This horta recipe has been one of our most popular recipes on Mediterranean Living for a long time and now the Instant Pot version is here! The normal version takes around an hour to cook. Horta (Greens) and potatoes in the instant pot takes only 15 minutes! The end result is amazingly the same.

Different versions of Horta and potatoes are eaten every day in Crete. In the springtime, it’s a normal sight to see the older ladies of the village foraging on the side of the road for wild edible greens.

All year long there are a wide variety of edible greens available at the farmer’s markets. Potatoes are a staple in the Cretan diet. The flavor of both Horta and potatoes are enhanced with fresh lemon juice. Citrus trees grow everywhere in Crete so it’s as simple as walking to the nearest lemon tree and picking them. Combine these greens, potatoes, and lemon with lots of fresh extra virgin olive oil and you have one of the healthiest, inexpensive, and fulfilling dishes from Crete.

Horta and potatoes are a perfect example of why scientists believe the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is so intertwined with longevity. Physical activity is a large part of this dish because whether you forage for the greens, grow and harvest the potatoes, or tend to the olive trees and pick the olives, there is some amount of physical activity needed to bring this dish from nature to your plate.

Daily physical activity is definitely one of the reasons for the Cretan’s longevity. Another aspect is the daily intake of dark leafy greens. I see new scientific studies all the time finding health benefits from eating dark leafy greens. One of the most recent studies shows the correlation between dementia and daily green intake.

The most important part of this horta recipe is the extra virgin olive oil. This dish shows how much extra virgin olive oil is used in Crete. Extra virgin olive oil is at the heart of their diet and of the Mediterranean diet in general. Just like greens, new studies are coming out almost weekly about all of the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.  Cretan people consume the most olive oil in the world and Horta and potatoes are always dripping in the liquid gold.

Is it a coincidence that the place with the highest consumption of extra virgin olive oil in the world also has the lowest rates of heart disease in the world? This horta recipe is much more than wild greens and potatoes. Thousands of years of tradition and knowledge have led the Cretan people to eat amazing foods like this.

Here is the original horta recipe (Non-Instant Pot)

Here is an Authentic Greek salad to serve with Horta and Potatoes

Here are some more Instant Pot Mediterranean Recipes to try!

Instant Pot – Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Green Olives, Peppers and Lemon

Instant Pot Fasolakia (Green Beans and Potatoes in Olive Oil)

Instant Pot Green Beans with Pork and Potatoes

Purchasing an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot we use is the 6 quart version.   It is just right for recipes that serve 4 all the way up to 8 servings.  For us, it seems to be the perfect size. Below is the one we purchased from Amazon.  I highly recommend it!

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Horta (Greens) and Potatoes in the Instant Pot

Horta (Greens) and Potatoes in the Instant Pot

George Zikos
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 491 kcal


  • 2 heads greens (dandelion, spinach, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens) washed and chopped
  • 6 little or medium little potatoes or 4 medium potatoes, washed and cut in large pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 lemon juice, plus extra slices for serving
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Wash and chop the greens. Wash and cut the potatoes.
  • Peel and chop the garlic.
  • Pour everything into the instant pot and stir very well.
  • Secure the top of the instant pot and make sure the vent is on sealing.
  • Using the manual feature, set the timer for 15 minutes.
  • When the timer reaches zero, release the valve to venting and let all the steam come out.
  • Let the horta and potatoes cool a little. Serve with slices of lemon.


Calories: 491kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 54gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 39gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 46mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 7IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe? Tell us about it!Click here to rate this recipe in the comments section below.
About the Author: George Zikos
George studied International Business in Greece in 2015 for three semesters. His family is from the island of Crete, and he lived with them for a whole summer. During that time, he started working for Mediterranean Living and contributing his firsthand experiences of the traditional Cretan diet. He learned fluent Greek along the way, being fully immersed in a traditional Cretan village. He is since graduated with a business degree from Worcester State University. George loves language and traveling, so he completed a TEFL certificate program at the Boston Language Institute in order to teach English abroad and travel the world. He currently works full-time blogging, recipe formulating, and social media marketing for Mediterranean Living. His passions include language, gardening, hiking, skateboarding, and watching sports. He dreams of living in Crete one day, after he travels the world learning as many languages and cultures as possible.


  1. Peg July 29, 2022 at 9:28 am - Reply

    5 stars
    I tried this but was very skeptical about a recipe with potatoes and greens. IT IS AWESOME. It made a believer of me and my whole family. Cooked it in the IP with spinach. I thought some would be leftover for lunch the next day but it disappeared. Yummy.

  2. Noni February 28, 2022 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    For a healthy recipe, I give it five stars. The flavor was great. I did reduce the olive oil to about 1/4 cup and added only 5 large cloves of fresh garlic. For spices, I used red pepper flakes and a sprinkle of paprika. The fresh squeezed lemon was a perfect compliment to the recipe. The potatoes and Kale were perfectly cooked in 15 minutes. I will definitely make this recipe again in the near future!

    I had enough kale to make a second batch but was out of potatoes. I experimented by replacing the potatoes with a can of fire roasted tomatoes and a can of cannelloni beans. In addition to the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and paprika, I added a salt-free Garlic & Herb seasoning. Used the same cooking time and again was very pleased with the result!

    Thank you for sharing this healthy recipe!

  3. Martina November 2, 2020 at 1:16 am - Reply

    I just made this and it is delicious!! I will definitely make it again. I love the lemon and garlic flavour. Thanks!

  4. David October 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    I make this often. I sometimes use sweet potatoes instead. I don’t use nearly as much oil. I like to take this to lunch. Yummy and healthy.

  5. Diane July 13, 2019 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    After following the recipe to a T the first time and loved it, I’ve made this multiple times with different veggies and varying amounts of olive oil with the addition of some spices. I often use sweet potato, rutabega, carrots, or whatever root veg I have on hand in addition to the greens. I have to cut back on the olive oil, for me it’s just way too much to digest well, but I sometimes use a homemade stock instead of water and add a little coriander and cumin, maybe some popped mustard seeds. I guess at that point it’s a very different dish, but the olive oil and garlic still come through! I love doing greens in the instant pot. Thanks for this recipe!

    • George Zikos July 15, 2019 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      I love your creativity in adding those spices. Greeks like to keep things simple with greens recipes but your additions sound delicious. The homemade stock must make it so good too. Thank you for the awesome comment :)

    • Carolyn April 9, 2020 at 5:24 pm - Reply

      Okay, it’s in the pot and cooking. I realized, too late, that what I assumed was chicken broth was actually coconut milk. I will let you know how it turns out!

  6. Mimi March 28, 2019 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Do you set the Insta Pot on Steam or Pressure. The recipe says “sealing” which I think is a typo

    • George Zikos April 1, 2019 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      You set it to high pressure. Sealing isn’t a typo, the vent needs to be on “sealing”, not “venting”, so that the pressure is sealed inside.

  7. Sharon January 13, 2019 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    do you add the lemon to the instant pot + 1 cup of olive oil (that’s a lot!)

  8. Kay Tomlinson November 29, 2018 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    I made this early in the day to serve this evening. I cut the recipe in half because there are only two of us. My mistake: sampling it for lunch. There may not BE any for dinner this evening! OMG is it good……

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