How to Make Southern Style Instant Pot Collard Greens (or Turnip Greens)


These Southern style Instant Pot collard greens (or turnip greens) are easy to make and taste better than anything you’d get at Cracker Barrel or any meat and three!

collards or turnip greens instant pot

Update: For those of you who don’t have an Instant Pot, here is my recipe for Southern-style greens on the stovetop. They are fabulous and so easy!!!


Of all the things I love about my Instant Pot,  being able to whip up a “mess of greens” in less than an hour is at the top of the list. I could eat a bowl of greens with a slice of buttered cornbread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is just in my Southern blood:-)

If you’ve never made greens in an Instant Pot, it couldn’t be easier. Below are a few bullet points that address some commonly asked questions about the process.

How long do you cook collard greens in the Instant Pot? 

I’ve tried several variations, and the best results for me come from cooking the greens on high pressure for 30 minutes. Also, I leave the greens in the IP after they slow-release, sometimes for an hour or more. They stay warm, and they continue to “cook” in the sense that they settle into the wonderful pot liquor of meat, onion, seasonings and greens.

Which meat do you use for Southern style collard greens in the Instant Pot? 

My preference is always bacon~diced and sauteed in oil until crisp. The tiny, salty bits of smoky bacon are what make these greens Southern style. I also like to throw in a smoked turkey neck if I have one. The turkey neck adds another layer of flavor but is optional, as is country ham. I like ham but my fam doesn’t like as much meat in the greens. It is purely preference.

What type of greens can you cook in the Instant Pot? 

This method and these ingredients will turn any greens into a Southern-style side. Kale. Mustard. Turnip. Collards. I’ve made all of these in my Instant Pot, and they all turned out to be delicious. Any variation will yield a savory “mess of greens.”

Do bagged greens or unprepared fresh work best? 

I’ve done both, and here’s the bottom line. Bagged greens are fresh; they just have been prepped and are easy peasy. The other greens take more time, but of course, taste fabulous when done. If you want to make the fresh, I tell you how to do it, prep and all, in this blog post.

Which Instant Pot do you use to cook collard greens? 

I have the 6 quart;  I cook huge amounts of food often (we entertain Southern style), and the 6 quart is big enough for me. Any size Instant Pot will work to make fabulous greens. Just use the size that best fits how you cook for your family.

How to cook greens in the Instant Pot.

  • First, use the sauté function to sauté the diced onion and bacon pieces (and any other meat) in EVOO for about 5 minutes or until bacon is cooked and onion is tender.
  • Second, add the greens and broth; cook on high pressure for 3o minutes.  To get to high pressure, turn the IP off (as it will still be on sauté). Press “manual” to get to pressure. Press “pressure” to choose low or high setting. Press + or – to move the time to minutes desired.
  • Third, when greens are cooked, the IP will switch to a warm countdown. The lid can be opened at any time or greens can stay in the IP until you are ready to serve them.

In the video below, I show how I make the greens for those who want to have a little visual:-)

These greens are SO delicious and easy that you won’t believe it. You’ll never feel like you have to go to Cracker Barrel for good, Southern greens when you learn to make them yourself:-)

If you want to go all out with the Southern fare, serve the greens with zipper peas or black eyed peas and this Pimento Cheese Cornbread,  Greens, peas & cornbread~there’s nothing better!!!!

If you try these, let me hear your thoughts. I try to reply quickly to everyone who writes!

And please visit our Family Savvy storefront to see my amazon faves and must-haves for you, your home, and your loved ones.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

collards or turnip greens instant pot

Southern Style Instant Pot Collard Greens (or Turnip Greens)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours 2 seconds
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes 2 seconds


  • 1 large bag (15-16 oz) of diced collard or turnip greens
  • 3-4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 smoked turkey necks or 1 slice country ham, diced small (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I love chicken bone broth)
  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar
  • pinch sugar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Place EVOO, onion & bacon into the Instant Pot. If using turkey neck or ham, add it also.
  2. Press the "sauté" button on the IP.
  3. Saute the onion & meat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and onion is tender.
  4. Add broth, greens, vinegar, sugar, and remaining seasonings.
  5. Turn IP off, then back on. Press MANUAL and set pressure to HIGH for 30 minutes. Make sure valve is set to "sealing."
  6. Greens will come to pressure and cook; then beep and slow release. Leave them alone until you need to eat them; the longer they sit the better.
  7. I leave my greens in the IP until I have time to get to them. No rush to remove them.
  8. When done, remove from IP; dice any meat from turkey neck and add to greens.
  9. Serve with pepper sauce.
Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 61Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 17mgSodium 414mgCarbohydrates 3gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 1gSugar 1gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 6g


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  1. I tried the turnip greens in my IP and they were great.
    I was a little skeptic at first but decided to go for it. Glad I did. My
    husband loved them too.
    Thanks for sharing

  2. I used your recipe to make my New Year 2021 collard greens. Wow! They turned out perfect! Better than Cracker Barrel! I believe cooking 30 minutes and the natural release is the key to these tender greens. Thank you for sharing your tried and true recipe. I have field peas and snaps in the IP right now. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Happy New Year!

  3. Hi Caycee, I have never used frozen, so I am not sure what to tell you. I think it should work, but you may need to google it. Frozen will definitely require different settings than fresh. Sorry I could not be more helpful. Would love to hear your feedback if you try it!

  4. I have two 140z bags of frozen chopped turnip greens. would I need to thaw them for this recipe and do I need to double it?

  5. I am SO happy to hear this!!! I’ll be making this recipe + roots soon. Thank you so much for sharing!!!! Blessings to you and yours for 2020!!!!!

  6. I was going to send the picture, I did add the roots and they were delicious! I didn’t even add extra time and they were so tender. I highly recommend you try it next time!

  7. Great receipe!
    My only substitution was Molasses instead of sugar and 1/2 C white wine.
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi Tamela! I’ve never added roots to this but think it sounds fabulous!!!! I can definitely vouch for the recipe as I shared it, but please touch back and leave a comment if you try the roots in it. I’d love to hear how it turns out!!! Happy 2020!!! XoXo

  9. More of a question, my family loves roots in their greens. Have you ever added turnip roots or rutabagas? This is my very first time to actually cook in my new pot.

  10. The recipe is for a 6 quart, but you should be able to cut the recipe in half and have the same results. You can also press the greens down before closing the lid and possibly get more in than you think. Hope this helps!!!

  11. Hi Sharon, oh my this sounds good! I love kale, but I’ve never added turnip or ham bone. This is my next version for sure! Thanks for sharing!!! XoXo

  12. I used kale and ham broth with bits of ham (from a ham bone I boiled), and added a chopped turnip…oh my goodness!!! Greens at s whole new level!!

  13. Oh Yay! This makes me so happy!!!! We enjoyed these yesterday, and I had forgotten how yummy they were:-) Blessings to you and your family, Joy!!! XoXo

  14. Hi Suzi! I am SO happy that you loved the greens! And yes, it does help to do a bit more prep to the prewashed. Happy New Year to you and blessings for 2019!!!!

  15. I made this for a New Year’s dinner to universal approval. I increased the sugar by taste, probably to about 1/4 to 1/3 cup. If you buy the prewashed, be sure to go through and cut them smaller and remove the thick stems.

  16. My daughter and husband said these were the best greens they’d ever eaten and told me to keep this recipe for sure.

  17. Tonni, I LOVE that this recipe worked for you!!!! And I love that you mixed the greens with good results!!!! I want to mix also but wasn’t sure it would turn out. YAY!!!! And I have a huge ham bone left over from Christmas Eve that I’ll be using too. Thus, I’ll likely omit the sugar too (because my ham was glazed with sugar). Thank you for taking time to leave your helpful comments! Blessings to you and yours for 2019 and beyond!!!! XoXo

  18. Thanks! New to the IP (daughters bought for me for Christmas) — have read many recipes and started with yours. I added two large bags of greens, one turnip and one mustard. I added 1/2 of ham bone from honey baked ham (very inexpensive to purchase with tons of meat left on the bone), left out the sugar since the ham had plenty, 1.5 c of chicken broth, and added 3 cloves of garlic minced. These were the best greens I’ve made and this is a standard dish in our southern household. This recipe is a winner!

  19. Hi msSally! The ones I use are always fresh. I have done bagged greens and also fresh bunches that had to be washed and trimmed. Both are outstanding! Let me know how yours turn out!

  20. I have an 8 qt instant pot that can handle 2 bags of greens. I use sliced salt pork instead of bacon and I do not saute it before hand. I just layer salt pork slices in between the bunches and it tenderizes and separates just fine. I add a bottle of red sapple or angry orchard ale, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, salt and pepper and a little bit of red pepper flakes. Then I feel the instant pot to maximum fill line with water, set manual pressure to high for 30 minutes and that’s it.

  21. I loved this recipe. Tastes like good old southern collards. The trick is to not eat too much!

  22. Hi Beverly! Pressure cookers can vary, so for the EXACT info, I would def check with your cooker’s manual. As for me, I usually leave food in the cooker until I am ready to serve it (which would be manual release). I’ve never had anything “overdone.” Hope this helps!

  23. Hi, I have a pressure cooker with choices such as fish, veggies, etc (those have a pre-selected cook time). If I were to do it this way, should I choose a manual release or quick release? Thank you!

  24. Hi Amber! You will LOVE your Instant Pot and use it for so many things!!!Please lmk how you like yours! And I add brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and vinegar also if I have them on hand!

  25. I am so getting an instant pot!! It takes me so long to cook collards to be the texture I like. Also, just to add… I cook mine like yours but also add a ham hock. Then when they’re done I add a little apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and red pepper flakes! So yummy!

  26. Hi Tracy! No….I don’t blanch them at all. I just dump them into the Instant Pot (pressing down if using 2 bags). Just be sure to add 1/2 cup liquid for one bag of greens; 1 cup for 2 bags. The IP does all the work! If you are worried about bitterness, you can try adding a TB of apple cider vinegar to the liquid. Let me know how they turn out! Happy 2018!

  27. Hi Leslie! I am SO happy that your husband and kids enjoyed these! Thanks for letting me know; I love reader feedback:-) Happy 2018 to you and yours!!!

  28. Thank you for the easy and delicious recipe! My husband said they were the best he’s ever eaten and even my kids enjoyed them.

  29. Did you blanch the collards before putting them in the pot? or does the instant pot magically take out the bitterness somehow?

  30. Sherri, this sounds FAB!!!! I’ve actually made the collards with smoked turkey necks~LOL~and they turned out great! Please LMK how these turn out!!!!

  31. I am making this tonight in my IP. I am using a 2# bag of collard greens. I also put a ham hock & some chopped up smoked turkey (because then it’s considered a complete meal, LOL). Keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out!!

  32. Hi Necole! I linked to my IP in the blog~it is 7 qt I believe. The bag of greens that I had was huge. I can’t recall how large, but I filled the IP to the top and put the rest back in the fridge for later.

  33. I’m a big fan of collards and over time have found that a small can of water chestnuts choppped to bite size adds a little crunch to the softened greens. I add them after steam release, then close top to let them heat.

  34. Hi Carol, that is not a stupid question; the IP buttons can be confusing. The “manual” button is high pressure, and the arrows – and + arrows are used to adjust up and down. Hope this helps!!!

  35. This is going to sound really stupid, but what IS the high setting? Mine doesn’t offer anything called high; there are specific names like stew, saute, steam, and so forth.

  36. Hi Erin! I think what I used in the recipe was 1 pound; however, even if you used 2 pounds, the greens would “cook down” and be fine. Greens taste good for up to a week in the fridge:-)

  37. Hi this looks great. But do you use a 1-pound bag or a 2-pound bag of greens? thanks.

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