Quick and Delicious Collards

by on November 28, 2006
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Over the holiday, we ate more unhealthy restaurant food than I care to admit, so when we got home, I was ready for a little good home-cooking. Since I didn’t have the energy to make anything fancy, I thought I’d keep it simple and unblogworthy. I had some organic collards that I’d bought before we left town and 3/4 of a butternut squash; I figured I’d cook them and heat up some beans and we’d have a healthy dinner, but nothing to write here about.

I tossed the cubes of butternut squash with a teaspoon of zest and a tablespoon of juice from one of my dad’s lemons, sprinkled it with freshly ground pepper, and put it in the oven at 400F to bake. While it was roasting, I heated the beans and started chopping the collards. Since I had a little time, I took a couple of shots of the collards, both raw and cooked, then put them back into the pot to keep warm. Once the squash was tender, we ate . . . and we marveled. My husband said that it was one of the best meals he’s had. (I didn’t really think about that comment at the time, but I’m choosing now to take it as a compliment.) Daughter E. loved the squash and designated it kid-friendly, even though I told her it wouldn’t be on the blog. And, biggest surprise of all, little Miss Greens-Hater ate all of her collards without complaint!

So, I was happy I had photographed the greens, at least. This is easily the best-tasting and fastest collards recipe I’ve ever made. Southern cooks have been known to simmer collard greens for hours, but these took less than 7 minutes in my pressure cooker. The nearly-caramelized onions and garlic infuse them with flavor, and cut into thin strands like this, they’re kind of fun to eat. I’m suddenly feeling very happy that I planted collard greens in my garden again this fall!

Super-fast Collard Greens

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Kale would make a reasonable replacement for collards. Kale will probably cook quicker, as it is not quite as tough. I like the stems the best, myself, but tough old kale shipped thousands of miles from a hot climate might not be the same as the stuff I knock the ice off to eat from my back yard.



2 Deborah W January 4, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I'm stupidly afraid of my pressure cooker but I'm going to get it out and make this recipe. I just bought collard greens {for the first time!} yesterday so this post was perfectly timed for me. Thx so much!

Deborah at Webajeb


3 I'm Xan! I'm a person, I swear! January 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm

This sounds simple and yummy. Maybe it's that I was raised in California, but the idea of cooking greens for more than a few *minutes* would never occur to me! I grew a gigantic hedge of collards this year (ahem – overplanted! ;P ), which we worked our way through stir-fry after stir-fry. I just trimmed the toughest parts of the stems, did the roulade cut you describe, and threw them into the pan after the onions and other thicker veggies were nearing done. Then add a little cooking liquid (whatever was appropriate to the flavor profile I was attempting), and put a lid on for a few minutes 'til the greens wilted, then tossed them with the other veggies 'til they were incorporated.
I never found them tough. My husband likes them a little more cooked than I do, but never objected to these.
My rule is that the color should only get MORE intense. If it goes off towards gray, it's compost.

I love this blog! I looked it up today so I could send the link to a newly vegan friend. 🙂


4 Anonymous January 8, 2010 at 12:40 am

I can take or leave collards, but these came out much better than what I eat at my in-laws. My husband ate half of mine, went back to the pot 4 times, and then wanted more for his lunch tomorrow. He is about as southern as they come, so I would call these a success. Thanks for another healthy and quick recipe!


5 Chris August 16, 2010 at 10:59 am

I don’t own a pressure cooker, so……..could you please advise how to achieve the same results without the pressure cooker?


6 SusanV August 16, 2010 at 11:07 am

Chris, I think it’s just a matter of adding time, and perhaps water. Cover them, turn them to a simmer, and check them frequently to make sure there’s enough water to steam-cook them (doesn’t have to cover the collards but should cover the bottom of the pan.) Different collards will take different amounts of time, so be patient and check often to see if they’re done yet.


7 Ryann November 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Aren’t pressure cookers THE best invention known to humankind? (Well, those and hyperbole). I have a hard time not using the pressure cooker in every recipe I post. Mine rarely gets a day off!

Thanks for the yummy recipe. I love greens!


8 Katie November 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm

What kind do you own??


9 Donna November 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

First of all, I did get a pressure cooker and i can’t express how much i LOVE it! I also love collards and tried this recipe. I burned my pressure cooker so bad making this recipe. I did cook the collards for longer than 3 minutes because they did not seem to be tender. Such a mess! Tomorrow I’m trying again and will follow your cooking times exactly.


10 SusanV November 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I’m sorry your pressure cooker got burned! Be sure to use enough water to cover the bottom of it well. If it’s a bigger cooker than mine, you will need to use more than a cup of water.


11 Connie Smith January 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm

So if one doesn’t have a pressure cooker, what do I do. Looks and sounds delicious.


12 SusanV January 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I would follow the directions except use at least 2 cups water, cover, and cook on low heat until tender. Stir them often and add more water as necessary. Depending on the age and tenderness of the collards, it should take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.


13 Lorraine October 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Oh yum – collards are so lovely! I’ve heard some well established southerners debate the issue of vinegar. I’m not qualified to respond to that for the south, but as a northern influenced family, we always had vinegar on our cooked spinach. As a result, I miss vinegar on any cooked greens if it’s not there, so in it goes into my bowl anyway. Yum, yum, yum, yum, ……. I just don’t have the pressure cooker…… prefer the slow cooker! Ummmm………. stirring the pot a little from time to time through the day? Nothing beats it!… except maybe pouring on the vinegar and picking up the fork or spoon……… which one is better for collards, anyway? ……. !both!……….. that’s a sign of good eating’ in my book……. !


14 Michelle B October 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I, too, lack a pressure cooker. But 2.5 cups of water and 1 hour in my Dutch oven on a low simmer worked great.

I also added 1-2 teaspoons Hickory seasoning. For me, that was really the secret ingredient! It was by far the best collards I’ve ever made, and was the only thing that has ever come close to the delectable, smokey collards I’ve had at really good Southern BBQ joints.   I use “J&D’s Bacon Salt”, low sodium hickory flavor. I read the ingredients, and happily, it’s vegan. No actual bacons are harmed in its making. 🙂

I also tried adding vegan Smart Bacon strips at the beginning with the onions, but they got soggy by the end and I suspect they didn’t add much.  If I bother to try Smart Bacon again, I’d crisp it in a pan & add it just prior to serving like a bacon bit topping.


15 Bird February 11, 2012 at 9:22 am

Thanks for the helpful recipe. I am not a vegan, but after a google search for “collards and pressure cooker” happened upon this gem.

I recently bought a Fissler PC off of Woot.com and it has been used almost daily for the last month. It really does make cooking much easier when you have a life filled with time constraints.

I have made this recipe a few times now, and each time yielding excellent results. My favorite tweak so far has been adding a tbsp of sugar to the greens before sealing the pressure cooker. It gave it a nice sweet, but not too sweet, taste.


16 Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie November 27, 2012 at 10:54 am

yum! what a quick, healthy meal – looking forward to trying this combination!


17 Wendy January 7, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Loved these greens! Made the New Years Day with Black eyed peas. Yum! I really love your recipes and end up on your blog many more times Han I can count. Made your N.O. Creamy White Beans tonight, but hey are simmering now.



18 Jill January 9, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Not very fast if you don’t have a pressure cooker, but I threw it all in the slow cooker for a couple of hours, and they came out great.

I served these with the chili beans I made last week from the Taco Salad recipe.

Filling, delicious, easy, low calorie. Your recipes are firing on all cylinders. 🙂


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