Pressure cooker, Side dish
comments 26

Pressure Cooker Kale with Garlic and Lemon

Pressure Cooker Kale with Garlic and Lemon

Pressure Cooker Kale with Garlic and Lemon

A few years ago, kale was everywhere. Kale chips, kale smoothies, kale salad… But kale’s time as the “it vegetable” seems to have passed. We’ve moved on – brussels sprouts seem like they’re having their moment in the sun – and kale is now just another green vegetable.

I was into Kale before it was cool, thanks to my CSA. 3 Back before Kale was hip, I’d get big bunches in my CSA box and wonder what to do with it. My best answer? Braised kale. 4

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Kale with Garlic and Lemon


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Pressure Cooker Kale with Garlic and Lemon

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Pressure Cooker Kale with Garlic and Lemon recipe – kale from your pressure cooker, quick and easy.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 pound kale, cleaned and stems trimmed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
  • Juice squeezed from 1/2 a lemon
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Lightly sauté the garlic, then add the kale: Pour the oil into the bottom of the pressure cooker pot, stir in the garlic, and set the pot over medium heat (stovetop PC) or sauté mode (electric PC). Heat the oil until you just smell the garlic – we want it to bubble around the edges, but not brown – about 2 minutes. Stir a big handful of the kale into the garlic and oil, then start packing in the rest of the kale. Don’t worry about the max fill line on the cooker – it will wilt quickly – but you need to pack it in enough to close the lid. Sprinkle the kale with the salt, then pour the water over the top of everything.
  2. Pressure cook the kale: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring it up to high pressure, and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes (for either electric or stovetop PC). Quick release the pressure. Remove the lid carefully – the steam is hot enough to scald.
  3. Season and serve: Squeeze the lemon over the kale, then stir in the fresh ground pepper. Scoop the kale out of the pot with a slotted spoon or tongs, leaving as much liquid behind as possible. Serve.
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Ready for kale

Ready for kale

Stirring in the kale

Stirring in the kale

Five minutes

Five minutes



  • I love my CSA, and I love farmers markets. But…as you can see in the pictures, I’m not against buying a bag of pre-cut, pre-washed kale at my local grocery store.
  • I have two pressure cookers for recipes just like this – a quick side dish when my main pressure cooker is busy.




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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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. Cheryl Key says

    I didn’t follow 100%. Only cooked for 2 minutes. Like to add carrots in mine and fresh ground ginger (comes in a small pouch at whole foods) just a teaspoon of ginger so it didn’t overpower. All the flavors blended very well so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! I like that your recipe was so easy to follow, gave me hope that I could do it too!
    As an aside, I’m not a cook but had to change the way I eat. I’ve had my instant pot for a week and was very intimidated by it until I found I could saute and pressure cook in the same pot. Changed my life!
    Thanks again!

  2. A delicious recipe. Cooked to perfection! Thanks for sharing. I also use juices from cooking other vegetables instead of plain water. Absolutely a favorite 😊

  3. Someone gave me 2lbs of Kale. This was a great recipe! Super tasty and so easy! Chicken Pesto, Pasta, Kale. Thanks!

  4. I ended up with far too much kale than I could get my fam to eat in a salad, so I made this last night and it was *amazing*. I didn’t have lemon so I used juice from a whole lime, then misread the directions and put the lime juice in with the water so everything cooked together. It was very bright and garlicky, perfectly tender and a nice contrast to the rich sausage also on the menu. Thank you for putting this out there!

  5. I made this last night (used a full lemon instead of half) and it was AMAZING!! Thank you!

  6. Michelle says

    First time I ever cooked kale and it was amazing. I usually only eat it raw in salads but this recipe definitely made a convert out of me!!

  7. Ellen Lawler says

    Very good and easy recipe for a vegetable I eat periodically only because everyone says it’s “good for you.”

  8. I cooked two strips of bacon on medium sauté until crisp and removed it. Then I sautéed one medium onion in the bacon grease until it began to soften and then added the garlic and sautéed for another 2 minutes. Then I added the kale and cooked uncover until it was wilted enough to get the lid on. Then I added 1 cup of no salt chicken broth, with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt added, to the Kale mixture. I cooked on high pressure for 3 minutes and did a quick release. I chopped the bacon into little bits to sprinkle on individual servings of the finished kale. The kale turned out perfectly. It was bright green and al dente, not mushy and drab green. This was easy and very good. I used an 8 qt. Instant Pot. Thank you for the recipe.

  9. Linda Marcella says

    Great recipe. I cleaned up my garden today. The catapillars were making holes in all my brassica. I cut off all the damaged leaves of cabbage, brussels sprouts,, kale and collards. I cut out all the stems and sliced the leaves
    up. Gave it all a bath and then into the instantpot. I did 6 min and couldn’t believe how perfect it came out. Perfectly cooked. I’ll have enough for a couple of meals with ham or smoked hot dogs as well as a couple freezer bags of it for another couple meals. I’ll probably sauté some garlic in olive oil and too the thawed greens in it with some salt, pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg. I love room temp meals on a hot day plus I feel I got something out of it before the catapillars ate it all! On my way to get some b.t. now so I will have a fall crop. Simple and perfect recipe.

  10. Lynn_M says

    My favorite kale recipe. I sometimes cook it with chicken or turkey broth instead of water. The braised kale also tastes good mixed with wild rice which has been cooked in the Instant Pot.

  11. Saif Mostaghim says

    Used standard 15 PSI pressure cooker. Came out really goo – edible for a change!

  12. Awesome and easy! This helped me use up my kale just before I thought it would get too old to use, thanks so much!

  13. Maricruz Manning says

    I just made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious and easy!!

  14. Heather says

    Making this tonight, can’t wait! Also I am an Instant Pothead such as yourself:)

  15. Brenda Moore says

    Under instruction 2 you say to “bring it up to high pressure “. What setting is this – steam?

  16. This sounds good! Have you used this process with any other greens? Escarole or spinach? And what is the texture of the kale… Thanks….Lynn. PS. Didn’t rate it as I didn’t make it

    • The same technique would work with heavy greens, like collards, but escarole and spinach are too leafy – they’d cook down to nothing. The kale has the texture of braised greens – again, think collard greens.

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