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"Slow Wine" Instant Pot Collard Greens with Smoked Brisket

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You ain't had Instant Pot collard greens this good before. These are flavored with slow-smoked brisket, maple, vinegar and spices for a tangy, sweet, and spicy dish.

The brisket takes this collard greens dish from strictly a side to a hearty main dish with brilliant leftover potlikker! And this magic all happens in less than 30 minutes making it perfect for those busy weeknights.

I know a lot of people lament the idea of long slow cooking of collard greens in a big pot. I personally enjoy it, especially for that collard green aroma that makes it feel like Sunday afternoons at Big Mama's house.

However, as promised by those of you who have requested more Instant Pot recipes, I've converted a classic collard greens recipe and updated it with a twist. The end result is instant pot collard greens that rival any Southern-style collard greens recipe.

collard greens with brisket in bowl

This, as you can see below, is a short ingredient list (7 ingredients total). Yet it nets maximum flavor. Don't bother smoking your own brisket, unless you feel the need or have the time.

I buy a ½ to 1 pound of brisket unchopped from my favorite local spot every other week or so and then figure out what to cook with it. Sometimes I eat it as is, other times as a sandwich or in a recipe like these collard greens. The key is to ask for it whole vs. sliced. You want big chunks for the instant pot.

The spices are paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. I grow collards, so I pulled these straight from the garden for that farm to table love. But for convenience use the pre-packaged collard greens from the grocery store refrigerated produce section if you want.

Admittedly I've been slow to come around to Instant Pot cooking. I'm familiar with pressure cooking, but "Instant" screams microwave and marketing speak when I'm more of a "slow wine" kinda guy. My primary concern was maintaining flavor credibility consistent with Food Fidelity standards.

After a few tries I got there and now confidently say these greens are da shiznit! I put that on my moms lol cause you know it's serious when a black man invokes his mama's name in his testimony. Follow my instant pot cooking steps below to make sure your greens are on point.

Beats and Eats (Instant Pot Collard Greens music pairing)

Smoked brisket has a bold flavor, but cooked with collard greens in an instant pot it mellows and slowly melts into the greens.The greens absorb all that flavor along with the maple syrup, spices, and cider vinegar.

Even though relatively speaking this is a quick cook collard greens recipe it all comes together slowly creating a deeply flavored soulful and lovely dish. It's got those Tony Toni Tone "Slow Wine" vibes through and through.

Ingredients Needed To Make Collard Greens In An Instant Pot

  • Collard greens
  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion 
  • Garlic cloves 
  • Maple syrup
  • Bay leaf
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Smoked brisket 
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • Hot Pepper sauce
  • Cider vinegar

How To Make Instant Pot Collard Greens (Step By Step)

These greens are simple to make and the payout is huuuuuge! They require just a few minor steps and poof, you're done!

These Instant Pot collard greens are flavored with smoked brisket instead of your usual smoked pork. My friends over at Mum Foods make a terrific brisket and I'll occasionally buy a few pounds and then create a few different dishes throughout the week such as my Texas Chili, Brisket Fried Rice, or Breakfast Brisket Migas.

This week the featured recipe was these brisket collard greens. Though this is an Instant Pot recipe you could easily cook these the traditional way in a large pot on the stovetop. For tips on how to make the best traditional greens try this Southern Collard Greens recipe.

Step 1: Caramelize the onions

Pre-heat the instant pot on medium saute settings. Once the display reads "Hot" add olive oil then the onions. Saute about two to three minutes stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper as you go.

onions sauteing in instant pot

Step 2: Add the Garlic, Brisket, and Spices

Add the garlic and saute for about thirty seconds. Add the brisket chunks along with half the spice seasonings (salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes). Make sure you give the brisket enough time for its flavor to release.

brisket cooking in an instant pot

Step 3: Deglaze the pot

Turn the instant pot off by clicking the "cancel" button, and add in the apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, maple syrup, pepper sauce, and the remaining seasoning mix. Using a wooden spoon deglaze the pan by stirring the pot scraping up any brown bits sticking to the bottom of the pot.

brisket and onions cooking in instant pot

Step 4: Pressure cook the Greens

Add all the greens to the instant pot. Push down the greens to make room for the lid if necessary.

Add the lid and lock it. Set the instant pot to high pressure for 20 minutes.

When the timer goes off, quick release the pressure and carefully open the lid. Season the greens with more salt and pepper sauce to taste. Stir to make sure the flavors are combined well. Let warm for 5-10 minutes or more before serving.

greens stuffed in instant pot

Instant Pot Collard Greens Cooking Tips

  • Saute the onions first to caramelize and release that natural onion sweetness. Instant Pots aren't Crock-pots. Use the saute feature to add some depth of flavor in your dishes. Plus turning on the saute function while you prep saves you time as you're essentially pre-heating the pressure cooker.
  • Don't feel like you have to smoke your own brisket. Brisket has become widespread now in bbq restaurants across the country. Buy from your favorite spot and use parts for this recipe.
  • However, if you do smoke your own brisket save the large fat cap after you smoke the brisket. You can use the fat cap to season Braised Cabbage recipes.
  • Be sure to deglaze the pan with a bit of the chicken broth after sauteing the onions as that adds even more flavor.
  • Season generously to compensate for any lost flavor you forsake with a quick cook.
  • Let the brisket cook a little bit on saute to render some of the fat and flavor.
  • For a more traditional Southern-style greens recipe try this instant pot version.

Serving Suggestions

Good collard greens call for some cornbread. I'm partial to old-school hot water cornbread. The brisket makes this a main dish vs. your typical side. For a few side dish options try these:

This dish also pairs well with a Southern classic like pork neck bones.

collard greens with brisket in bowl

Other Considerations

This, as you can see, is a short ingredient list (7 ingredients total). Yet it nets maximum flavor. Don't bother smoking your own brisket, unless you feel the need or have the time. I buy a ½ to 1 pound of brisket unchopped from my favorite local spot every other week or so and then figure out what to cook with it.

Sometimes I eat it as is, other times as a sandwich or in a recipe like these collard greens. The key is to ask for it whole vs. sliced. You want big chunks for the instant pot.

The spices are paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. I grow collards, so I pulled these straight from the garden for that farm to table love. But for convenience use the pre-packaged collard greens from the grocery store refrigerated produce section if you want.

Admittedly I've been slow to come around to Instant Pot cooking. I'm familiar with pressure cooking, but "Instant" screams microwave and marketing speak when I'm more of a "slow wine" kinda guy. My primary concern was maintaining flavor credibility consistent with Food Fidelity standards.

After a few tries I got there and now confidently say these greens are da shiznit! I put that on my moms lol cause you know it's serious when a black man invokes his mama's name in his testimony. Follow my instant pot cooking steps below to make sure your greens are on point.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) For Instant Pot Collard Greens

If brisket is unavailable, which other meat do you recommend for the Instant Pot Collard Greens?

Smoked pork (ham hocks and neck bones) are extremely popular options and typically used. For non-pork eaters, smoked turkey wings or necks are great substitutes as well.

Can I use bagged pre-packaged greens? 

Bagged collards work just fine. It's just a preference or availability thing. Obviously pre-packaged versions save you time, but they're pretty tasty too in this recipe. Don't trust their cleanliness though. You'll still want to give them a rinse for piece of mind.

How long do you cook collard greens in the Instant Pot? 

I've tried several variations but find 20-25 minutes on high pressure is the sweet spot. I typically let the greens continue warming well after cooking so that the potlikker brews and comes together even more.

Are These Greens Spicy?

Not at all. The red pepper flakes are added to contrast against both the bitterness of the greens along with the sweetness of the maple syrup. Essentially the flakes give balance to these greens.

How do you get the bitterness out of collard greens?

It's as simple as cooking the greens low and slow. Instant pot pressure cooking speeds things up and serve the same purpose. Adding a bit of maple syrup also facilitates this as well.

How long to pressure cook collard greens?

It should take you no more than 20 minutes of cook time. Obviously, there is the additional time for pressure to build (7-8 minutes) as well as the time for the pressure to release after cooking.

Does this recipe work with other greens?

Yes indeed! Feel free to add or substitute mustard greens or turnip greens to change things up. These leaves aren't as hearty as collards so the cook time will be a few minutes shorter.

Why do you put vinegar in collard greens?

Brisket can be pretty fatty. All this delicious flavoring fat melts into the collard greens making the dish somewhat heavy. The vinegar provides the acidity to cut through the fat.

For other instant pot recipes you might like:

For other collard green recipes checkout these:

If you make these delicious smoky brisket collard greens, don't forget to save the best part, the pot liquor. Also, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

collard greens with brisket in bowl

Instant Pot Collard Greens w/ Smoked Texas Brisket

Collard Greens flavored with slow-smoked brisket, maple, vinegar and spices for a tangy, sweet, and spicy dish. The brisket takes this dish from strictly a side to a hearty main dish with brilliant leftover potlikker!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
restng time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: BBQ, southern
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs collard greens (stems removed, cleaned and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves diced fine
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • ½ black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 lb brisket cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon pepper sauce
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot on "Saute" and heat the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, brisket, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Give the brisket an opportunity to release some of its flavor.
  • Turn the Instant Pot off, and stir in the apple cider vinegar, stock, maple syrup, pepper sauce and any additional seasoning. Be sure to deglaze the pan.
  • Add the collard green leaves, pushing down into the pot if needed.
  • Lock the lid, and set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 20 minutes.
  • When the timer goes off, quick release the pressure and carefully open the lid. Season the greens with more salt and pepper sauce to taste. Stir to make sure the flavors are combined well. Let warm for 5-10 minutes or more before serving.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Don't bother smoking a brisket on your own unless that's your thing. Buy desired amount from your favorite BBQ joint.
  • Saute the onions first to caramelize and release that natural onion sweetness. Instant Pots aren't Crock-pots. Use the saute feature to add some depth of flavor in your dishes. Plus turning on the saute function while you prep saves you time as you're essentially pre-heating the pressure cooker.
  • Be sure to deglaze the pan with a bit of the broth after sauteing the onions as that adds even more flavor.
  • Season generously to compensate for any lost flavor you forsake with a quick cook.
  • Let the brisket cook a little bit on saute to render some of the fat and flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1261mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6020IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 282mg | Iron: 2.2mg
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Recipe Rating




Lottie

Sunday 15th of May 2022

I’m from the UK and our version of collard greens is apparently spring greens? Didn’t notice until I got home that these were “mild and sweet” but figured sod it, I’ll give it a go anyway. Brisket wasn’t smoked either but can say that it turned out pretty alright! Bit of a kick but not too much. Good recipe, thanks for sharing!

Shemia

Wednesday 1st of January 2020

I made these today and they were amazing!! I had a bottle of pepper sauce from the last batch my mom made before she passed away, so that made this recipe even more special

Marwin Brown

Wednesday 1st of January 2020

That's awesome, I'm glad the dish worked out. I'm sorry to hear about your mom, but I'm sure this means you had all kinds of love in your dish.

Shemia

Tuesday 31st of December 2019

Pepper sauce--the homemade version or are you talking about 'hot sauce'?

Marwin Brown

Tuesday 31st of December 2019

I used home-made since i had some on hand but store-bought like Trappy's (skinny peppers and vinegar mix) works just fine. Vinegar based hot sauce is good too. It's optional, but i prefer something with some acid in it to counter the fat in the brisket.