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.
Pressure-Cooker Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 portions 1x
- Category: Side Dishes
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Southern
- Diet: Gluten Free
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
This recipe is my (weekly) go to! I add drained navy beans, at times when I want a protien and fiber "kick" but otherwise, make as direcred.
Isually, a lunch for.myself, during the week. Perfect every time!
Has anyone ever subbed kale for collard greens? I just happen to have a bunch of kale in my fridge at the moment and was wondering if they would work with this recipe...
I was so nervous about my collards coming out right for Thanksgiving. Covid made it so we couldn't get them from where we gotten them for 30+ years. This recipe was a perfect base recipe and easy to change up for lack of ingredients. I subbed seasoning salt for the Sriracha and minced garlic for the garlic oil. They came out melt in your mouth amazing and were SO EASY to make!! The last time I tried making collards, I failed miserably. Not any more!
Whip & Wander says
Cate, Thank you so much for your review! Seeing this made my day! I'm thrilled that the collards came out melt in your mouth amazing and glad that they were a part of your Thanksgiving holiday.
Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! says
This looks so savory! What a perfect way to eat collard greens - so much flavor!
Jessie @Straight to the Hips, Baby says
I love collards, but I haven't made them in forever! These look fabulous and I'm going to add this recipe to my weekly line up!
Jordan Elbaum | Prickly Fresh says
This is so creative! I also love the addition of the sriracha - it's my fav!
I love everything about this recipe and am planning to try it, but I'm worried that 15 minutes is not enough time to fully cook the ham hock. I've seen other recipes that suggest a 2-step process, cooking the ham hock first and then adding the greens and cooking further. Can I trust that if I follow your instruction everything will be fully cooked and ready to eat in 15 minutes? My ham hock and greens await your reply!!! Thank you!
Whip & Wander says
Thanks for the question!
When I first created this recipe (back in April 2018), I used a Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker (CPC-600) and 15-minutes on high was the perfect amount of time to cook my ham hock fully through to a safe temperature (165 degrees F) and have the meat be tender enough to shred. However, I have since upgraded to an Instant Pot 6qt Ultra model and I feel that it takes a bit longer to cook things in general compared to my old Cuisinart model. I actually like that my Instant Pot cooks at a slightly lower rate because it allows me to better control the cooking level of things like vegetables (no more soggy carrots!), but it also means that heartier food items like meat may take a bit longer than my previous machine.
So my best answer is: It depends on the cooking power of your particular machine model and how large your ham hock is. I don't know what model of pressure cooker you use, however -
If you are using an Instant Pot, I would consider upping the time that the ham hock spends in the machine. By my estimation of how my IP Ultra cooks, I believe that it will need an increased cooking time of 10-20 minutes to reach the most ideal result. I have bookmarked this recipe for retesting in my Instant Pot as soon as possible, and will note the differences in cooking time in the post when it is updated.
If I were cooking this in the Cuisinart machine I mentioned, I solidly stand behind the 15-minute cook time as it consistently produced great results.
I hope your ham hock and greens are a success!
Thanks so much! I look forward to seeing your retest results. (I'm using a 6-qt Instant Pot Duo Plus.)
tiffany Montgomery says
My husband loves greens but I stink at making them. Trying this with a pressure cooker this weekend!
I got a Mealthy pressure cooker a few days ago and made this my second recipe. I love collard greens, but had never tried making them. My first recipe was beans - and I found I had to cook them a bit longer to get the softness I like, so I did the same on these, as a hunch. I cooked them for 25mins which made them tender but not at all mushy. I also used minced garlic (heaping teaspoon full) and cayenne instead of sriracha. THEY TURNED OUT SOOOO AMAZING!!! As in, I made my own dream of the best collards come true. First time using a ham hock, too!
Whip & Wander says
I'm so glad you loved them! They are a favorite of ours and I think the ham hock makes them even better because it gives you just the right amount off saltiness to balance out the heat from the sriracha or cayenne. I'm glad you're first few times using your pressure cooker are going so successfully! My goal is to get a few more pressure cooker recipes up on the blog this year. If you're looking for another really versatile pressure cooker recipe, you should check out this one for Barbacoa Beef. It's a favorite of mine!
Cristina - Memories of the Pacific says
Looks so delicious and healthy! I eat ham quite often and I'm always looking for new weeks to cook it so thanks for this!
Joanie @ One Dish Kitchen says
This recipe sure does bring me back to thoughts of growing up in the South. My mother made collard greens often and I loved them, especially when there were many chunks of salty ham throughout. Lovely recipe, thank you.
Yum! I love ham and collard greens. This recipe looks so good!
Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife says
Love finding new healthy and yummy recipes! It's great that it's in the instant pot, too! 🙂
Brittany Poulson says
I don't usually buy collard greens, but I need to. This recipe looks great!
Patti @ Patty Cake's Pantry says
I made this for dinner, and took some for lunch the next day. I shared with my co-worker. Everyone who tasted this, loved it. I used garlic cloves because I didn't have the garlic oil. It was amazing. Definitely plan to make this again.
Whip & Wander says
I love to hear that you enjoyed it and would make it again! Garlic cloves are an awesome and easy swap for the oil. I always make sure to include that as a swap because I know most people won't have garlic oil in their pantries already. I unfortunately can't tolerate the whole cloves anymore, but I love garlic flavor!
Jessica (Swanky Recipes) says
I've been dying to get a instant pot for awhile now and just last week, the hubs surprised me with one! I haven't tried anything really in it yet because I'm still getting used to the setting but I'll be adding this one to the list to make when my mom comes to visit in the next few weeks!
Jessica Pinney says
Yum! Pinning this one for later! I haven't had collard greens in a minute and I love the idea of being able to make it in my Instant Pot. Thanks for sharing!