Paneer Naan Pizza- Air Fryer / Oven

May 7, 2020 By Aneesha |

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This colorful Paneer Naan Pizza is a fusion of flavorful pizza toppings with flatbread that’s generously topped with yogurt-marinated paneer and fresh veggies. It’s an Indian pizza baked until crisp in the oven or air fryer for a beautifully vibrant weeknight meal in under 30 minutes.

indian flatbread pizza with marinated paneer cheese and veggies on black board

Semi-Homemade Tandoori Paneer Pizza in Under 30 Minutes

Is there anything better than pizza? Indian Pizza!!!

For me, it’s the best of both worlds- big bold Indian flavors meets crusty and delicious pizza! Soft, chewy and loaded with toppings of your choice, and since it requires minimum prep and comes together in 20 minutes, it is one of our favorite weeknights meals.

I love to make pizza dough from scratch too, but on occasions when I just don’t have the time (almost never on a weeknight), the plain or garlic naan from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods comes to the rescue.

It’s no secret how much my family loves paneer (including my meat-loving hubby 🙂. If you’ve been following my blog you probably know that dishes like paneer tikka masala, Saag Paneer, Paneer Butter Masala and Paneer Biryani are on rotation in my home. Now, we’ve added this Paneer Pizza to our repertoire.

This semi-homemade paneer tikka pizza is a fusion of Naan with flavorful pizza toppings. I cube store-bought paneer and marinate it in spiced yogurt, then generously scatter it over naan and top that with fresh sliced veggies, which is always onions and peppers (capsicum) in my house 🙂

The individual pizzas are then baked in the oven or air fryer to achieve crisp, charred goodness. It’s a quick and easy vegetarian pizza dinner ready in no time!

slices of indian flatbread pizza with marinated paneer cheese and veggies on black board

What Is Paneer?

Paneer is a fresh Indian cheese that’s made from curdled milk and some variation of fruit or vegetable acid, such as lemon juice. Many refer to it as Indian cottage cheese. It is a big and tasty part of Indian cuisine. In many cases, it’s the vegetarian equivalent of chicken or meat.

It is used in recipes for appetizers, snacks, curries and more. If it’s freshly made, I love sprinkling chaat masala and lime on it and enjoy it as-is for a high-protein low carb snack!

Paneer has many distinct traits that make it so special. It is unaged, soft and doesn’t melt. The unique fact that it doesn’t melt, make it an ideal cheese for pizza. The bite-sized cubes of cheese stay intact, meaning you get ultra-cheesy goodness and chewy flatbread in every bite!

Where To Buy and How To Store Paneer

Paneer is easily found at your local Indian grocer. They will most likely have one or two brands available for purchase. Some brands that I use : Verka, Nanak and Gopi.

If you don’t have an Indian grocery store, look for it in the cheese section of larger grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Costco and some international food stores. If all else fails, you can even buy it on Amazon.

Store paneer in the package you bought it in or an airtight container in the fridge. Once opened, it will keep best for 4-5 days. You can also freeze it in 1-meal portions for 3-4 weeks.

hand holding indian flatbread pizza with marinated paneer cheese and veggies on black board

Marinating Paneer for a Tandoori-Style Pizza

When using paneer in any pizza recipe, it is best to marinate it beforehand and then add on top of the sauce and flatbread. Paneer is bland and somewhat of a blank canvas, so it takes on the flavor of the marinade.

Paneer cubes also have a tendency to dry out and become dense during baking if not soaked in marinade. The marinade prevents this from happening.

For best results, prep and marinate the paneer while you gather the rest of the ingredients. If you have the time (and for optimal flavor), feel free to marinate the paneer overnight, which will allow the paneer to soak up even more of all those spices.

Ingredients

The ingredients for Paneer Pizza are broken down into the marinade, sauce, toppings and flatbread. The quantity and topping measurements are good for four 8-inch naan/pita breads or two 10-11 inch cooked pizza base. You may need to adjust the sauce and toppings to suit your needs.

paneer cubes, sliced onions and peppers, indian spices, yogurt, naan, shredded cheese
  • Marinade: The yogurt-spice blend includes Greek yogurt (I prefer 2%), fresh ginger, garlic, lemon or lime juice, salt, turmeric, Kashmiri red chili powder, ground coriander, garam masala, chaat masala, avocado oil (or olive oil) and paneer. Make sure to cut the paneer into 1/2 inch cubes before mixing.
  • Sauce: There are four different sauce options to choose from – store-ready pizza or marinara sauce, a mix of ketchup and sriracha, cilantro chutney or a colorful combo of ketchup and cilantro chutney (the best of both worlds!).
  • Toppings: The most popular toppings for this Indian pizza and the ones we always use are sliced onions, peppers, shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh cilantro. The mix of paneer and mozzarella is outstanding! We will discuss a few different topping variations in a bit.
  • Flatbread: I just about always use naan bread since it is traditional and the best size for individual paneer pizzas. I like to change the flavor profile with garlic naan or whole wheat naan. But on those days when I can’t find naan in stores, pita bread, lavash bread, flatbread or cooked pizza base work too. The topping measurements can be adjusted to suit your taste and preference. A brand that I use over and over again is Stonefire (not a sponsored post, I just love the variety and quality this brand offers)

Let’s See How To Make This Indian Pizza

This easy pizza requires a quick marinade and prep. Then, all you have to do is build and bake in the Oven or Air Fryer until crispy and golden!

Marinate Paneer & Prep

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients listed for the marinade and toss in the paneer cubes. Keep aside while you prepare onions and peppers for topping (Pic 1). Tip: If you have the time, marinate paneer in the refrigerator from 30 minutes- overnight.
  • Toss the sliced onions and peppers with a pinch of salt, pepper and Kashmiri red chili powder. This step is optional, but enhances the flavors (Pic 2).
marinated paneer, sliced onions and peppers, indian flatbread with sauce, cheese, paneer and veggies

Build-Your-Own Pizza

  • Pick your choice of sauce (see choices in recipe card) and spread about one tablespoon or more on the naan. Using a pastry brush or the back of a wide spoon, spread it evenly to coat the pizza, leaving about ½-inch from the edges. Adjust the sauce quantity to your liking (Pic 3).
  • Add shredded cheese to your preference. I add about a ¼-⅓ cup per pizza depending on pizza base size. Spread the cheese evenly (Pic 4).
  • Roughly section the paneer into 4 portions. Top each pizza base with marinated paneer, followed by sliced onions and peppers. Top with chopped cilantro (Pics 5 & 6).
  • Brush the edges with avocado (or olive) oil and bake using the oven or air fryer as follows.

Oven-Baked Naan Bread Pizza

  • Place the naan pizzas on a parchment or aluminum lined baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, until the edges look crisp and cheese has melted. Rest for 3-5 minutes, slice and enjoy!
tandoori naan pizza on parchment lined baking sheet

Air Fryer Pizza

  • Place one pizza at a time in the fryer basket and bake at 400°F for about 8-10 minutes, until the edges look crisp and cheese has melted. Check at 8 minutes and, if needed, put it back in for another 1-2 minutes. Rest for 3-5 minutes, slice and enjoy!
paneer pizza recipe baking in air fryer

Topping Variations for Naan Pizza

My family and I love onions and peppers on our paneer tikka pizza. But part of the fun is topping the pizzas with your favorite veggies or those that are in season. You could also try:

  • Sliced zucchini or summer squash
  • Sweet corn kernels or baby corn
  • Pitted or sliced olives
  • Sliced jalapenos
indian flatbread pizza with marinated paneer cheese and veggies on black board

Recipe Tips:

  • Prep and marinate the paneer while you gather the rest of the ingredients. If you have the time (and for optimal flavor), feel free to marinate the paneer overnight, which will allow the paneer to soak up even more flavor.
  • Change up the sauce from time-to-time. A store-bought pizza or marinara sauce is classic, but I love to use a mix of ketchup and sriracha, cilantro chutney or a combo of ketchup and cilantro chutney for a colorful variation.
  • Use your favorite flatbread for the pizza base. I love to plain naan, but feel free to also try garlic naan, whole wheat naan, pita bread, lavash bread, flatbread or cooked pizza base. Keep in mind the topping measurements are good for four 8-inch naan/pita breads or two 10-11 inch cooked pizza base. You may need to adjust the sauce and toppings to suit your needs.
  • Pick your favorite toppings or use veggies in season. Onions and peppers are the most common, but you can use any ingredient you would put on a pizza. Some of my other favorites include sliced zucchini or summer squash, sweet corn kernels or baby corn, olives or jalapenos.
  • Mozzarella and paneer are the best cheesy combo! But feel free to use any kind of shredded cheese you have on hand, such as cheddar or cheese blend. Add more or less depending on your preference.
  • There is no difference in taste or texture in the oven vs air fryer. If you are cooking for 1-2 people, I recommend the air fryer. For a family of 4 or larger crowd, you can cook more in the oven. If you’d like a crisper cheese finish, broil in oven for 2-3 minutes after baking.
  • For a tandoori chicken naan pizza variation, use cooked chicken strips (poached or rotisserie) in place of the paneer. Marinate in the yogurt and spices just as you would the paneer.

Another Indian Pizza From My Kitchen

Checkout another Indian Pizza flavor that my family loves- Keema Naan Pizza!

More Paneer Recipes From My Kitchen

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below! For more quick & easy recipes, FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram,  Pinterest and Youtube.

indian flatbread pizza with marinated paneer cheese and veggies on black board

Tandoori Paneer Naan Pizza

This Tandoori Paneer Naan Pizza is a fusion of Indian flatbread, pizza toppings and yogurt-marinated paneer cheese that's baked until golden and crispy.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 680kcal

Ingredients

Marinade for Paneer

Base Sauce Choices for Pizza – Pick ONE (divided between 4 pizzas)

  • 4-6 tablespoons of store-ready pizza or marinara sauce
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup + 2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 4-6 tablespoons of cilantro chutney
  • combination of ketchup + cilantro chutney (best of both words)

Other Toppings

  • ¼ cup onions, sliced (about ¼ medium onion)
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper or any kind (about ¼ medium pepper)
  • ¾-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese adjust to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Pizza Base

  • 4 pre-cooked naan (see notes for substitute)

Equipment

Instructions

Marinate and Prep

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients listed for marinade and toss in the paneer cubes. Keep aside while you prepare onions and peppers for topping.
  • Toss the sliced onions and peppers with a pinch of salt, pepper and Kashmiri red chili powder. This step is optional, but enhances the flavors.

Build your Pizza

  • Pick your choice of sauce and spread about one tablespoon or more on the naan. Using a pastry brush or the back of a wide spoon, spread it evenly to coat the pizza, leaving about ½-inch from the edges. Adjust the sauce quantity to your liking.
  • Add shredded cheese to your preference. I add about ¼-⅓ cup per pizza depending on pizza base size. Spread the cheese evenly.
  • Roughly section the paneer into 4 portions. Top each pizza base with marinated paneer, followed by sliced onions and peppers. Top with chopped cilantro.
  • Brush the edges with avocado (or olive) oil and bake using the oven or air fryer as follows:

Oven Baked Paneer Pizza

  • Place the naan pizzas on a parchment or aluminum lined baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, until the edges look crisp and cheese has melted. Rest for 3-5 minutes, slice and enjoy!

Air Fryer Method

  • Place one pizza at a time in the fryer basket and bake at 400°F for about 8-10 minutes, until the edges look crisp and cheese has melted. Check at 8 minutes and, if needed, put it back in for another 1-2 minutes. Rest for 3-5 minutes, slice and enjoy!

Notes & Recipe Tips

  • Prep and marinate the paneer while you gather the rest of the ingredients. If you have the time (and for optimal flavor), feel free to marinate the paneer overnight, which will allow the paneer to soak up even more flavor.
  • Change up the sauce from time-to-time. A store-bought pizza or marinara sauce is classic, but I love to use a mix of ketchup and sriracha, cilantro chutney or a combo of ketchup and cilantro chutney for a colorful variation.
  • Use your favorite flatbread for the pizza base. I love to plain naan, but feel free to also try garlic naan, whole wheat naan, pita bread, lavash bread, flatbread or cooked pizza base. Keep in mind the topping measurements are good for 4 – 8inch naan/pita breads or 2 – 10-11 inch cooked pizza base. You may need to adjust the sauce and toppings to suit your needs.
  • Pick your favorite toppings or use veggies in season. Onions and peppers are the most common, but you can use any ingredient you would put on a pizza. Some of my other favorites include sliced zucchini or summer squash, sweet corn kernels or baby corn, olives or jalapenos.
  • Mozzarella and paneer are the best cheesy combo! But feel free to use any kind of shredded cheese you have on hand, such as cheddar or cheese blend. Add more or less depending on your preference.
  • There is no difference in taste or texture in the oven vs air fryer. If you are cooking for 1-2 people, I recommend the air fryer. For a family or larger crowd, you can cook more in the oven. If you’d like a crisper cheese finish, broil in oven for 2-3 minutes after baking.
  • For a tandoori chicken naan pizza variation, use cooked chicken strips in place of the paneer. Marinate in the yogurt and spices just as you would the paneer.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates and does not include sauce choices. The nutrition will vary depending on the different variety of naan or flatbread being used. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 680kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1292mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 533mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: indian veggie pizza, paneer naan pizza, paneer pizza recipe
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HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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