Eddie’s Turnip Greens Recipe

Southern Kitchen
Turnip Greens

Serves: 6

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


1 pound cleaned, stemmed, and chopped turnip greens

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

2/3 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon ground chile de árbol or cayenne pepper, or more to taste

1 1/4 cups diced tomatoes

2 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade



Place the greens in a large pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until just tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Wipe out the pot and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and chile de árbol and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cooked greens and chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until very tender. Taste and add salt as desired. Serve in bowls with the liquid, like a soup.

About the recipe

“In Mexico we ate our share of leafy greens — mostly cooked instead of raw in salads. Spinach and chard were both popular. Lamb’s quarters, amaranth leaves, squash vines, and beet greens have been important sources of nourishment in Mexico since ancient times and still are, especially among the poor. We cook the turnip greens on the Taqueria del Sol menu much the way my family used to fix lamb’s quarters — we knew them as quelites — in chicken stock flavored with tomatoes and spices instead of in stock seasoned with ham hock. But we do serve them in bowls with the “potlikker” they are cooked in, which is also common in Southern restaurants. They are equally good with tortillas or corn bread. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that this little soup I concocted nearly thirty years ago would create such a sensation, but I am very glad that it did.” — Eddie Hernandez

Excerpted from “Turnip Greens & Tortillas” © 2018 by Eddie Hernandez & Susan Puckett. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.