Southern Turnip Greens With Ham Shanks

Turnip greens and ham shanks

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
135 Calories
4g Fat
22g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 417mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 6g
Calcium 98mg 8%
*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.)

Try these delicious turnip greens with your next family dinner, and be sure to bake fresh cornbread to go with them. Wash the greens in several changes of water. You'll know they're clean when there's no trace of grit left in the bottom of the sink.

Use ham shanks or about 1/2 pound to 1 pound or smoked leftover ham sliced smoked picnic ham (smoked shoulder).


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 to 3 smoked ham shanks
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound well-washed and chopped greens
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or kettle over medium heat; add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent.

  2. Add the ham shanks and cook for about 6 minutes, turning the shanks a few times.

  3. Add garlic and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove ham shanks with a slotted spoon.

  5. Put the washed turnip greens in the liquid, a few handfuls at a time, until all are in the pot. The simmering liquid will wilt them as you add them to the pot.

  6. Add the sugar and peppers.

  7. Remove the bones from the ham and dice or shred the meat; return the ham pieces to the pot.

  8. Bring the greens to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

  9. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes longer, or until the greens are very tender. The broth will cook down a bit, so it might be salty enough, but taste and add salt if needed.