Smoky Creamed Greens


A classic side with a Southern twist.

 Smoky creamed greens on white plate

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

You know what’s better than creamed spinach? Creamed greens. Yes, we said it. That’s why we took the classic holiday side and added a Southern twist, using the traditional combination of greens and pork to amp up this dish.

A heartier green like collard greens can stand up to the richness of heavy cream and bacon better than spinach can, and when cooked down has more bite than wilted spinach too. The smoky bacon adds meaty flavor and the drippings combined with flour make for a super savory roux that thickens the cream and chicken broth to a velvety consistency.

f you can’t find collards, or prefer another green, Swiss chard, turnip and mustard greens, or a combination of all three, work just as well in this side dish. Just don’t forget to finish the greens with the pieces of rendered bacon; they add crunch and a little salt to every bite. 


  • 2 bunches fresh collard greens, stems removed

  • 6 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1 1/2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for salting water

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper


  1. Cut collard greens into bite-size pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add collards, and cook, stirring occasionally, until bright green and just softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze to release any excess liquid.

  2. Cook chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium-high, stirring often, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.

  3. Add yellow onion to skillet, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted, about 1 minute. Gradually stir in cream and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring constantly. Stir in collards and half of the cooked bacon (about 1/3 cup), and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often, until collards are tender and liquid is reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper. Top with remaining cooked bacon, and serve.

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