These tender and flavorful Southern collard greens are so easy to make, the Instant Pot will have them ready to eat in a flash! Collard greens are a classic in the South, it's a good way to add some greenery to your plate and the recipe is so simple, anyone can do it!
Instant pot collard greens are the easy Southern side dish you didn't know you needed!
I’m a big fan of traditional American southern food. Give me some BBQ with cheese grits and homemade mac and cheese any day of the week.
I also love collard greens. Especially with fried chicken! Yum! Unfortunately, most recipes require hours of cooking your collards.
The quick cook time is why this pressure cooked option is so fantastic. Instant Pots really are a lifesaver on days when slow cooking just isn’t an option!
This recipe uses garlic, bacon, and onion to highlight the greens, even adding a smattering of red pepper flakes for some extra heat. With just a few key ingredients, you can create a whole world of flavor.
Instant Pot collard greens are a fun way to incorporate what, for many of us, are unique vegetables into the monthly menu. If you’ve never tried these tasty greens, this is a good place to start!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Easy Prep! There’s only 5 minutes of prep work and your Instant Pot will do the rest!
Super Flavorful! These greens are amazing when cooked to perfection!
It's Traditional Southern food! Explore regional cuisines and find a new tradition of your own!
Most of the ingredients on this list will be in your pantry. You’ll want to buy fresh collards when you want to make this recipe.
- 1 pound Collard Greens - Greens that are firm and crisp with dark green leaves are the freshest.
- 4 slices Bacon - Look for a smoked option and cut it into chunks.
- 1 small Yellow Onion - Use a yellow or white onion and finely chop or mince it.
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar - Vinegar adds some tang to balance out the saltiness of the dish.
- 32 ounces Chicken Broth - This translates into 1 32-ounce carton or 4 cups.
- 1 tablespoon Garlic - Sauteing garlic releases a whole new level of flavor that will disperse throughout the dish.
- 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes - To taste, spice it up as much or as little as you want!
- ½ teaspoon each, Salt & Pepper - Season to taste at the very end.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
If you know your way around a pressure cooker, this will be a simple recipe. If not, read carefully and grab your manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll also need an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, a knife set, and a spatula.
- Chop. Rinse 1 pound fresh collard greens in cool water and cut around the stems. Then, chop the leaves into 1 ½ to 2-inch squares, or desired size.
- Saute. Turn your Instant Pot on the saute setting and let it heat up. Cook 4 slices of bacon cut into chunks and 1 chopped yellow onion for about 5 minutes. Bacon should be beginning to crisp, and onions should be tender. Now, add 1 tablespoon minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Add liquids and greens. Turn off the saute setting on your Instant Pot and add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 32 ounces chicken broth. Scrape any bits of bacon off the bottom of the pot with a spatula. After deglazing the pot, transfer your prepared collard greens to the pot and stir. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add more or less to taste.
- Pressure cook. Secure the lid of your Instant Pot, making sure the venting knob is in the sealed position. Cook the greens on high for 5 minutes using the manual function. It could take 10 to 15 minutes for the pressure to build.
- Pressure release. Using your pressure cooker’s manufacturer’s instruction manual, ease the pressure using the NPR (natural pressure release) for 20 minutes. After allowing it to vent, carefully quick-release any remaining steam. Then, release the lid.
- Season and serve. Taste your creation and add more seasonings if needed. Serve while warm.
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Buy bagged, pre-chopped collards. To save a few minutes of time, you can purchase collard greens already chopped. Just make sure to note whether or not they need to be washed. *I’d still check through and remove the largest stem pieces!
- Deglaze your pot. Deglazing your pot in step 3 adds amazing flavor, but it also will keep you from getting a “burn” message on your Instant Pot. When food gets stuck to the sides or bottom and becomes overcooked, you’ll have an unhappy pot.
- Double the recipe. 2 pounds of greens will fit in a 6-quart Instant Pot. Don’t worry about overfilling it if you’re trying to maximize your output.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Collard greens can be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag. Eat within 6 months or so (3 months for the best flavor).
Reheating Collard Greens
Leave frozen leftovers in the fridge overnight to thaw. Then, pour them in a saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until desired temperature.
😋 More Easy Side Dishes!
- Southern Fried Corn
- Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes
- Southern Coleslaw
- Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
- Potatoes O'Brien
For those sensitive to the bitterness of collards, try adding a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice when they are cooked. Mix thoroughly and taste. If it is still too bitter, add a bit more of both.
You can definitely make this recipe with other greens or a combination of other greens and collards. Kale, chard, mustard greens, or turnip greens are all good options. Note that thinner greens may require less cooking time.
Instant Pot Collard Greens
- 1 lb collard greens
- 4 slices bacon (smoked is best, cut into chunks)
- 1 small yellow onion (finely chopped or minced, or use white onion)
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 32 oz chicken broth (1 32-ounce carton, or 4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- Prepare your collard greens by rinsing them under cool water and then trimming the leaves away from the stems. Once trimmed, chop the collard green leaves into 1 ½ to 2 inch squares (or your desired size).1 lb collard greens
- Heat your Instant Pot using the saute setting and cook the cut bacon and onion until the bacon is beginning to crisp and the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue to saute an additional 30 seconds.4 slices bacon, 1 small yellow onion, 1 tablespoon garlic
- Turn off the saute setting and pour in the apple cider vinegar and chicken broth. Use your spatula to scrape the brown bits of bacon off the bottom of the pot. Add in your collard greens and stir. Then, add the red pepper, and salt & pepper to taste.1 lb collard greens, 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 32 oz chicken broth, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon each, salt & pepper
- Seal the lid of your Instant Pot securely and make sure that the venting knob is in the sealed position. Use the manual function to cook the collards on high pressure for 5 minutes. It may take 10-15 minutes for the pressure to build.
- Following the manufacturer's instruction manual, release the pressure using the NPR (natural pressure release) for 20 minutes. Carefully quick-release any remaining steam after allowing the Instant Pot to vent, then carefully release the lid.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed, then serve immediately.
- To save time, you can purchase bagged, already chopped collard greens.
- This recipe will also work with other greens, alone or in combination with the collard greens, such as kale, chard, mustard greens, or turnip greens. Depending on thickness, some greens may require a shorter cooking time.
- Deglazing the pot is important for flavor, but it will also prevent you from receiving a "burn" message on your Instant Pot due to the overcooked bits of food stuck to the bottom.
- 2 pounds of greens will fit in a 6-quart Instant Pot, so you may double the recipe if desired.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!