Instant Pot Collard Greens
Instant Pot Collard Greens are a classic, slow-cooked, Southern side dish made quick and easy with the help of a pressure cooker!
Collard greens, turnip greens, or just “greens” as we call them in the south, is a classic southern side dish that goes with everything from ham to chicken fried steak, and it is tradition to make a big pot on New Year’s Day to go along with your Instant Pot Hoppin’ John!
Cooking greens is pretty simple, you add onion, some water, and salt pork, bacon, or ham hocks, to a large pot filled with greens and you bring to a boil, lower to a medium heat and let them cook for about 45 minutes. Some people like to add red pepper flakes too but I prefer to get my spice from a little hot pepper sauce at the end.
Making your collard greens in the Instant Pot cuts down on the cooking time. Fill your pressure cooker up with collard greens or turnip greens and all of the ingredients that go along with them, lock the lid in place, and cook for 10 minutes for perfectly tender greens every time.
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What’s the Difference Between Collard Greens and Turnip Greens?
Turnip greens and collard greens are both from the cabbage family so they are very similar. They both have the same tough leaf that isn’t a great texture for eating uncooked, but when you simmer them over a long period of time they soften and cook up into the greens we know and love.
They do have slightly different flavors, very slightly if you ask me! Turnip greens have mildly peppery flavor while the collard greens are more bitter. In the end I think they both taste pretty much the same and people use them interchangeably in southern greens recipes.
There is a third green out there, mustard greens, which is considered an herb and is more tender. It also has a peppery flavor like turnip greens but since it is more tender to begin with simmering it for a long period of time tends to make it to mushy so for this recipe I’d stick with collard or turnip greens.
Like so many amazing, down home recipes there are only a few ingredients in southern greens. You’ll need your greens, onions, chicken broth, vinegar, and some soft of smoked meat. Salt pork, bacon, ham hock, or country ham all works.
I almost always use salt pork or bacon but if you have a ham bone leftover and you haven’t already used it for your Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup, or if you just want to buy some country ham and chop it up, that works too. The important part is to add some sort of smoked, salty meat. The greens absorb that amazing flavor as they cook and it does such a good job you almost don’t need to season with salt at the end.
New to using an Instant Pot? Make sure you read our beginner’s guide on “How to Use an Instant Pot” to get started!
Step 1 – Cook the pork. Set Instant Pot to SAUTE and add salt pork, bacon, or ham, and onions, cooking until the pork begins to crisp and the onions are softened.
Step 2 – Deglaze the pan. Pour chicken broth into the pot and deglaze the bottle of the pan making sure to get up the browned bits. Press CANCEL To stop the saute function.
Step 3 – Add remaining ingredients. Add the vinegar and the pack in the greens. These greens will shrink a lot as they cook so aim to fill it about 2/3 of the way full.
Step 4 – Cook. Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to SEALING. Set to HIGH PRESSURE for 10 minutes.
When the timer goes off do a quick release by turning the valve to VENTING and let all of the pressure out.
Remove the lid, stir the contents of the pot to mix everything together and salt and pepper to taste.
How Do You Get the Bitter Taste Out of Turnip Greens or Collard Greens?
A little acid will help to cut the slightly bitter flavor of the greens (more prominent in collard greens). In this recipe I used white vinegar but you can also use apple cider or red wine vinegar. Some people add lemon juice instead of vinegar with the same results.
A little heat never hurts to help with the flavor either. As I mentioned before some people cook them with red pepper flakes to give it a little bit of a kick, other people (like me!!) put hot pepper sauce on their greens once they are cooked. My grandma used to make her own hot pepper sauce which was just hot pepper-infused vinegar. That remains my favorite way to eat greens to this day!
What to Serve Turnip Greens With:
- Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy
- Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
- Memphis BBQ Sausage and Cheese Platter
- Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork
- Shrimp Boil Kebabs
Want More Easy Instant Pot Recipes?
- Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup
- Instant Pot Boston Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Chili
- Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- Instant Pot Hoppin’ John
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy
- More Easy Instant Pot recipes…
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Instant Pot Collard Greens
- 20 ounces Collard greens or turnip greens, stem removed and roughly chopped
- 6 ounces Salt pork or bacon, diced into about 1/4-inch pieces (can substitute 6-8 slices thick cut bacon)
- 1 cup Chicken broth
- ½ cup Onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons White vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Set Instant Pot to SAUTE and add salt pork or bacon, and onions, cooking until the pork begins to crisp and the onions are softened.
- Pour chicken broth into the pot and deglaze the bottle of the pan making sure to get up the browned bits. Press CANCEL To stop the saute function.
- Add the vinegar and the pack in the greens so the pot is about ⅔ of the way full.
- Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to SEALING. Set to HIGH PRESSURE for 10 minutes.
- When the timer goes off do a quick release by turning the valve to VENTING and let all of the pressure out.
- Remove the lid, stir the contents of the pot to mix everything together and salt and pepper to taste.
What can be used as meat instead of pork?
Hi Crystal, pork flavor to the greens but if you want to skip it you can just add a little extra salt to the greens (maybe 1/2 teaspoon) and skip the pork.
Do you like smoked turkey legs and/or wings? You can use that instead of pork.
I made these turnip greens for thanksgiving this year (I cooked them the night before and slowly rewarmed them on the stove) and they were perfect! Thank you for posting.
I would use 1/3 the amount of vinegar, otherwise it’s good