Think it is hard to get your greens in? These Keto Collard Greens with Bacon will convince you otherwise. You start by cooking the onion and garlic in bacon fat and then add in seasonings and a touch of vinegar to build a flavor profile that will have you wondering why you ever thought greens were boring or bland. This recipe is surprisingly addictive!
As a proud Southerner, collard greens have long been one of my favorite side dishes.
For years I’ve made them on Sunday afternoons so that I could enjoy them throughout the week.
It is a relatively hands-off recipe, but it isn’t quick.
The Instant Pot shaves some time off the traditional Southern slow cooking method for collard greens, but keep in mind you will be allowing the pressure to release naturally, so it isn’t a dish that you can throw together in minutes.
Trust me - it is worth the extra time for the flavor and delicious juices - called pot “liquor” or “likker”- that comes from cooking dark leafy greens.
Enjoy the liquid with the collards and sop it up with my Keto Biscuits. Then save any that you have leftover and use it to make a second batch of collard greens.
Ingredients for Making Instant Pot Collard Greens
Bacon: Use nitrate-free bacon if possible.
Onion: White or yellow onion works best here.
Garlic: Fresh garlic makes these collard greens with bacon pop. If you don’t have it on hand, feel free to use garlic powder.
Chicken Broth: I make my own using my Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth recipe.
Apple Cider Vinegar: You may substitute white vinegar.
Old Bay Seasoning: Old Bay Seasoning is a seasoning blend that includes crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, celery salt, ground bay leaves, dry mustard, black pepper, and other seasonings. If you prefer to make your own, here is a recipe.
Celery Salt: Celery salt is a blend of ground celery seeds and often includes parsley and/or dill. Use celery salt fairly quickly because old ground celery seeds can become bitter over time.
Crushed Red Pepper: This adds a hint of heat, but it is not at all overpowering. If you aren’t a fan of heat, feel free to omit it.
Collard Greens: Collard greens are technically a cabbage and have a mild flavor.
- I used bacon for added seasoning in this collard greens recipe, but country ham or ham hocks would work as well.
- Collard Greens are a staple and Southern cooking, and most Southern cooks agree with me - they are best cooked for a long time. If you prefer them less tender, feel free to shorten the cooking time.
- For a peppery flavor, feel free to substitute mustard greens for part of the collard greens.
- If you are short on time, pre-washed collard greens can save you the time and effort of washing and trimming away the stalk.
For a traditional Southern meal, serve Keto Collard Greens with Bacon with Keto Fried Chicken, Mashed Cauliflower, and Biscuits. If you are looking for a simple side for most any meal, this recipe is a good bet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Collard greens are an excellent option on a keto diet. One cup of raw collards as 11.5 calories, 2 grams of Carbohydrates, and 1.4 grams of fiber. This means the net carbs are just .6 grams per cup.
Start by cutting the leafy proportion from either side of the stem. I find that a chef’s knife works best for this.
Make a stick of the leaves, and slice them crosswise.
Place in a large bowl of water, and wash until the water is clear.
Dry the collards with a salad spinner.
Tools Needed to Make Collard Greens Keto
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- Instant Pot or Large Stock Pot
- Chef’s Knife
More Keto Vegetable Recipes
Keto Collard Greens
- or Large Stockpot
- 8 ounces bacon chopped
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 8 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 ½ teaspoons celery salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 12 ounces collard greens washed, trimmed, and chopped
Instant Pot Collard Greens
- Set your Instant Pot to saute and spray with cooking spray.
- Once the pot is heated, add the bacon. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for another 8 minutes.
- Next, stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.
- Add 1 cup of the broth to the pot, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up anything stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the remaining chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, Old Bay seasoning, celery salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and pepper to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Add the collard greens to the pot.
- Hit cancel/warm and place the lid on the pot.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes or until the collard greens begin to wilt.
- After checking to ensure that the collard greens have wilted down, replace the lid and set to seal.
- Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Season to taste and serve warm with hot pepper sauce.
- Spray a large stockpot with cooking spray.
- Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook until tender, about 8 more minutes.
- Next, stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, Old Bay seasoning, celery salt, crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper to the pot.
- Stir to combine, and add the collard greens.
- Cook over medium heat for at least 2 hours.