Instant Pot Southern Collard Greens is a quick and easy electric pressure cooker recipe seasoned with smoked turkey. You can also use mustard or turnip greens. These collards can be cooked with bacon, ham hocks, country ham, or vegetarian without any meat. Add in a little vinegar if preferred.
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Cooking collard greens in the Instant Pot is the new wave for us. The cook time is amazing and will save you a ton of extra time, especially around the holidays.
Collard greens are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. They are also keto and low-carb, which is a major win!
Are Collard Greens Healthy?
A serving of collards is lower in calories and higher in calcium and still has the same vitamins as kale. Many argue that collard greens are a healthier alternative to kale. Check out this post on Ditching Kale for Collard Greens.
What Meat is Used to Season Collard Greens?
My family switched from using salt pork and ham hocks to season our greens years ago. We now use either a smoked turkey leg or turkey wing. I love to use turkey wings, too, but sometimes they are harder to find.
You can of course still use ham hocks, salt pork, country ham, or even bacon to season the greens. If you are planning to use bacon I recommend that you cook the bacon in the Instant Pot on the Saute’ function, and omit the olive oil used in this recipe. Cook the onions in the bacon fat.
Remove the bacon and crumble. Set aside until after the collards have cooked. Sprinkle the bacon throughout once cooked.
How to Cook and Make Southern Collard Greens in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
I like to buy pre-washed and pre-cut collard greens. Glory Greens makes a batch that I love. You can visit their site and type in your zip code to find a location that carries them in your area. Pre-washed greens cuts down the prep time DRAMATICALLY and pairs well with the speedy time of cooking greens in an Instant Pot.
If you aren’t using pre-washed and pre-cut you will have to clean and cut them yourself. It can be very time consuming, especially depending on how big your batch of greens is. Check out this post on How to Clean Collard Greens for helpful tips.
- Add olive oil and onions to the pot on Saute mode. Cook until translucent and then add garlic.
- Add the collard greens, smoked turkey, chicken broth, and Creole Seasoning to the pot.
- Close the lid and seal.
- Pressure Cook.
How Long to Cook Collard Greens in Instant Pot
Cook the collard greens for 25 minutes with a quick release of the steam.
How to Double the Collard Greens Recipe
Greens will wilt… A TON! When you first add them to the pot it will feel like a lot, but they will shrink a lot. I have fit 2 pounds of greens in my 6 quart Instant Pot, easily.
So you can double the recipe (I would opt for the same size smoked turkey, or no more than a half pound larger), but keep the cooking time the same.
If you have an 8 quart you can fit a ton more collards in the pot!
Collard Greens Storage and Freezing Tips
You can refrigerate collard greens for 5-7 days. I like to freeze collards in sealable plastic bags with the broth and juice. When you defrost the greens won’t be dry and they will retain their flavor.
Vegetarian or Vegan Collard Greens
Omit the smoked turkey for meatless collard greens. Use vegetable broth. Add in 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes for flavor.
No serving of collard greens would be complete without a nice slice of cornbread. Pair this with my Southern Style Homemade Cornbread.
Instant Pot Southern Collard Greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound collard greens trimmed and washed, I buy pre-washed. You can also do a mix of greens. I often do 3/4ths collards and 1/4 mustard greens.
- 1 smoked turkey leg or turkey wing (about 1 pound to 1 1/2 pounds) fully cooked, You can find turkey legs and wings at most grocers. You can also use ham hocks if you wish.
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
- Place the Instant Pot on the Sauté function. Add the olive oil and onions to the pot.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent and fragrant. Add the garlic or the pot and stir.
- Next, add half of the collard greens to the pot. Layer in the turkey leg and add the remaining greens to the pot. Don’t worry the greens will wilt down a ton.
- Add the chicken broth and Creole seasoning.
- Place the lid on the pot and seal.
- Cook for 25 minutes on Manual > High Pressure Cooking.
- When the pot indicates it has finished, quick release the steam.
- Open the pot and remove the turkey. Shred the meat from the bone and return the meat to the pot.
- Stir to combine and serve.
- You can of course still use ham hocks, salt pork, country ham, or even bacon to season the greens. If you are planning to use bacon I recommend that you cook the bacon in the Instant Pot on the Saute' function, and omit the olive oil used in this recipe. Cook the onions in the bacon fat. Remove the bacon and crumble. Set aside until after the collards have cooked. Sprinkle the bacon throughout once cooked.
- Once the greens have cooked, taste repeatedly for flavor. I never add salt to the greens because the smoked turkey does the job, but I do taste to see if it needs more Creole Seasoning.
- If you like vinegar on your collard greens (my mom eats them this way!) add it in after the collard greens have been pressure cooked.
- I have fit 2 pounds of greens in my 6 quart Instant Pot, easily. So you can double the recipe (I would opt for the same size smoked turkey or no more than a half pound larger), but keep the cooking time the same. If you have an 8 quart you can fit a ton more collards in the pot!
- You can refrigerate collard greens for 5-7 days. I like to freeze collards in sealable plastic bags with the broth and juice. When you defrost the greens won't be dry and they will retain their flavor.