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)
360 Calories
27g Fat
2g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 360
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 1374mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 13mg 65%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 455mg 10%
*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

  • Sugar, optional

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground back 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.