Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (2024)

Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (1)Palak paneer is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes to order in Indian restaurants. The star of the dish is the creamy sauce, which is made of chopped or pureed spinach cooked in a medley of spices. Complementing the sauce are pieces of paneer, or Indian cottage cheese. It is a simple but absolutely irresistible dish that will satisfy all the taste buds.

This flavorful dish is easy to make at home. My palak paneer recipe uses ingredients that are relatively easy to find and takes about 45 minutes to cook. Honestly, I couldn’t stop eating this when I was testing the recipe. Also, this dish makes great leftovers. The spinach sauce tastes even better the next day!

Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (2)Keep an eye on the paneer when you are pan frying it. Often times, I walk away from the stove to clean up the kitchen and I end up over frying the paneer. When you are frying the paneer, aim for the light golden color that you see in the photo above.

Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (3)


For a long time, I thought that saag paneer and palak paneer were the same dish. Part of my confusion came from various Indian restaurant menus I’ve seen over the years. In some restaurants, I’ve seen the spinach and paneer dish described as “palak paneer.” At other restaurants, that same dish is called “saag paneer.” That’s why I assumed that “palak” and “saag” were different ways of saying spinach in Hindi.

After some research, I learned that “palak” is Hindi for spinach, while “saag” means leafy greens (mustard greens, collard greens, fenugreek, spinach, etc.). Technically speaking, saag paneer refers to a paneer dish that is served with a sauce of mixed greens. Because this recipe uses spinach only, I am calling it palak paneer.


  • Paneer Tikka Masala
  • How to Cook Basmati Rice
  • Spiced Pan-Fried Paneer
  • How to Make Paneer (Step-By-Step Guide)

Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (4)

4.90 from 58 votes


Servings: 4

Author: Lisa Lin

Easy Palak Paneer

Palak paneer is great when served with a side of basmati rice. Some palak paneer recipes use whole yogurt in place of heavy cream for the sauce. I prefer using heavy cream because the sauce is runnier and the flavor is less tangy. However, feel free to use whichever ingredient you prefer.

Prep Time15 minutes mins

Cook Time30 minutes mins

Total Time45 minutes mins



  • 14 ounces paneer, see note 1
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or safflower oil, divided
  • pinch of salt

Spinach Sauce

  • 1 pound pre-washed baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or safflower oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced (see note 2)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or use 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Pan Fry Paneer

  • Cut the paneer into small pieces. Usually, I slice the block of paneer into about 1/3-inch slices. Then, I take each slice of paneer and cut it into smaller pieces.

  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of ghee or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half of the paneer pieces and pan fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle a small pinch of salt over the paneer before flipping them over. Then, pan fry the other side until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the fried paneer to a plate.

  • Add another 1 1/2 tablespoons of ghee or oil to the skillet and repeat the pan frying step above. I’ve found that the second batch usually takes less time because the pan is quite hot at this point. Transfer the remaining fried paneer to the plate.

  • Make Spinach Sauce

  • Fill a large saucepan with about 3 quarts of water and bring it to boil. Add the baby spinach to the boiling water. If all of it doesn’t fit into the saucepan, add half of the spinach first. Once the spinach starts wilting, add the remaining spinach. Cook for about a minute, until all the spinach wilts.

  • Use a spider spatula to remove the spinach from the saucepan or drain the spinach into a colander.

  • Transfer the spinach to a food processor. You don’t need to squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach beforehand. Blend the spinach for about 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again for another 10 seconds. Leave the chopped spinach in the food processor (see note 3).

  • Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of ghee or safflower oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and cook them for about 3 minutes, until they start to soften. Next, add the minced ginger, garlic, diced serrano pepper, and cumin seeds and cook for 30 seconds. Then, add the garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Stir to coat the onions with the dried spices.

  • Transfer the chopped spinach into the skillet. Next, add the heavy cream and salt. Cover the skillet with a lid and reduce the heat to medium. Let the spinach sauce simmer for about 5 minutes.

  • Uncover the lid and add the pan-fried paneer to the spinach sauce. Turn off the heat. Serve the palak paneer with basmati rice.


  1. You can use homemade paneer or store-bought paneer for this recipe. Homemade paneer tends to be softer in texture. If you decide to use homemade paneer, make sure the paneer has been refrigerated at least several hours or overnight.
  2. If you want more spice, don’t remove the seeds from the chili.
  3. Another way to make the sauce is to use an immersion blender to mix the blanched spinach with the other ingredients. If you want to use the immersion blender, cook the onions in a pot or large saucepan instead of a skillet. Otherwise, the sauce will splatter all over the stovetop as you blend.
  4. Vegan Version: you can substitute the paneer with pressed extra-firm tofu. Use safflower oil to cook everything, and swap the cream with coconut milk or cashew cream.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.1g | Protein: 13.9g | Fat: 34.2g | Saturated Fat: 4.8g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 1066mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 4.2g

Did you make this recipe?Tag @hellolisalin or leave a star rating and comment on the blog!

Cuisine: Indian

Category: dinner

Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (5)

Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (6)

Hello! I’m Lisa Lin

Here, you’ll find well-tested Asian recipes, pantry guides, and recipes from my sassy mother, Mama Lin. Through my recipes and cooking videos, I hope to honor the food and traditions that surrounded my Chinese American upbringing.

Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (7)Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (8)Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (9)Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (11)

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Share a comment

  1. Lorraine says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (12)
    I got an immersion blender for Christmas and I broke it out of the box for this recipe! So good. My one adjustment was to add an extra teaspoon of garam masala powder.


    • Lisa Lin says

      Lorraine! Thank you so much for making this and thanks for the notes! I actually need an immersion blender because my last one died. Maybe I should ask Santa for one next year.


  2. Lindy says

    Do you know whether your homemade paneer recipe will make the right amount for this recipe? Or should I increase/decrease the amounts? I just don’t want to get caught without enough paneer while cooking!


  3. Alanna Taylor-Tobin says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (13)
    Just made this for dinner. It’s perfect in every way! Will be making it on the regular. Thanks for the delicious recipe Lisa! Everything I ever wanted in homemade palak paneer.


  4. Jim says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (14)
    I made this recipe tonight and it was fantastic! I also made the home made paneer, but I made a few tweaks based on another recipe, so the paneer was perfect in this dish.

    The only change I made to the palak was, i streamed the spinach instead of boiling, and I added a bit of ground cashews to the sauce to get the perfect consistency.

    The only slight issue I had with the recipe was the expected cooking time. I don’t quite understand how this can be made in 45 minutes. Granted, I made a double batch, but it took me 3 hours from start to finish. I’m sure I added a bit of extra time with it being a double batch, and I did need to make ghee and basmati rice, but it still seems a bit overly optimistic to finish this in 45 minutes, unless the ingredients are prepped ahead of time. especially for the first time you make it.

    However, it was still very much worth making. The flavor was fantastic.

    The changes I made to the paneer were, I didn’t squeeze drain the cheese, because I read it can cause the cheese to become too hard. I also worked in some corn starch after drip drying the cheese which gives the cheese strength so that it doesn’t fall apart while frying. Worked like a charm.


  5. Bonny says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (15)
    I made the paneer recipe that you provided and it came out just fine but it made 9 oz and your recipe calls for 14 oz. Frustrating. I also did not find that the amount of spinach called for made enough for four servings.. I added another 1/2 pound of spinach. Seasonings were good. Over all dis was good when quantities were adjusted.


  6. Katherine says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (16)
    I’ve made this several times now with my boyfriend and we both love it! Thanks for sharing it.


  7. Ashok says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (17)
    Thanks Guys, Your Recipe Was Too Fantastic. Me and My Family Loved it. I Will Share your Rrecipe with my friends. Hope they will love it too.


  8. Maneesh Singh says

    Thank you for this delicious recipe, i have tried to make it many times but always spinach gets discolored but here it looks amazing. I can’t wait to give it one more perfect try.


  9. Art Lovgren says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (18)
    I have made this twice now and in both instances, a perfect mesh of sweat, spice, heat and “meaty” curd. I cook alot and have always been inclined to exotic dishes but this quickly has become my favorite dish! Thank you so much!


  10. Colleen Wolfe says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (19)
    I’ve not had great success making Indian dishes at home until this one! Absolutely love how the spinach sauce in this turned out. I had to sub a jalapeno for the serrano pepper because I could’t find serranos at my grocery store. I also used unsalted butter instead of ghee. Both worked just fine, I love the spice in this recipe.


  11. barbie says

    Thank u so much mam for sharing such an amazing. Really appreciate your efforts. Keep sharing more.


  12. alysta says

    This was tasty and easy to make once I found paneer (Costco!). I had to cut the mixture with water because it was very thick after blending – I would double the recipe if you need 4 true servings. Thanks for posting!


  13. Hema says

    Thanks For Sharing this Amazing Recipe. My Family Loved It. I will be sharing this Recipe with my Friends. Hope They will like it.


  14. Mira says

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I’m pretty new to cooking, and I’m excited to try this dish out. Quick question- if I want to add chicken in this for some extra protein, when would I add it?


  15. Debbie says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (20)
    Very good. I don’t think it was 4 adult servings. . . more like 3 servings. I pan fried some of the paneer and left some of it unfried. We liked the different textures. I also wonder how it would taste if you used frozen chopped spinach instead of fresh, as that’d be a big time savings (no washing, no boiling, no food processor) when trying to make a meal during the week, after work. I’m going to try frozen spinach next time. I know the color won’t be quite as dark green if frozen, but I bet it will taste as good or nearly as good. We’ll see 🙂


  16. Nreil B. says

    I did 75% of this off script, and it still turned out begin’. Food coma and Netflix time, on basmati rice. The paneer surfaced in the third freezer. Now….. what to do with this gigantic bag of frozen methi that I have recollection of buying.


  17. Cereza Varela says

    I made a half recipe and got enough to feed 3 hungry adults. Very good! This is how you get a picky 30 year old to eat her veggies.

    I swapped a handful of red bell pepper for the Serrano and omitted the cayenne since nobody else likes spicy food but me. Served with regular white rice, made the garam masala and paneer myself, as I’m at the end of the pay cycle and already had all ingredients for the following recipes on hand:

    * https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-paneer-cheese-in-30-minutes-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-57008
    * https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/142967/easy-garam-masala/


  18. Peeps says

    In Nepalese cooking Saag means purely spinach not leafy greens (e.g. mustard leaves etc) & they don’t add cream or curd (yoghurt) to their recipe but I’m going to give this version a whirl to see if the hubby likes it…..sounds delish! Since saag paneer is already my favourite “Indian” dish, I’m going to adore it (all that extra richness) 😉😁

    Love your blog & recipes x


  19. Sarah says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (21)
    This was easy and delicious! I used the immersion blender technique and a jalapeño instead of a serrano, and it turned out really great.


    • Lisa Lin says

      Thanks, Sarah!


  20. Katrina Johnson says

    I don’t have food processor. Can I use a blender?


  21. Christy says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (22)
    Truly amazing flavors. I made using the lazy cook method! I did not precook the spinach, just rough chopped and added to the onion/ spice mixture, cooked it down then added the cream. It was perfect, not so much like creamed spinach or sauce, a little chunkier and fresh spinach tasting! Love reading the reviews and seeing how everyone adds their own spin to suit. That’s what I love about cooking. Thanks for this great recipe.


    • Lisa Lin says

      Thanks, Christy!


  22. Sudarshan says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (23)
    Tried the recipe and came out great – didn’t add the cream since I wanted it healthy. Was super thrilled with the way it turned out, and I don’t even particularly like palak paneer!


  23. Raj Kumar says



  24. Alexis D. says

    Hi there! Could you sub frozen spinach for fresh? What would you change for this substitution?


  25. Mackenzie says

    This was delicious! I was craving palak paneer and this hit the spot. I added a diced tomato to the onion mixture to round out some of flavors, and pulsed everything (except the paneer) in the food processor to make a smoother sauce. I will definitely be making this one again- thank you!


    • Lisa Lin says

      Thanks, Mackenzie!


  26. Katrina says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (24)
    I was inspired to make this because I got paneer cheese with my “flawed” grocery delivery. I only had five ounces but proceeded with the full recipe here and used ghee. It was so awesome! Wow! Next time I am going to make my own paneer.


  27. Gramma Jane says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (25)
    So delicious. Didn’t enjoy the splattering of the oil and paneer, but results are worth it. Immersion blender is definitely the way to go!


  28. Dan LaCrosse says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (26)
    Easy?!? good lord there is oil splattered all over my stove an floor after prepping for an hour. in the trash. im ordering from my local indian restaurant from now on. not worth the effort.


  29. Catherine says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (27)
    I come back to this recipe time and time again. It comes together in 30min from start to finish and is really really good.

    The only thing I normally change is adding 2 tsp of sugar once I add the spinach and the cream to everything else (I just love that slightly sweeter taste).

    Thanks for the great go-to recipe!


    • Lisa Lin says

      Thank you so much for cooking this, Catherine!!


  30. Anju Garg says

    I followed this recipe exactly, except added an extra half lb of spinach as a reviewer recommended. So good!!! Almost as good as my mom’s 🙂


    • Lisa Lin says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Anju!


  31. Cynthia says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (28)
    I just learned the difference between Palak and Saag! Thank you.
    I made this recipe exactly as written and I think it is delicious.
    Next time I think I will use Grape Seed Oil instead of the Ghee (which has a bid of a rancid flavor to my taste).
    Even though I doubled the recipe total prep and cook time was spot on at 45 minutes. I have a rice cooker which cooked the rice while I made the main dish.


    • Lisa Lin says

      Thanks for making this, Cynthia!


  32. Parul says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (29)
    perfect recipe!!! i made it and its very delicious!!


  33. Ashley Oliver says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (30)
    I have made countless versions of Palak Paneer, all a little different, in a quest to make my favorite recipe from a Nepalese restaurant in Longmont, CO. I think this one has been the closest. DELICIOUS!

    I did make a few minor changes: 1) I only used 3/4 tsp of salt, 2) I added 1 tbsp of kasuri methi to the sauce at the end once removed from heat, 3) I added 1 tsp of sugar


  34. redon46489 says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (31)
    Just made this for dinner. It’s perfect in every way! Will be making it on the regular. Thanks for the delicious recipe Lisa! Everything I ever wanted in homemade palak paneer.


  35. Jennifer Mo says

    Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (32)
    I’ve made this recipe several times now, and as a newbie to Indian cooking, I appreciate such an easy recipe with relatively few spices (all of which I have!). The taste is great even though I reduced the salt (for my high blood pressure spouse) by salting to taste, which is always much less than the full amount. Frozen spinach works great when I don’t have fresh. This is my go to recipe for palak paneer now.


    • Lisa Lin says

      Hi Jennifer, thank you so much for trying this recipe!! I’m glad you liked it!


Easy Palak Paneer Recipe (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Last Updated:

Views: 5870

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Birthday: 2001-08-13

Address: 96487 Kris Cliff, Teresiafurt, WI 95201

Phone: +9418513585781

Job: Senior Designer

Hobby: Calligraphy, Rowing, Vacation, Geocaching, Web surfing, Electronics, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Benton Quitzon, I am a comfortable, charming, thankful, happy, adventurous, handsome, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.