Instant Pot Palak Paneer

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Palak paneer that takes minutes to make!

I am sharing the EASIEST palak paneer recipe with you guys – and it is perfection. It’s delicious, tastes like the real deal, and is literally a dump and go recipe.

How is this possible? Two words:

Onion Masala

Yup! It’s all thanks to my handy dandy pre-made onion masala! I tell you, onion masala is magic. It’s the answer to eating homemade Indian food on busy weeknights. It’s how you can whip up a meal for guests at the very last minute. Onion masala can basically work food miracles.

If you haven’t heard about this stuff, then I’m guessing you’re a new reader – if so, read all about onion masala here. I share recipes here on the blog that call for exact amounts of onion masala, which you can make in bulk in advance. You can check out some of my onion masala recipes here.

I think most of the comments, emails, and DMs I get these days are about how this masala is changing your lives, lol (seriously). It really is a game-changer. Since having my second little dude, the only Indian food I make these days is with my previously frozen pucks of masala. No time or energy to cook down onions and tomatoes daily… besides, who wants to do that anyway, right?

What is Palak Paneer?

Palak paneer is a popular north Indian dish that you’ll find on every Indian restaurant’s menu. Palak means spinach, and Paneer means cheese. Paneer is typically called “Indian cottage cheese” and is also known as “farmer’s cheese” in the US. You can definitely make your own paneer at home (I know, I know. I need to share a recipe for that), but I almost always buy store-bought paneer. It’s just a lot more convenient – my Costco sells 2 huge packs of Gopi Paneer for a great price – I usually freeze one pack as soon as I buy it, and it lasts for a long time.

Palak Paneer vs Saag

Palak paneer is similar to saag, so if you’re a fan of my instant pot saag recipe, then you will love this one too! There are differences between these two recipes.

Saag can be made with any greens/a mix of greens, whereas this is a “palak saag” – made with just spinach (palak means spinach). Also, in my Punjabi saag recipe, I don’t use any tomatoes. For this palak saag, I’m using my onion masala, which has tomatoes.

Both are great in their own way – so if you try them both, you’ll have to let me know what you think!

Instant Pot Palak Paneer

Instant Pot Palak Paneer

4.94 from 15 reviews
Pin Recipe Print Recipe
Servings 5 -6
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound spinach leaves rinsed
  • ½ cup frozen onion masala
  • ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Heavy cream optional

To make Paneer:

  • 1 tablespoon ghee or oil if pan-frying
  • 1 block of paneer or desired amount, cut into cubes

Instructions
 

  • Add the rinsed spinach to the instant pot, then place the frozen cubes of onion masala on top along with the spices.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 2 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure.
  • Remove the lid and use an immersion blender to puree the contents of the pot.
  • Stir in heavy cream if desired - you can use  as much or as little as you'd like (this will also lighten the color and be more "restaurant style"). Or top with ghee instead.
  • Taste the palak and adjust salt to your preference.
  • You can stir the cubes of paneer directly into the palak on sauté mode until the paneer is warmed through OR you can take an extra step and pan-fry the paneer separately.

To Pan-Fry Paneer:

  • Heat ghee/oil in pan and add the paneer cubes in a single layer. Shallow fry them on all sides until golden brown, adding more oil if needed (I find it easiest to do this in a non-stick pan. If using stainless you will need more oil).
  • Mix the paneer into the palak and enjoy!

Notes

  • Make sure to rinse the spinach even if it is pre-washed. The little bit of water clinging to the leaves is enough to get the instant pot to start. Do not add more water to this! The spinach leaves will also release water as the pot comes to pressure. If you add water, the dish will be way too watery, trust me. I've tested this palak paneer many times in my instant pot and it always turns out perfect!
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Kiran says

    5 stars
    This actually rates 10 out of 5!!! It was amazing. Heavenly. So easy to make. Enjoyed it with homemade naan and finished with a piece of kalakhand made with Ashley’s recipe. In a food coma right now! 😋

  2. Kats says

    Tasty and Yummy, yup these words for palak. Straightforward and easy recipe with power packed ingredients, palak and panner. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jaya says

    Tried this recipe Ashley.It turned out tasty.Saved a lot of time.I could go to my workout after turning IP on. 🙂
    Thank you

  4. Hetal says

    5 stars
    Absolutely loved this easy version of Palak Paneer. I had the onion masala on hand so cooking this dish in the instant pot was super quick and delicious. Thank you, Ashley 🙂

  5. Mini says

    5 stars
    Hello! I simply love all your recipes. It’s made cooking soo much more easier abd fun. I’ve tried lots of your recipes and love every single one of them. I finally gave and made a batch of onion masala to simplify it further.

  6. Preetha says

    4 stars
    Hey, thanks for the recipe! I thought it was very flavorful. I do have a few questions and I’m wondering if you could share your best practices.

    1. It turned out a bit liquidy. It’s probably the type of spinach I used. I used baby spinach. Is that ok? Or, should I be using regular spinach leaves?
    2. Also, I rinsed the leaves quite a bit. Perhaps It was dripping more than it should? Any best practices with regard to rinsing spinach?
    3. Do you chop the leaves in any way? I didn’t see any instructions to that effect. So, I was wondering if it may be good to do that.

    Otherwise, the flavor turned out great. The only thing is – I had to add a bit more salt (just a personal preference). Thanks, Ashley!

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