Instant Pot Collard Greens

Make long-cooked, Southern-style collard greens in half the time using a hands-off Instant Pot. This recipe is loaded with seasonings and flavored with vinegar and smoked turkey wings.

Instant Pot Collard Greens on a Plate with Serving Utensil

Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

Greens are a household favorite in my family for any occasion! It’s a southern staple, true and near to my heart. I have so many wonderful memories of learning how to prepare, season and cook them to perfection. Now I get to share some of these tips with you. 

Why use an Instant Pot to make collard greens? When you’re cooking different dishes for the holidays or a big meal, the Instant Pot frees up your stovel. 

It’s also super easy and quicker than the traditional method, cutting your cooking time by half. Plus, you don’t have to worry about making the traditional boiled broth prior to adding the vegetables.It usually takes about extra minutes to make this broth the traditional way, requiring you to boil stock with spices and the smoked meat to infuse the broth with flavor. Pressure cookers permeate flavor into the meats and veggies without the hassle!

Instant Pot Collard Greens on a Plate with Serving Utensil Surrounded by a Bowl of Mashed Potatoes, Cornbread on a Wooden Tray, and a Glass

Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

Key Ingredients in Southern-Style Collard Greens

Typically,  Southern cooks add smoked meat, onions, and a splash of vinegar to their collard greens, Other popular staples include fresh garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper. 

Using all of these elements gives the cooking liquid a smoky,  garlicky onion flavor. The vinegar cuts the bitterness and the red pepper adds a nice spicy taste. 

How to Choose Greens

Always look for leaves that are bright green, have no bruising, and don’t look wilted. You want the freshest produce for better results. 

Depending on how much you need to cook, cleaning and prepping the leaves can be time consuming. There are convenient options now to skip a few prep steps! Look for precut and precleaned collard greens, usually found in the produce aisle in large sealed bags. 

Prepping and Cleaning Collard Greens

If you decide to cut and clean your own greens, first cut the leaves from the stems. After doing this, roll the leaves up and slice them into four to five equal parts. 

Bowl of Collard Greens Next to an Instant Pot

Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

Simple Tip!

Instead of using a knife to stem the greens, you can “zip” the stems from the leaves with your hands. Gip the base of the stem in one hand and pull the leaf through your first and middle fingers of your other hand. This works best with fresh greens, not limp ones.

It’s easier to clean the collards after stemming and cutting them. Proper cleaning is a must to make sure all the dirt and debris is gone prior to cooking. Place the chopped leaves in a large bowl or pot and fill with water to cover. Add about 1/2 cup of white vinegar and let them sit for 5 minutes. Then, rinse and drain the greens. They are ready to cook now! 

Other Greens to Use 

With this style of cooking greens, collards may be the most popular (and my own favorite), but there are actually a few different greens you can use in this recipe,  including kale, mustard, and turnip greens. Collards are a little bitter, while the turnip and mustard variety are more peppery. Depending on the variety, kale can have a mild flavor. 

Simple Tip!

Turnip and mustard greens are not as sturdy as collard greens, so if you use them, you may want to reduce the cooking time.

Instant Pot Collard Greens on a Plate with Serving Utensil Next to a Bowl of Mashed Potatoes and Cornbread

Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

A Little Smoked Meat for Big Flavor 

When making any long-simmered beans or greens in the Southern style, I always add smoked meatI use smoked turkey wings because they tend to be less fatty. Smoked turkey necks, ham hocks, bacon, and even ham are great substitutes to use if you don’t have turkey wings available. 

Tips, Tricks, and Swaps

  • If there is not enough room in your Instant Pot for all of the greens, let them cook for about 5 minutes using the saute function to help them to wilt down and make room for the remaining ingredients. 
  • Use water if you don’t have any stock on hand. You might have to add extra salt if you use water. 
  • Crushed red pepper is a popular substitute for the cayenne pepper. I would use about 1/2 teaspoon if I used this instead. 
  • For a spicy flavor, double the cayenne pepper or crushed pepper. 

Transporting and Reheating

The easiest way to transport this dish to another location is to let the collards cool, lock the lid on the Instant Pot, and just bring the entire Instant Pot along with you, plugging it in when you arrive so you can use the saute setting to reheat the greens. Then switch to the keep warm setting. The greens can stay on the keep warm setting for up to 2 hours

Instant Pot Collard Greens on a Plate with Serving Utensil

Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

Grazing on Greens

Instant Pot Collard Greens

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 5 servings

If you don’t consume meat products, use a vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Try adding liquid aminos or liquid smoke for salty and smoky flavors similar to smoked meats. 


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 2 cups chopped white onion

  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt (such as Lawry’s)

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 smoked turkey wings

  • 2 pounds chopped collard greens (about 2 bunches)


  1. Saute the onion and garlic:

    Program the pressure cooker on the saute setting.

    Add the olive oil to the pressure cooker. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and garlic. Cook until they become soft, about 2 minutes.

    Garlic and Onions Sautéed in Instant Pot for Collard Greens Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

    Onions Softened in Instant Pot for Instant Pot Collard Greens Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

  2. Add the stock and seasonings: 

    Next, add the stock to the pressure cooker and use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. 

    Now add the vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black and cayenne pepper.

    Stock Added to Instant Pot

    Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

  3. Add the greens, then the wings:

    Add half of the greens to the pressure cooker. Then lay the turkey wings on top of the greens. 

    Add the other layer of greens.

    Simple Tip!

    If all the greens cannot fit in the Instant Pot, let them cook for about 5 minutes to allow them to wilt.

    Collard Greens Added to Instant Pot

    Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

  4. Pressure cook the greens:

    Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the steam valve is sealed. 

    Program to cook on the “pressure cook” or “manual” setting for 25 minutes at high pressure. It should take about 5 to 15 minutes for it to come to pressure. 

    Once the cooking time has ended and the pressure cook beeps, quick-release the pressure by opening the steam valve using the handle of a wooden spoon.

  5. Pick the meat from the wings:

    After all of the steam has released, open the lid and remove the wings from the pot using tongs.

    Let the wings sit until they are cool enough to handle. Remove the skin; discard. Shred the meat from the bones using a fork. Place the shredded meat back into the pressure cooker and stir until combined. 

    Instant Pot Collard Greens Stirred in Instant Pot

    Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

    Meat Added to Instant Pot Collard Greens in Instant Pot

    Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

  6. Season and serve:

    Taste the greens and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve warm in bowls.

    Did you love this recipe? Give us some stars below!

    Bowl of Collard Greens Next to an Instant Pot

    Simply Recipes / Sharee Hill

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
283 Calories
12g Fat
27g Carbs
21g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5
Amount per serving
Calories 283
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 1146mg 50%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 40mg 198%
Calcium 308mg 24%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 622mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.