Do you love the taste of Indian spices, but you’re not really sure how to use them to make new and exciting dishes? Like my chicken tikka masala recipe, my palak paneer is made with traditional Indian spices, but it’s also vegetarian friendly. It’s a rich, satisfying and nutrient-dense dish that pairs perfectly with Paleo naan bread.
You’re going to love the creaminess that comes from the goat feta and goat yogurt, the warming flavors that come from garam masala and the nuttiness from the cashews. Plus, with veggies like spinach, green peppers and tomatillos, this recipe packs a nutritious punch — with loads of vitamin K and A.
What Is Palak Paneer?
Palak paneer is an Indian dish that’s made with pureed spinach (palak) and paneer, a type of cheese that’s similar to cottage cheese and commonly consumed in South Asia. Palak paneer is also prepared with an array of delicious and versatile spices, including garam masala, curry and turmeric.
Did you know that garam masala usually contains more than 10 different spices? It typically contains warm spices like nutmeg, smoked paprika, cardamom, clove, cinnamon and cumin. You’ll commonly find garam masala in curries, soups and even hummus recipes.
Turmeric, another classic ingredient used in palak paneer, is also the main spice used in Indian curries. Not only are there a number of powerful, healing turmeric benefits, but it adds a unique earthy flavor to this dish.
Palak paneer is a versatile dish because it falls within the guidelines of a vegetarian diet, as it’s completely free of meat, and it’s also gluten-free. It may seem like more of a dip or side dish, but it’s high in protein, nutrient-dense and very filling, so I recommend trying it for dinner.
Is Palak Paneer the Same as Saag Paneer?
Palak paneer is different than saag paneer because the latter is a leaf-based dish that can be made with spinach, or other leafy greens like collard greens or mustard leaf. Unlike palak paneer, saag paneer doesn’t always contain cheese. In fact, there are a lot of popular variations of saag paneer, like leafy greens and potatoes, and greens with goat or lamb.
What’s similar about these two vegetarian dishes is that they are both puréed and commonly paired with a type of bread, like naan.
- 207 calories
- 11 grams protein
- 16 grams fat
- 6 grams carbohydrates
- 1.4 grams fiber
- 2 grams sugar
- 107 micrograms vitamin K (119 percent DV)
- 2,467 IUs vitamin A (106 percent DV)
- 0.5 milligrams copper (58 percent DV)
- 512 milligrams sodium (34 percent DV)
- 0.5 milligrams manganese (28 percent DV)
- 186 milligrams phosphorus (27 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligrams vitamin B2 (21 percent DV)
- 52 milligrams magnesium (17 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligrams vitamin B6 (16 percent DV)
- 1 milligram zinc (14 percent DV)
- 2.2 milligrams iron (13 percent DV)
- 51 micrograms folate (13 percent DV)
- 112 milligrams calcium (11 percent DV)
- 8.6 milligrams vitamin C (11 percent DV)
- 0.4 milligrams vitamin B5 (9 percent DV)
- 1.2 milligrams vitamin E (8 percent DV)
- 3.6 micrograms selenium (7 percent DV)
- 0.14 micrograms vitamin B12 (6 percent DV)
- 257 milligrams potassium (5 percent DV)
- 0.6 milligrams vitamin B3 (5 percent DV)
How to Make Palak Paneer
To make your palak paneer, you’ll need a large saucepan and a food processor, or blender.
Begin by adding 2 tablespoons avocado oil to your saucepan over medium heat. Then add in ¼ cup chopped cashews, ½ a minced shallot, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 2 teaspoons curry and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
Whisk and sauté your ingredients for about a minute so you give the spices a chance to bloom.
Next, add in a cup of sliced green pepper and 2 chopped tomatillos.
Then add a cup of water to the mixture.
At this point, you can let the veggies sauté for about 10 minutes until they are soft.
Now you’re going to add in 5 to 6 cups fresh spinach and ½ cup cilantro. Then let it all cook for about 5 more minutes.
Awesome — the cooking part is done. Now you’ll transfer your mixture into a blender or food processor.
Blend your palak paneer until it’s nice and smooth.
Then pour it back into your saucepan and add ½ cup goat yogurt and 1½ cups goat feta.
Wow! How amazing does that smell? I know you’re going to love the rich and creamy texture of this palak paneer too. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 5–6 cups spinach
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons curry
- ½ shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup green bell peppers, sliced
- 2 tomatillos, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- ½ lime, juiced
- ¼ cup cashews, chopped
- 1½ cups goat feta
- ½ cup goat yogurt
- ½ cup cilantro
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine oil, cashews, shallots, ginger, garlic, garam masala, curry and salt. Whisk and sauté for about 1 minute to bloom spices.
- Add green peppers, tomatillos and water. Sauté until veggies are soft. About 10 minutes.
- Add in spinach and cilantro and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour mixture into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture back into pan and add yogurt, lime juice and feta. Mix thoroughly.
- Serve with gluten-free naan.
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