Pressure cooker, Side dish
comments 30

Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Bacon

Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Bacon

Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Bacon

When I started cooking, southern barbecue was still a regional thing. Sure, we had ribs here in Ohio, but pulled pork? Brisket? Never heard of it. But, when I got my start with a Weber Smoky Mountain, I started to learn about true barbecue…and its side dishes.

Collard greens are a standard Southern side dish, the perfect accompaniment to everything from pulled pork to fried catfish. These are not crisp, fresh greens – 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, they’re the perfect lazy side dish.

But, on a weeknight, I don’t have the time for low and slow. That’s where my pressure cooker comes in. It’s perfect for cooking greens past tender and to falling apart – as much as I love them, “al dente” is not a strong point for pressure cookers. I also want smoky pork flavor, so I slice the end off of a slab of bacon. 2 I cut the bacon crosswise into 1 inch strips, then toss it straight into the pressure cooker pot. It comes apart into slices as it cooks, and after a few minutes I have crispy bacon and a thin layer of bacon fat to flavor my greens.

Now for the actual collard greens. When I can get collard greens from my farmers market or CSA, I jump at them – but I make sure to wash them thoroughly. Unfortunately, fresh-grown collards are not that common in my neck of the woods, so I tend to cheat with a bag of pre-washed, pre-trimmed collard greens from the grocery store. Sure, locally grown collards taste better – but we are cooking them forever, so most of the difference is cooked out. And, by “forever”, I mean 20 minutes. It’s amazing what a pressure cooker can do.

(If you can’t find collards at all, you can substitute kale, but I cook it for a shorter period of time.)

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Bacon

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Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Bacon

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • 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.


  • 1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound collard greens, cleaned and stems trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Brown the bacon, then add the collards: Spread the bacon out in the bottom of the pressure cooker pot and set the pot over medium heat (stovetop PC) or to sauté mode (electric PC). Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it is browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Stir a big handful of the collards into the bacon, coating with the bacon grease, until they wilt slightly. Then start stirring and packing in the rest of the collards. Don’t worry about the max fill line on the cooker – the collards will wilt quickly – but you need to pack them in enough to close the lid. Sprinkle the collards with the salt, then pour the water over the top of everything.
  2. Pressure cook the collards: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring it up to high pressure, and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes in an electric PC, 16 minutes in a stovetop PC. Quick release the pressure. Remove the lid carefully – the steam is hot enough to scald.
  3. Season and serve: Pour the collards into a serving dish, sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper, and serve.



  • 6 quart (or larger) pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot Duo electric pressure cooker)
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
Ready to cook

Ready to cook


Brown the bacon

Brown the bacon


Stir in the collards

Stir in the collards


Ready to serve

Ready to serve


What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Overhead picture of collard greens with bacon in a yellow bowl with recipe title below

Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Bacon

Pressure Cooker Kale with Garlic and Lemon
Pressure Cooker Roasted Sweet Potato Puree
Pressure Cooker Beets with Blue Cheese
My Pressure Cooker Recipe Index


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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Side dish


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Mike in Austin says


    I ALWAYS look here first for recipes. Made this last night with collards picked up at the farmers market using bacon I cured and smoked myself using a pork belly I picked a couple of weeks ago at the same farmer’s market. Best bacon I have ever made and this recipe really respects the ingredients while getting the dish on the table in no time.

    Thanks again,

    Mike in Austin

  2. Daniela says

    I have only once cooked collards before, but we didn’t care for them, so I’ve usually thrown a leaf in smoothies here and there. This year’s fall garden bounty, however, seems to be mostly kale and collards… Tried your IP kale recipe (which was good), so I figured, I’ll brave the collards again. Am so glad I did! Now if only the collards would hurry up and produce another pot full already! Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. Marilyn Lee says

    Never tried collards in my life and I’m a senior citizen! This recipe is delicious in my Instant Pot. Thanks for my introduction to collard greens!

  4. 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!

  5. David says

    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

  6. Kris says

    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!

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. Diane says

    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.

  10. Noelle says

    I’m trying these w a turkey neck and bacon for TG! I am so excited. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. 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?

  12. Made with freh mustard greens from my garden in an Instantpot. Added some andouille with bacon. PDT! Pretty dang tasty!

  13. 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.

  14. Sherry Brady says

    Hi Mike!,

    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.

  15. Karen Wright says

    Looks delicious, collards are one of our favorites. Enjoy your PC recipes, thank you for sharing.

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