Easy Honey Cider Collard Greens

These easy honey cider collard greens are a little sweet and a lot savory. Made with apple cider vinegar, honey, and garlic, these collards are perfect for New Year’s Day and all year!

Jump to Recipe

honey cider collard greens in a bowl

This honey cider collard greens recipe was originally published in 2013 updated on December 26 with new photos!

Growing up in the Carolinas, I always knew what would be on the dinner table come New Year’s Day. Without fail, my Grandma would make collard greens, Hoppin’ John (field peas and rice), cornbread, and meat (usually ham). With a handful of other superstitions, this traditional Southern meal was eaten for luck and good fortune in the New Year. In fact, eating greens on New Year’s Day is a common tradition around the world with cabbage, kale, and chard leading the bunch.

For health, wealth or taste alone, starting the year with greens and peas is a delicious way to good health and fortune in the New Year. At a young age, I learned that the greens symbolized money or economic fortune, and the peas were for luck. I’ve since grown to appreciate the wealth of nutrients in these foods. Collard greens are chock full of fiber, calcium, folate and vitamin A, which gives them a cancer-fighting quality. Like other dark leafy greens, collard greens are also a great source of lutein which supports eye health.

honey cider greens PIN

In my opinion, the best flavor comes from young collard greens that you clean, cut and cook yourself. If the thought of preparing a big bunch of fresh collard greens is overwhelming, try the pre-washed and cut ones. (Use the bagged greens as soon as you can. I find that they tend to dry out quickly.) You can also experiment with turnip greens which are much easier to manage, but still nutritious and full of flavor.

Over the years, I’ve learned to create my own New Year’s Day meals minus the traditional salt pork and ham hocks used for seasoning. I use a drizzle of olive oil to tenderize the greens, and red pepper flakes or hot sauce for a little bit of spicy heat. My great-grandmother pickled hot peppers that we would enjoy on greens all winter long. Though I don’t have her recipe, I mimic that tangy flavor at the table with a healthy dash of apple cider vinegar.

Here’s my favorite way to eat traditional greens at the moment.  Make them vegetarian by skipping the bacon or swapping in tempeh for some extra flavor. I swapped the bacon fat in the original recipe with a healthier oil and use cooked bacon to add a little smoky flavor.

Follow Me on Pinterest!

Here’s the original photo 🙂

honey cider collard greens in a bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Honey Cider Collard Greens

Make these easy honey cider collard greens for your New Year's Day dinner! These greens combine apple cider vinegar, honey, and garlic for a deliciously sweet and savory side dish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: collard greens
Servings: 8
Calories: 69kcal
Author: Marisa Moore


  • 1 1 medium bunch fresh collard greens
  • 2-4 slices thick sliced, center cut bacon
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ - 1 cup broth
  • dash hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Thoroughly clean the greens and remove the tough stems. Roll several collard leaves together into a tight bundle and slice into uniform strips. Uniformity is essential for even cooking.
  • In a medium saucepan or pot with a lid, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the slices and any excess rendered bacon fat from the pan. Chop the bacon and set aside.
  • In the same pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion. Saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute just until fragrant.
  • Add the greens, apple cider vinegar, honey, half the broth, and hot sauce. Cover and simmer until the greens are tender, at least 30 minutes or longer depending on how thick you sliced the collard greens.
  • Check the greens periodically - adding more broth as necessary to the desired level of pot liquor. When the greens reach the desired tenderness, add the bacon back to the pot. Taste and add additional salt or pepper to taste.  Enjoy!


This recipe was inspired by the honey cider greens at my favorite southwestern eatery, Agave Restaurant, here in Atlanta.


Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 37mg | Sugar: 4g

18 Comments on Easy Honey Cider Collard Greens

  1. Deanna Segrave-Daly
    December 23, 2013 at 8:45 PM (6 years ago)
    I make greens a lot but never have tried with honey and cider vinegar - yum! Reply
  2. Nadine Michel
    June 16, 2016 at 9:25 AM (3 years ago)
    What do you do with the bacon? Just eat it on the side? Reply
    • Marisa
      June 16, 2016 at 3:13 PM (3 years ago)
      Oops! I left that step out of the recipe. I usually mix it back in to the pot. Reply
  3. Ellen
    December 26, 2018 at 12:08 PM (10 months ago)
    Honey and cider sound like such a delicious combination for the collards. Adding this to the "to try" file. Reply
    • Marisa
      December 26, 2018 at 2:22 PM (10 months ago)
      It's a tasty one. Hope you get to try it out! Reply
  4. tayler
    December 26, 2018 at 12:25 PM (10 months ago)
    what a fun twist on collard greens. Love the idea of honey with it Reply
    • Marisa
      December 26, 2018 at 2:22 PM (10 months ago)
      It's a nice twist. I just loved getting them at that restaurant and decided I had to start making them myself - so I could eat as much as I want :) Reply
  5. Natalie
    December 26, 2018 at 1:41 PM (10 months ago)
    Looks so delicious and balanced! Perfect for a healthy dinner!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      December 26, 2018 at 2:21 PM (10 months ago)
      Thanks, Natalie! The balance of flavors is so good. I think it's a great one especially for anyone new to making collard greens! Reply
  6. Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    December 26, 2018 at 2:11 PM (10 months ago)
    I grew up in the South, so I know all about those New Year's traditions. I always make Hoppin John -- love braised collards -- and especially the potlikker. This recipe sounds outstanding!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      December 26, 2018 at 2:20 PM (10 months ago)
      So you totally get it! I will have a pot of these as well as Black Eyed Peas and Rice this time next week - plus cornbread :) Reply
  7. Neli Howard
    December 26, 2018 at 2:16 PM (10 months ago)
    I just happen to have these ingredients so am going to make it tonight for dinner – – if I can wait that long!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      December 26, 2018 at 2:20 PM (10 months ago)
      I'm making these again in a few days for the New Year. Can't wait! Reply
  8. Veena Azmanov
    December 26, 2018 at 3:32 PM (10 months ago)
    I love greens and this looks like something I would enjoy. Honey and cider sound like they would work well. I need to try.

    5 stars

  9. Nicole Triebe
    December 26, 2018 at 3:33 PM (10 months ago)
    love the addition of honey and cider to these! so yummy!

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      December 27, 2018 at 11:59 AM (10 months ago)
      Thank you! The honey and cider add lots of flavor! Reply
  10. Karen
    January 13, 2019 at 4:00 PM (9 months ago)
    Thank you so much for posting this. Agave is our favorite restaurant in town. Each time my husband and I go we get our own bowl of collards because I'm not sharing mine with him. I want my own. :) Mine wasn't quite as good as Agave's but they were still very good.

    5 stars

    • Marisa
      January 13, 2019 at 4:14 PM (9 months ago)
      They really know how to make a good batch of greens. And lots of other great dishes too! And I love that little part of town! Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *