How to Cook Collard Greens in the Electric Pressure Cooker

Are you a fan of collard greens? There are thousands of different ways to cook up this leafy green vegetable, and all of them are considered “traditional,” depending on what your family has been making for years and years. But it’s time to put a spin on tradition.

Vertical image of a bowl of vegetables and and cooked bacon pieces in front of a large kitchen appliance, with text in the middle and on the bottom of the image.

As we all know, the real magic of having an electric pressure cooker is in the time it saves, especially when it comes to cooking some of your favorite recipes. In my kitchen, I’ve found that it really makes life easier.

When I first moved in with my husband, I taught him the wonders of this appliance. He was thrilled when he learned that he could make short ribs in an insanely short amount of time. And that was only the beginning…

I couldn’t think of a better way to use this appliance than to cut down on the many hours it usually takes to cook classic collard greens on the stove. For me, cook time is one of the major influences in how I select my recipes for weeknight meals. If something takes too long, I don’t even bother looking at it.

Vertical image of a bowl of wilted cooked vegetables and pieces of bacon and onions with a silver fork.

When it comes to the traditional Southern side dish, I’d typically prepare it with a ham hock and various seasonings to bring out the delicious flavor of the vegetable. But this is a shortcut method that I love, with bacon subbed in instead to provide that extra boost of flavor to a steamed veg.

It’s much easier to prepare the greens this way, with fewer steps involved – a must for me when I’m cooking dinner on a weeknight!

This cooking method makes the vegetables come out soft, but not mushy. They are done in a quarter of the time it would normally take to cook them down on the stovetop.

Vertical top-down image of a white bowl filled with wilted cooked vegetables with cooked chopped bacon and onion on a towel.

You don’t need to add any extra liquid to prepare the greens. The vegetables release plenty of liquid while they are in there cooking away.

If you want to send these over the top in terms of flavor and you have a few extra minutes after they’re finished cooking, you can actually reduce the liquid that remains at the bottom of the insert as much as you want. This will concentrate the flavor even more. I’ll explain how to do that below, so keep reading!

When you are selecting your collard greens at the grocery store, you’ll likely see two options – bunches, or bags. So what is the difference between the two? They’re the same product, with a little added convenience provided by the bagged option. Of course, this is reflected in the price.

Vertical image of a bowl with wilted vegetables mixed with browned chopped onion and bacon with a silver fork on a towel.

I opt for the bunches, washing them well, removing tough stems, and chopping the leaves myself. But you can save a little more time if you go for the bagged option that has already been prepped and cleaned.

Otherwise, there’s absolutely no difference between the two. Look at what’s available, and take your pick.

How to Cook Collard Greens in the Electric Pressure Cooker

Your favorite leafy greens are served up insanely easily with this appliance, complete with bacon and onion, for a side dish that’s ready to serve straight out of the pot.

Step 1 – Prep Vegetables, Chop Bacon, and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Horizontal image of a bowl of vegetables, seasonings, and raw bacon.

First, gather and measure your ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 2 bunches collard greens (about 8 ounces)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste

Wash the vegetables.

Peel and chop half of a white onion with a sharp chef’s knife and sturdy cutting board, for about 1/2 cup total.

Remove the tough stems from the collard greens and discard them. Cut the leaves into 1-inch-wide strips. You should have 4 to 5 cups total.

Roughly chop 4 slices of thick-cut bacon.

Step 2 – Saute Vegetables and Bacon

Horizontal image of cooking bacon and onions in a pot.

Add the olive oil to the insert of your electric pressure cooker. Heat on the Saute setting until it’s hot.

Stir in the onion and bacon. Cook until onions are softened, stirring occasionally. This will take about 5 to 6 minutes, and the bacon should just start to brown.

Horizontal image of cooking vegetables and bacon in a pot.

Stir in the salt, pepper, and greens. Cook until the greens are wilted, tossing often, for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 3 – Pressure Cook

Horizontal image of wilted vegetables and seasonings in a pot.

Put on the lid. Seal, set to Manual, and cook on High pressure for 12 minutes.

Manually quick-release the pressure. Stir, taste, and season with salt and pepper if more is needed.

If you like, you can continue to reduce the liquid in the insert to lightly coat the vegetables, or serve them as is. To reduce, keep an eye on things and stir occasionally while heating on the Saute setting, until the liquid has reduced to your liking.

Will Leftovers Last in the Fridge?

If you have leftover greens and you aren’t sure what to do with them, don’t worry. Cool them completely, and you can store them in the refrigerator for three to four days in an airtight container with a lid.

Horizontal image of a white bowl filled with wilted cooked vegetables with cooked chopped bacon and onion on a towel.

They’re easy to reheat in the microwave to serve alongside a simple grain and protein for dinner later in the week, or you could stir them into soup or mashed potatoes.

Want to learn how to cook other types of vegetables in the electric pressure cooker? Foodal has plenty of how-to guides to check out next:

What’s your favorite main dish to serve alongside collard greens? Tell us in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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