Throw away your take-out menus because this one-pot baked paneer with chickpeas and spinach is a mash-up of two of the best Indian dishes – saag paneer and chana saag!

One-Pot Baked Paneer with Chickpeas and Spinach

I’m really committed to the concept of a birthday MONTH this year.

In case you couldn’t tell by the fact that February food so far has consisted entirely of my mac and cheese and lemony dessert loving gluttony.

And so far I’ve only really skimmed the surface of my deepest darkest (butteriest) birthday food wishes!

One-Pot Baked Paneer with Chickpeas and Spinach

Still up on my to-do list are:

two cakes (one of which is a Milk Bar recipe undertaking!)

sandwich cookies

lots of runny egg yolks

and a pizza (obviously).

One-Pot Baked Paneer with Chickpeas and Spinach

If you know me at all, though, (and who knows me better than you guys, truly) then you know that no celebration of my favorite things would be complete without a dabble into the world of Indian cuisine.

And that paneer is a MUST MUST MUST.

I can’t handle the stress of frying cheese, however, especially with a 9 month old monster constantly underfoot so I’m eternally grateful that I’ve stumbled upon the perfect solution:


One-Pot Baked Paneer with Chickpeas and Spinach

Or, well, a mash-up curry in which my favorite saag paneer and my favorite chana saag HAVE A BABY.

I have no idea what took those two so long to get it on because they are obviously meant to be.

One-Pot Baked Paneer with Chickpeas and Spinach

Don’t you agree?

One-Pot Baked Paneer with Chickpeas and Spinach
Throw away your take-out menus because this one-pot baked paneer with chickpeas and spinach is a mash-up of two of the best Indian dishes - saag paneer and chana saag!
Yield: 4 servings
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb baby spinach
  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 8 oz paneer, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  1. For the sauce, melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, chili powder, and sugar. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add in the tomato and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream and heat until boiling. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Stir in the spinach, one handful at a time, and cook until wilted. Season again with salt and black pepper.
  3. Heat oven to 400F.
  4. Spread the chickpeas and paneer over the sauce in an even layer. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has browned a bit, about 20-30 minutes. Serve warm.


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13 Responses to One-Pot Baked Paneer with Chickpeas and Spinach

  1. Kate says:

    I cannot even begin to express how amazing this idea is.

  2. Tina says:

    I just printed this recipe. My new love of Indian food has me wanting to try so many recipes. This is definitely going to be a winner!

  3. Pam says:

    I haven’t eaten enough Indian food in my life… this needs to change! Love the ingredients, flavors, and textures in this dish. Who can resist a one pot dinner??

  4. Can I celebrate your birthday month of food too? I love it!

  5. Paneer is delicous, I am always looking for a good recipe to enjoy it in. I love that you bake this recipe, great for hands off time! Thanks!

  6. Kat says:

    Just want to say that I have been following your blog on / off for a few years. Sometimes I check in weekly, sometimes 2x per year. I am also in medicine and I just want to say kudos for sticking with it (the blog). I sometimes dont know how I find time to shower lol, and making enough time for my family, friends and marriage is a second full time job. So the fact that your blog is so awesome while I understand how busy you are is a true testament of passion. Keep up the great work.

  7. andrea says:

    this was so so so very yummy!! thank you for the inspiration!

  8. Andrea T says:

    I’m late to the party but made this tonight & it was so easy & delicious! Well done you!

  9. Lori says:

    Where do you buy paneer? Do you think halloumi or “queso para freir” would be a good sub? I’ve never tried baking it. Thanks for great recipe idea!

    • joanne says:

      I’ve found it at Whole Foods and even my local supermarket often has it! It’s often in the same refrigerated section as the queso. The brand I usually find is “Gopi”. If you have any sort of ethnic food store around, they should have it as well. I think halloumi would be a close substitute, as would baked tofu.

  10. Greg says:

    Hi Joanne – Really amazing recipe! Thank you so much! I just finished cooking it. I toasted more Indian spices in the butter (cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, couple of cloves and crushed green cardamom pods) before following the recipe then mostly as directed. I ended up using 2 packages of paneer (total 400g, which I browned in a pan ahead of time) and 1 can of chickpeas on top of the base sauce. Served on top of a light portion of fragrant basmati rice. WOW. This is a keeper. Thanks again.

  11. Ariel R Magid says:

    I made this the other night and it was DELCIOUS! I subbed chard for Spinach and Haloumi for Paneer, because that’s what I had on hand. But the flavor profile was amazing. A new fave for sure.

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