Easy Saag Paneer Recipe – a classic Indian dish made with spinach, a wonderful blend of spices, garlic, ginger, onions and paneer cheese. A flavorful single serving vegetarian recipe.
One of my favorite classic Indian recipes is Saag Paneer – spinach cooked in a perfectly spiced blend of onions, garlic, ginger and peppers and served with rice or naan.
I first made saag paneer at the request of my husband several years ago and it has quickly become one of my family’s favorite dishes. We order it often when we’re dining out at Indian restaurants and my husband loves it.
Saag Paneer is a surprisingly easy recipe to make too.
How To Make Saag Paneer
Make the paneer.
Paneer is such an easy cheese to make and so popular in many Indian recipes. You can see the step by step instructions and pictures showing how easy it is to make in my Paneer recipe.
You can also purchase paneer at some specialty markets.
Marinate cubes of the paneer in an amazing blend of turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, cinnamon and olive oil.
Pan-fry the paneer for about 2-3 minutes per side, then remove the cheese from the pan and set it aside.
The rest of the recipe comes together quickly.
Cook chopped onions, ginger, garlic, and serrano chile in a little olive oil. It slowly cooks for about 15 minutes filling your kitchen with the most incredible aroma.
When the onion mixture is the color of caramel, add in the spices.
One of the spices I use in this saag paneer recipe is garam masala.
Garam masala is an important spice blend also used in many Indian recipes. It’s hard for me to find a jar of it in my grocery and when I do, it’s expensive. So, I make my own. You can find the recipe for garam masala HERE.
In addition to using garam masala in saag paneer, I also sprinkle it over chicken and fish. It’s wonderful! I would encourage you to make your own and keep it in your pantry. This recipe makes 1/4 cup of garam masala.
Along with the garam masala, add in coriander and cumin and let the mixture cook for about a minute before adding in the spinach.
The spinach wilts and cooks along with the other ingredients.
Finally, stir in a little yogurt.
Serve with naan or rice. Enjoy!
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Saag Paneer Recipe
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped serrano chile or jalapeno pepper , seeds removed
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 3 cups spinach , loosely packed
- 2 tablespoons plain or greek yogurt
- TO MAKE THE PANEER
- Add the milk to a large pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning the bottom.
- Pour in the lemon juice and reduce the heat to low. You should immediately see the milk curds. Using a spoon, gently guide the curds to the center of the pot, making sure they don't break up.
- Remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour the contents into the cheesecloth lined colander.
- Gently rinse with cool water and squeeze out any excess water.
- Add the salt to the curds and stir very gently.
- Grab the ends of the cheesecloth and twist the ball of cheese to squeeze out any additional water.
- Place the ball of cheese onto a large round plate and set another plate on top. Weigh the second plate down with a few cans of beans or something similar.
- Place the plate of cheese in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
- Remove cheese from the refrigerator and cut into cubes.
- TO MAKE THE SAAG PANEER
- Mix together the turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, cinnamon, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil together. Stir in the cubes of paneer.
- Set the paneer aside so the cubes marinate about 20 minutes.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium-sized nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add the marinated paneer to the pan and spoon in any remaining marinade. Cook the paneer on one side for 2-3 minutes, then flip the paneer so the other side browns and cooks another 2 minutes. Remove the paneer from the pan and transfer to a plate.
- Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and chile to the pan. Cook the mixture until it's the color of caramel, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the butter to the pan. After the butter melts, stir in the coriander, cumin and garam masala. Cook stirring for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach and 1/4 cup water. Cook 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from the heat. Stir in yogurt.
- Add the paneer. Return pan to the stove, cover and cook on low about 5 minutes more. Taste and season with salt, if necessary.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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