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Instant Pot Southern Collard Greens

Instant Pot collard greens, easy southern/soul food style collards in under an hour, with smoky ham and seasoned pot liquor for sopping up with corn bread, of course!

Instant Pot collards with pot liquor in serving bowl.

When I think of collard greens, I think of the times I've had them as one of the quintessential sides in a soul food restaurant. I never had them growing up in Chicago, my parents never made collards. But here in St. Louis, southern style food is pretty prevalent. And with my Instant Pot, I decided it was time to try making collards at home.

Close up of collard greens on cutting board.

Collard greens are typically simmered for a long time on the stove with seasonings and smoky ham, or even a smoked turkey leg. The greens become tender and the cooking liquid is a magical elixir.

Pressure cooking greatly reduces the time it takes for this slow cooked goodness, and I'm always looking for new things to make in my Instant Pot.

Photo collage of prepping collards for cooking.

After cleaning and chopping the collards, probably the hardest part (you could get away with bagged chopped collards if you wanted), it goes in the Instant Pot with some stock, onions, garlic and seasonings and the pressure cooker does all the work in 30 minutes. I used homemade turkey stock, but I'm guessing you won't have that on hand, chicken stock is totally fine.

Two photo collage of ingredients.

What is the pot liquor after cooking collard greens?

After cooking collards, or other greens, the liquid left behind is often referred to as pot liquor, or pot likker, or even collard liquor. It's very nutritious and loaded with vitamins and minerals, lots of vitamin K. The liquor is great for using in soups and gravies, but most often this seasoned likker is for sopping up with cornbread. That's my favorite part, I think.  It's just so good, I could drink the stuff.

Instant Pot collard greens in white serving bowl.

You guys will love these Instant Pot collard greens! Another perfect thing to try in the pressure cooker. They are perfect year round, at the holidays, for Sunday supper, with fried chicken and macaroni and cheese... I could go on and on. Try it, you'll like it ~ Kelly🍴🐦

Collard greens in white serving bowl.

Looking for more Southern side dishes? You might also want to try:

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Collards in white serving bowl.

Instant Pot Collard Greens

Instant Pot collard greens, easy southern style collards in under an hour, with smoky ham and tasty pot liquor to soak up with cornbread! 
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Natural release: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 110kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 4 cups homemade turkey stock or chicken stock low sodium store bought is fine
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch sugar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 meaty ham shanks See notes below
  • 1 pound collard greens, washed thoroughly, hard stems removed, and coarsely chopped


  • Heat olive oil on sauté setting. When hot, add chopped onion.  Cook for a few minutes to soften then add garlic, cook for 30 seconds more.  Turn off sauté function.
  • Add the stock, apple cider vinegar, sugar and crushed red pepper; stir to combine.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Lay in the ham shanks and cover the top with chopped collard greens.  Push down the collards to submerge, be careful to stay below the fill line.
  • Seal pressure cooker and set timer for 30 minutes on high pressure.  When finished, let pot naturally release for 15 minutes.  Release any remaining pressure and open, remove ham shanks and bones to board. Cut meat into bite size pieces and return to pot.  Put in serving bowl with cooking liquid and serve.  Don't forget the cornbread!

Recipe Notes

  • I like to use ham shanks and that's what I recommend.  Ham hocks add a lot of flavor but yield very little meat.  Use ham shanks here.
  • I use a 6-quart Instant Pot for this recipe (and all my Instant Pot recipes).
  • You could use pre-packaged chopped collard greens, if you like.  I believe they come in 16-ounce bags.
  • I definitely recommend serving with cornbread to sop up the pot liquor.  If desired, serve the cooking liquid on the side in little individual bowls.


Calories: 110kcal Carbohydrates: 11g Protein: 7g Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 245mg Potassium: 358mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 3g Vitamin A: 3849IU Vitamin C: 28mg Calcium: 186mg Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!
5 from 10 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Monday 27th of March 2023

Great recipe!❤️🙌🏼 the family loved it & I sure love the cook time!

Donald Thomas

Thursday 24th of November 2022

So creative and quick, 45 minutes to perfect greens. Simply love our Instant Pot.


Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Holy crap. The only thing I did differently was to use ham hocks instead of shanks, bc it's all I could find. Best. Greens. EVER! I will be using this recipe from now on!


Friday 26th of November 2021

Thanks for sharing your recipes, this and the dressing was a hit! Delicious

Laura Andriulli

Friday 10th of September 2021

If you don't have an instant pot how do you cook them and how long?


Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Not quite sure as the recipe wasn't tested for the stovetop. But it would need to simmer until the collards are tender and the flavors develop for much longer than in the pressure cooker.