This simple and flavorful Vegan Instant Pot Collard Greens recipe will help to diversify your Instant Pot menu. You can make a tasty, nutritious, hearty pot of greens within 15 minutes using just a few simple pantry ingredients!

Collard greens make a perfect, easy and quick side dish if you cook them in an Instant Pot. Instant Pot collard greens are hearty, tender, and flavorful with a slightly bitter flavor. This is a vegan recipe, so don’t hesitate to serve these nutritious greens alongside Vegan Black-Eyed Peas, Vegan Cornbread, and Vegan Smothered Tofu.

a bunch of collard greens on a grey background

Collard greens, or simply “collards,” are a staple of the Southern diet. Although they are traditionally made with ham hock or salt pork, that does not mean they cannot be made without meat!

Collard greens, like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, mustard, and kale, are leafy greens and a part of the Brassica genus. For hundreds of years, Southern Americans have consumed these plants, which originated in North America. They’re available throughout the year, but the best months are January through April. 

Collard greens, like other Brassicas, are high in nutrients and provide numerous health benefits when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. They’re a New Year’s custom, and because of their likeness to folded money, they’re considered “lucky.” Collard greens are thought to bring success in the next year if eaten on New Year’s Day!

Scroll down for the detailed recipe at the bottom of the post. But, do not skip reading the collard greens’ nutritional profile and health benefits.

collard greens in white bowl on a grey background

Collard Greens Health Benefits

Nutrient-dense and low in calories, collard greens are something everyone should try! Calcium, folate, and the vitamins K, C, and A, are all rich in them. Additionally, they are a good source of fiber and antioxidants. All these vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants in collard greens provide significant health benefits.

Less research has been done on the health benefits of collard greens alone. Nonetheless, considerable research examined the collective health advantages of cruciferous vegetables such as collard greens demonstrating the following results:

Possibly Cancer-preventive

Research studies indicate that glucosinolates, sulfur-rich compounds in cruciferous vegetables such as collard greens, help lower cancer risk. In addition, these compounds may assist in the prevention of cancer at various stages of development, including breast, lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers, as well as melanoma, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers.

Cruciferous vegetables may protect against breast cancer, according to a study conducted in 2017 that included nearly 3,000 participants. But it seems essential to maintain glucosinolates to maximize the good effects of greens, meaning specific cooking techniques (such as steaming) are important.

Improves Bone Health

Collard greens are high in calcium and vitamin K, which are essential nutrients for strong bones. Calcium intake is necessary for older adults, particularly postmenopausal women. In addition, it may help to slow the gradual loss of bone that occurs as a natural part of aging.

Vitamin K is essential for the body’s calcium absorption and bone strength. If you eat enough of it every day, you will ensure that your bones are strong. This can minimize the risk of osteoporosis.

Good for Eye Health

Collard greens are nutrient-dense and beneficial to the entire body, including the eyes. Not only these leafy greens are high in vitamin A, which is shown to be essential for vision, but they also contain antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

Studies (1,2)  have shown these antioxidants to help prevent eye problems such as macular degeneration caused by aging, eye damage, and diabetic retinopathy.

Improve Heart Health

Research reveals that leafy green vegetables and cruciferous may be more beneficial to heart health than other vegetable families.

Collard greens improved heart health indicators such as total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and also systolic blood pressure, according to one animal study.

Boost Digestive Health

Dietary fiber is essential for maintaining digestive health. Collard greens are a good source of fiber and water. These aid in preventing constipation, promoting regularity, and supporting digestive tract health.

Good for Skin and Hair

Collard greens are a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is required to form sebum, which keeps hair nourished.

Vitamin A is required for the development of all body tissues, including the skin and hair. It also helps the immune system, eyes, and other organs stay healthy.

Vitamin C helps the body produce and maintain collagen, the structural protein that gives skin and hair their shape.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: You can make a tasty, nutritious, and hearty pot of collard greens in just 15 minutes, making it a perfect choice for a busy weeknight dinner.
  • Vegan-Friendly: This recipe is entirely vegan, so it’s suitable for those following a plant-based diet or looking to reduce their meat consumption.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Collard greens are packed with essential nutrients like calcium, folate, vitamins K, C, and A, making this dish a healthy addition to your diet.
  • Perfect for Holiday Meals: Collard greens are a classic addition to holiday meals, and this vegan version allows everyone to enjoy them, regardless of dietary preferences.
ingredients for instant pot collard greens

Ingredients Needed

This simple and flavorful pressure cooker collard greens recipe will help to diversify your Instant Pot menu. This dish is completely vegan, gluten-, and nut-free. You can make a tasty, nutritious, spicy, and hearty pot of greens within 15 minutes by using just a few simple pantry ingredients!

  • Collard Greens: The star of the dish, collard greens provide a hearty and nutritious base. You can substitute with other leafy greens like kale or mustard greens if you prefer.
  • Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the onions and adding a touch of richness to the greens. You can use any cooking oil of your choice.
  • Onion: Adds flavor and aroma to the dish. You can use any type of onion, such as white, yellow, or red.
  • Garlic: Enhances the savory flavor and aroma. Fresh garlic is recommended, but you can use garlic powder as a substitute.
  • Bell Pepper: Adds a mild sweetness and a pop of color to the dish. Feel free to choose your preferred color of bell pepper.
  • Creole Seasoning: This seasoning blend adds a spicy and aromatic kick to the collard greens. You can make your own Creole seasoning or use a Cajun seasoning blend as a substitute.
  • Smoked Paprika: Adds a smoky, earthy flavor to the dish. If you don’t have smoked paprika, regular paprika can be used as an alternative.
  • Oregano and Thyme: These dried herbs contribute to the dish’s herbal and savory notes. You can use fresh herbs if you have them on hand.
  • Vegetable Broth: Provides moisture and extra flavor to the collard greens. You can use homemade or store-bought vegetable broth or simply water as a substitute.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the dish. Adjust the quantity to your taste preferences.
sauteing onions in Instant pot

How To Make Collard Greens Instant Pot

  1. Wash and drain collard greens, remove mid-stems, and chop. Set aside.
  2. Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté Mode.
  3. Add oil and heat, add onion and cook until the onion is soft about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the garlic and bell pepper and cook until fragrant, another minute.
  5. Add Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, oregano, and thyme.
  6. Stir in the chopped collard greens, vegetable broth until the collards are beginning to wilt.
  7. Close the lid of the Instant Pot, turn the knob to sealing and cook collard greens on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  8. After the collard greens are cook, Quick release the pressure. To do this, turn the knob on Venting. I love to add a damp towel on top of the valve as the steam is releasing. Be careful.
collard greens in instant pot cooking

Expert Tips

  • Wash the collard greens thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit. It’s essential to clean them properly, as leafy greens can often hold residue.
  • Remove the tough stems from the collard greens before chopping. Stems can be fibrous and take longer to cook, so it’s best to discard them or save them for other uses.
  • The Creole seasoning can vary in spiciness and saltiness, so start with a smaller quantity and add more if needed. Taste the dish as you go and adjust the seasonings to suit your preference.
  • When using the Instant Pot, make sure the lid is properly sealed before cooking. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safety.
  • After pressure cooking, use the quick release method as instructed in the recipe. Be cautious while doing this to avoid burns, and consider placing a damp towel over the valve to minimize steam release.
  • Collard greens should be tender but not overcooked. If they are still too tough after the initial cooking time, you can pressure cook them for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Substitutions and Variations

Add a dash of hot sauce or red pepper flakes to make the Instant Pot collard greens spicier for those who enjoy a kick of heat.

A splash of vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar, can add a tangy element to the dish.

Storage Tips

Refrigerator

Allow the Instant Pot collard greens to cool to room temperature before storing. Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. Seal the container tightly to prevent air from entering.

Store the container in the refrigerator. Collard greens can be refrigerated for 5-7 days.

Freezer

If you want to store collard greens for a longer period, consider freezing them. Allow the collard greens to cool to room temperature. Place the collard greens in a freezer-safe, airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag.

If using a container, leave some space at the top to account for expansion when the liquid freezes. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the freezer bag before sealing.

Lay the container or bag flat in the freezer to allow for easy stacking and quick thawing. Collard greens can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

Reheating

To thaw frozen collard greens, transfer the container or bag to the refrigerator and let them thaw slowly overnight. Alternatively, you can reheat them directly from frozen by placing them in a pot on low heat. Add a bit of water or vegetable broth to prevent sticking and stir occasionally until fully heated.

Reheat refrigerated or thawed collard greens in the microwave or on the stovetop. You may need to add a little water or broth to restore their original consistency, as greens can lose moisture during storage.

Serving Suggestions

These greens are simple enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner yet have enough flavor to serve as a side dish to guests or during the holidays. They’re a delightful addition to a platter of richer, creamier food.

For a classic Southern meal, serve these Instant Pot Collard Greens with Vegan Skillet Cornbread and Vegan Black-Eyed Peas.

Recipe FAQs

Is it necessary to remove the stems from collard greens?

It’s recommended to remove the tough stems from collard greens before cooking, as they can be fibrous and take longer to become tender. However, you can choose to leave some or all of the stems if you prefer a chewier texture.

Can I make this recipe without an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make collard greens using a stovetop pot or slow cooker. Simmer them on the stovetop until tender, or cook them in a slow cooker on low for several hours.

Can I use a different type of oil instead of olive oil?

Yes, you can use your preferred cooking oil, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil, as a substitute for olive oil.

Other Vegan Holiday Recipes To Serve

  1. Vegan Lentil Meatballs
  2. Vegan Lentil Loaf
  3. Baked Candied Yams
  4. Mac And Cheese
  5. Thumbprint Cookies
collard greens cooked in the instant pot

What do you serve with collard greens? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 84 kcal / 351 kJ
  • Fat: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g
  • Carbs: 10.6 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 5 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • For: 4 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Wash and drain collard greens, remove mid-stems, and chop. Set aside.
  2. Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté Mode.
  3. Add oil and heat, add onion and cook until the onion is soft about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the garlic and bell pepper and cook until fragrant, another minute.
  5. Add Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, oregano, and thyme.
  6. Stir in the chopped collard greens, vegetable broth until the collards are beginning to wilt.
  7. Close the lid of the Instant Pot, turn the knob to sealing and cook collard greens on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  8. After the collard greens are cook, Quick release the pressure. To do this, turn the knob on Venting. I love to add a damp towel on top of the valve as the steam is releasing. Be careful.
  9. That’s it. Your instant pot collard greens are ready to serve!
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.