Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani)


This is the easiest way to make paneer butter masala. Mix a few ingredients together on the stovetop and you’ll have this restaurant-worthy dish ready in minutes.

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

What is Paneer Butter Masala?

Paneer butter masala might be the most popular paneer dish ever. If you haven’t heard of it, think soft paneer in a creamy and buttery, well-spiced, tomato-based sauce. You may also know this dish by another name: paneer makhani.

Paneer butter masala is similar to my popular Butter Chicken and my Butter Chickpeas, but it’s also a bit different in that I add cashews to this sauce. I like adding cashews with the paneer – it makes the sauce a little thicker and a little richer. If you don’t like cashews, you can use almonds or leave the nuts out if you want.

“This paneer butter masala is better than restaurant quality! And so easy, too!!!!! 😍”

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

Why Use Onion Masala

The great thing about this particular recipe for paneer butter masala is that it’s easy. It takes minutes, thanks to my premade Onion Masala. All you need to do is heat the ingredients and add the paneer. That’s it.

By making a big batch of onion masala one day, you can prepare meals like this one with very little effort. You don’t need to cook down tomatoes daily, just do it once and keep the masala in the freezer and use it as needed. If you don’t have Onion Masala handy, then you can try using canned tomato sauce as that’s already cooked down though I haven’t tested it this way for the blog.

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

Serve this paneer makhani with Indian flatbread (naan or roti) or Basmati Rice. To make this more of a complete meal, add one or two of these dishes too:

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)
Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani)

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani)

4.93 from 27 reviews
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Servings 4 -5



  • 1 14 ounce block Paneer, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream OR full-fat unsweetened coconut cream, to taste


  • Add the water and cashews to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside for now.
  • Add the ghee, onion masala and spices to a saucepan over low heat and allow it to simmer for a couple minutes (if using frozen masala then simmer until the masala melts).
  • Pour the blended cashews into the saucepan along with the paneer and cook until the paneer is heated through.
  • Stir in the cream and serve.


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Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

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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. Sara says

    5 stars
    Amazing!! I made it with frozen Indian onion masala on a weeknight. It took no time at all and it was soooo delicious! Ate it with naan!

  2. Kate says

    5 stars
    This is one of my go-to weeknight dishes, especially when we haven’t been to the grocery store in awhile (paneer keeps so nicely in the fridge!).

  3. Karen says

    5 stars
    I made this and it was delicious! Was I supposed to soak the raw cashews before blending with the water? Thanks!

  4. Amanda says

    Hi Ashley! Can’t wait to try this. My son is allergic to cashews – can I use almonds instead? Is there anything you would change to sub almonds?

    Thank you!

  5. Chancita says

    5 stars
    I make this recipe, sub avocado oil for the ghee and use cauliflower instead of paneer. I use this recipe instead of the butter chickpeas because it uses the onion masala (which – again – is pure genius). I always have cashew butter on hand as well, so I mix the cashew butter with water instead of blending soaked cashews (just because it comes together quicker for me. Sometimes I pre-steam the cauliflower and sometimes I cook it in the sauce. Either way, this is a delicious sauce that comes so fast with the onion masala. Thanks for another great recipe!

  6. Senthurselvi Aravinth says

    I cooked it and it was so yummy. Your recipes are all amazing and every time I try it, they comes so well.

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