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southern turnip greens recipe
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3.88 from 40 votes

Soul Food Turnip Greens

Soul food turnip greens! Cooked in a savory chicken broth with onions, garlic, smoked turkey, red pepper flakes and splash of hot sauce! So addictive and delicous with no bitterness!
Course greens, Side Dish
Cuisine American, southern
Keyword greens, how to cook, how to wash, soul food, turnip
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup yellow onions diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 fully-cook smoked turkey leg removed from bone and diced
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper add as needed
  • 2.5 pounds turnips greens washed & cut
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • liquid smoke 4-8 splashes


  • Melt butter in a large stock pot.
  • Add onions and red peppers.
  • Cook until tender and then add garlic.
  • Cook garlic until fragrant and golden.
  • Stir in chicken broth, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, and diced smoked turkey.
  • Taste broth and season with salt & black pepper. Broth should taste very well seasoned and delicious.
  • Let broth simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add turnips greens to pot and allow them to cook down slightly.
  • Stir, cover and simmer for 1 hour (stirring occasionally)
  • Remove lid and taste to adjust seasonings again. (I usually add a bit more salt, black pepper and hot sauce)
  • Stir in baking soda and liquid smoke. (this will help further lessen the bitterness)
  • Cover and simmer for an additional 10- 20 minutes or until greens are tender to your liking.
  • Serve hot.



Cooking times: Cooking times will vary greatly. Turnip greens that are picked when they are young are more tender and require less cooking.