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Cracker Barrel Turnip Greens: Old Country Store Recipe Secrets

Who doesn’t love a hearty serving of food drenched in southern goodness? One of the best ways to enjoy this is through the iconic cracker barrel turnip greens. This tasty side dish is a staple in southern households and a star in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store menu. We’re unveiling the secrets behind this delicious side dish and the traditional ways it’s prepared in this blog post. Buckle up and let’s dive into the world of cracker barrel turnip greens!

Understanding the Cracker Barrel Turnip Greens Recipe

Before attempting to recreate the cracker barrel turnip greens recipe at home, it’s crucial to understand what makes this dish so special. The turnip root leaves are stewed until they’re tender, then seasoned with a blend of spices that includes black pepper and red pepper flakes. For the best results, they’re cooked on medium heat with a dash of olive oil and chicken broth for a flavorful broth.

A close-up view of freshly cooked turnip greens, glistening with flavorsome broth and spices.

Getting the Greens Right

Selecting the right greens is an essential step in the process. While collard greens and mustard greens can be used, cracker barrel’s turnip greens are the traditional choice. These leafy greens are known for their slightly bitter taste, which beautifully contrasts with the savory broth.

Adding the Meat: The Country Ham Way

In southern cooking, ham hock or country ham is often added to the greens for an extra layer of flavor. However, a great option for those who prefer a different kind of meat is pork belly or pork bacon. The meat is cooked until it’s tender, infusing the greens with its rich taste.

Chunks of savory country ham and bacon being sautéed in a pan, ready to be added to the turnip greens.

Using the Right Cooking Method

There are different ways to cook cracker barrel turnip greens. The traditional way is to use a large stockpot or a Dutch oven. However, for those pressed for time, a pressure cooker or a slow cooker is a great option. Regardless of the cooking method, the goal is to achieve tender greens in a flavorful broth.

Spicing Things Up

To replicate the cracker barrel turnip greens recipe, don’t forget the spices! Black pepper, red pepper flakes, and a dash of hot sauce are used to bring a bit of heat to the dish. Additionally, a tbsp of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar is often added to balance out the flavors.

A table filled with the spices needed for turnip greens, including black pepper, red pepper flakes, and apple cider vinegar.

Pairing the Turnip Greens

This southern stewed turnip greens make an excellent side dish for a main course like fried chicken or ham of your choice. However, they can also be enjoyed as a main dish, especially for those who are watching their daily diet and overall health.

Storing Your Turnip Greens

Chances are, you’ll have leftovers after your first time making cracker barrel turnip greens. To ensure they stay fresh, store them in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator. They can be reheated on low heat when you’re ready to enjoy them again.

Leftover turnip greens being stored in an airtight container for future consumption.

Health Benefits of Turnip Greens

Aside from their delicious taste, turnip greens are also packed with health benefits. They’re low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals, making them a great addition to your daily diet. Plus, they’re a good source of fiber, which can help improve your overall health.


There you have it, the secrets behind the cracker barrel turnip greens recipe. While we may not have the exact measurements and specific instructions from the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, this guide gives you an idea of how you can recreate this southern classic at home. So, why not give it a try and bring a taste of the south to your kitchen?

Homestyle Cracker Barrel Turnip Greens Recipe

Homestyle Cracker Barrel Turnip Greens Recipe

Yield: 4-5 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

This Homestyle Cracker Barrel Turnip Greens recipe is a classic southern comfort food that is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Perfectly seasoned with smoky ham hock, this dish can be enjoyed year-round, but it's especially comforting during the colder months.


  • 2 lbs fresh turnip greens
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Hot sauce (optional)


  1. Clean the turnip greens thoroughly. Remove all the thick stems and any yellow leaves. Chop the greens into smaller pieces for easy cooking.
  2. In a large pot, add 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add the smoked ham hock or ham pieces to the boiling water.
  4. Lower the heat and add the turnip greens to the pot. Stir them in, making sure they're fully submerged in the water.
  5. Add vegetable oil, salt, black pepper, and sugar to the pot. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally to ensure that the greens are cooking evenly.
  7. After 2 hours, add the apple cider vinegar to the pot and stir well. Allow it to cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt or pepper to taste.
  9. If you like a bit of heat, add a few dashes of hot sauce.
  10. Serve the turnip greens hot as a side dish with cornbread, or as a main dish with a side of rice and a piece of fried chicken.


This recipe can easily be made vegan by omitting the ham hock and using vegetable stock instead of water.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 500mgCarbohydrates: 10gNet Carbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 6g

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