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Instant Pot Collard Greens and Smoked Turkey Tails

instant pot collard greens recipe

The collard greens and smoked turkey tails cooked in the instant pot turned out great.  I was skeptical that the instant pot could get the collard greens that tender in that short amount of time.  Growing up, we cooked soul food-style collards, turnips, and mustard greens for at least a couple of hours.

We’d simmer them with smoked ham hocks, pork jowl, or salt pork for a long time.  Not only did they cook quickly, but the flavor was outstanding and maybe better than the traditional method.   The old-school way of cooking soul food collard greens is gone.

As long as there’s an instant pot around, that’s how I’ll be cooking them.  They actually taste fresher than the typical Southern way of cooking them.

How do you cook quick collard greens?

southern style collard greens recipe in the instant pot

Get the Glory brand bag of collard greens so you don’t have to labor in the kitchen cutting and picking the greens.  The bagged collards you find in the store are ready to cook.

Put them in an instant pot with your seasoning meat and pressure cook until tender.  You’ll never find an easy collard greens recipe that tastes better than the instant pot method.  As I said, these greens tasted garden-fresh and old-fashioned like I often ate down South.

The best meat for collard greens?

Growing up, mom mostly used salt pork.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with salt pork, it’s salted pork belly.  Our second choice of meat was pork jowl, followed by smoked ham hocks.

quick and easy soul food collard greens

It wasn’t until recent years that I started using smoked turkey.  The taste is very similar to the old-fashioned greens recipe but without the calories and fat.  Smoked turkey tails, wings, and necks are much healtier than pork.

Instant Pot - Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey Tails

Southern-style collard greens cooked in the Instant Pot with smoked turkey tails.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 6


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 lb. fresh collard greens
  • 1 lb. smoked turkey tails
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • sugar optional


  • Start by putting the water in the instant pot followed by the turkey tails, greens, onion, and the seasoning
  • Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 30 minutes.
  • Let the Instant Pot naturally release the steam for 10 - 15 minutes before opening.


Serve with a big piece of hot cornbread. If you don't like bitter greens, stir in 2 teaspoons of sugar when finished cooking.
Keyword greens, pressure cooker, smoked turkey tails, soul food

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