What exactly is Paneer? You’ve probably seen it in the grocery store next to the cheeses, this popular Indian staple is a cheese made from milk curdled with a fruit or vegetable acid, usually lemon juice.
It is widely available and the closest comparison would probably be a large stiff block of cottage cheese. Though relatively bland by itself, paneer lends itself incredibly well to rich and flavorful foods as it absorbs flavor very well.
This makes it a perfect vegetarian alternative to meat in curries, stews, and other Indian and Asian cuisines. Panneer is also known as Indian cottage cheese, or ponir, and the word paneer is derived from the Persian word for cheese.
It has been used for centuries in the Indian continent and beyond as it’s so easy to make and incredibly versatile. It’s a very mild flavor and white creamy color.
You can usually find it in a block or pre-cubed in larger supermarkets making it incredibly convenient to add to your next dish!
Paneer is very easy to make at home as it requires no aging or curing to create! All you need is cow’s milk and an acid or curdling agent. Most easily accessible is lemon juice.
Simply curdle your milk, scoop out the thick curds, and strain in a muslin cheesecloth, making sure to drain as much liquid as possible.
You’ll be left with a creamy, mild cheese that’s firm enough to cut and perfect for curries, dishes, and anything with big flavors for the paneer to absorb.
Is Paneer Good for You?
In terms of cheese, paneer is a relatively healthy option. It’s packed with milk-based protein, is lower fat than an alternative such as halloumi, and pairs well with vegetables to make a balanced meal.
However, paneer is higher fat than lean meats such as skin-off chicken so isn’t necessarily recommended for a weight loss diet. If you are looking for a leaner healthier alternative all of the following recipes can sub out paneer for tofu if you want to keep meat off your plate and still want a healthy and protein-packed meal!
Tofu is higher in protein, though doesn’t have quite as sturdy a texture, so if you were subbing out paneer for tofu, try to get an extra firm variety that’ll hold its shape. To compare calorie content, an average 100g of paneer contains up to 296 calories whereas 100g of tofu comes in at around 76 calories.
Paneer is still a good source of protein and when eaten in moderation is a great addition to your diet as long as you are aware of its high-calorie content. Paneer is not a great option for anyone sensitive to lactose or milk products.
With so many paneer recipes available, it can get overwhelming trying to find the ones you want, especially with hungry mouths to feed waiting for you!
Here, we have collected the absolute best paneer recipes on the internet from around the world, from finger-licking paneer kormas, Indo-Chinese combination dishes such as chili paneer, to tasty side dishes like paneer koftas and samosas.
Read on for our ultimate top list of your favorite paneer recipes all in one place! Have a look to decide what your next special weeknight meal could be.
This is a great step-by-step guide to making your own paneer at home using easily available ingredients. Making your own paneer is definitely easier than you think and incredibly satisfying!
Once you have set this marvelous cheese, it’s ready to use in any of the following dishes, perfect for soaking up any flavors.
This satisfying alternative to popcorn chicken bites is a great way to enjoy the meaty texture of paneer! These have a delightfully crunchy and crisp texture and are perfect with a little dipping sauce, like sweet chili or ketchup.
These flavorful and bright tikka paneer starters make a colorful splash for any dinner party and can be served with toothpicks for a tasty finger-food bite.
They are a quick party pleaser and can be prepared in a jiffy. They are also made with no oil which is great if you are watching your calories.
These delicious and versatile skewers can be brushed with whatever your favorite marinade is. These are coated with spices and herbs and take a little preparation to soak the marinade through the paneer but it’s well worth the effort!
These can be made ahead of time to absorb flavor, to be grilled whenever you need them, making them an ideal accompaniment to a party!
These light and tasty morsels are coated in chickpea or gram flour, giving the batter a spicy and crisp coating. They are dangerously easy to eat mind!
An absolute Indian classic, the Kathi roll made with paneer cheese is an Indian version of a burrito. The delicious filling of paneer and vegetables is wrapped in a crispy paratha bread and is an amazing lunch idea and perfect for guests.
This is an Indo-Chinese dish that is a great fusion of cuisines. It is made from cubed and fried paneer tossed in a chili-spiced sauce that is simple, filling, and always an absolute hit. It tastes like an elevated sweet and sour dish with a punchy chili kick.
This simple and satisfying skewer is made from cubed paneer, chopped onion, and bell pepper generously brushed in homemade tikka paste and roasted in the oven.
For an even more authentic flavor, you can roast these in a tandoor but you get great results in a standard oven too!
Aloo Paneer, otherwise known as potato paneer, is a great sharing curry or side dish and is rich, flavorful, and filling thanks to the potato. It can be made in under 20 minutes and is excellent with rice or roti bread.
These are entirely different from aloo paneer though the names are similar! These are small, fried potato cutlets with paneer. They are amazing when served with tamarind or green chutney.
This popular Indian street food is chock full of flavor and can be found just about everywhere in India. This one is stuffed with a paneer to make it extra filling.
This classic Indian dish is another household staple and is great for those who aren’t a fan of spicy curries but still want a big kick of flavor. Filled with almond and coconut flavor, this is sure to become a classic in your home.
These paneer tikka skewers are made extra special with the addition of subtle saffron in the batter. This adds a delicate flavor and a great pop of color too!
A quick and simple stir-fried curry with bell peppers, onion, and paneer. This is great for a simple midweek meal to feed the whole family.
This North Indian dish has become a classic of Indian cooking around the world. Made with perfectly fried paneer cubes and absolutely loads of wilted spinach in classic Indian spices, it is an exceptional dish that’s a favorite across the globe.
This dish is scrambled paneer served with peppers and onions and makes a wonderful alternative to eggs in the morning if you fancy something a little different and is packed with Indian flavor.
This curry is another rich and creamy variant with cubed paneer and vegetables. It’s a buttery and tomato-y curry with a wonderfully pungent color.
Another tomato-based curry, this one is a little spicier and has a much darker curry sauce. You can also replace the paneer with mushroom for a vegan alternative.
This curry is buttery and rich. It has a cashew and butter base t the sauce and is a restaurant classic.
This at-home recipe will give you the taste of the best Indian curry houses in your own kitchen. The gravy is smooth and brightly colored, sure to be a hit at home with its mild and delicate flavor.
This quick and simple paneer recipe takes just 15 minutes to make and is packed with a garlicky kick! This garlic paneer makes a great starter and is excellent for parties with its simple and delicious flavors.
These simple crispy nuggets are a great alternative to classic American chicken nuggets and an excellent way t introduce your kids or young guests to Indian cuisine and spices in a neat and kid-friendly package- the nugget!
Methi is another word for fenugreek leaves and adds a bright and fragrant flavor to this curry. It’s a classic in Indian cuisine and is always present at an Indian restaurant.
Another incredibly popular Indian starter, koftas are usually made with potato and paneer and are soft balled dunked in rich and creamy gravy. Perfect and mild, this recipe is another one that’s perfect for kids and adults alike.
This one-pot dish is amazing for weeknight dinners. It is made with basmati rice, cubed creamy paneer, and mildly spiced. It is an excellent way to use up any leftover veg that’s been lingering in your fridge too as it’s a super versatile dish!
This is a fiery, hot way to enjoy your paneer! It’s a red spicy curry that’s excellent served with cooling sauces and dips and a hefty portion of rice or fried Bhutara bread.
This light curry is made by grilling cubes of paneer before adding it to simmering tomatoes to absorb their flavor. It makes a great side dish, or a main together with rice and roti.
This is a North Indian dish. It is a thick and creamy sauce with onions and tomato and is excellent for anyone who prefers their curries thick and creamy. A very indulgent affair and great to mop up with naan bread.
Another thick and creamy curry, this recipe only takes 30 minutes and is absolutely fool-proof! It’s made with paneer and chickpeas, making it thick and very substantial for when you’re ravenous come dinner time.
This one-pot meal has basmati rice, paneer cubes, and fragrant spices cooked together with vegetables for a filling and easy dinner with very little cleanup! It’s a perfect filler for those lazy cooking days and doesn’t require and sides or additional dishes for a perfect meal.
These crispy paneer fingers are the perfect nibble dish and work amazingly well with a light and fragrant mint chutney dipping sauce.
There you have it, our top 30 paneer recipes! We hope you’ve found some exciting inspiration to start your journey on loving paneer, or if you’re a long-time fan, you’ve discovered a new way to enjoy your favorite cheese!