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+ servings
two bowls of collard greens with bits of ham and bacon.
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5 from 5 votes

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Collard Greens

Collard Greens made in an Instant Pot are a shortcut to Southern perfection. What normally takes hours on the stove is ready in less than an hour using a pressure cooker. Made with bacon, onions, ham, and garlic - these collard greens couldn't be more delicious.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Natural Release10 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: collard greens, instant pot collard greens, instant pot greens, instapot collard greens
Servings: 8 1 cup servings
Calories: 209kcal



  • ½ cup leftover ham or seasoning ham diced


  • Press the Sauté button on your Instant Pot and let it get nice and hot. While the Instant Pot is heating up, dice up an onion, bacon, garlic, and ham (optional).
    the front of an instant pot set to the saute mode.
  • Once the Instant Pot is hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
    olive oil warming in an instant pot.
  • When the olive oil is hot, add diced bacon.
    bacon and oil cooking in an instant pot.
  • Once the bacon is a little crispy on the edges (but not totally cooked) - add diced onions.
    bacon and onions cooking in an instant pot.
  • Continue to saute the onions and bacon until the onions are translucent. Then, add garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant - about 2 minutes.
  • If adding ham, add it once you can smell the garlic cooking - cook for a minute or two - it doesn't need to cook for long.
    ham, bacon, and onions cooking in an instant pot.
  • After adding ham, add coconut (or brown) sugar and all of the dry spices (not apple cider vinegar).
    ham, bacon, and onions with spices in an instant pot.
  • Mix well to combine. Cook for another minute or two.
    bacon, ham, and onions cooking in an instant pot.
  • Pour in all of the stock and let it come to a boil. This will allow all the flavors from the spices, garlic, ham, and bacon to infuse into the broth.  
    an instant pot with bacon, ham, onions, and broth in it.
  • Simmer this for 2 - 3 minutes.
    an instant pot with bacon, ham, onions, and broth bubbling in it.
  • Add fresh or frozen collard greens to the stock mixture. Whether the greens are fresh or frozen, they just need to be well incorporated into the stock mixture.
    and instant pot with frozen collard greens in it.
  • Mix the apple cider vinegar into the greens, then cancel the Sauté function. 
    apple cider vinegar being poured into an instant pot of collard greens.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the knob to Sealing.
    an instant pot with the knob set to sealing, before cooking.
  • Now, press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and adjust the time to 25 minutes using the - / + buttons (or the dial if your Instant Pot has one.) Be sure that it is set to HIGH pressure. 
    the front of an instant pot showing 25 minutes at high pressure.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, leave the Instant Pot alone and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. This means, do not touch anything - just leave it alone and let it do it's thing. The Instant Pot will start counting up from L 0:00. When it says, L 0:10, it is done.
    an instant pot full of pressure with the knob set to venting.
  • Finally, Quick Release (QR) any remaining pressure. When the Instant Pot reads L 0:10 (give or take a few minutes), carefully turn the knob to venting and let the remaining pressure out. (Stand back to avoid a painful steam facial. )
    an instant pot with the knob set to venting.
  • When the pin drops, the lid is safe to open - again, stand back to avoid steam in the face.
    an instant pot of collard greens next to a pan of fried chicken balls.
  • Finish your greens with a little pepper vinegar and salt and pepper.
    a white bowl of collard greens with bits of ham and bacon.


Serving Suggestions/Uses
We like to finish our greens with a little pepper vinegar and a touch of extra salt and pepper. The pepper vinegar mellows out any leftover bitterness in the greens. Collard greens are an amazing side dish for any kind of dinner, but we enjoy them as an acidic side dish to otherwise heavy or greasy meals, like fried catfish or fried chicken.
  • Add leftover ham, seasoning ham, or a ham hock to give a more meaty and smoky flavor to collard greens.
  • Serve collard greens with a little pepper vinegar.
  • We love to enjoy collard greens with "fried" chicken meatballs and Copycat Raising Cane's Sauce.
Why Are Collard Greens Bitter?
Collard greens have bitter oils that are produced from a naturally occurring chemical called glucosinolate. It is released when greens are cut, chewed, or cooked. Did you know that some people can find greens to be up to 60% more bitter than other people? If you find greens to be REALLY bitter and you just can't stand them, you might just have taste buds that are sensitive to glucosinolate. (Just like how some people hate cilantro and others LOVE it.)
How Do You Remove the Bitterness from Collard Greens?
To reduce the bitterness in greens, you need to add the right balance of sweetness, acid, and heat. For this recipe, I add the right amount of apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, coconut sugar, and Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. When serving greens, we add a little bit of pepper vinegar and a little salt to finish rounding out the flavor.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 999mg | Potassium: 424mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5810IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 278mg | Iron: 1mg