Paleo Paneer (dairy-free, keto, gluten-free)


It’s hard to believe these creamy melt-in-your-mouth “cheese” cubes are dairy free.

dairy free paleo paneer

This cashew cheese paleo paneer is a tasty option for those of you who love Indian food but can’t tolerate dairy.

I’m so excited about finally sharing this recipe for paleo paneer on my blog! It’s a recipe I came up with around 4 years ago when I first wrote my paleo Indian ebook. If you’re following a paleo diet, you’ll want to check out my ebook! I also have a lot of paleo Indian recipes on my blog.

While this recipe IS dairy-free, it is not vegan. You may be able to adapt the recipe to make it vegan, but I haven’t tried. You can read more about that later in the post!

How To Use Paleo Paneer:

paleo-friendly mattar paneer dish on
this matar paneer is pictured with dairy-free paneer

You cannot use this paleo cashew paneer the way you’d use regular dairy paneer – they are different after all. Regular paneer is much more firm – cashew paneer is not. That’s why you’ll want to add paleo paneer to a dish at the very end – right before serving. You don’t want to put it in a super hot curry otherwise it’ll get too melty.

Keep the paleo paneer in the fridge until you’re ready to serve – then eat them once they come to room temperature.

You can add paleo paneer to recipes like saag or matar paneer. Or you can sprinkle a bit of chaat masala on top of it and serve it with chutney – yum!

paleo-friendly mattar paneer dish on
this matar paneer recipe is pictured with dairy-free paneer
dairy free paleo paneer

This recipe for paleo paneer is not vegetarian – it calls for gelatin:

This recipe is made with gelatin (make sure you are using gelatin and NOT collagen) and unfortunately, gelatin melts in hot liquid – so when you add these to a recipe, you’ll want to add them at the very end right before serving.

I use grassfed gelatin and while you might be able to use a vegetarian gelatin substitute, I’ve never tried it that way so I can’t say for sure. If you try this with agar agar or using another method, let us know! I’ve been thinking about leaving out the gelatin and baking the “cheese” to see how that goes but again have yet to try… will update the post when I do!

I know when I was following a strict paleo diet I was pretty devastated about missing out on my favorite foods. That’s why I recreated so many Indian dishes to be paleo-friendly – including this paneer (and paleo jalebi, gulab jamun, etc lol). I hope you love this paleo paneer – and I hope that it makes your paleo journey a little easier.

dairy free paleo paneer

Paleo Paneer (dairy-free, gluten-free)

dairy free paleo paneer

Paleo Paneer (dairy-free, gluten-free)

It's hard to believe these creamy melt-in-your-mouth cubes are dairy free. Keep them in the fridge until you're ready to serve them - then eat them once they come to room temperature.
5 from 7 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 2 cups raw cashews soaked in water for 8-12 hours
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


  • After the cashews have soaked for at least 8 hours, drain them and place them in a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until mostly smooth, scraping down the sides a few times if needed.
  • Add water and gelatin to a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved, then add this mixture to the blender along with the lemon juice, salt and cream of tartar. Blend until well combined and smooth.
  • Pour the cashew mixture into an 8x4 parchment-lined loaf pan and refrigerate overnight or until the paneer has firmed.
  • Cut the paneer into cubes or desired shape and store in the fridge until ready to serve. 


This recipe is made with gelatin (make sure you're using gelatin and not collagen). Unfortunately, gelatin melts in hot liquid so if you are adding the paneer to a recipe, you'll want to add it at the very end right before serving.
I have yet to try a vegetarian gelatin substitute so I can't say whether it will work or not. If I try I will be sure to update the post! 
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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  1. Valerie says

    Generally, one tablespoon of agar agar flakes or one teaspoon of agar agar powder can replace one packet of gelatin. Mix with cold liquid: Unlike gelatin, agar agar requires a brief simmer to activate its gelling properties. However, you should always mix agar agar with cold liquid first.

  2. Andrea says

    Have you tried using agar agar? It creates a firmer texture and might help with the delicacy in heat. It would also make it vegan.

  3. Sabrina says

    Ashley I love love love your blog and the recipes you share with us. I have NEVER been disappointed. I made your Keema Biranyi last night and it was soooo dreamy. The spices are just perfect!! Honestly you have made life so much sweeter now that I can have curry / Indian during the week in my instant pot!!! I think curry would def be my last meal. I just cant get enough 🙂 Quick question…If I wanted to make saag paneer, when would I add the paneer to your instant pot saag recipe?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Sabrina, I’m so happy to hear that!! So glad you’re enjoying my recipes 🙂 If you are using this dairy-free paneer then add it right before serving. If you’re using regular paneer you can sauté it then add it to the saag. Hope that helps!

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