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Spicy Mustard Greens with Bacon recipe

Spicy Mustard Greens with Bacon recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Vegetable side dishes

Mustard greens are cooked with bacon and vinegar, and spiced with cayenne. You could also try this recipe using Swiss chard.

36 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 6 rashers bacon
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, rinsed and trimmed
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Place bacon in a large, deep frying pan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add greens, bacon (with dripping), vinegar, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  3. Boil until greens are tender, about 30 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(35)

Reviews in English (29)

by gabrielglimpse

So easy. I found that the moisture from rinsing the greens was ample to cook the greens.After cooking the bacon (and removing half of the grease) I placed the greens into the skillet with the other ingredients and simmered until tender. I served these on new years day with "slow cooker spicy black-eyed peas" submited by MJ46NY. A delicious combination.-06 Jan 2008

by emarika

Great recipe as written. Tonight, I had a vegetarian guest at dinner, so I made this recipe without bacon - I added 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tsp liquid smoke to the boiling water instead. It turned out great, and everyone was asking what gave it the great flavour. It seems like a lot of vinegar, but most of the vinegar taste burns off, leaving a nice fresh taste. Yum!-19 Jan 2011

by Abigail Dawn

I used a 16oz bag of frozen turnip greens in place of the bunch of collards. The other change I made was to add 2 packets of splenda to try and counteract the bitterness frozen greens tend to have. Really really yummy. Will use this for the rest of the greens in my freezer!-26 Nov 2008

Beef stew with mustard greens (tsunga)

I love adding some leafy green vegetables to my stews. It just gives the stew a better taste and it makes the stew healthier. In this case, I added mustard green vegetables, which we commonly know as tsunga in Zimbabwe. Tsunga is like an everyday vegetable for some Zimbabweans.

Many people do not like tsunga because of its bitter taste, similar to nyevhe but this is what makes these vegetables stand out and it makes them so unforgettable. I believe the bitter taste of mustard greens is what makes them taste so yummy. They just need to be eaten fresh snd they need enough water.

I realized that in rural areas, people tend to overcook vegetables and that kills their nutrients and fresh taste as well. You just need to sautee vegetables for 10-15 minutes with some garlic and onions. Vegetables should not turn brown if they do, know that they have become way less nutritious.

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place the peeled garlic cloves in a small oven-proof ramekin and cover completely with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until soft and slightly caramelized. Use the olive oil in the pesto for a stronger presence of garlic or save it for another dish.

2. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and place in the oven until they begin to brown and smell toasted.

3. Blanch and shock the mustard greens to retain the vibrant green of their chlorophyll. If the leaves are small and tender, leave the leaf stems on. If the leaves are larger, remove most of the leaf stems as they are fibrous and can create a strange texture in the finished dish. Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by placing 4 cups of ice in a bowl with 4 cups of cold water. Stir the mustard greens into the boiling water and let cook for 1 minute. Remove the leaves and immerse in the ice bath. When the leaves are completely cold, remove them from the ice bath and squeeze them to remove excess water.

4. Place the toasted pumpkin seeds and the blanched and shocked mustard greens into the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 teaspoon sea salt and 3-4 grindings of black pepper. Turn the processor on and slowly add extra-virgin olive oil until the ingredients are moving freely within the bowl. Continue to process until the mixture is creamy. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as needed.

*Make a big batch of garlic confit by roasting the peeled cloves of two or three heads of garlic. Use
3 cloves for this recipe, and store the extra cloves that are immersed in the olive oil in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator. They will hold up for a couple of weeks or for a couple of months if frozen.

*Use the greens from the bunch of radishes in Oat Groat Salad with Roasted Greens, Butternut Squash, and Toasted Pecans. Or use the greens from the turnips in combination or substitution of the mustard greens in Mustard Greens Pesto.

Warm salad of black-eyed peas, wilted mustard greens and bacon

Beneath a thatch of wilted dandelion greens, the Christmas lima beans spill out, earthy and enticing, their pretty speckled markings still faintly visible after a few hours in the pot. This is the brilliant architecture of a taco so tasty that it might just replace carne asada in your dreams.

And if you cook the beans ahead, it’s a simple supper built with ease and grace. Saute dandelion greens or arugula in a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Then grill a stack of corn tortillas and stir together a bowl of spicy salsa verde and you have everything you need for dinner. The beans have a wonderful texture, vaguely reminiscent of classic refried beans yet with a nutty, almost meaty taste. And the greens, still faintly spicy after a few minutes in a hot pan, are redolent of the garden they’ve so recently left.

Greens have a certain brightness that contrasts beautifully with shell beans. The emerald leaves unfurl with possibilities, while the beans, toothsome and earthy, seem to reference the ground they both came from. Together, they create a balance -- of flavors and textures, colors and even temperatures.

As spring hits its stride, finding greens to experiment with has never been so much fun. Sure, there are the classics, such as collards and mustard greens, kale and spinach. But take a quick walk through the farmers market stands and produce aisles and you’ll see small forests of delicate mache and mizuna, spicy arugula and dandelion greens. And they’re tender this time of year, tied into bunches as if caught midway between an earthbound fragility and the vertical jump of mature growth.

Pair these greens, whether subtle or assertive, with some of the heirloom dried beans and legumes that are becoming increasingly available: Anasazi and Vaquero marrow beans and scarlet runner beans French flageolets and Italian cannellini black Calypso and yellow-eye beans. Or homey standbys such as chickpeas, lentils and field peas.

A warm salad gets its inspiration from the Southern pairing of black-eyed peas and mustard greens but takes a distinctly California turn with the addition of baby salad greens. Cook black-eyed peas until tender (they’ll require less cooking time than other beans, maybe half an hour), then toss a generous amount of spicy mustard greens in the same pot that you’ve cooked some bacon. The mustard greens will cook down in the bacon fat, wilting to a perfect texture.

Then in a large bowl, simply combine the black-eyed peas, wilted greens, bacon and a few handfuls of fresh mache with a quick vinaigrette. The soulful heartiness of the black-eyed peas and the bacon-laced greens play off the freshness of the mache, and the sweet acidity of the vinaigrette brings it all together.

Despite what many people (and many packaging instructions) might tell you, you do not need to soak dried beans overnight -- or even for a few hours.

Instead, cook a little mirepoix (chopped onions, carrots and celery) in olive oil, then add a cup or more of dried beans and water to cover. Bring the contents to a boil, then cover turn the heat to very low, and let the beans cook for about an hour and a half. Throw in some salt about halfway through the cooking process and check to see that there’s still enough liquid if not, add more. When the beans are tender, they’re done.

The savory liquid that the beans generate when they cook, called pot liquor, carries different flavors depending on the beans -- marrow beans are almost buttery Christmas limas taste faintly of chestnuts -- and these notes can get overwhelmed by the salty intensity of a ham hock or a rich meat or chicken stock. One of the subtle joys of making bean soup is that it’s a brilliant way of showcasing this pot liquor, which forms much of the soup’s base.

For soup, try cranberry beans (also called borlotti beans), which retain their shape and have a velvety texture. And for a classic beans and greens matchup, add not only lacinato (curly) kale to the pot but also a handful of pretty orecchiette pasta.

Reserve some cooked beans before you add the kale and puree them with a serious dose of smoked Spanish paprika. Spooned over the finished soup, the spicy puree adds a lovely smoky finish.

Any greens and beans combination needs a touch of acidity to bring it to true balance. The vinaigrette accentuates the contrasting elements of the salad, and a few squeezes of lime add a terrific dimension to the dandelion greens-lima taco, heightening the flavors more than a simple dose of citrus would seem capable of doing. A squeeze of lemon in the soup adds a final bright note that highlights the rich smokiness and the subtler nuances of flavor.

A basket of greens, a hill of beans: With two humble components, you can triangulate a meal of dreams.


Step 1

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook anchovies, if using, chiles, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft and anchovies are dissolved, about 4 minutes. Add onion, celery, and rosemary season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, 8–10 minutes.

Step 2

Add Parmesan rind, if using, beans, and 10 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed, until beans are beginning to fall apart, 3–4 hours.

Step 3

Lightly crush some beans to give stew a creamy consistency. Mix in kale, spinach, and half of arugula season with salt and pepper. Cook until greens are wilted, 5–8 minutes.

Step 4

Toss remaining arugula with lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. oil season with salt and pepper. Divide stew among bowls top with arugula, shaved Parmesan, and a drizzle of oil.

Step 5

DO AHEAD: Stew can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool cover and chill.

How would you rate Spicy Beans and Wilted Greens?

So yummy. I will add more garlic and a bit more anchovy for my next. But this is really yummy. Very satisfying for a new vegetarian.

Made this according to instructions, and it surprised me in a good way! Shouldn't have though, because I trust anything Alison Roman. The anchovy, pepper, and parm rind added juuusst enough richness and flavor. Perfect for a quarantine lunch!

I was looking for a beans and greens recipe and came across this, and followed @cokes609's suggestion to add a little pork, so I cooked the beans with a ham hock, which gave it just the right amount of richness and smokiness to take it up a notch. Next time I might go even heavier on the crushed chilis.

Good recipe but I transformed it from a said to a main fish by adding a pound of chipped smoky bacon! I'm not even a bacon freak like that but the recipe was sorely missing fattiness. It ended up really good. I was skeptical of the anchovy but it did give it a nice little "what is that" funk. It reminds me of some collard greens I've had in the past and it makes me think that that's the secret ingredient.

Spicy Mustard Greens with Bacon recipe - Recipes

When the community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share give you a gallon-sized bag of mustard greens, you've got to get right on them. If you don't, you'll turn around one day to find 3 gallons of mustard greens jockeying for space with the cabbages, lettuces, spinach, and . . . . the next thing you know, you have Greens Paralysis. It's a common phenomenon.

When I was suffering from Greens Paralysis, as I posted on my FB page, it was primarily due to an excess of mustard greens and too few family dinners. At a recent Local Food Summit in my town I had the pleasure of listening to my farmer, George Mertz, talk about the benefits of joining a CSA. One that I wasn't expecting to hear, but absolutely agree with, is that joining a CSA will increase the number of times you'll sit down to a home-cooked meal. This easy home-cooked meal broke my Greens Paralysis. With just six ingredients it assembles quickly in the slow cooker.

Now, when I say 'only six ingredients' I'm not talking about ingredients like a cake mix and a can of pie filling. It's true, two of my six ingredients are chock full of other ingredients. Those would be the chorizo and V8 juice. [Actually, so is my chicken stock, now that I think on it. But I can pronounce all of these ingredients.] The sum of the parts of this soup, thanks to those multi-faceted ingredients, is superb. Like nearly all soups, it is better as a leftover on the second day. And anything that breaks my Greens Paralysis, that enables me to get my groove back with respect to my farm share, is very appreciated.

For other recipes using mustard greens, please see my Mustard Greens Recipe Collection which I will now run off and make.

10 Leafy Green Alternatives That'll Get You Through The Global Kale Shortage

Terrible news, green juice drinkers and kale fanatics everywhere -- a global kale shortage might be upon us. We dodged a bullet earlier in the year with the pest that attacked the U.S. kale crop and threatened to wipe it out entirely -- it didn't -- and now Bejo Seeds, a seed company that provides kale seeds to the world, has just sold out. Entirely. No more kale seeds.

We don't mean to be alarmists, but what if, when we woke up tomorrow, there was no more kale left on earth? If your pulse just quickened and you darted to protect your crisper, we'd like to invite you to calm the hell down. There is life after kale, and we've got 10 other amazing leafy greens to prove it.

1. Collard Greens

Collard greens are a staple of southern American cooking, and are finally starting be embraced by the rest of the country. They can be shaved thinly and eaten raw as a salad, sautéed quickly with garlic for a hearty side, but can also stand up to being stewed for a really long time. They also happen to taste really great with bacon and smoked pork hocks.

Get the Beer and Bacon Braised Collard Greens recipe from Food52.

2. Turnip Greens

Turnip greens are just like turnips: kind of sweet, kind of spicy, kind of bitter, occasionally smelly, but ultimately delicious. Just like kale, they're full of Vitamin K.

Check out the Loveless Café's Turnip Greens recipe:

3. Mustard Greens

If you've never eaten raw mustard greens, be prepared for your first taste: they have a bite. Once cooked, they mellow out, but you can still taste the namesake of this leafy green. Mustards come in curly and flat varieties, red and green, just like kale. But these have way more personality than kale. Because of their peppery bite, mustard greens are usually mixed with other greens for cooking, but we happen to like their ability to knock us out of our chairs.

Get a great Mustard Greens recipe from Simply Recipes (she's a mustard greens lover, so trust her).

4. Swiss Chard

If leafy greens had a beauty pageant, Swiss chard would win every single time. Its naturally-occurring red, yellow, purple and white stalks are dazzling. And its velvety, tender leaves would win the talent contest for certain. Swiss chard cooks more quickly than most other leafy greens (because of its high water content), and its crunchy stems make great pickles.

Get the Buckwheat Crepes with Brie + Honey Sautéed Swiss Chard recipe from Food52.

5. Spinach

Oh yeah, remember this stuff? Before everyone fell in love with kale, it was spinach that our parents wanted us to eat before we could have dessert. Spinach is a kitchen workhorse, finding itself just as comfortable in a salad as it does in a soup, sauté or pie.

Get the Spinach Gratin recipe from Food52.

6. Beet Greens

Yes, beet greens are edible! And they are delicious. They taste like beets and kale smashed into each other. Which means that everything that tastes good with kale and beets, also tastes amazing with beet greens. Like garlic and goat cheese and bacon and on and on.

Get the Warm Beet Greens with Sour Cream Dressing recipe from Food52.

7. Broccoli Rabe

This hearty, bitter green (which we sometimes call rapini) is more closely related to turnips than it is to broccoli, although their family resemblance seems totally undeniable. Italian cuisine has mastered the pairing of rabe with chilies, garlic and sausage.

Don't take our word for it. Listen to Mark Bittman.

8. Dandelion Greens

If you like bitter greens, these are the greens for you. Dandelion greens are also packed with calcium and Vitamin A, and pair uncommonly well with a runny egg yolk. Use small, tender ones for salads and big, stalky ones for sautéing and braising.

Get the Dandelion Greens Salad recipe from Food52.

9. Watercress

We like to think of this delicate, peppery green as arugula's feisty younger sibling. It is lovely as a salad itself, can be puréed into soups for a vibrant hit of green, and also whips into a great pesto.

Get Maricel E. Presilla's Cuban Avocado, Watercress, and Pineapple Salad from Food52.

10. Gai Lan (or Chinese Broccoli)

Gai lan, also known as kai-lan, Chinese broccoli and Chinese kale, tastes like a cross between broccoli rabe and bok choy. It is delicious simply sautéed with garlic, stir-fried with oyster sauce or even simply steamed, if you want to keep things super health-nutty.

Get the Chinese Broccoli with Garlicky Ginger Miso recipe from Steamy Kitchen.

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Mustard Greens Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings 1 x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Follow our step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe for making our southern style Mustard Greens. Greens dominate the fresh produce available here in the South during the winter, and we’ll show you how to cook some up for a great side dish or even the main meal of the day. They’ll go great with some cornbread.


  • 2 – 3 bunches Mustard Greens, about 2 lbs.
  • ¼ lb Bacon, Ham, Hog Jowl, or seasoning meat of choice
  • 1 Onion, small
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 ½ cups Water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Wash greens in cold water, 2 to 3 times, as needed, to remove any dirt, sand or bugs.
  2. Adding salt to your water will kill any bugs that might be attached to the greens.
  3. Remove any large tough stems from the greens and discard.
  4. Remove greens from sink. Place in colander or large pot to drain.
  5. Place greens in a large pot over Medium heat on your stove top.
  6. Add one cup water.
  7. Continue to add greens as they cook down, until all greens are in the pot.
  8. Add sugar.
  9. Cook greens, stirring often, for about 20-30 minutes.
  10. Drain greens in a colander to remove water.
  11. Dice the seasoning meat into about ½ inch cubes.
  12. Chop the onion into small pieces.
  13. Place a large skillet over Medium heat on your stove top. Add the seasoning meat.
  14. Fry meat until lightly browned.
  15. Add the chopped onion to the skillet. Saute until soft and tender.
  16. Add drained greens to skillet.
  17. Add 1½ cups water.
  18. Cover skillet. Reduce heat slightly and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  19. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine.
  20. Cover skillet. Simmer greens for about 20 more minutes on Medium-Low heat until greens are tender.
  21. Serve warm and Enjoy.

Keywords: Mustard Greens Recipe, made from scratch, southern style, southern recipes, hog jowl

Your Comments: Do you eat your greens? Which ones are your favorite? I’d love to hear your comments on our recipe. It will only take a couple of minutes to share your thoughts while you’re here. And, if you try our recipe, be sure to share your results. It might just encourage some of our other readers to try it as well. Just know that all Comments are moderated. That just means that I personally read each and every one of them before they are approved for our family friendly home here on the Internet. It may take a little time for your comment to appear, but I’ll get it posted just as soon as possible. Thank you in advance.

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More Articles

Collard greens are a staple of Southern cuisine, often prepared by simmering slowly with pork jowl bacon to achieve a rich, smoky flavor. Derived from the jowls or cheeks of a pig, pork jowl bacon is similar in flavor to streaky bacon but is extremely fatty and possesses a silky smooth texture that melts in your mouth. Serve these fantastic pork and greens with fried chicken and corn bread for a complete and comforting Southern meal.

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms with Bacon & Greens

They say that it’s good luck to eat greens on New Year’s. This was not something I grew up knowing. I learned it in my late 30s because:

  1. I did not grow up eating “greens.” My parents are from the Mid-West. Iceberg lettuce was as green as things got.
  2. Due to the aforementioned heritage, I never ate “greens” on New Year’s. Luck or no luck, that particular dish never crossed my path.
  3. I never planned on writing about greens, let alone eating them, but…

Once upon a time, almost ten years go, my eldest son developed an interest in wild edible foliage. For reals.

He read umpteen books on the subject and went hiking and foraging in the hills with my husband.

When your kid has an interest in eating more plant food, you go with it, right? So, one day when I saw “mustard greens” on markdown at the grocery store for 99 cents, I decided to buy them so he could have the tasting experience. I had no idea what I was going to do with them.

However, lo and behold, stuffed mushrooms were on our menu for New Year’s Eve that week and since my favorite, easy stuffed mushrooms recipe includes spinach, I swapped out the spinach and used mustard greens instead. (You can find the original here.)

Since then, this easy stuffed mushrooms recipe has become near and dear to our hearts — without or without the mustard greens or foraged plant foods from the surrounding San Diego hills.

Seriously, I just buy my greens at Ralphs, people.

We make this easy stuffed mushrooms recipe for every major event or holiday. Over the years, I’ve learned how wonderfully flexible it is.

You can use spinach, kale, mustard greens, power greens, whatever. You can use parmesan, but finely shredded white cheddar is equally amazing. You can use homemade bread crumbs or panko from a box.

Whatever floats your boat. Just make sure you’ve got the main components and play with it however you like.

I’m thinking goat cheese would be nice melted into the filling or a pepper jack to take things in a spicier direction.

The filling itself is divine, so feel free to make extra to serve on toast. So very good!

Now, one trick I’d like to point out about stuffed mushrooms is this: you need to pull some of the water out of the mushrooms before you stuff them in order to get a tender, not-soggy mushroom. This is something that I’ve noticed missing from many stuffed mushroom recipes.

So, remove the stems (save them for the filling), lay the caps out on a foil lined tray, drizzle them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. A quick trip under the broiler will draw out some of the moisture from the mushroom caps.

Drain off this liquid before you stuff the mushrooms. In this way, you won’t end up with half0raw stuffed mushrooms. Instead you’ll have delectable, tender, mushrooms caps filled with an amazing, cheese-y, bacon-y filling that is to die for.

Can you tell I love this recipe?!

How can you make inexpensive AND easy stuffed mushrooms?

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

    . When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the prices of cheese, bacon, sherry, and cream can help keep the price down.

How do you make easy stuffed mushrooms?

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.


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