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Collard Greens With Smoked Turkey

Make Southern-style collard greens with smoked turkey legs in less than 45 minutes (start to finish) using this easy pressure cooker collard greens recipe. Learn how to make this classic side dish faster with a handful of common ingredients. Plus, I’ll give you tips to eliminate collard greens’ bitterness. Don’t have a pressure cooker? Make these collard greens on the stovetop or set them and forget them by making slow cooker greens.

Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey on a white bowl

Why Make These?

  • Quick: Cooking Southern collard greens with smoked turkey in the pressure cooker takes about 25 minutes to cook, which is almost 8 times less the time required to make slow cooker collard greens.
  • Dump and Go: You add all the ingredients (including the seasonings) to the pressure cooker and let them cook to perfection.
  • Extra Meat and Pot Liquor: many of my favorite Thanksgiving casseroles and African American cornbread dressing recipes include leftover meat and pot liquor. This recipe uses a smoked turkey leg to have enough meat for the greens and other dishes like my Jiffy Cornbread stuffing and dressing.

Ingredients Needed 

  • Collard greens: I get these chopped and washed to save time.
  • Onion: I used a yellow onion that a diced
  • Butter: salted or unsalted, depending on preference. Unsalted allows you to salt to taste after the collard greens with smoked turkey are finished cooking.
  • Garlic cloves: Minced
  • Smoked turkey leg: I get these year-round at places like Walmart. You can use any smoked turkey meat, but I chose a turkey leg so that I can use it in other recipes as well.
  • Chicken broth: preferably low sodium.
  • Red pepper flakes: Omit if you don’t like spicy food.
  • Apple cider vinegar: To tenderize the greens and help eliminate the bitterness.
  • Old Bay: while this spice mix is typical for things like our Southern seafood boil, it is all a great all-purpose seasoning for things like these greens and our Hot Honey Old Bay Wings.
  • Brown sugar
  • Chicken broth paste 
Collard greens, Onion, Butter, Garlic cloves, smoked turkey leg, Chicken broth, Red pepper flakes, Apple cider vinegar, Old Bay, sugar, Chicken broth paste on separate bowls

How To Make Collard Greens With Smoked Turkey

  1. Add all the ingredients (except the collard greens and salt) to the bottom of the pressure cooker pot.
  2. Pack the collard greens on top of the meat, onions, and other ingredients.
  3. Pressure cook on high for 25 minutes. Remove the turkey drum and pick off the meat.
  4. Add the meat to the collard greens, stir, and salt to taste
steps to make Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey

Recipe Tips & FAQs

  • Use smoked turkey leg: You can use leftovers from collard greens with smoked turkey leg to make jiffy cornbread dressing.
  • Buy washed and chopped collard greens: Prepping collard greens is a lot of work, so buying them ready will save you time and energy.
  • Buy a large turkey leg: This will provide enough meat for the greens and stuffing. You can also use the leftover pot liquor as a replacement for broth in most recipes.
  • Add the seasonings with the rest of the ingredients: Pressure-cooking collard greens takes a short time. This means most of the flavor is preserved and, therefore no need to save the seasonings until later. 
  • Remove the stem ends: If you’re prepping the greens yourself, ensure you chop off the stem ends to reduce bitterness.
  • Make in the slow cooker or stove top: You can make this recipe in the slow cooker or on the stove. For the stove: cook the meat and greens for 2-3 hours. For the slow cooker: cook on high for 4 hours and 30 minutes.
What meat goes well with collard greens?

Traditionally, Southern collard greens go with pork (check out our collard greens with ham hocks recipe), but you can use other meats like smoked turkey, chicken, beef, and lamb. This recipe makes collard greens with smoked turkey.

How do you get the bitterness out of collard greens?

Chop off the stem ends and add apple cider vinegar.

Why do you put vinegar in collard greens?

To tenderize the greens and eliminate the bitterness.

Other Collard Greens Recipes

Turnip Greens Recipe

Turnip greens are traditional veggies that go well with ham hocks and other meats.

Mustard Greens

These Southern greens have a unique tangy and peppery taste.

Recipes to Enjoy This With

Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey in a white bowl
Print Pin
5 from 8 votes

Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey

Make Southern Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey using this easy recipe. Cooks in 25 minutes, but ready in under an hour. Includes tips for getting rid of collard greens' bitterness as well as how to use the pot liquor and leftover smoked turkey meat in other recipes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Pressure 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb collard greens I buy these washed and chopped in a bag, (about 12 cups, end stems removed)
  • 1 cup yellow onion diced
  • 1/4 cup butter salted or unsalted, depending on preference. Unsalted allows more salting to taste at the end of the cook time.
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Cloves minced, about 10 cloves
  • 3.52 lbs Smoked Turkey Drumstick fully cooked, these were available at Walmart, this will provide enough meat for the greens and other recipes that call for leftover smoked turkey.
  • 2 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Better than Bouillon chicken, low sodium

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients (except collard greens and salt) to the bottom of the pressure cooker pot.
  • Pack the collard greens on top of the meat, onions, and other ingredients.
  • Lock the pressure cooker lid (make sure it’s set to “seal”)
  • Pressure cook on “high” for 25 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to naturally release or use the “quick release” setting. You can keep the greens on the warm setting.
  • Remove the turkey drum and pick off the meat.
  • Add the meat to collard greens. Stir and then salt to taste.

Notes

  • Use smoked turkey leg: You can use leftovers from collard greens with smoked turkey leg to make jiffy cornbread dressing.
  • Buy washed and chopped collard greens: Prepping collard greens is a lot of work, so buying them ready will save you time and energy.
  • Buy a large turkey leg: This will provide enough meat for the greens and stuffing. You can also use the leftover pot liquor as a replacement for broth in most recipes.
  • Add the seasonings with the rest of the ingredients: Pressure-cooking collard greens takes a short time. This means most of the flavor is preserved and, therefore no need to save the seasonings until later. 
  • Remove the stem ends: If you’re prepping the greens yourself, ensure you chop off the stem ends to reduce bitterness.
  • Make in the slow cooker or stove top: You can make this recipe in the slow cooker or on the stove. For the stove: cook the meat and greens for 2-3 hours. For the slow cooker: cook on high for 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Recipe Rating




LaChelle

Thursday 23rd of November 2023

Tried this and I think the meat to collard greens portions should be adjusted. 2lbs of collard greens to 2 pounds of smoked Turkey feels more accurate. I also think after the greens are cooked in the pressure cooker and the meat is added back in, you need a bit of time to simmer the greens so the flavors can set in.

Davinah Cenou Montezuma

Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Hi LaChelle,

Thanks so much for your feedback. You can always add more smoked turkey. But, I prefer 1 pound to keep this as a side dish and to really enjoy the greens. Matching the amounts makes this more meatier than I'd like. But, it's a great note for others who want a meatier version :)

Have a great day!

Tamie

Monday 9th of October 2023

These are slap ya mama good! I used turkey wings and substituted Tony's because I didn't have Old Bay. Soooo good and ready before the cornbread!

Marlie

Friday 17th of November 2023

@Tamie, how much Tony’s?

Brandi Crawford

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

haha! Love to hear it.

Steve King

Friday 18th of August 2023

Love these recipes!!! I love to cook! Been southern and texas cookin my whole life. Bout 45+ years now! My family has vern southern cooking aince who knows when. Can i get more recipes emailed to me?

Thank you!!!

Davinah Cenou Montezuma

Thursday 31st of August 2023

Hi Steve,

We're happy that you're enjoying the recipes. You can subscribe using the "join the newsletter" form on the right side of the screen when looking at any blog post.

Thanks, Davinah

Sheila R

Sunday 30th of April 2023

Who would have thought Old Bay in collard greens??!!! Deeelicious!!!!! The only thing I added was fried fat back. The Georgia in me demands fat back in my greens. Great recipe!! Once again this website never fails to disappoint. I’m spreading the word.

Bea clark

Wednesday 12th of October 2022

I would love to try your recipes will you send more to my email address. Thank you.

Brandi Crawford

Friday 28th of October 2022

I just added you!