McClendon says
I watched this video in 2016 I never knew how to make collard greens I just always helped my mom clean them. Thank you so much because now every thanksgiving my job is to make the collard greens
Lou Tippey says
Great recipe for collard greens. Yummm
Mary Easley says
I am cooking the greens in a 4 qt slow cooker and I am using bag collards. Will 2 bag fit this recipe. Thanks much
How big are the bags? More than likely, it should fit.
Mary Easley says
I am cooking the greens in a 4 qt slow cooker and I am using bag collards. Will1bag fit this recipe. Thanks much
Mary Easley says
God bless u for your blog. Never really learned how to cook soul food but thanks to you and your blog I have gotten pretty good. Keep up the awesome job.
Can I use salt pork instead of ham hocks? How would you cook those up?
That would be another recipe.
Sooooo glad I found your blog. I am making them this weekend. I want to use bag collard greens. Ofcourse I’m still going to rewash them. My question is…is the cook time for the greens different using the bagged ones? Or still the 2 hours? Also, are the smoked ham hocks ready to go when I buy them? Or do I need to peel them or anything? Thanks! So fortunate for your blog!
It would be the same time for the greens. No you don’t have to peel the ham hocks, LOL!!! You just cook them.
Hello, I found your blog searching for crockpot collard green recipes. Can you tell me if it matters if the greens and ham hock are thawed or frozen? I’m thinking frozen would be more cooking time but I am NOT a cook-AT ALL! so I want to be sure!
Mom of growing boys!!!
Try thawing them out first. Sorry for the late response!
You are a talented and gifted woman. Thank you for putting this blog together to help us bring memories to our friends and families with your recipes. Blessings upon you!
Would I be fine if I slow cook the stock/broth on HIGH for 4 hours like you advise and then slow cook the stock/broth + greens for 4 hours on LOW? I need to go to Sunday School and church and I know if I leave the greens on HIGH for 2 hours they might burn. Thoughts?
Hi Alicia! Yes, that would work 🙂
Hi Rosie, do you have a recipe for collards using salt pork fur the crock pot?
Not listed, sorry 🙁
Sheri Edwards says
Hi Rosie. This crockpot recipe looks delicious and I will be trying it this weekend. I’m hoping to use the recipe when I go on vacation to visit my daughter, who is in captain school in the army. She loves collard greens and I’m hoping to surprise her with this. Thanks for the great recipes. Sheri
Thanks Sheri! Let me know how it comes out for ya!
I feel foolish asking this lol but if I’m using bagged greens do I have to chop them up before putting them in?
Or are they good to go out of the bag (after washing)
I misread the first time. Bagged greens are Already cut 🙂
I feel foolish asking this lol but if we use bagged greens do we chop them before putting them in?
Or are they good to go out of the bag (after washing)
Claresse Medlock says
OMG! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for this recipe. Yes I was shouting. I tried making collards in the crockpot once and it was a hot mess. LOL! Now I have the guidelines to make it happen. So happy.
Sane Nobles says
I’m hoping you plan on converting some of your holiday recipes from slow cooker to pressure cooker/instant pot soon, but if not, please consider this a request to try and convert this one if you haven’t already. Thanks in advance.
Any in particular?
Thank you so much! If I strain out the ham hock meat after 4hr will the dish lose flavor?
Yes, do not strain it. LOL.
Hey Rosie! Do you cook the ham hock BEFORE it goes in the crock pot, or do you just cook it with everything else all at once?
Hi Rosie! Do you cook the ham hock BEFORE it goes in the crock pot? Or do you cook it with everything else? Thanks!
Nope, I cook it with everything else 🙂
I’m trying this for Thanksgiving. Looks so good. Will let you know how they turn out.
Would I be able to make this in a Dutch oven? If so long on what heat?
P.s I’m using your blog site for the entire thanksgiving spread! You rock!!!
Hi Tim! If you don’t have a slow cooker, try this recipe for collard greens 🙂
Hi, I am at work all day and was wondering if i could put all the ingredients in my crockpot and leave it to cook all day (probably 8 hours).
Only if it shuts off automatically. Just to be safe 😉
Mary Price says
I just made this recipe and it’s fantastic! The finished flavor is amazing! Will definately make again! My family loved it! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!
Donna Stigler says
My mother and I are greens lovin’ women. She’s always said that the very best greens she ever ate were made by a lady at the .Atlanta airport. I made these a couple of days ago for her and she’s changed her mind. She said over and over that these greens are the best she’d ever eaten. I agree!
Thank you for your recipe!
sue hardesty says
I recently made collard greens for the first time and shared them with a local barbecue restaurant owner who said they were the best he’d ever had. I absolutely am a fan of collards now and hope he adds them to his menu! Either way, I will make them for myself. I cooked them on the side burner of my outside grill and they turned out great. One question, do you cook the stems too? I stripped mine but wonder if that is necessary.l
Hi Sue! I personally am not a fan of stems, so I don’t cook them 🙂
Turned out fantastic
In the recipe you add the greens after 6 hours on high but in the video you say add them after a couple hours. Is it 6 hours or 2?
The written recipe is correct 🙂
I am cooking these for myself this Thanksgiving. Please excuse my ignorance… But to make this for 1 person just 1 lbs of collard greens and one large ham hock and keep the rest of the recipe the same?
No, everything will have to change. 🙁
OMG! I made these today and they are absolutely delicious. I followed your recipe exactly. This was my very first experience cooking collard greens. I’m so happy I found your blog and can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thank you!!
Hey rose I wonder if I could use neckbones as my meat for this receipe
I absolutely love this recipe! The only thing I do differently is, cook it on the stovetop. Best collard green recipe ever
Deborah Austin says
Hands down the BEST greens I’ve ever made! I had previously cleaned cut and froze my collards, so this recipe was super simple. Cooking the ham hock by itself (w/o greens) was brilliant! The pot liquor is so flavorful. I didn’t add any bacon or bacon grease because I had a mammoth ham hock. So so so good!!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Hi Rosie, so glad I found you. Your recipes are amazing. Do you/ or will you have any recipes using a pressure cooker ( I love my pressure cooker)? Thank you .
Hi there! Yes, I have a few recipes using my instant pot 😉
I tried this recipe it was good; I used chicken broth and seasoned with cayenne pepper, a little sugar (or Splenda) thank you! Makes life easier.
Robin Saldaña says
Hi! This recipe sounda amazing. I plan on making some greens for Christmas, but I couldn’t find a ham hock anywhere! So I grabbed a pork shank. Would that work? Should I alter anything for it? Thanks in advance!
Nope, you should be fine with the pork shank. XOXO
Ellen Thomas says
I have tried several crock pot collard green recipes, and this is hands down the best. Delicious!
Tina Marie Allen says
Can I use smoked turkey wings and put everything in all at once
Hi there! Sure can.
Andrea Swint says
All I can say is YUM!!!!
Teisha Curry says
Hi Rosie last thanksgiving I made these greens and I must have did something wrong because I thought they were nasty. My family liked them though………but honey this thanksgiving I put my foot in these greens you hear me. I have made them about 3 times already just to get prepared for thanksgiving this year. I no my family is gonna love them they already do. Thanks Rosie.
Teisha Curry says
Hi Rosie quick question does the jalapeño make it to spicy for kids?
Robert Lamb says
Have you ever added fire roasted tomatoes to the recipe at the end of the 6 hours?
I haven’t, but it sounds delicious!
Malarie Baker says
Hello , can I use turkey legs ? How many do I use ? And is it the same time frame as the ham hocks before adding in the greens ?
Hello, Yes you can use a smoked turkey leg. Same timeframe.