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Instant Pot Collard Greens

By Amber 7
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Instant Pot Collard Greens are a southern tradition served alongside Hoppin’ John and Garlic Herb Roasted Pork Loin all three of which are Lowcountry staples and must-haves on New Year’s Day!

There is nothing better than starting the year off right with some good ole’ country cookin’.

These Instant Pot Collard Greens are what southern living is all about: filling your bellies with rich meals and sharing traditions with friends, family, and colleagues.

Here in the south, collard greens, hoppin’ john, roasted pork, and cornbread are traditionally served on January 1st because they bring forth good luck and fortune in the new year.

White plate with seared pork chop, instant pot collard greens, ad hoppin john.

New Year’s Day Recipes for Good Luck

There are plenty of traditions surrounding New Year’s day, but Lowcountry Legend is all about getting rich…which is totally fine by me.

As the saying goes:

  • Peas are for pennies
  • Greens are for dollars
  • Cornbread is for gold
  • Pork is for making progress in the months ahead

My mom didn’t actually make collard greens very often growing up because they truly are a painstaking task. They can take upward of 2+hrs to cook on the stovetop, and they stink your house up to high heaven!

My mama didn’t mess with all that nonsense so I had to rely on my Nanny or my friend’s parents to bring forth my fortunes.

Up Close Picture of Instant Pot Collard Greens with Leftover Holiday Ham

Instant Pot Collard Greens

Lucky for us these Instant Pot Collards are as good as gold! They don’t stink up your house, and you won’t be slaving away in the kitchen all day because they cook in just 25 minutes!

There is one special ingredient which, I believe, takes this collards recipe over the top.

Do you have leftover holiday ham still stashed away in your fridge or freezer? Well go ahead and get your hands on that ham, baby, because it makes these greens absolutely legendary!

Instant Pot Collard Greens being grabbed with a pair of tongs

When purchasing collard greens, you can choose to get a bunch in bulk and wash, trim, and chop them yourself, or you can buy the prebagged kind. Whatever works best for your family is key!

I like to buy them in bulk and completely remove their super thick stems. Collard green stems are super tough and aren’t always removed if they’re pre-washed.

Instant Pot Collard Greens | Leftover Holiday Ham

Some recipes call for adding sugar to collards, but you won’t see me doing that here. There is enough naturally occurring sweetness from the onions to cut the tang of the vinegar, and the holiday ham adds to those flavors as well.

A traditional New Year’s Day spread would be an excellent ministry meal to serve to a family in need. I don’t know about you, but warming the souls of others facing hard times fills me with another kind of wealth that money just can’t bring.

Instant Pot Collard Greens | Leftover Holiday Ham

Instant Pot Collard Greens

Instant Pot Collard Greens served with Hoppin’ John and Garlic Herb Roasted Pork Loin are Lowcountry staples and are a must have on New Year’s Day!
5 from 4 votes
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: Charleston, collard greens, instant pot, instant pot collard greens, leftover holiday ham recipes, lowcountry recipes, new years day recipes, southern collards, southern recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 People
Author: Amber



  • Set Instant Pot to sauté (HIGH) and add the bacon grease when the display reads hot. Add the onion and cook until slightly brown and tender, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. About 5-6 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. About 1 minute. Then toss the ham in the pot and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan by slowly pouring in the chicken stock and scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. 
  • Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper then add in the collards, pushing them down into the liquid with your spoon to make sure they’re all covered. 
  • Turn off saute, lock the lid into place and set the valve to sealing. Set the instant pot to high pressure/manual and set the timer for 25 minutes. Press start. 
  • Once cooked, naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes then manually release the steam and remove the lid. 
  • Serve your Instant Pot Collard Greens on New Year’s Day w/ Garlic Herb Roasted Pork Loin and Hoppin’ John or with a thick slice of buttery cornbread any other time of year! 
Tried this recipe?Mention @SlimPickinsKitchen or tag #ministrymeals!

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  • Craig Simons
    January 1, 2020

    12 cups = 96 oz = 3/4 gallon. Surely you meant 4 cups, or 32 oz. chicken stock.

    • Amber
      January 2, 2020

      OMG, Craig! Yes!!! 4 cups! Thank you so much for catching that! Glad I put the 32 oz in there. Yes, the recipe calls for 4 cups of chicken stock. Thanks for letting me know about the typo!!!

  • Kristen
    January 1, 2020


    • Amber
      January 2, 2020

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed them!!!

  • Nikole
    November 17, 2021

    These are amazing! I love these so much. One question, we usually eat them all, but my husband had to travel at the last minute- can I freeze them?

    • Amber
      November 17, 2021

      Yay! So happy you love them! You know, I’ve never frozen them myself, but it might work? You will probably have to remove all of the cooking liquid though and squeeze them dry. Then reheat w/ more stock and ham when ready to eat again. That’s what I’d do. Try following this method for freezing. Remember I can’t vouche for the results though!