These Instant Pot Collard Greens are prepared in a pressure cooker, but the flavor is authentic soul food, with a seasoned broth, smoked turkey, aromatic onions, garlic, and a hint of zesty red pepper flakes.
Let’s talk about collard greens – those vibrant leafy veggies that bring a taste of the South to your plate! They’re a beloved classic, a real Southern soul food staple.
Soul food-style collard greens are typically simmered in a rich and highly seasoned broth with smoked meat, onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. This Instant Pot version is infused with the same flavor but prepared in a pressure cooker for convenience.
Now, if you’re searching for a quick and convenient holiday side dish or a Sunday dinner that won’t keep you tied up for hours, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a mouthwatering Instant Pot Collard Greens recipe that’s ready in under an hour. And trust us, it’s a true time-saver when you’re juggling multiple meals at once.
In this post, we’ve got all the secrets to whipping up this delectable dish, from choosing the perfect seasonings to mastering the art of prepping collard greens. We’ll guide you through every step of the process, so you can serve up a plate of tender greens bursting with Southern comfort. Plus, if you’re a fan of soul food, don’t forget to check out our stovetop collard greens recipe featuring the rich, smoky goodness of ham hocks. So, grab your Instant Pot and let’s get cookin’!
- Greens: This recipe calls for one bunch of collards, between 1 and 1 1/2 pounds.
- Turkey: Smoked turkey necks are used in because they are smaller in size and lend a smoky, meaty flavor. Alternatively, ham hocks or smoked turkey tails will also work as substitutes.
- Worcestershire sauce: This ingredient adds rich, deep flavor to the broth. Our favorite brand is Bear & Burton’s “W Sauce” (not an affiliate).
- Apple cider vinegar: ACV adds a little acid to this dish to cut through the salt and also dial back the bitterness of the greens a little bit, while leaving them perfectly savory and a little tangy.
Tip: If you have an 8-quart cooker (or larger), you can double this recipe and use two 1-pound bunches of collards.
Collard Greens Seasoning
- Seasoned salt: Typically a blend of salt, herbs, and spices, including garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and paprika. Pick your favorite brand to use (Lawry’s, Morton, etc.), or make your own. It’s essential not to over-salt this dish because the leaves are very absorbent.
- Chicken bouillon: This is essentially chicken broth that’s been condensed in the form of cubes, granules, etc. Another option would be to use chicken base (demi-glace), for example, Better Than Bouillon Premium Roasted Chicken Base (not an affiliate). Dissolve in water to create a flavorful broth.
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper: We use Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt (in the red box) for all our recipes. However, you can also use table salt, but we recommend using a lesser amount. One teaspoon of kosher salt is equal to 1/2 teaspoon of table salt. Ground black pepper adds a little spice.
- Red pepper flakes: Also called red chili flakes, these add subtle heat.
- Granulated garlic: This is a preferable substitute to fresh garlic and is less likely to clump than garlic powder. If using garlic powder, however, add a lesser amount because it is more concentrated and lends a more intense flavor.
- Granulated onion: A little goes a long way flavor-wise! One tablespoon is equal to 1 medium onion.
Special Equipment and Tools
- 6-Quart or Larger Pressure Cooker: An Instant Pot or any other type of pressure cooker, but it must be at least 6 quarts in size. This larger size is essential to accommodate the greens and other ingredients for this flavorful dish.
- Cutting Board and Knife: You’ll need a cutting board and a sharp knife to prepare the collard greens. Simply wash and cut them into your desired size.
- Measuring Cup: You’ll use a measuring cup to pour in the water and dissolve the chicken bouillon cube.
Step 1: Prep the Collard Greens: Start by removing the tough stems. Then, give the leaves a thorough wash and then chop them into strips.
Step 2: Load Up the Pot: Place your greens in the pot of the pressure cooker and then add your choice of smoked meat (turkey, ham hocks, or even turkey tails). Now, for that extra flavor boost, pour in 4 cups of water. Dissolve one chicken bouillon cube in the water, then add seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, regular salt, garlic, onion, and crushed red pepper for a kick.
Step 3: Pressure Cook: Place the lid on your Instant Pot and lock it into place. Make sure the steam vent is set to “Seal.” Now, select “Pressure Cook (Manual)” and go for the High pressure setting. Set the timer for 15 minutes and let the Instant Pot do its thing. At the end of the cooking time, hit Cancel and let the steam release naturally for about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Remove Lid: After patiently waiting (we promise, it’s worth it), it’s time to release the remaining steam using the Quick Release. Carefully unlock and remove the lid. Now, this is where the fun begins. Take out the smoked turkey (or ham hocks if you went that route) and shred the meat from the bone. Toss the meat back into the pot and discard the bones.
Step 5: A Dash of Heat and Serve Feeling a bit daring? Add a dash of hot sauce if you’re into a bit of heat. Then, scoop those tender greens onto your plate and serve them up piping hot!
How Long to Cook Instant Pot Collard Greens?
In total, it will take about 40 minutes to cook collard greens in an Instant Pot, including the time it takes to pressurize and de-pressurize.
Select Pressure Cook (Manual) on High for 15 minutes. Keep in mind it may take up to 15 minutes to pressurize.
Once the Instant Pot has reached pressure, it will beep (and on models with a float valve, the float valve will pop up). The 15-minute cook time on High starts when the Instant Pot reaches pressure, and the timer begins counting down.
At the end of the 15-minutes, the Instant Pot will beep. Allow the steam to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, use the Quick Release function to release the remaining steam.
How to Clean Collard Greens (Video)
Transfer cut greens to a large bowl and place the bowl into the sink.
Sprinkle salt onto the collards, then turn the faucet. Mix in cold running water and wash by hand thoroughly and firmly for 3 to 4 minutes.
Drain water from the bowl and add fresh water and more salt. Repeat the washing process until the water runs clear.
How to Cut Collard Greens (Video)
Remove leaves from the stems, then stack and roll the leaves into a tight bundle and chop them with a chef’s knife.
Commonly Asked Questions
Collard greens are leafy green vegetables with tough stems that belong to the same plant family as kale, cabbage, and turnips.
Collards have an earthy, bitter taste (especially when raw). They are milder than kale, however, and slightly acidic. Cooked collards have a mild flavor, and when paired with rich broth and smoked meats, they turn out smoky and savory. They are also highly absorbent, so it’s important not to add too much salt.
This recipe requires a 6-quart Instant Pot to cook one bunch, between 1 and 1 1/2 pounds. If you have an 8-quart cooker (or larger), you can double this recipe and use two 1-pound bunches.
4 cups of water (alternatively, you can use chicken broth)
Release steam naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully open the pressure valve to release the remaining steam.
Have you tried our delicious Instant Pot Collard Greens Recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments below! If you’re snapping pics or shooting videos of your culinary masterpiece, be sure to tag us at @cookswithsoul on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok! We can’t wait to see and share your incredible creations with our community.
Instant Pot Collard Greens are prepared southern soul food style in a pressure cooker with flavorful broth, smoked turkey, onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- 1 bunch of collard greens (about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 turkey neck (alternatively, you can use 1 ham hock or 1 turkey tail, etc.)
- 4 cups water
- 1 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (alternatively, if using table salt use 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pick and wash the greens, and cut them to the desired size.
- Place greens and turkey necks in the pot of a pressure cooker.
- Pour in 4 cups of water and dissolve 1 chicken bouillon cube in the water.
- Add seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, salt, garlic, onion, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Put the lid on and lock it into place.
- Set the steam vent to “Seal” and select Pressure Cook (Manual) on High pressure for 15 minutes.
- At the end of the cooking time, press Cancel and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, use the Quick Release to release the remaining pressure.
- Carefully unlock and remove the lid.
- Remove the turkey and pull the meat from the bone. Add the meat to the pot and discard the bones.
- Serve and enjoy.
Adjust the seasoning of the broth according to your taste and preference before pressure cooking.
Keywords: instant pot collard greens, collard greens, soul food, instant pot recipes, southern food