Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas with Collard Greens is a fast and easy way to prepare a classic southern staple! Made with dried black-eyed peas, collard greens, and bacon, everything is braised to perfection in a sweet and tangy liquid.
Growing up in Northeast Ohio, I was always told that I had to eat Pork and Sauerkraut on New Year's to bring good luck in the upcoming year. When I moved to the southeast 15 years ago, I realized that the tradition here is not pork and sauerkraut, but instead black-eyed peas with greens.
Truth be told, I am not superstitious, so I could care less what I eat as long as it is flavorful. But I do love getting greens into my diet. And this recipe for Black Eyed Peas with Greens is a favorite! Even my picky kids, more impressive, my picky husband LOVE this recipe for Instant Pot Collard Greens.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Affordable. The stars in this recipe are dried black-eyed peas and greens. Both are extremely inexpensive. The only costly ingredient is bacon, which is completely optional.
- Fast. There is no need to soak the black-eyed peas before cooking them in the Instant Pot, speeding up this recipe significantly! Even better--the greens braise while black-eyed peas cook, which makes this recipe so easy!
- Delicious. The braising liquid is sweet, tangy, and a little spicy, giving the greens a classic southern taste. The black-eyed peas cook to perfection, they are soft and tender, yet not at all mushy. Finished with salty, savory bacon--this dish knocks it out of the park when it comes to flavor!
While I can't guarantee you good luck, I can guarantee an easy and delicious recipe for Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas and Greens.
Notes on Ingredients
- Dried Black-Eyed Peas: Be sure to use dried black-eyed peas, not canned, soaked, or frozen black-eyed peas to ensure the cooking time is accurate.
- Greens: Use either collard greens, mustard greens, or even kale. There is no need to remove the stem, as it will fully soften once pressure cooked.
- Bacon: To make this a true southern favorite, bacon is used to add flavor and crunch. I recommend using thick-sliced nitrate-free bacon. You can certainly omit the bacon to prepare a vegetarian-friendly dish.
- Water: We are going to be cooking dried black-eyed peas, so we don’t want to use salted broth, as that can interfere with how the beans cook. If you want to use stock or broth, be sure it is unsalted.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: The vinegar will add a nice tanginess and help brighten up all the flavors in this dish.
- Brown Sugar: Greens really do need to be cooked with a bit of sweetener to help rid them of their bitter taste.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Adding a bit of crushed red pepper flakes adds a bit of heat and wakes up the palate a bit. Adjust the amount according to your desired level of heat.
How to Make Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas with Greens
- Place the dried black-eyed peas in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well. Give a quick once-over to check for any rocks or pebbles. Set aside.
- Turn the Instant Pot to the saute function.
- Add in the chopped bacon and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, allowing the bacon to render off its fat.
- Once the bacon is browned, remove it from the inner pot and place it on a paper-towel-lined plate. Set it aside for later.
- If needed or desired, drain off a bit of the bacon grease, leaving just ½ tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the inner pot.
- To the rendered grease, add the minced onion that has been minced. Saute the onion for just a couple of minutes until it is nice and soft. Once the onion has softened, turn off the saute function on the Instant Pot.
- You know the drill, we have to scrape off the bottom of our inner pot to prevent a burn notice. Add in about ½ cup of water and scrape off any browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add the remaining water to the inner pot. And then to season up the cooking liquid, add minced garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Add the rinsed and sorted black-eyed peas to the inner pot, stirring them into the cooking liquid.
- Layer the greens on top of the black-eyed peas. It looks like A LOT--but the greens will cook down significantly.
- Place the lid on the inner pot, seal the lid, and set the cooking time to 40 minutes on high pressure. That is enough time to properly braise the greens AND cook the dried peas through.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes. Never do a quick-release of pressure when cooking dried black-eyed peas, as that can cause them to have a mushy texture.
- After the pressure has been released, remove the lid. And now you can add in the salt to season up the greens and peas.
- Dish the black-eyed peas and greens out into a serving dish and then top them with the reserved bacon that we set aside earlier.
Store any leftover black-eyed peas and greens in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheat individual servings as desired.
If you would like to make this southern dish without the bacon, simply saute the onion in ½ tablespoon of olive oil in place of using the bacon grease. You may also need to add a bit of additional salt before serving to account for the salt in the bacon.
Black-Eyed Peas with Greens are an obvious choice for New Years' celebrations. However, they can, AND SHOULD, be enjoyed any time of the year.
- Serve with or without straining off the cooking liquid. I personally prefer the cooking liquid strained off, my husband loves the cooking liquid.
- Use the remaining bacon to make Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin and serve the greens as a hearty side dish.
- Serve as a main dish with cornbread or corn muffins to sop up all the cooking liquid.
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Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas with Greens
- 3 slices thick bacon, chopped OPTIONAL
- 1 small onion minced
- 1 cup dried black eyed peas rinsed and sorted
- 3 cups water
- 1 pound collard greens chopped into ribbons
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Turn the Instant Pot to the saute function and let it heat up. Add in the chopped bacon and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, allowing the bacon to render off its fat. Once the bacon is browned, remove the bacon from the inner pot using a slotted spoon and place the bacon on a paper-towel-lined plate.
- If needed, drain off all but ½ to 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon grease from the inner pot and then add the onion to the inner pot. Saute the onion until softened, this should only take a few minutes. Once the onion has softened, turn off the saute function on the Instant Pot.
- Add ½ cup of the water or broth to the inner pot and using a spatula or wooden spoon, scrape off any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add the remaining liquid to the inner pot, along with garlic, sugar, vinegar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add in the rinsed black-eyed peas and give everything a stir to incorporate.
- Layer the greens on top of the black-eyed peas.
- Seal the Instant Pot and then set the cooking time to 40 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes. Then open up the inner pot and season with salt.
- Remove the black-eyed peas and greens from the inner pot, straining off the cooking liquid if desired. Sprinkle the reserved bacon over the greens and serve.