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Easy Slow Cooker Turnip Greens – Cracker Barrel Style

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Turnip Greens are definitely on the list of southern favorites when it comes to making a tasty side dish!


Slow cooker turnip greens are so easy to make and this Cracker Barrel style recipe is so delicious!

Let’s Talk Greens!

Greens are a staple in Southern cooking!  Leafy greens is the blanket term that refers a large variety of greens. In raw form, most have a crunchy texture. 

Collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, beet greens, Swiss chard, and dandelion are considered southern greens


Peak season for baby turnips is June to July. Winter turnips are available year round, although their peak season is during the colder months of October through February.

Greens are a superfood – they’re high fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, and low in calories.

Turnip greens are an excellent side dish for so many main meals. One of my favorite ways to serve these tender greens is with fried chicken, my city barbeque potato salad, and corn bread.

Ingredients For Cracker Barrel Style Turnip Greens Recipe

There are 2 bunches of green leaves, a blue carton with the words chicken broth on it, there is a white onion, 3 cloves of garlic, a reddish color turnip root, a clear glass bowl with cut up ham, 2 small clear glass bowls with yellow liquid in them, and 2 smaller clear glass bowls, one with white granulated sugar and the other has red pepper flakes in it. All items are on a white and dark gray marble surface.

Simple Ingredients

  • Fresh turnip greens
  • Turnip root (optional)
  • Onion
  • Smoked ham
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Chicken broth
  • Garlic
  • Sugar
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste

​Needed Equipment and Helpful Tools

  • Crock pot / slow cooker
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • ​Mixing bowl or stock pot large enough to rinse the green in (if not using the sink)
  • ​Garlic press
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons

How To Make Slow Cooker Turnip Greens 

There are bright green leaves in a large clear glass bowl. There is a pile of green stems in front of the bowl. Items are on a white and dark gray marble surface.

Prep The Greens

  • Remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them up. (See Top Tips)
  • Soak / wash the turnip greens in water.  
  • Mix them around with your hands for a few minutes to dislodge any dirt and grit from the turnip greens. Remove the greens, drain the water and clean out any dirt that’s remained. 
  • Repeat a couple of times.
  • Drain and set aside.
There are two clear glass bowls on a white and dark gray marble surface. One of the bowls has white chopped onion in it the other has white chunks of turnip root in it.
  • Chop onion.
  • Wash, peel, and cut turnip root into bite size pieces (quarters)
  • Dice ham.
  • Mince garlic.
Chopped leafy greens, chopped ham, onion, turnip root, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes in a black oval pot. Pot is on a white and dark gray marble surface.
  • Spray the inside of the crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place half of the all the ingredient except the chicken broth into the crock pot.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour the broth over the greens.
  • Cover and cook on low heat undisturbed for 4 to 5 hours. (See Top Tips)
There is a round white plate with a scoop of cooked greens, a scoop of potato salad, and a piece of fried chicken on it. The plate is on a white and gray marbled surface.

About Ingredients And Variations / Substitutions

Turnip Greens – Are turnip root leaves and a member of the cabbage family.

They are a peppery green but not at all too overwhelming.

You can usually find them at the local grocery store or produce stand.

Turnip Roots (optional) – Turnips are considered a major root vegetable. Mildly spicy when raw, turnips turn deliciously sweet, nutty, and earthy when cooked and contain overall health benefits.

Onion –  You can use any onion you have in your pantry. I used a white onion this time!

Smoked Ham – There are a lot of variations that are used when it comes to the type of meat people favor with their greens. Some of the most popular types include: pork bacon, country ham, ham hock (which is either cured or smoked), pork belly, pork hocks, salt pork, and smoked turkey neck.

Olive Oil –  You can use vegetable oil or bacon grease.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Traditionally vinegar as well as hot sauce is served with greens. (See FAQ’s) Some people prefer distilled white vinegar. Either one can be used.

Chicken Broth – Cold water can be used as a substitution but I prefer a flavorful broth for the turnip leaves.

Cooking the greens in chicken stock or broth instead of water takes the flavor up a notch on this delicious side dish.

Garlic Cloves –  If you don’t have any fresh garlic, substitute it with garlic powder.

Sugar – Turnip greens are not too bitter, but some people (including myself), believe that adding a bit of sugar is the perfect complement to any bitter taste. It’s entirely optional.

Red  Pepper Flakes – Also optional since a little bit of heat is great with most cooked greens.  

You can always serve pepper sauce on the side!

There is a white square bowl with cooked leafy dark greens, diced ham, chopped white onion and chunks of white turnip roots.

Top Tips

  • Two of the best ways to remove the stems by folding the leaves in half in one hand and tearing them off the stem with your other hand. Or fold the leave in half on a cutting board and use a knife to cut off the stem.
  • The longer turnip greens cook, the better the flavor and the more tender they become!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Store Cooked Turnip Greens?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and the freezer for up to 12 months.

Why Do You Put Vinegar In Greens?

Vinegar helps cut any bitterness in greens and is a great way to add a little flavor.

Are Turnip Greens Gluten Free?

Yes, they are! This entire dish is gluten free. If you want to make it vegan, omit the meat and use cold water instead of chicken stock. Cook as directed.


If you love this dish, check out some other mouth watering recipes from Join Me In The Kitchen

Yield: 8 servings

Easy Slow Cooker Turnip Greens - Cracker Barrel Style

There is a white square bowl with cooked leafy dark greens, diced ham, chopped white onion and chunks of white turnip roots. There is a round white plate with a pile of cooked greens and a piece of fried chicken on it in the background. There is a stainless steel fork and knife laying on a dark gray cloth next to the plate. All items are on a white and gray marbled surface.

Turnip Greens are definitely on the list of southern favorites when it comes to making a tasty side dish! Slow cooker turnip greens are so easy to make and this Cracker Barrel style recipe is so delicious!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches / approximately 48 ounces (bagged) fresh turnip greens
  • 1 large turnip root - chopped into bite size pieces (optional)
  • 1 cup onion - chopped
  • 1/2 pound (approximately 1 cup) smoked ham - diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Black pepper and salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove the leaves from the stems and roughly chop them up into small pieces. (See Top Tips)
  2. Often loose leaf greens will have a lot of dirt on them so you will need to clean them properly before you cook them. Either fill a clean sink with cold water, a large bowl or large stockpot, and add the greens. Mix them around with your hands for a few minutes to dislodge any dirt and grit from the turnip greens. Remove the greens, drain the water and clean out any dirt that’s remained. It's a good idea to repeat the process until the greens are clean and there’s no more dirt. Usually 2 to 3 times.
  3. Drain greens and set aside
  4. Chop up onion
  5. Wash, peel, and cut turnip root into small pieces (quarters)
  6. Dice ham
  7. Mince garlic
  8. Spray the inside of the crock pot with non-stick cooking spray
  9. Place half of the all the ingredient except the chicken broth into the crock pot
  10. Repeat with the remaining ingredients
  11. Pour the broth over the greens
  12. Cover and cook on low heat undisturbed for 4 to 5 hours (See Top Tips)

Notes

​Needed Equipment and Helpful Tools

  • Crock pot / slow cooker
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • ​Mixing bowl or stock pot large enough to rinse the green in (if not using the sink)
  • ​Garlic press
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons

Top Tips

  • The best ways to remove the stems by folding the leaves in half in one hand and tearing them off the stem with your other hand. Or fold the leave in half on a cutting board and use a knife to cut off the stem.

  • The longer turnip greens cook, the better the flavor and the more tender they become!

Did you make this recipe?

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