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The paneer cheese in this fast and easy recipe doesn't melt when it cooks. It browns instead, giving a toothsome texture to this Indian classic packed with spinach and spices.

EatingWell.com, February 2018; updated October 2022


Read the full recipe after the video.

What Is Paneer Cheese?

Paneer is a fresh cheese common in the Indian subcontinent made from cow or buffalo milk. Paneer is a non-melting cheese that retains its shape when cooked. It's white in color, has a firm texture and is mild in flavor.

How to Make Saag Paneer

Use Fresh Ginger

When buying fresh ginger, it should feel firm to the touch with smooth skin. Our favorite way to peel ginger is with a spoon. You can store peeled ginger in an airtight bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Use Garam Masala

Garam masala is a ground spice blend originating from India that typically includes black pepper, white pepper, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, mace, cardamom, cumin, fennel, red chili powder and coriander. You can find garam masala in the spice section of most grocery stores or online.

How to Serve Saag Paneer

We like to serve saag paneer over brown basmati rice to round out this healthy meal. Basmati rice is a signature grain in Indian cuisine that is found in white and brown varieties. This long-grain rice has a popcorn-like aroma and slightly nutty flavor. Here are tips on how to cook brown rice perfectly. You can also serve saag paneer over cauliflower rice.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Toss paneer with turmeric in a medium bowl until coated. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the paneer and cook, flipping once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add onion and jalapeño (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. (If the pan seems dry during cooking, add a little water, 2 tablespoons at a time.) Add garlic, ginger, garam masala and cumin. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach and salt. Cook, stirring, until hot, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in yogurt and paneer.


Large nonstick skillet

Nutrition Facts

1 cup
382 calories; protein 24.5g; carbohydrates 18.9g; dietary fiber 4.6g; sugars 10.9g; fat 24.3g; saturated fat 11.7g; cholesterol 64.1mg; vitamin a iu 17158.5IU; vitamin c 10.4mg; folate 222.6mcg; calcium 700mg; iron 3mg; magnesium 130mg; potassium 814.8mg; sodium 641.1mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

2 fat, 2 high-fat protein, 1 1/2 reduced-fat dairy, 1 1/2 vegetable