My Quick, Easy and Delicious Instant Pot Collard Greens

After 2 years of owning an Instant Pot I have finally become hooked on using it!! I know, it took me a while, however when I realized I could recreate the jammy collard greens recipe we feasted on at Turkey & the Wolf during a recent trip to New Orleans in under an hour I knew I had to give it a try.

collard greens

What are collard greens?

Collard greens are a member of the cabbage family; A dark, leafy Southern delicacy most like kale, spinach and mustard greens. They are available year-round, but are at their best between January and April. They are a tradition at New Year’s – considered ‘lucky’ for it’s resemblance to folded money. Eating collard greens on New Year’s is said to bring prosperity in the year ahead!

baked tostada with black-eyed pea hummus, roasted sweet potato, and jammy collard greens

Traditional Cook Method 

I grew up in the South, so I’ve had a lot of collard greens in my time. A lot. Traditionally collard greens are boiled or simmered with a piece of salt pork or ham hock for anywhere from 2 – 4 hours. The greens are tough and bitter, so they need to cook a long time before they get perfectly tender and mild to taste. The resulting vitamin-rich broth, known as ‘pot liquor’ or ‘pot likker‘ can also be seasoned with salt and pepper and used as a dip (for your cornbread, of course!). 

My Quick and Easy Instant Pot Collard Greens

But.. why would you want to cook for four hours when you can go from start to finish in less than one hour? Oh, and by the way did I mention that this collard green recipe is vegetarian? What?! Yes, I said it and I would argue they are more flavorful than any you’ve ever had before. I’d bet my southern drawl on it!

These collards are cooked in a brine of red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, and spices which makes them irresistibly tangy and sweet with a little heat at the finish. While we love them on their own, they’re irresistible piled high on a tostada with roasted sweet potatoes and black eyed pea hummus!

With a 10-minute prep and 40-minute, no fuss cook-time, you’ll get your day back! Might I suggest you use the extra time to indulge in my favorite Spiked Apple Cider? Or maybe try this amazing Pumpkin Cornbread to soak up the delicious pot liquor left behind by those incredible greens. Enjoy!

What are the health benefits of collard greens?

Collard greens are rich in fiber, iron, and Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, among other nutrients. These vitamins and minerals are necessary for a healthy body. Health benefits include promoting gut health, lowering cholesterol levels, and strengthening of bones and joints.

Click here for more information on the health benefits of collard greens.

More Instant Pot Ideas

If you happen to be looking for more delicious ways to use your Instant Pot give these Instant Pot Baked Beans a try, they’re incredible!! Or for a meaty main, try our salsa chicken that has instructions for cooking in the Instant Pot and the oven!

If you’ve tried this Collard Greens Recipe I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours!


Easy Instant Pot Collard Greens

collard greens

We love these as a side all on their own, but they’re especially delicious tucked between slices of Swiss cheese as a melt, piled high on tostadas. or even served over toasted bread with a poached egg on top.

Don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think about this Instant Pot Jammy Collard Greens recipe in the comments below. I just love hearing from you and your reviews/comments really help other people that visit This Mess is Ours!

  • Author: This Mess Is Ours
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Southern


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 cups torn collard green leaves, approximately 2 (10-ounce) bags prepared collards


  1. Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting (Normal/Med heat). When the display reads “Hot” add the butter. Once melted add the sliced garlic, vinegar, water, sugar, Creole seasoning, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Sauté stirring occasionally, until liquid slightly reduces, about 10 minutes. Cancel the sauté function so the pot will stop heating.
  2. Add the collard greens to the Instant Pot, use tongs to toss and coat in the liquid.
  3. Press Manual, set to sealing, and use the + or – button to choose 25 minutes.
  4. When cook cycle is finished, let the pot naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Then manually release the remaining steam.
  5. Remove the lid, there should only be enough liquid to coat the greens when done cooking. If extra liquid remains once pressure has been released turn on the sauté function and continue to cook a few minutes, stirring often, until most of the liquid has been evaporated. (This took me about 3-5 minutes)
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Frequently Asked Questions


  1. JJ Hall March 30, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Made this the other evening. It was a hit with the picky teenager. Had never cooked collard greens before. Didn’t have Creole but substituted Arizona Spice (Penzeys). My teen even asked if there any leftover for another meal. Perfect! Thank you.

    1. thismess April 1, 2020 at 7:18 am

      Oh my goodness what a compliment!!! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a comment to let me know – I love Penzey’s and just happen to have Arizona Spice on hand, so I will have ti try that next time too. My teenager loves it when I take any leftover collard greens and turn them into collard melts ( AKA: grilled cheese with collards in the middle. )

  2. Rayna March 20, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    omg, these were so good! Made exactly as written except besides the collards, i added collard stems cut into 1″ pieces, the outside leaves of a cauliflower and a couple of huge handfuls of arugula. Delicious!!!! Was thinking of adding some Jalapeno Jelly next time instead of the sugar and red pepper flakes…..

    1. thismess March 22, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      I am loving all of your substitutions and am so glad you love these collard greens!

  3. Lesly Diaz January 27, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    Excited to try this recipe! It in my Instant Pot right now 😃

    1. thismess February 4, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      hooray!!! I hope you love it as much as we do 🙂

  4. Mindy Lemoine December 17, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    This recipe is a staple at my house. Makes a great light dinner on toast with cheese. I also put it on top of a baked sweet potato or on rice. My only suggestion is that one cup is a large serving, and makes the dish seem high in calories. Half a cup is plenty for me, because the collards are so cooked down.

    1. thismess January 8, 2020 at 1:51 pm

      I am so glad you love these collards as much as we do!

  5. Emily May 27, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Ok great! Thank you for the reply!! Will just do a double batch today! So excited to try them! 😋

    1. thismess May 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      Yay!! I hope you love them as much as we do…I’m honestly sort of thinking I should make some for us now too. Ha!

  6. Emily May 26, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    I can’t wait to make this!! Have you ever doubled the recipe? Not sure if that would be to much for the instant pot?


    1. thismess May 26, 2019 at 10:45 pm

      Hey Emily!! My Instant Pot is full to the top when the greens go in, so I’m not sure if it would be possible to pack any more in there. I know we would definitely eat them if I could double the recipe though. They are SO good! I hope you love them as much as we do 🙂

      1. April Hammet November 25, 2020 at 4:11 pm

        I was able to double the recipe in my instant pot by pre-shrinking the greens. Instead of washing them in cool water after tearing them, I poured boiling water over them and let them sit in the hot water for a couple of minutes. I then let them drain and added them to the double batch of sauce I had made in the pot. Cooked up beautifully! Thank you for this recipe. 🙂

        1. [email protected] November 29, 2020 at 8:36 pm

          YUM!! I will be sure to try your double batch recipe tip next time I make these!! We always wish there were more of them.

  7. Janet May 23, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    These greens were amazing! I followed the recipe exactly as written except left out the red pepper flakes. It was plenty spicy. Thank you for the excellent instant pot recipe! I will be making these again for sure.

    1. thismess May 24, 2019 at 5:22 pm

      I am so glad you liked these Janet!! They are our absolute favorite 🙂 Try them inside a grilled cheese sandwich sometime…they’re incredible!

  8. Rashawnda Wright April 22, 2019 at 2:44 am

    Very good. Didn’t have red pepper flakes but was plenty spicy with just the creole seasining.

    1. thismess April 26, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      The creole seasoning is so good on its own! Glad you liked them. 🙂

  9. Pamela April 11, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    Best collard green recipe ever. So much flavour. Thinking you could sub in Kale too if necessary. As a Canadian, collards aren’t always available. Thanks for posting this recipe.

    1. thismess April 16, 2019 at 11:28 am

      I am so glad you love them Pamela! I could eat them every day myself, if you have any leftovers my favorite way to use them up is to make collard green melts with Swiss cheese. Best grilled cheese EVER! I love your kale idea. I am going to have to try that myself.

  10. Tessence September 30, 2018 at 3:00 am

    I’m making a vegetarian pot, and I added a couple of dashes of liquid smoke.

    1. thismess October 3, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      I love liquid smoke!! I can’t wait to hear how you liked them 🙂

      1. TM November 3, 2019 at 8:56 pm

        These were amazing and so unique. I’m so glad I found this recipe and thank you for sharing it!

        1. thismess November 4, 2019 at 9:08 pm

          That is so great to hear!! I’m so very glad you like them.

  11. Trish Lee September 4, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Where’s the bacon?!?!?! Looks good, but think I will add some bacon 🙂

    1. thismess September 5, 2018 at 1:56 am

      Hahaha! I make my collards vegetarian for my husband, but you better believe when I make a collard melt sandwich I have a slice of bacon on it too!

  12. Renee July 30, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    I used this recipe tonight. I love the results of the red wine vinegar and sugar plus lots of butter. What an awesome taste. I have eaten different types of greens all my life but have never gone down this road. I will definitely use this recipe over and over, but I will really lighten up on the red pepper. I like spicy but this was way too much chipped red pepper for me. I will admit I did not have the Cajun seasoning but even still it is delicious

    1. thismess July 31, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      I am SO very glad that you love this recipe!! That means so very much. We do like our greens spicy, but I know it will still be delicious even without the heat. The Cajun seasoning adds a while new level of flavor, I hope you get to try that sometime too!


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