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Southern Smoked Turkey Collard Greens — smoky flavorful Southern-style collard greens made in minutes using the Instant Pot pressure cooker.
Southern-style collard greens are the best. They are slow braised in an amazing broth known in the south are potlikker. The broth is typically made from stewed smoked meat like turkey or ham with aromatics and spices. This Southern Smoked Turkey Collard Greens recipe takes a shortcut to this treasured dish using the Instant Pot pressure cookers.
Simplified recipe perfect for the new cook
This is the perfect recipe for novice cooks. If this is your first time making collard greens or you’ve tried but failed in the past, this is the perfect recipe. Using a pressure cooker not only to speed up the cooking time but it ensures that the greens are permeated with the braising broth.
Tips and FAQ for making collard greens
- Buy pre-cut collards– Fresh collard Greens are easy to clean, trim, and cut but to make this process less intimidating, buy prepared collards. Many chain grocery stores will sell the washed, trimmed, an ribboned in 2-4 pound bags.
- Mind the turkey bones– To ensure that you don’t get any small bones into the greens, remove the smoked turkey parts carefully from the before removing the meat to add to the greens. Turkey necks are especially bony.
- Hold the vinegar– Vinegar and/or hot sauce on collard is a personal preferential choice. Vinegar gives a nice tang to the greens but I personally could do without it depending on my mood. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Serve the vinegar on the side as an offering with some good hot sauce. And don’t worry, these greens are seasoned so well, hardly anyone will reach for the bottle.
- Make the greens in advance– The beauty of southern-style collard green is that they taste better as the days go by. Make these greens 1-2 days in advance to save counter space and to let the greens “marinate”. The flavors really develop overnight.
- Freeze the leftovers– If you plan to make the greens more than 2 days ahead or you have leftovers that you don’t anticipate eating within a couple of days, you should freeze them. Greens will start to get bitter if they sit to long even under refrigeration. (See notes below)
What you need to make smoked turkey collard greens in the Instant Pot
Smoked turkey parts
All-purpose seasoning– I make a wonderful homemade All-Purpose Seasoning Blend that flavored these greens to a “T”. But you can use store-bought like Season All or Lawry’s in a lesser amount. See the recipe card for measurements.
Instant Pot pressure cooker
Smoked turkey to season greens
Growing up, my grandmother used smoked turkey necks to season her greens. The neck and tail are typical and give ample meat within the greens. My preference is a smoked turkey wing and leg because they give more meat. Use whatever pieces you have access to.
How to make collard greens in a pressure cooker
I’m going to start by making the smoky broth or potlikker before adding the greens. That will mean running the Instant Pot twice.
Set the Instant Pot to SAUTÉ and add the olive oil followed by the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes to soften then hit the CANCEL button. Season the pot with the all-purpose seasoning, sugar, and red pepper flakes.
Next, add the smoked turkey meat and chicken broth. Place the lid securely and set the seal to CLOSED. Turn the pressure cooker setting to HIGH for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, quick release the pressure for the next step. (This step will take a total of about 30-35 minutes including the time it will take to build pressure.)
Open the pressure cooker and add the greens. Use a long-handled spoon or tongs to push the collard down into the broth. Securely place the lid and set the Instant Pot to HIGH for 25 minutes. Again, use the quick-release valve to release the pressure.
After the cooking time, carefully remove the turkey pieces to a plate to take the meat off of the bones. Stir the smoked turkey meat into greens. The greens are ready to eat at this point. Season then with a little salt and pepper if desired. Serve with vinegar and hot sauce on the side.
How to to store and reheat smoked turkey collard greens
- To store collard greens: The best method for storing collards is freezing. To do so, place them in a freezer-safe with the juices; do not drain. Release as much air as possible and seal. Freezer for up to 6 months.
- To reheat collard greens: Use a pot with a lid to warm the greens through on the stovetop. If frozen, defrost before add them to the pot. Be sure to heat all of the broth with the greens. If for some reason there isn’t enough broth, add up to cup of chicken or turkey stock.
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Southern Smoked Turkey Collard Greens
- 2 lb collard greens trimmed and cut
- 2 c chicken broth
- 2-3 smoked turkey parts wing and leg
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 6 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp homemade all-purpose seasoning or 2 tsp store-bought
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Set the Instant Pot to SAUTÉ and add the olive oil followed by the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes to soften then hit the CANCEL button.
- Add the all-purpose seasoning, sugar, and red pepper flakes followed by the smoked turkey meat and chicken broth. Place the lid securely and set the seal to CLOSED. Turn the pressure cooker setting to HIGH for 20 minutes. Quick-release the pressure for the next step.
- Open the pressure cooker and add the greens. Securely place the lid and set the Instant Pot to HIGH for 25 minutes. Again, use the quick-release valve to release the pressure.
- After the cooking time, carefully remove the turkey pieces to a plate to take the meat off of the bones. Stir the smoked turkey meat into greens. Season then with a little salt and pepper if desired and serve with vinegar and hot sauce on the side.