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cooked turnip greens topped with bacon and a wedge of cornbread in a white bowl
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4.78 from 9 votes

Southern Turnip Greens

Learn how to cook turnip greens just like they do in the South. Greens are slowly simmered with pork jowl, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper for a tender, tasty soul food side dish.
Course Side dishes
Cuisine American, Southern
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 28kcal
Author Lisa B.



  • Remove the center stems from the greens. Discard the stems and coarsely chop the leaves.
  • Heat the pork jowls in a large stock pot over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes to render off some of the grease, but so not drain the grease.
  • Add one quart (4 cups) of water to the pot. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cider vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring the pot to a boil again.
  • Add the greens. You may need to work in batches, allowing the greens to wilt down to make room for more.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot again, then cook for 1 -2 hours. The longer the greens cook, the more tender they will become.
  • Season the greens with salt and pepper if needed.


Allow the turnip greens to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container with a lid. Turnip greens should be eaten within four days.
To freeze, spoon the cooled greens and the potlikker into a freezer bag. Leave several inches at the top for expansion. Carefully fold the top of the bag down to squeeze out all the air, then seal. Lay the bag flat to freeze. Once frozen, you can stack it. Frozen greens should be eaten within 3-4 month. Allow then to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.3g | Protein: 1.6g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 0.8g | Vitamin A: 10982IU | Vitamin C: 39.5mg | Calcium: 197mg | Iron: 1.2mg