Instant Pot Collard Greens (vegetarian)

a bowl of collard greens cooked in the Instant Pot with onion, tomato paste and garlic

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5 from 5 reviews

These vegetarian (and vegan!) Instant Pot collard greens cook for just 4 minutes. They're as flavorful & tender as greens that have braised for hours.

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: About 5 minutes to reach pressure + 4 minutes on high pressure + quick release


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 large bunches* collard greens, stemmed, leaves sliced into 1-inch wide ribbons (see photos in blog post)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Salt, to taste

*About 16 stems, total


  1. Press the Instant Pot Saute button (see note below about adjusting the saute heat)
  2. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes, until the onion has softened.
  3. Add broth, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Mix well and bring to a simmer for 1 minute.
  4. Turn off the saute function and add the collard greens. The leaves can pile up high on top of the broth and onion mixture; no need to mix them in.  Secure the lid, making sure the steam release valve is in the sealed position.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
  6. When the cooking time is done, use a quick release to instantly release the pressure.
  7. Stir the collard greens really well so that the greens are covered with the tomato and onion mixture.
  8. Add a squeeze of lemon before serving. 


How to Adjust the Instant Pot Saute Heat: There are 3 levels of heat when you saute in the Instant Pot: More, Normal and Less. I often find that the setting for "More" heat is too hot, and whatever I'm sauteing burns to the bottom of the pot.  To adjust the saute heat,  first press the Saute button, then press the "Adjust" button to move the red light under "Normal" or "Less."

I always keep a tube of tomato paste in my refrigerator, making it easy to add small amounts of tomato paste to recipes. 

If you like spicy greens, then add a pinch or red pepper flakes or black pepper to the greens. If you'd like your vegetarian greens to have a smoky flavor, add a 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika. 

If you're not vegetarian, then chicken broth can be used in place of vegetable broth. 

This recipe was test in a 6-quart Instant Pot.

Cooked collard greens will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.