Palak Paneer is a beloved North Indian dish that combines creamy spinach gravy with soft and tender cubes of Indian cottage cheese. The velvety texture of the spinach gravy and the delicate flavor of the paneer makes it an incredibly satisfying and delicious vegetarian option. If you want to enjoy this nutritious and flavorful dish without the hassle of fresh spinach, using frozen spinach and an Instant Pot pressure cooker is the way to go. With my easy recipe, you can prepare Palak Paneer in no time by using frozen spinach instead of fresh.
Why you will love this recipe?
- This palak paneer recipe offers a simple and hassle-free take on the traditional dish by using frozen spinach.
- This recipe has been tried and tested to ensure that it delivers the perfect taste and texture every time, so you can enjoy all the flavors of this delicious and nutritious meal with ease.
- It is an excellent option for vegetarians looking for a good source of protein.
While Palak Paneer is traditionally made with fresh spinach leaves, using frozen spinach can be a convenient and time-saving alternative. It eliminates the need for cleaning, blanching, and pureeing fresh spinach, and can make the dish more accessible to those without access to fresh greens. In my Instant Pot Palak Paneer recipe, you can use frozen spinach straight from the freezer without having to defrost it beforehand. This makes the cooking process even easier and faster, without sacrificing any of the delicious flavor and nutrition of the dish.
Not only is this dish incredibly delicious, but it's also a great option for those on a gluten-free or keto diet, as it can be paired with cauliflower rice for a low-carb meal. With basic pantry ingredients and minimal spices, this one-pot dish is ready in under 30 minutes. Palak Paneer can be served with a variety of sides, including jeera rice, saffron rice, homemade naan bread, and basmati rice, making it a versatile and satisfying meal option.
Palak (spinach): I am using frozen spinach in this dish.
Paneer: Paneer is a fresh cheese that is easily available in Indian stores. You can use either use store-bought paneer or homemade paneer.
Butter: Use unsalted butter for the best-tasting spinach curry.
Onion and tomato: They are used to make the base gravy of the dish.
Spices: I use are garam masala, ground turmeric, and red chili powder.
Other ingredients: Ginger, garlic, green chili, and lemon juice (or lime juice).
Step 1: Heat butter and add onion, ginger, garlic, and green chillies. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until the onions soften.
Step 2: Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder, and salt.
Step 3: Mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
Step 4: Add the frozen spinach.
Step 5: Add one cup of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot.
Step 6: Press the cancel button and set the pressure valve to a sealed position. Set it to pressure cook mode for 5 minutes on high pressure.
Step 7: Once the Instant Pot beeps, wait for 5 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
Step 8: Blend the spinach gravy using a hand blender.
Step 9: Set the Instant Pot back to saute mode. Add the cubed paneer, garam masala, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the spinach puree.
Step 10: Mix well and bring it to a gentle boil for a couple of minutes.
Traditionally, fresh spinach is used to make this dish but using frozen spinach is very convenient. Frozen spinach can be used without defrosting whereas if you use fresh spinach, you need to clean, blanch, and grind it before using.
You can either buy paneer cheese in Indian grocery stores or make your own paneer at home. Making paneer at home is easier than you think using this Instant Pot paneer recipe.
If you want to use fresh spinach, you will need around 2 lbs (or 2 big bunches) of cleaned and chopped spinach. In that case, reduce the pressure cooking time to 2-3 minutes.
Combine mustard greens, spinach, kale, collard greens, and arugula to make saag paneer using this easy palak paneer recipe. The cooking times will remain the same as long as all the greens are frozen.
As an optional ingredient, you can finish the dish with heavy cream or cashew cream to add richness to the dish.
More Instant Pot recipes:
1. Shahi paneer.
2. Paneer butter masala.
3. Matar paneer.
4. Paneer tikka masala.
More recipes using frozen spinach
Yes. Frozen spinach can be used without thawing when used in making curries, soups, or stews. In this recipe, I am using frozen spinach straight out of the freezer.
To make this dish vegan, substitute paneer with extra firm tofu, and butter with any cooking oil of your choice.
This dish is very similar to saag paneer. Saag means green leafy vegetables and a mix of different greens are used in saag paneer. For example, spinach, mustard greens, kale, etc. are used to make saag paneer.
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Palak Paneer using frozen spinach - Instant Pot
- 2 packets frozen spinach see notes
- 2 cups paneer
- 3 tablespoon butter divided
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 inch ginger chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 large tomatoes chopped
- 1-2 green chili or serrano pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder or cayenne
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- ½ lemon or lime
- 1½ cups water
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Once it melts, add onion, ginger, garlic, and green chili. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until the onions soften.
- Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder, and salt. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the frozen spinach and 1½ cups of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot.
- Cancel the saute mode. Secure the IP lid and set it to pressure cook mode for 5 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Open the IP lid and blend the spinach gravy using an immersion blender.
- Set the Instant Pot back to saute mode.
- Add the paneer cubes, garam masala, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix well and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the Instant Pot and add lemon/lime juice.
- Serve hot with roti or jeera rice.
This was delicious! I love paneer and always wonder what to make with it and using frozen spinach was so easy
Oh my gosh this is SO much easier than making an actual curry! I love that it's whipped up in 30 minutes for an easy vegetarian dinner!
This is absolutely one of my favorite dishes and being able to make it with frozen spinach makes it so easy! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
The kids came back for seconds despite it being green, shows its a winner!
This was a new dish for me and I am hooked! I love how fast it was to make and how flavorful it is, too!
This was so easy and had the perfect balance of flavors. It was delicious served over basmati. Thank you for another winner! 🙂
Hi Shilpa, I am a bit confused with the amount of the frozen spinach, it is 2 packages of 600gr or 300gr
For this recipe, you will need 2 packages of frozen spinach weighing around 300 grams each (a total of 600 grams of frozen spinach). I have updated the recipe notes for the same. Hope this helps.