You want fast, delicious soul food greens on a weeknight, then go for the instant pot and make these pressure cooker collard greens.
If you're a fan of Southern cuisine, there's nothing quite like dishes that make use of fresh collard greens. Succulent and fragrant, collard greens provide an earthy balance to various traditional American flavors.
But if you haven't had success cooking them in the past, don't despair - pressure cooker collard greens are here to turn your dinner table into a soul food paradise! With this easy-to-follow recipe and the right tools, you'll be able to whip up southern fare with all the flavor of Grandma's famous dish – minus all the hassle!
Though cooked quickly these greens still have that great greens flavor. Flavors are balance mix of tangy, smoky, and briny.
Store-bought pre-packaged collard greens are used for a convenient time saver and cooked with other traditional Southern-style collard greens ingredients.
Pressure cooking has been around forever, especially in restaurants. But now the instant pot is in every home kitchen. So whether you go old school pressure cooker greens like me or new school with instant pot collard greens you'll be in for a treat with this collard greens recipe.
Beats and Eats (music to pair with pressure cooker greens)
The song Yeah, Yeah, Yeah is partly about clubbing on a weeknight. That's what these pressure cooker collards are all about - enjoying collard greens on a weeknight. These greens are as fire and audacious as the song.
Ingredients Needed For Pressure Cooker Collard Greens
- Collard Greens (I like fresh collard greens but bagged chopped collard greens are cool)
- Garlic Cloves
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Maple Syrup
- Chicken Stock or chicken broth or even vegetable broth
- Smoked Turkey Leg or other turkey Parts
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Black Garlic Salt (optional)
How To Pressure Cook Collard Greens
Heat Instant Pot on saute settings (High) and once display reads “Hot” add olive oil and brown the smoked turkey about 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
Add the sliced onions and saute 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, plus half the spice mix (salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes). Mix well.
Add the chicken stock and deglaze the bottom of the pan by scrubbing the bottom with a wooden spoon.
Add the bourbon, cider vinegar, maple syrup, and the remaining spices including the black garlic salt if using. Mix well.
Add cleaned collard greens then top with the smoked turkey. You’ll likely need to press the greens down a bit to make room which is ok. Everything will reduce during cooking. Close the lid and high pressure cook for 25 minutes then use natural pressure release.
Remove the lid. Remove the turkey leg. Pull the turkey leg meat from the bone and add back to the pot. Mix the ingredients well and adjust for seasoning. Serve with your favorite hot sauce.
What To Serve with Collard Greens
There are many dishes that would go well with pressure cooker collard greens. Here are a few options:
- Cornbread: Cornbread is a classic Southern side dish that pairs perfectly with collard greens. The sweetness of the cornbread complements the bitterness of the greens.
- Fried chicken: Fried chicken is another Southern staple that goes well with collard greens. The crispy exterior of the chicken pairs well with the soft texture of the greens.
- Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes are a comforting side dish that would complement the collard greens nicely. The creamy potatoes would balance out the bitterness of the greens.
- Mac and cheese: Mac and cheese is a classic comfort food that pairs well with most dishes. The cheesy goodness would complement the collard greens nicely.
- Southern Meatloaf: Something about meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and collard greens sounds magical.
- Smoked Rib Tips: Memories of meals in my favorite rib joints back in the day include tips and smoky greens.
Overall, there are many options for side dishes that would go well with pressure cooker collard greens. Choose the one that best suits your taste and enjoy!
Cooking Considerations and Tips
The pre-packaged store-bought greens are pre-washed, but I prefer to give them a wash of my own just to be sure.
Obviously, you can use fresh unpackaged collard greens. Note with fresh collards cook time may vary a little bit depending on how you cut them. The bigger the leaf the longer the time needed.
The cider vinegar adds a bit of acidity which helps break down the greens. To balance against the acidity plus the natural bitterness of the greens I add maple syrup as a sweetener. Plain sugar or brown sugar could be used for the same purpose. I prefer maple cause it has a bit more flavor complexity and it’s liquid making it more easily and uniformly dispersed throughout the pot vs having sweet spots here and there.
Bourbon sounds like a weird ingredient for collard greens, but it adds depth, complexity, and marries well with the maple.
One of the reasons I love using the pressure cooking is because it makes it hard to overcook collard greens.
Use your smoked meat of choice. This recipe calls for smoked turkey. I used butts or tails, but necks or wings are great. Likewise, smoked ham hocks or pork neck bones are great.
Make it a Southern recipe menu by serving these pressure cooker collard greens with braised pork neck bones, fried chicken, Mac and cheese, potato salad, and hot water cornbread.
For other ways to cook collard greens checkout my collard greens guide.
Pair these greens with other popular soul food meats including country style ribs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Pressure Cooker Greens
What types of greens can be cooked in a pressure cooker?
A variety of greens can be cooked in a pressure cooker, including collard greens, kale, spinach, turnip greens, and mustard greens.
How long does it take to cook greens in a pressure cooker?
The pressure cook time for fully cooked greens can vary depending on the type of greens and the recipe being used. Generally, these delicious greens are cooked in a pressure cooker in about 25 minutes.
Do I need to add liquid to the pressure cooker when cooking greens?
Yes, it is important to add liquid to the pressure cooker when cooking greens. This can be in the form of water, broth, or stock. The liquid helps to create steam, which cooks the greens.
Can I add meat or other seasonings to the pressure cooker when cooking greens?
Yes, meat and seasonings can be added to the pressure cooker when cooking greens. Common seasonings include garlic, sautéed onions, salt, and pepper. Meats such as smoked ham hock, bacon, smoked turkey wings or smoked turkey legs can also be added for flavor.
How do I release the pressure from the pressure cooker after cooking greens?
The pressure can be released from the pressure cooker in two ways: natural release or quick release. Natural release involves letting the pressure release on its own, which can take about 10-15 minutes. Quick release involves manually releasing the pressure by turning the pressure valve to the "venting" position. I prefer natural release for this recipe.
Can leftover greens be stored in the refrigerator or freezer?
Yes, leftover greens can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3-4 months. It is important to store them in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
For Other Collard Greens Recipes
make this collard greens recipe
Pressure cooker collard greens are a quick, easy and delicious way to prepare this classic southern favorite. Not only does it save time, but the flavor is practically unbeatable. Whether you’re trying to stay true to tradition or just looking for something new and exciting to try, you can depend on the pressure cooker for fool-proof results every time.
Cooking collards doesn't have to be hard. If you make this pressure cooker collard greens recipe or any other recipe 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.
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- pressure cooker
- 3-4 bunches Collard Greens
- 1 pound smoked turkey butts
- 2 medium Onions sliced
- 1 cup Cider vinegar
- ¼ cup Bourbon
- 1 tablespoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 quart Stock
- 4 cloves Garlic diced
- 1 teaspoon black garlic salt optional
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- Heat Instant Pot on saute settings (High) and once display reads “Hot” add olive oil and brown the smoked turkey about 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
- Add the sliced onions and saute 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, plus half the spice mix (salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes). Mix well.
- Add the chicken stock and deglaze the bottom of the pan by scrubbing the bottom with a wooden spoon.
- Add the bourbon, cider vinegar, maple syrup, and the remaining spices including the black garlic salt if using. Mix well.
- Add the collard greens then top with the smoked turkey. You’ll likely need to press the greens down a bit to make room which is ok. Everything will reduce during cooking. Close the lid and pressure cook for 25 minutes then allow the collards to release naturally.
- Remove the lid. Mix the ingredients well and adjust for seasoning.
Saturday 19th of November 2022
U missed amt of olive oil ro use.
Monday 21st of November 2022
you just need enough (1-2 tbsps) to brown the smoked turkey and then saute the onions.
Loreto and Nicoletta
Sunday 30th of May 2021
I absolutely love collard greens. I love the combination of flavors, and it all done in a pressure cooker to me means, exceptional flavor, juicy, and so tender! Thanks for sharing!❤️
Sunday 30th of May 2021
I love all kinds of greens and cook them as much as possible. This way of cooking collards with smoked turkey, bourbon and maple syrup looks and sounds outstanding. On my to make list!
Sunday 30th of May 2021
I always aim to have some greens on the side no matter what I make... definitely an easy recipe to keep handy at all times!
Saturday 29th of May 2021
What an amazing combination of ingredients to give this dish its final flavour - maple syrup, bourbon, smoked meat! Complexity is definitely achieved in what would seem like a simple and plain side dish. Excellent.