These vegetarian Instant Pot collard greens cook for just 4 minutes. They're as flavorful & tender as greens that have braised for hours.
Collard greens can be a a quick and easy side dish if, that is, you cook them in a pressure cooker. Instant Pot collard greens are tender and flavorful, with a slightly bitter flavor that is delicious with all types of meat and also great in a bowl of rice with a fried egg on top.
This is a vegan recipe, however, so don't hesitate to serve these healthy greens with a side of beans, grains, and/or tofu instead. I really like collard greens served with my Instant Pot Turmeric Coconut Rice.
How to Clean & Cut Greens
Collards tend to have dirt clinging the leaves, so make sure to rinse the greens well (I use a two-step process). I don't bother drying the leaves because the moisture helps steam and soften the leaves as they cook.
- Rinse the leaves well under running water or soak them in a large bowl of water
- Tear the leaves from the stems
- Put the leaves in a bowl of clean water (I use the bowl of my salad spinner) and soak and swish for a minute or two
- Drain off the water
- Stack the leaves up in a pile (about 6 at a time) then roll the leaves up like a cigar
- Use a sharp knife to slice the rolled leaves into thin strips
Can I Eat the Stems?
The stems of collard greens (and kale) are edible, but are usually too tough and chewy to be enjoyable. I always tear the leaves from the stems before cooking collards.
However, if you don't want to discard the stems, then patiently cooking them will make the stems less tough and fibrous.
- Blanch (briefly boil) the long stems to soften
- Cut the stems into thin, small pieces
- Saute gently or add the stems a slow simmered soup
Why Add Vinegar or Lemon to Greens?
Vinegar is sometimes added to collard greens during the slow braising process on the stove. The acidity of the vinegar helps soften the greens. Vinegar isn't necessary when cooking collard greens in a pressure cooker.
Instead, I usually add a drizzle of apple cider vinegar or squeeze of lemon at the end of the cooking process, simply to add more flavor.
There's no denying that the smoky flavor of pork is delicious (and traditional) with collard greens. You can add pork to this recipe by first sauteing small pieces of bacon in the Instant Pot, then adding the onion and garlic.
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