A dish serving saag paneer

Saag paneer

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(26 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 6

An Indian dish with plenty of flavour, saag paneer is a well-loved vegetarian side. It's rich in calcium and folate from the spinach and is gluten-free too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal326
  • fat24g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs4g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre2g
  • protein22g
  • salt0.2g
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  • 2 tbsp ghee



    The Indian version of clarified butter (ie a butter that has had its milk solids removed, making…

  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 450g paneer, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 500g spinach, mature fresh or frozen



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped, (include seeds for extra spice)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • ½ lemon, juiced, to serve



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…


  1. Melt the ghee, whisk in with the turmeric and chilli powder, then add the cubed paneer and toss well. Set aside. If using frozen spinach, microwave for 3-5 mins, then place in a sieve and squeeze out most of the water. If using fresh spinach, place in a colander, pour over boiling water, drain and cool, then put in a tea towel and squeeze out most of the water. Roughly chop.

  2. Blitz the onion with the garlic, ginger and green chilli. Cook the paneer in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat for around 8 mins, tossing the pan so they become golden all over. Remove and set aside on a plate, leaving spices behind in the pan. Tip the onion mix into the pan, add a pinch of salt and turn the heat down. Fry until caramel coloured, around 10 mins, adding a splash of water if it looks a little dry. Add the garam masala, stir to coat the onion mix, fry for 2 mins.

  3. Add the spinach and cook for a further 2-3 mins, adding 100ml water to release all the flavours from the bottom of the pan. Add the paneer and cook for 2-3 mins to heat through. Spoon into bowls and squeeze over a little lemon juice, to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Mar, 2020
Just about to try cooking this. But... 3cm cubes? 3cm x 3cm x 3cm, really?! Those cubes of paneer would be about the size of golf balls. I've never had Saag Paneer served in that way. The picture looks like 2cm x 2cm x 1cm. (That's 4 cubic centimetres rather than the 27 described in the recipe.) I'm going to go with that and assume that the writer doesn't know what "3cm cubes" means. Sounds like this needs revising...
Narinder Gill's picture
Narinder Gill
6th Jan, 2020
Yes a little confusing. A classic punjabi dish.
25th Feb, 2019
Disappointing... my first paneer recipe ... perhaps I'm not a paneer fan?
4th Jan, 2019
Bit hot for me, I toned it down with yoghurt, but liked the dish. I used oil instead of ghee, and didn't quite get the "cook the cheese, take it out, put it back in again" - I cooked paneer & onions in together - faster, and it tasted fine. I presume "blitz the onion and garlic" meant to chop them finely in a ood processor? Not particulalry clear; I expect better english on a BBC website.
24th Nov, 2018
Insanely hot. So flipping hot. I don’t know what I did wrong, maybe Kashmiri chilli powder is mild? I just used regular chilli powder and 1 green birds eye chilli, which is what I usually buy as I like medium spice and the bigger chillies are often useless. Anyway, probably my fault it was so hot, but, it really doesn’t taste like the saag paneer I am used to from restaurants. I’ll be looking for another recipe, I won’t bother with this one again.
Lottie Love's picture
Lottie Love
21st May, 2018
Delicious! I added half teaspoon of cumin and half teaspoon of black mustard seeds by dry frying them before the onion, garlic and ginger mix, then once that was caramalised I added 2 finely chopped tomatoes. Lovely dish for myself (a meat eater) and my mom (a vegetarian) for lunch with a naan bread. I also swapped the ghee for coconut oil.
10th Oct, 2017
Very nice vegetarian recipe. I added mushroom and capsicum too. Would add more spices next time and add a tad bit more salt at the end. But will add this to my list of recipes.
5th Sep, 2017
Fantastic dish. Made this for an Indian meal at the weekend along with the other dishes in the August Good Food Mag and it was a great success. I was unable to get Paneer living in the country so substituted with Halloumi and our vegetarian guest was very impressed. Enjoyed by veggies and meat eaters alike.
Nathalie Mercer's picture
Nathalie Mercer
7th Nov, 2018
I didn't have paneer so I used sweet potatoes. It was very good. Just cooked them first then treated the same as the paneer.
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