Turnip Greens With Bacon

Turnip Greens With Bacon
Diana Rattray
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
146 Calories
7g Fat
12g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 146
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 701mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 34mg 169%
Calcium 172mg 13%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 458mg 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.)

These Southern-style turnip greens complement fried chicken, ham, and pork chops nicely, and they go well with just about any main dish. A word of caution: don't forget the cornbread! Southerners might even refuse to eat them without freshly baked cornbread or cornbread muffins. And don't drain the greens after they're cooked! The "potlikker" is an essential part of the dish. 

If you are using fresh turnip greens with turnip attached, you might want to use the whole plant. Wash, peel, and cut a turnip into 1/4-inch cubes and cook it right along with the greens. The diced turnip root adds color, flavor, and texture to the greens.

If you or members of your family are vegetarian, omit the bacon and saute the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock and add some fresh diced tomatoes just before serving.

This dish can be made with collard greens, kale, or mustard greens as well. Or make the recipe with a combination of greens. 

Southern greens are usually served with pepper vinegar sauce. If you don't have pepper vinegar sauce, serve them with your favorite hot sauce or plain apple cider vinegar.


  • 1 pound turnip greens

  • 6 strips bacon

  • 3/4 cup chopped onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed and minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • Salt, to taste

  • Hot pepper sauce, or pepper vinegar, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Fill a clean sink with cold water. Put the turnip greens in the water and swish them around to loosen any sand clinging to the leaves. Drain the water and then fill the sink and rinse again. Continue rinsing and draining until you can't feel any grit on the bottom of the sink.

  3. Remove thick stems from the leaves and discard them. Chop the leaves.

  4. Dice the bacon into 1-inch pieces.

  5. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until it begins to brown and some of the fat has rendered; add onions and continue cooking, stirring, until onions are softened.

  6. Add the minced garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.

  7. Add the chopped turnip greens a handful at a time, letting each addition wilt a bit before adding more. Add the chicken broth and bring them back to a boil.

  8. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir the greens occasionally.

  9. Taste and add salt, as needed.

  10. Serve and enjoy.


  • Turnip greens can have quite a bit of sand clinging to the leaves, so don't skimp on washing or rinsing time. If they're fresh from the garden, they could even have insects. If you suspect they have insects, add a few tablespoons of salt to the first sink full of water and let them soak for a few minutes. Even if the package claims they are cleaned, rinse them again to be sure.


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