Instant Pot Collard Greens with ham ho k is a classic Southern vegetable side dish. When cooked in a pressure cooker, the collards cook in a fraction of the time it takes to cook on the stovetop. For another shortcut, I use bags of prewashed and precut collard greens combined with onion, ham hock, and seasoning. I also give directions for the bunches of fresh collard greens!
This Southern collard greens recipe is so easy and it's not just for New Years Day dinner! Although it's at its peak during the cool weather months, we eat it all year round.
If you are like me and love to EAT a pot of collard greens, but don't like to SMELL them cooking all day, then this is the best way to cook this Southern side dish for you!
- The Instant Pot and pressure cooker cooks collard greens in a fraction of the time it takes to cook them on the stove-top.
- Bags of pre-washed and pre-cut collard greens saves so much time washing and soaking the large collard leaves to remove dirt, then cutting and removing the tough stems.
- For convenience, 1 cup of frozen onion can be used instead of a chopped fresh onion.
Scroll down to printable recipe for exact ingredient quantities.
- Collard Greens -Prewashed and precut collard greens are a time saver but scroll down for directions on using fresh, whole collard greens.
- Onion - I've used a white onion, but any color onion would work in this dish. For a milder flavor you could use red onion or shallots.
- Seasoning - I season the greens with black pepper and garlic salt rather than regular salt, for a little extra flavor.
- Ham - Small, smoked ham hock flavors the collards with that familiar smokey taste. You could swap this for 2 slices of uncooked bacon.
- Broth - Chicken broth is added, you can substitute with vegetable broth or water.
How to cook Collard Greens in Instant Pot
Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe with detailed instructions.
- Place collard greens, onion, garlic salt and black pepper into your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
- Add the ham hock and pour in the chicken broth.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook and manual release, using the times on the printable recipe card below.
- Remove the ham hock from the collards in the Instant Pot, shred it and add back to the collard greens. Then gently stir it in.
- Discard the bone and extra fat.
Tip: I like to use 3 cups of liquid to be sure and have lots of “pot likker or liquor” to soak up with my Cornbread.
Substitutions & Variations
- Garlic salt - If you don't have garlic salt, make your own. 1/2 teaspoon of salt, plus ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, equals ¾ teaspoon of garlic salt.
- Smoked turkey - A smoked turkey leg, neck or wing can also be used in place of ham hock.
- Greens - Pre-washed and cut mustard greens and turnip greens can also be cooked with this recipe, adjusting the cooking times. I only cook them 10 minutes, with 10 minutes Natural Release.
How to cook a fresh bunch of collards in Instant Pot
If you want to start from scratch, and maybe you grow your own collards, use this same recipe. Use one large bunch of fresh collard leaves (about 2 pounds). The only difference is to be sure to soak and rinse out the large collard leaves to get rid of dirt and sand. Trim out the inner, tough stems, then cut them into 1 inch ribbons or squares.
Collard greens are a leafy green vegetable with large leaves and tough stems. They are part of the brassica family which includes cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and turnips.
No, they are from the same family, but are different plants, so cooking times will vary.
I would suggest using mustard greens, turnip greens, kale or chard as substitutes for collard greens, adjusting the cooking times accordingly.
What to serve with collard greens?
Instant Pot Collard Greens are the ideal Southern vegetable side dish to serve alongside a variety of main dishes. Try them with my:
- Instant Pot Bone-in Turkey Breast
- Instant Pot Bone-in Pepper Jelly Ham
- Bacon Wrapped Venison Backstrap Roast
- Easy Cheesy Baked Mac and Cheese
- Fried Yellow Squash
Collard greens are perfect for gatherings with family and friends, or for holidays and celebrations. I always serve a bowl of collard greens for New Years Day dinner. They are also a great easy side dish to take along to pot luck dinners.
- To Store. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered or in an air tight container for 3-4 days.
- To Reheat. When ready to enjoy, place the collard greens into a pot over a medium heat and warm through on the stove-top until piping hot. Or, microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on how much is "leftover".
- To Freeze. Once cooked and cooled, collard greens can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before warming up.
If you make this recipe I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media with #gritsandgouda or @gritsandgouda. Leave a comment below the printable recipe if you have questions or tell me how you liked the recipe. Don't forget to rate it 5 stars if you love it!
Instant Pot Collard Greens
- 2 (16-ounce) bags prewashed and precut collard greens (or 15 cups 1-inch wide strips fresh collards= 1 bunch collard leaves = 2 pounds before trimming
- 3/4 cup chopped onion about 1 small onion
- 3/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (optional)
- 1 small ham hock (or 2 slices uncooked bacon
- 3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water)
- Empty both bags of collard greens into a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Sprinkle the chopped onion, garlic salt and black pepper over the collards.
- Place the ham hock in the middle and pour the broth over everything. No need to stir!
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 25 minutes. Natural release 10 minutes, then quick release to release any remaining pressure inside.
- Carefully remove the lid away from your face. Remove the ham hock and shred, if you like. You can add the chopped or shredded ham hock back to the collard greens. Discard the bone and extra fat.
- Stir well before serving.
Nutrition analysis on GritsAndGouda.com recipes are mostly calculated on an online nutrition calculator. I am not a dietitian and nutritional information is an estimate and can vary based on products used.