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Collard Greens With Smoked Turkey

Picking collard greens has been a long standing tradition in my family.  There are two ways to pick greens.  You can grow your own and clean them, or you can buy them and clean them.  Some of you might be thinking you’ll take the short cut and buy the greens in the bag that are already cut and cleaned.  I’m here to tell you if you want good greens you’ll need to put the work in so don’t get the bagged greens.  The work is worth the payoff and you’ll thank me later!  So, let me begin with some basic Cumber’s Corner greens etiquette.

  1. If you buy the greens in the bag they will be full of stems.  In my book, the best greens have the least amount of stems so avoid the bags
  2. Greens grow in dirt so a good batch of greens are ones that are cleaned well.  If you have soot in the bottom of your stock pot, you didn’t do a good job of cleaning!
  3. You can mix turnip, mustard and collards but I find the big leafed collard green easier to clean less bitter than the others.  Kale does not come into this equation but if you must you do you.
  4. Buy fresh greens and look for leaves that are not yellow or have holes which are a sign that bugs have already had a feast
  5. You will need to tear the leaf away from the stem (stalk) and you can do this while they are soaking in cold water.
  6. Tearing the leaf from the stalk and cleaning is what we refer to as picking the greens.  This process can take a minimum of 30-40 minutes if you are working with 5 bunches
  7. Greens cook down so an overflowing stock pot is not a good indication of what you’ll have in the end.  
  8. On average I cook my greens about 3 hours
  9. I typically like to cook my greens the day before serving because they taste better after they’ve sat in the juices overnight
  10. It is a time consuming process for some so it’s a good idea when you make them, make enough to freeze so you can enjoy them at a later time.

Greens are great as a side or can easily be a meal in itself when paired with our cornbread recipe.


Collard Greens With Smoked Turkey

  • Author: Andie Cumber
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Keto



5 bunches of collard greens
1 pack smoked turkey legs (2) or wings
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp black ground pepper
¼ cup apple cider vinegar


  • Fill the sink with water; Immerse the greens in the water rinsing off any debris from the leaves  
  • While in water tear the leaf from the stalk; discard stalks
  • Drain the water and rinse out any soot sitting at the bottom of the sink
  • Fill the sink with water again to give the greens one more rinsing
  • Drop the smoked turkey or wings into the pot and fill halfway with water
  • Combine the cleaned greens into the pot with the smoked turkey
  • Add the crushed red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper into the pot
  • Place the stove on high heat and bring to a boil (If the pot is overflowing with greens, as it gets hot you can push them down into the pot making room to add more if needed)
  • After the pot has come to a boil reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 2 ½ hours
  • Stir in the apple cider vinegar; taste and add more seasonings if needed
  • Cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.


Smoked turkey when cooked down will add salt to the broth so adding salt is not necessary.

If you don’t like to pick out the bones from the turkey while eating, after the greens are done remove the meat to debone.

If your broth tastes too salty after the greens have completely cooked add in more water to dilute the broth until you reach the desired flavor.



  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 83.4
  • Sugar: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 324.0 mg
  • Fat: 3.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 4.1g Net
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Protein: 8.9g
  • Cholesterol: 25.0 mg