Vegetarian Indian Palak Paneer With Ricotta

Palak paneer
KarinaUrmantseva / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
253 Calories
18g Fat
15g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 253
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 22%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 225mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 19mg 94%
Calcium 432mg 33%
Iron 7mg 39%
Potassium 976mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

No paneer? No problem! Make this reduced-fat Indian palak paneer (or saag paneer, really) recipe using ricotta cheese instead of the traditional Indian paneer. If you don't have a source for paneer in your city, you can still enjoy palak paneer—Indian spinach and cheese. Use a low-fat or reduced-fat ricotta to make this spinach dish. You'll need to use fresh, whole milk ricotta cheese in this recipe, and not the chalky kind that comes in a plastic container. It'll turn out quite differently if you don't!

This recipe skips the usual step of pureeing the spinach which most Indian spinach recipes will call for. If you want to puree your greens, just do it before adding in the fried ricotta. Normally Indian vegetable dishes such as this one would be served alongside a dish of plain steamed white rice, though you could certainly use brown rice or another whole grain. We tend to skip the rice and just eat it on its own. 

Serve up this fantastic palak paneer with a side of cheese pakoras for a full vegetarian Indian meal. This Indian palak paneer with ricotta recipe is vegetarian and all of the ingredients are gluten free as well.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 3 large bunches spinach

  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese, fresh, drained

  • 1 dash salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic and the onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil for a minute or two.

  2. Add the fresh ginger, cumin, coriander, and turmeric, stirring, and allow the spices to cook for another minute.

  3. Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sour cream, stirring to combine, then the spinach. You may need to add the spinach a little bit at a time, waiting for it to cook down before adding more.

  4. Allow the spinach to cook until done, about 10 minutes.

  5. In a separate skillet, using a spoon, scoop out the fresh ricotta into preheated oil 1 spoonful at a time.

  6. Fry the ricotta in 2 tablespoons olive oil until lightly browned.

  7. Add the fried ricotta cheese to the spinach mixture.

  8. Cover, and cook on medium-low for 5 to 7 more minutes.

  9. Add a dash of salt, to taste, and serve hot.