Bacon Collard Greens – New Year’s Day Tradition For Good Luck

Bacon Collard Greens // Erin Skinner of The Speckled Palate for My Cooking Spot

According to Southern lore, eating greens on New Year’s Day will bring you good luck in the new year… and maybe a bit extra cash, too.

Because New Year’s Day is happening this week and because I’m a sucker for traditions like this, I’ve made my favorite recipe for collard greens.

Spoiler alert: It’s super easy and crazy delicious!

Bacon Collard Greens // Erin Skinner of The Speckled Palate for My Cooking Spot

I’d never even tried a collard green until I was well into my 20’s… and I fell in love at first bite.

Collard greens are kind of like spinach. They sauté really well, they’re delicious, they’re really healthy (depending on the way you cook them, I suppose…) But unlike spinach, they’re incredibly hearty.

In fact, I’ve been known to eat a dish like this as a meal. And the day I photographed this side? I definitely consumed about half the pan in a sitting.

Yes, they’re that tasty.

Here’s how I make them:

Bacon Collard Greens


  • 1 bunch collard greens, washed, trimmed, and cut into ribbons
  • 4 oz. bacon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until it has cooked through (or is as crispy as you like.) Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the minced garlic. Stir around the skillet with a wooden spoon until well cooked (but not burned!)
  3. Add the collards slowly, piling them into the skillet and stirring until they wilt and continuing the process until the entire bunch is in the skillet. Sauté in the bacon fat until all the collards have wilted down and are bright green.
  4. Remove from the heat, and top with the lemon juice and the cooked bacon crumbles. (I sometimes leave these off, and the collard greens are as delicious with or without the bacon, so it's up to you!)
  5. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Bacon Collard Greens // Erin Skinner of The Speckled Palate for My Cooking Spot

Do you have any food traditions for New Year’s Day?

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Erin is a professional photographer and social media manager who has a penchant for baking and cooking. She discovered her love of all things in the kitchen during her collegiate years when she missed being able to cook her own meals, and as soon as she moved off campus, she began playing with her food... and has been doing so ever since. On her blog, The Speckled Palate, she shares tried and true favorite recipes from her kitchen, as well as new faves, as she creates new dishes and tinkers her way through some well-loved cookbooks.

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  1. Fabulous recipe! First off, we love bacon added to our greens here and I often add a touch of vinegar…I like the idea of lemon as well. I’ll have to try that next time! Thanks for sharing this with us at Foodie Fridays…pinning. Hope you’ll be joining us again tonight…we’ve got some big news to share!

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