Let's keep this short and simple: These Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock are tasty, easy, and belong on your table as soon as possible. Thankfully, with 5 minutes of prep + some pressure cooker magic, they can be. According to my fella, these Pressure Cooker Collard Greens are "delicious and porky and spicy and vinegary." Is vinegary a word? It doesn't matter - he's spot on.
Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with minimal effort
Collard Greens are surprisingly easy to prep. After washing, a quick rough chop is all they need. I don't ever bother separating the stem (the firm middle part) like I generally do with other leafy greens because the pressure cooker should tenderize everything. The ham hock pops right in with the collards and should fall apart from the bone with minimal effort, post-pressure-cooking.
Let's talk about ham hock for a moment
Smoked ham hocks are surprisingly easy to find, wrapped in plastic and tucked in with the other pork products, at most grocery stores. In my experience, these pre-packaged ham hocks are usually sub-par and if you buy them I feel confident you'll want to chuck them straight from your pressure cooker into the trash. Do yourself a favor and buy a ham hock from a reputable butcher and ask them to split it in half for you so you can better access all the meaty goodness, once cooked. For those who are strict Paleo, make sure to ask your butcher how the meat has been cured as pork products sometimes contain added sugar.
Which pressure cooker do I use?
I personally use an Instant Pot Ultra 6qt, but these Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock can easily be made in other electric pressure cookers as well. The reason I mention this is because there are often small variations in machine cooking times. When I first developed this recipe, I utilized a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker and found that this collard greens recipe cooked perfectly with only 15-minutes of high-pressure cooking time. That sounds great at first, however, it also meant that more tender greens and vegetables that I used in that machine were easily overcooked in mere minutes. I actually prefer that my Instant Pot cooks things slightly slower as I find that I am able to cook a wider variety of food in it to my liking.
An update to this recipe
When I switched over to an Instant Pot, I realized that a 15-minute high=pressure cook time from my original recipe was not enough to adequately tenderize the greens and ham hock, so I've redeveloped this recipe to suit my new machine.
What does this mean for you?
As with all pressure cooker recipes, you'll want to take into account how quickly and intensely your own machine cooks when determining how long to cook collard greens. If you were making this with the same Cuisinart model (CPD-600) electric pressure cooker I used to use, I stand behind a 15 minute cook time, as that has consistently worked well for me. If you're using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, then based on my experience, your collard greens will likely take longer to cook. I find that 35-minutes of high-pressure cooking, followed by 15-minutes of natural pressure release in my Instant Pot is spot on for perfectly tender collard greens and fall-off-the-bone ham hock.
What should I serve these Collard Greens with?
- As a side to these Pressure Cooker Boneless Beef Ribs with Carolina Gold Mustard BBQ Sauce or this Spicy Red BBQ Sauce
- As a side to this Crispy Oven-Fried Fish -- Don't forget a side of Brown Butter Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread too!
- As a side to this Grilled Skirt Steak with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- An electric pressure cooker
- A cutting board
- A chef's knife for chopping the collard greens
- A small knife for separating the meat once cooked
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- A meat thermometer
- A fork to assist you in shredding the meat
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
A note for special diets
These Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock are gluten-free, grain-free, and fit Keto, Paleo, and SIBO diets.
These Pressure Cooker Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock take only 5 minutes of prep time before cooking in your Instant Pot to tender perfection.
- 1 lb collard greens, roughly chopped
- 1 ½ lbs smoked ham hock (around ½ lb meat after discarded bones, tendon, skin)
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth (refer to the recommended minimum liquid for your machine and adjust if necessary)
- 1 ½ tbsp sriracha (PaleoChef makes a Paleo version)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp garlic oil (may sub 2 garlic cloves, minced)
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Add all ingredients to your electric pressure cooker, taking care that the ingredients do not surpass your fill line. If your machine is smaller, you may need to adjust the amount you cook at once.
- Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes (see notes below).
- Once the cooking time has completed, natural release the pressure for 15 minutes. Then safely quick-release the remaining pressure.
- Test the temperature of the ham hock with a meat thermometer. It should have reached a minimum of 165 degrees F, but will likely end up around 200 degrees F.
- Separate the meat from bone on your ham hock. This can usually be done easily with a small knife. Discard bones, tendons, and excess skin. Shred the meat and combine back into the pot with the collard greens. Serve hot.
From September 10, 2020: This recipe was originally created using a Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker (CPC-600), which in my experience, cooks at a slightly faster rate than some Instant Pot models. The revised recipe (above) takes into account a longer cooking time (35 minutes + 15 minutes natural release) required for the Instant Pot Ultra 6qt model. Please note this difference in cooking power when considering an adjustment of cooking time for your particular machine.
Nutrition note: Only the meat from the ham hock is used in the final result of this collard greens recipe, discarding any bones, tendons, and excess skin. Most ham hocks that I purchase are around ⅓ meat to ⅔ discarded pieces, so I have estimated that ½ lb of meat is used in the final result of this recipe for nutrition purposes below.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 180
- Sodium: 311 mg
- Fat: 11 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 5 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 13 g
- Cholesterol: 43 mg
Keywords: Collard Greens