Palak Paneer | Saag Paneer (Instant Pot | Stove)

Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian Punjabi curry made by cooking soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese), in a healthy and tasty spinach gravy.  By Spice Cravings #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry

Palak Paneer, or Saag Paneer is a popular north-Indian curry made by cooking soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese), in a healthy and spiced spinach gravy.

The pureed spinach provides a creamy base for this flavorful paneer curry, which is cooked with fresh onions, ginger garlic, tomato and seasoned with garam masala, coriander and cumin.

It is rich in flavor and is a staple in all Indian restaurants.  This is my mom’s famous recipe — which means it’s wicked good 🙂

Another quick ‘n’ easy 30-minute meal from my family to yours!

Variations: Palak Tofu (Vegan) or Palak Chicken

Palak Tofu

You can make this recipe Vegan by swapping out the paneer with Extra-Firm Tofu.  Follow the recipe exactly, just switch out the paneer with cubed tofu pieces.

Palak Chicken

You can replace paneer with chicken, and make Palak Chicken.

If using chicken, use boneless skinless breast or thighs, cut in 1 inch pieces and add it to the pot in step 1, before closing the lid.

When done, wait for 5 minutes and release the pressure.

Remove chicken pieces after pressure cooking and then add the spinach.

Continue with the rest of the instructions.  Add the chicken back after pureeing the spinach curry.

I made this recipe in my Instant Pot 6 Qt, but it can be made on a stove-top too.  Check out “Stove-top” instructions below.

Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian Punjabi curry made by cooking soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese), in a healthy and tasty spinach gravy.  By Spice Cravings #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry

Stove-Top Recipe for Saag Paneer

Heat a deep sauce pan on medium high heat.  Since spinach puree tends to splash when simmering, using a deep sauce pan prevents it from messing the cooktop.

Add oil and cumin seeds.  When cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds.  Sliced onion and green chili go in now, sauté for a minute.  Add tomatoes, salt and dry spices and stir well.   Then, add 1/2 cup water, stir, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.

Open the lid and add 1/2 bag of baby spinach and stir to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining spinach and wilt for around 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat. Using a hand blender puree the spinach mix.

Turn on heat to medium, add paneer cubes and simmer for 30 sec- 1 min, till paneer cubes become soft.  Turn off the heat.   Stir in butter, this adds a silky smooth finish to the sauce, and gives it a gorgeous shine.

Tip for Pureeing Spinach Without Painting your Kitchen Green 🙂

Hand Blenders are great when you want to puree a sauce and get a velvety smooth finish. But, unless the quantity is enough to submerge the blender-head in the sauce, they tend to splash the sauce all over.

To avoid that, I transfer the spinach mix to a tall measuring cup, or the jar that came with my hand blender set.  I puree the spinach in that and there are no splashes at all.

Enjoy a Delicious Indian Vegetarian Meal!

Here are some popular pairings with Palak Paneer.  Usually, we have Palak Paneer with Cumin Basmati Rice or Naan.

You can pair it with Brown Jasmine rice as well.

One of my favorite comfort meals is Palak Paneer with Toor Dal Tadka (Pigeon Peas Soup), Cumin Rice and Cucumber Raita.

It’s one of those meals that I long for when I’ve been away from home traveling.

Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice, is a popular Indian side dish where delicious and aromatic basmati rice is cooked with the nutty and earthy cumin seeds. It is one of the most popular accompaniment with Indian curries. Quick and easy recipe by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #basmati #riceCumin RiceBrown Jasmine Rice in Instant PotBrown Jasmin Rice
Toor Dal tadka, Split Pigeon pea soup, lentil soup, Instant Pot Soup by Spice Cravings. Toor Dal, also known as Arhar Dal or split yellow pigeon peas, is the most popular lentil all over India. Made with mustard seeds, onions and curry leaves. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian
Toor Dal Tadka (Split Pigeon Peas)
Close up of Cucumber Yoghurt Dip / Cucumber Raita, by Spice Cravings. Cucumber Raita is a yoghurt dip made by mixing together freshly chopped cucumber, cilantro, yogurt, salt, an Indian spice blend called Chaat Masala. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty
Cucumber Raita

Some more Popular Paneer Recipes

Instant pot paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodiePaneer Butter MasalaPaneer Tikka masala- Instant potPaneer Tikka Masala

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Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian Punjabi curry made by cooking soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese), in a healthy and tasty spinach gravy.  By Spice Cravings #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry

Saag Paneer | Palak Paneer in Instant Pot

Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian Punjabi curry made by cooking soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese), in a healthy and tasty spinach gravy. 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Discuss Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 198kcal
Author: Spice Cravings


  • 10-12 oz. bag of baby spinach
  • 10 oz. block of paneer cubed in 1/2 inch pieces (Costco or Indian grocery store)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste 1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped (about 1 cup), OR 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon butter (optional)


  • Turn on the Instant Pot on SAUTE. Wait 30 seconds for it to heat up. Add oil and cumin seeds. When cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add sliced onion and green chili, and sauté for a minute.  Add tomatoes, sauté for 30 seconds. Then, add salt and dry spices and stir well. Add 1/4-1/2 cup water and stir. Close the lid. Set pressure valve to SEALING. Cook on MANUAL for 2 minutes.
  • Release the pressure immediately (QR). Turn on SAUTE. Add the bag of baby spinach and stir to wilt. It takes around 3-4 minutes. Turn off IP.  Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the spinach mix. I prefer to use the food processor to avoid splatters of spinach.
  • Pour the spinach puree back in IP. Turn on SAUTE. Add paneer cubes and stir for 30 seconds- 1 minute, till paneer cubes become soft. Turn IP off. Stir in butter, this brings the dish to life and gives it a shine. Serve hot with Jeera rice or naan. Enjoy!



Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 472mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 95.9% | Vitamin C: 25.9% | Calcium: 28.8% | Iron: 10.8%
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Curry, Paneer, Spinach
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Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian Punjabi curry made by cooking soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese), in a healthy and tasty spinach gravy.   By Spice Cravings #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot  #recipes #easyrecipe  #cuisine  #30minutemeal  #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry

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  • Reply
    June 24, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    I’m so delighted I discovered your page through the Instant Pot group! My eyes lit up when I saw Palak Paneer —- a favorite of mine. BUT – I’ve always had the version WITHOUT tomato – and finished off with a fair amount of CREAM – so it is very creamy. After many trials, I finally found a recipe that was ‘almost’what I remembered enjoying in the Haveli Restaurant in Houston, TX. I did discover that one thing that added a ‘familiar’ flavor was the chick pea flour that was used as a flavoring and slight thickening. I remember it had cinnamon stick and cardamon pods. I don’t remember much of a cumin flavor, but there was fresh ginger and probably a little garlic. Is there any way that you might be able to find a recipe that is similar? I’ll be doing flip flops over my Instant Pot if you can suggest a recipe that might work! ;D Meanwhile, I’ve signed up for your newsletter and really looking forward to it! Thanks!

    • Reply
      June 25, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Linda, I am so glad you like my blog. Hope my recipes go above and beyond your expectations!
      The dish and flavors you’re describing sounds like a restaurant variation of Saag- Spiced Mustard Greens, and I do have a recipe for that 🙂 Here it is:

      You’ll see that there is no tomato in that, the seasoning is Garam masala and coriander powder and I use fine ground cornmeal to thicken it, but you can toast some chickpea flour and use that too. The cream is a restaurant addition to this recipe, so you can add 1/4 cup towards the end and adjust the creaminess to your taste. Hope this helps- would love to hear how you like it!

      • Reply
        June 26, 2018 at 6:18 pm

        Thank you soooo very much for your reply and the recipe! I can hardly wait to get to the grocery store and get some ‘greens’ – and probably some paneer. My paneer never firms up so it will stay cut in cubes, when I make it. Any suggestions? Thanks again!!!

        • Reply
          June 26, 2018 at 10:13 pm

          You’re welcome Linda! Hope you love it! With paneer, if it’s not setting, it’s probably not drained well. I have recently started using a “tofu Press” and that works well. It’s <$10 and does the job of draining and setting the paneer. I git it from Amazon incase you want to look it up!

          • Linda
            June 27, 2018 at 6:14 pm

            I’ll check amazon now. Thanks for the tip! Paneer is so easy to make…. but I guess if I can’t make it to ‘cube’, I can always rinse it well and add it at the end like cottage cheese…… which makes me wonder…. if I don’t have paneer, couldn’t I rinse large curd cottage cheese very well and add it just before serving? Thanks again.

          • aneeshasg
            June 29, 2018 at 3:09 am

            I’ve never tried using cottage cheese in this recipe, so can’t say. If you do try it out, would love to hear how it worked out.

        • Reply
          June 26, 2018 at 10:17 pm

          Thank you so much for rating the recipe! Made my day 🙂

  • Reply
    June 25, 2018 at 8:22 am

    I am excited to make this tonight! Do you know how I could add potatoes to it? This is my first time using my IP!

    • Reply
      June 25, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Lindsey, My apologies for the late reply, I was traveling so missed your comment. Potatoes sounds like a delicious combination in this dish. I would add the cubed potatoes and pressure cook them with the tomato onion mix. Then, remove the potatoes and keep aside. Add the spinach and follow the pureeing step and add the potatoes back in the dish. Would love to hear how you like it!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Good thinking!!! Thank you!

    • Reply
      June 25, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      You’re welcome! Enjoy!

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