Cracker Barrel’s recipe for turnip greens is an excellent approach to incorporating a variety of tastes into your dish.
It has always been a holiday favorite, and there is no reason to miss it on your table all year-round.
Cracker Barrel turnip uses the traditional Southern seasonings, and it never gets boring.
Maybe it’s the tenderness of the greens mixed with the sweet heat of the sauce, or because they’re so simple that you can’t help but love them.
If you like turnip greens, you will love this recipe.
Let’s get into it.
Long before the first Cracker Barrel Old Country Store opened in 1969, turnip greens were an important part of the Southern diet.
In the days before refrigeration, farmers would harvest their turnip greens when the weather was hot and preserve them for use during colder months by packing them in barrels filled with salty brine.
They would add more salt to keep the liquid briny as needed.
Often, farmers would also add ham or bacon hocks to boost flavor.
How did the Cracker Barrel Turnip recipe get birthed?
From the beginning, Dan wanted Cracker Barrel’s menu to reflect traditional Southern cuisine.
Since he was a child, he had always enjoyed turnip greens, so he decided to feature this dish on the menu at his new restaurant.
Since then, turnip greens have become an undeniably important part of Cracker Barrel’s identity.
At Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, they still cook turnip greens just like that — simmered for hours with meaty ham hocks until they’re tender and flavorful.
Cracker Barrel turnip greens recipe is a southern favorite.
Cook with ham hocks and bacon, but you can substitute it with turkey bacon.
Serve as a side dish with other southern favorites such as cornbread, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes
If you get your turnips from your kitchen garden or a farmer, the turnips tend to be dirty, especially in rainy seasons.
To wash, put water in a large bowl and immerse the turnip greens for about 5 minutes or until grit starts falling off.
Remove the turnip greens and pour the water.
Rinse the bowl and put in more water.
Immerse the greens once again.
This time, clean them one by one while ensuring no grit remains.
With Cracker Barrel Turnip Greens, you can enjoy the rich, down-home flavor of turnip greens anytime!
To store turnip greens, wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel and place them in an airtight container.
Place the container on a shelf in the refrigerator.
Turnip greens will keep fresh for 3 to 5 days when stored this way.
Place in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to freeze cracker barrel turnip greens.
Remove air, leave ½ inch headspace for expansion and label the bag.
It can last up to 12 months.
Keep frozen until ready to use.
Remove the desired amount from the package.
Place on a microwavable plate (dish).
Microwave on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per bag.
Let stand in the microwave for 1 minute before serving.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C).
Remove the desired amount from the package.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until heated through, stirring halfway through heating time.
Why is my cracker barrel turnip green bitter?
The reason why cracker barrel turnip green turns bitter is its high mineral content.
Its bitterness is a sign of its nutritional value.
However, you can reduce the bitterness by seasoning.
Use lemon juice, hot pepper, or garlic to take the bitter taste.
You can also season with olive oil or honey.
How do I reheat the frozen cracker barrel turnip greens?
To heat the frozen cracker barrel, turnip greens, remove them from the freezer to the refrigerator, and let them thaw overnight.
Otherwise, you can immerse it in cold water while still wrapped in plastic wrap for 30 minutes.
After defrosting, steam or saute to your preference.
Cracker Barrel’s turnip greens are a great side dish to have on hand when you want to set yourself apart from the crowd without too much extra hassle.
While they may not be the cleanest-eating dish out there, they certainly fit the bill if you can’t be bothered to make a side dish from scratch.
Heavenly Vegan Cracker Barrel Turnip Greens Recipe
- 1 Pot
- 1 Skillet
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 cup onion chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- Chopped turnip or collard greens 32oz
- 9 pieces bacon slices
- Red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground pepper
- Bring stock, water, and salt to a boil over high heat in a large pot. Stir in the turnips, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Drain the greens thoroughly and transfer to a bowl. Toss with vinegar, oil, and pepper; taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- While the greens are cooking, heat the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crisp, often stirring, about 7 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain; crumble into small pieces when cool enough to handle. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon fat in the skillet; discard remaining fat or save for another use.
- Add onion and garlic to the reserved one tablespoon bacon fat in skillet; cook over medium-high heat until softened but not browned, about 1 minute.
- Put vinegar and sugar; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until syrupy, often stirring for about 5 minutes.
- Add turnip mixture back into the skillet along with crumbled bacon; stir well and serve hot or at room temperature.