Short on time no problem. This savory and smoky pot of greens has a blend of collard, mustard, and turnip greens and cooks down in more than half the time. And don’t worry, even when using the pressure cooker there’s plenty of leftover pot likka to enjoy.

instant pot southern style greens in a bowl

Anyone who truly knows me knows that slow-braised greens are my all-time favorite.  And I just so happened to think that my family recipe is the best around. 

I traditionally use a blend of the following greens to get my signature texture. 

  • Collard Greens: Wide leaves and thick stalk with a bitter flavor.
  • Turnip Greens: Slightly sweeter with tender leaves.
  • Mustard Greens: Thinner texture, ruffled leaves with peppery taste
close up of instant pot southern style greens in a bowl

Southern Greens in Half  the Time

I’ve been cooking greens over the stovetop for years – well since I learned. This year I had the bright idea of using the instant pot to cut downtime. I don’t know why it took me so long. Sometimes habits are hard to break. 

I was worried that they wouldn’t hit the same but I was sadly mistaken. This instant pot recipe is not only as delicious as the stovetop version but in almost half the time. 

The only difference is the limitation of the pressure cooker size. I was able to get all the ingredients in using an 8-quart instant pot but I had to reduce the amount of greens just a tad. All that means is a better pot likka to greens ratio which I’m not mad at. 

How To Pick, Clean & Cut Greens

I created a pretty comprehensive guide on everything Greens that you can check out here.

how to cut greens for instant pot southern style greens

What are southern greens?

  • Collard Greens: Wide leaves and thick stalk with a bitter flavor.
  • Turnip Greens: Slightly sweeter with tender leaves.
  • Mustard Greens: Thinner texture, ruffled leaves with a peppery taste

Can frozen or canned greens be used?

Frozen greens are a great alternative as it will cut down on your prep and cleaning time. Frozen greens are snap frozen as soon as they are picked, preserving their nutrients and texture. They will still absorb created a yummy flavorful pot likka!

How do you take the bitterness out of greens?

Once boiled thoroughly, add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice to your greens. Mix and taste to ensure the bitterness is gone. If not, add another teaspoon of salt and lemon juice. Repeat until the bitterness subsides completely.

instant pot southern style greens in a bowl

What is the proper way to clean greens?

You must make sure that you are diligent about cleaning your greens. If you are buying them by the bunch instead of the pre-cut bag, I recommend you wash them 2-3 times.

Simply fill up a clean sink with water, submerge your greens in saltwater and inspect leaves for dirt and bugs. Repeat. The last thing you want is to have little critters floating around your bowl.

Should greens be soaked before cooking?

Soaking your greens isn’t necessary; however, it can help clean thoroughly clean your greens.  Soak the entire bunch of leaves in salt water for about 30 minutes, then rinse the greens under running water for about 3 minutes before cooking.

More Instant Pot Recipes

instant pot southern style greens in a bowl

Instant Pot Southern Greens

Author: Meiko Temple
Short on time no problem. This savory and smoky pot of greens have a blend of collard, mustard and turnip greens and cook down in more than half the time. And don't worry, even when using the pressure cooker there's plenty of left over pot likka to enjoy.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Soul Food, Southern
Servings 10 bowls
Calories 207 kcal


  • Chef’s Knife
  • Instant Pot – 8 quart


  • 2 lb collard greens, , stem removed & chopped
  • 1 lb blend of mustard greens and/or turnip greens,, stem removed & chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups picante salsa, medium
  • cup apple cider , or white vinegar
  • 2 lb smoked turkey legs
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Clean and the stems of the greens then roughly chop them.
  • **Optional** remove turkey meat from the bone and reserve the large bones. If your pot is big enough you can keep the smoked turkey leg whole – this is recommended. This portion cooks best in an 8 quart pressure cooker.
  • Add all the wet ingredients (chicken stock, picante salsa, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, honey, hot sauce, liquid smoke)to the instant pot and stir.
  • Next add the onion, salt, garlic, pepper, cumin, chili flakes and bay leaves and stir.
  • Finally add the greens followed by the turkey legs. Press down so that every thing fits and seal the instant pot lid on top. Manually set pressure cooker to 30-60 minutes depending on how much texture you want remaining in your greens.
  • Serve once the greens have reached your desired level of tenderness.


You will need an 8-quart instant pot or pressure cooker inorder to fit all ingredients. .
Before I serve my greens I typically take a scan of the pot to remove any of the skin of the smoked meats. I personally don’t find it enjoyable to eat but it’s totally optional and left to individual preference. 


Calories: 207kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 22gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 1301mgPotassium: 885mgFiber: 6gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 6277IUVitamin C: 68mgCalcium: 308mgIron: 3mg
Keyword collard greens, Mustard Greens, Recipe for southern greens, southern-style greens, Turnip Greens
did you make this recipe???Tell me all about it! And tag @meikoandthedish with hashtag on Instagram – I’d love to see what you make!

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    1. Hey Pamela! Bagged pre-cut greens offer a great shortcut when you are in a time crunch. One thing to remember is that they still have the denser and more fibrous stem which take a bit longer to cook down and make tender. If you don’t mind the stem then buying pre-cut greens is a great option for you. Just follow the same weight recommendations in the recipe.

  1. 5 stars
    WOW!!! This. Recipe. Blew. My mind. My boyfriend, who usually doesn’t like collard greens, was asking for seconds. I already had 3 friends ask for the link and my mom is making them this week. I don’t think I could ever turn to another greens recipe, this one was SO GOOD!!!

    Because I have a smaller Instant Pot, I halved the recipe and it made enough for dinner and lunch the next day for two people. I also subbed smoked turkey wings instead of legs, since that’s what my market had and y’all…. DON’T SKIP THE SMOKED TURKEY! My god. It was so good. I’ll be coming back to this recipe again and again.

  2. I don’t have an instant pot— can these be made in a crockpot instead? How long should the be in the crockpot? Thank you!!

4.67 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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