Basic Cooked Mustard Greens

Basic cooked mustard greens

The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
399 Calories
30g Fat
2g Carbs
29g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 399
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 1313mg 57%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 29g
Calcium 28mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is a basic recipe for seasoned mustard greens, one of the South's favorite side vegetables. Mustard greens are excellent with smoked bacon or ham or use salt pork, pork hocks or hog jowls. This recipe also works with turnip greens or collard greens.

Serve the mustard greens with pepper vinegar sauce or hot sauce. This dish makes a nice side dish with black-eyed peas, sliced baked ham, and cornbread.


  • 2 bunches mustard greens (washed well)
  • 1 pound fatback (or ham chunks or thick bacon)
  • Optional: sugar
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mustard Greens ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Wash your mustard greens 3 or 4 times in fresh water, draining them each time. (There's nothing worse than gritty mustard greens.) Then strip the leafy part from the stems and discard the stems.

    Mustard Greens with no stems
    The Spruce 
  3. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot fry 1 pound of fatback, thick bacon, or ham chunks until browned; add the mustard greens to the pot.

    Mustard Greens and bacon in a pot
    The Spruce 
  4. Fry, stirring until greens start to wilt.

    Mustard Greens cooking
     The Spruce
  5. Add 2 cups of water and cook until the greens are tender, about 1 hour or more. Add more water as needed.

    Mustard Greens with bacon cooking
     The Spruce
  6. Some people cook mustard greens, collard greens, and turnip greens all together in one pot. You can add a teaspoon sugar to the water to sweeten the greens. Stir frequently on medium heat so they don't burn.

  7. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with cider vinegar or hot pepper vinegar.

    Mustard Greens with bacon ready to serve
     The Spruce
  8. Serve and enjoy!


  • To avoid grit in your greens, fill the sink, a large bowl, or dishpan with cold water. Swish the greens, change the water, and swish again. Repeat until you can't feel any sandy residue on the bottom of the sink or container. Even if the package claims the greens are "clean," rinse them thoroughly. There's nothing worse than gritty greens!