Instant Pot Collard Greens (with Bacon). Tender greens and smoky bacon, ready in 30 minutes, thanks to pressure cooking.
I don't have the time for low and slow on a busy weeknight. That's where my Instant Pot comes in. Collard greens are best cooked until they almost fall apart, which is perfect for pressure cooking.
- What's So Special About Collard Greens?
- Instant Pot Collard Greens- Step-by-Step Instructions
- Picking the Best Greens - Fresh, Bagged, or Canned?
- How Long Does it Take to Cook Collard Greens in a Pressure Cooker?
- Storing Leftovers
- Instant Pot Collard Greens with Bacon
- What do you think?
- Related Posts
- 💬 Comments
What's So Special About Collard Greens?
Collard greens are a classic Southern side dish, perfect for everything from pulled pork to fried catfish. Down South, they are cooked until they fall apart and flavored with a hint of smoked pork. Simmered low and slow while the barbecue is smoking, and served with black-eyed peas, they're the perfect lazy side dish.
- Red pepper
- Collard greens
- Fine sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
See the recipe card for ingredient details
Instant Pot Collard Greens- Step-by-Step Instructions
Brown the bacon: Spread the bacon out in the bottom of an Instant Pot and then set the pot to Saute mode - High. Cook the bacon, occasionally stirring, until it is browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes.
Pack in the collards: Stir a big handful of the collards into the bacon, coating them with the bacon grease, and keep stirring until they wilt slightly. Continue stirring and packing in the rest of the collards, a big handful at a time, until they are all in the pot. Sprinkle the collards with the salt, then pour the water over the top of everything. (Don't worry about the max fill line because the collards will wilt quickly. You need to pack them in just enough to close the lid.)
Pressure cook the collards for 20 minutes with a Quick Release: Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Quick release the pressure once the cooking time is done. Remove the lid carefully - the steam is hot enough to scald.
Season and serve: Pour the collards and pot liquid into a serving dish, sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper, and serve. Enjoy!
Ham Hock: Do you have an extra ham hock? Use it instead of the bacon. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the Instant Pot to wilt the collards, then add the ham hock. For extra pork flavor, shred the ham hock, discard all the skin, fat, and gristle, and stir the meat into the collards before serving.
Cut the heat: I like the little kick of spice that red pepper flakes add to the collards, but feel free to leave them out if you don't want any heat.
Vegetarian or vegan: Skip the bacon, and heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in the instant pot to help wilt the collards.
Apple cider vinegar: Some people like a bit of vinegar in their greens, so if you want to, stir in a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar with the black pepper just before serving.
Picking the Best Greens - Fresh, Bagged, or Canned?
Of course, fresh collard greens are best for this recipe. (Especially if I can get them from my farmers' market.) That said, I'm taking the easy way out and turning to bagged fresh collard greens more and more. Sure, locally grown collards taste better, but the convenience of pre-trimmed, pre-chopped, and pre-washed collards are hard to ignore. And, since cooking collards means overcooking collards, I'm OK with not using the freshest greens available.
Don't buy canned collard greens for this recipe. Those are already cooked, and pressure cooking canned collards will turn them to mush. Canned collard greens just need to be reheated.
How Long Does it Take to Cook Collard Greens in a Pressure Cooker?
I pressure cook my collards for 20 minutes on high pressure, with a quick release, which leaves them fall-apart tender and the pot with a nice amount of pot liquor from the greens.
Leftover collards store well. I put them in 2-cup containers with a lot of the pot liquid and refrigerate them for a couple of days or freeze them for a couple of months. Then I have a quick side dish I can pull out of the freezer and reheat in the microwave.
This instant pot collard greens recipe is the ideal side dish for pulled pork. (Both real-deal pulled pork from the smoker, or Instant Pot Pulled Pork go great with collards.) I also love serving them with Southern rice dishes, like Red Beans and Rice or Dirty Rice.Print
Instant Pot Collard Greens with Bacon
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 1x
Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Bacon recipe. Tender greens and smoky bacon, cooked in 30 minutes in the pressure cooker.
- ¼ pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 pound collard greens, cleaned and stems trimmed
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Brown the bacon, then pack in the collards: Spread the bacon out in the bottom of an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker and set the pot to Saute mode - High. (Or use medium-high heat in a stovetop PC.) Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it is browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes.
- Pack in the collards: Stir a big handful of the collards into the bacon, coating with the bacon grease, and keep stirring until they wilt slightly. Continue stirring and packing in the rest of the collards, a big handful at a time, until they are all in the pot. Sprinkle the collards with the salt, then pour the water over the top of everything. (Don’t worry about the max fill line, because the collards will wilt quickly. You need to pack them in just enough that you can close the lid.)
- Pressure cook the collards for 20 minutes with a Quick Release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. (Use Manual, Pressure Cook, or Pressure Cook - Custom mode in an Instant pot, set to high pressure for 20 minutes.) Quick release the pressure. Remove the lid carefully - the steam is hot enough to scald.
- Season and serve: Pour the collards and pot liquid into a serving dish, sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper, and serve.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Instant Pot Collard Greens with Bacon, Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Bacon
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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My Pressure Cooker Recipe Index
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Dronellar Moore says
Thank you so much! I wanted to cook some collards (my favorite) in my pressure cooker, but was a little scared to overcook them. Finding your post was a treasure indeed! I am a vegetarian, the greens cook time was perfect!
I don't usually post comments on websites but these were the best I have ever had and I have had plenty of greens in my life having been born and raised in the south
We added a little extra collards and a little extra water so it didn’t burn, but soooo good! My new favorite way to make greens!
I added lots of extra water, too. Here in the South we LOVE our “pot likker” (yummy broth from greens), so I wanted plenty. I added a bit of beef broth for added flavor, as well, and sautéed onion at the start with the bacon. Pass the vinegar pepper sauce! Mmmm!
Dan miller says
Thank you! Looking forward to trying this! Question: if I double double the recipe do I need to alter the cooking time?
Mike Vrobel says
No - cooking time is the same.
this is amazing! no fail and perfect!
Beth D says
I just made this exactly as the recipe describes, and it was incredible! We are on a keto diet, and this is a game changer. So easy to make.
I did kale with diced onion, garlic, and smoked neck bones for 10 minutes. They came out fine, but I'll try 20 next time to see if the meat comes off the bones easier. I love my IP so much, I bought another one. I started with the 6qt and when the 8qt went on sale I couldn't stop myself. Love your recipes-thank you.
They are in the pot now... will let ya know soon 🙂
I’m trying these w a turkey neck and bacon for TG! I am so excited. Thanks for the recipe!
Sheila Ann says
Hi, I have a small smoked ham hock, about a baseball size. will i be able get enough yummy out of the ham hock in the short pressure cooker time?
Mike Vrobel says
Made with freh mustard greens from my garden in an Instantpot. Added some andouille with bacon. PDT! Pretty dang tasty!
I followed his recipe exactly and it turned out absolutely amazing! My mom and friends were skeptical but all agreeed this is the new way to make collards for a speedy weeknight dinner. Thanks so much for posting and giving me a little Sunday dinner on a weeknight.
Sherry Brady says
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'm going to try it the next time I cook turnip greens or collards. Here in Georgia they are served with a liberal dose of pepper sauce...not the red kind like Tabasco but the clear vinegar kind with the little peppers in the bottle. Try them and see if you like it that way - with cornbread of course.
Karen Wright says
Looks delicious, collards are one of our favorites. Enjoy your PC recipes, thank you for sharing.