This twist on the classic Indian dish, saag paneer, includes a healthy dose of sauteed rainbow swiss chard, and turmeric fried paneer cheese, in case you missed it… I just said greens with fried cheese! Serve with toasted naan bread and basmati rice for a complete vegetarian meal.
Fried cheese is the glue that holds the world together. Ok that might be a bit dramatic, but hear me out: it’s crispy, but also fluffy…cheesy, but not so melty that it can’t be considered a full meal. And, of course, I’ve added a healthy dose of greens to keep it balanced. This Swiss Chard Paneer is the best of all worlds!
YOU WILL LOVE THIS!
- Greens with fried cheese…’nuff said.
- Hidden nourishing ingredients like swiss chard, ghee, turmeric and ginger make this meal an absolute nutrition delight.
- If you’re like me and crave curry on a regular basis, this can be your go-to recipe.
- LEFTOVERS! Oh my goodness the leftovers are so good! I usually have it for breakfast the next day because I just can't wait.
Let's Get Cooking!
WHAT INGREDIENTS WILL I NEED?
You will find the detailed measurements and specific ingredients within the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Paneer — Paneer is an Indian-style cheese, called a “fresh, acid-set” cheese. It is milky and super creamy. Paneer is a non-melting cheese, making it perfect for frying and cubing in recipes. The only substitute for paneer would be another non-melting cheese like halloumi cheese, farmers' cheese, or queso fresco.
- Swiss Chard — Aka rainbow chard is beautiful, colorful, and nutrient-dense. If your local market doesn’t have any on hand, collards or kale would work just as well.
- Spices — Turmeric, garam masala, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and cayenne pepper. This is an Indian-inspired recipe, therefore a plethora of aromatic dried spices are absolutely necessary.
- Ghee — You can use butter or olive oil.
- Garlic, Ginger, and Jalapeno Pepper — The aromatic base of this dish will perfume your kitchen with the magical “OMG, what are you cooking” scent.
- Coconut Milk – Traditionally heavy cream or milk is used in this dish, but I prefer to cut down on the amount of dairy. You can certainly use cow's milk/cream if you prefer.
TOOLS YOU WILL USE FOR THIS RECIPE
HOW TO MAKE SWISS CHARD PANEER
Detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card but here you will find a few helpful tips and tricks and a quick general overview of how to master this recipe!
STEP ONE: Paneer
- Toss paneer in dried spices and fry in ghee until crispy
STEP TWO: Spices + Aromatics
- In the same skillet you used for the panner, toast mustard seeds, and cumin seeds, Add finely diced garlic, jalapeno, and ginger. Add tomato, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne.
- **This dish is all about building flavor so don't skip the toasting of the spices step. Toasting dried spices allow the flavors to bloom. Once you've toasted the dried spices you will continue to build flavor with garlic, ginger, and jalapeno.
- Saute Swiss Chard: Add swiss chard and a bit of water to the pan, allow the greens to wilt but still retain some bite.
- ALERT! ALERT! Don't overcook the greens 🙂 I personally love swiss chard in this recipe rather than the more traditional spinach simply due to the texture of the swiss chard. You want a little bite a little texture to the greens.
- Add Coconut Milk + Paneer: Add in coconut milk, stir until creamy and then add the paneer back in and stir, being cautious to not break the paneer.
Nutrition Benefits of Leafy Greens
Cognitive Health — According to a recent study, those who eat leafy greens every day have a lower rate of cognitive decline compared to those who ate the least.
Increased Satiety — Chlorophyll in leafy greens provides thylakoid-rich extracts that delay stomach emptying, decrease levels of hunger-related hormones like ghrelin, and increase levels of satiety.
Supports Gut Health — The fiber in leafy greens allows you to develop an ideal gut microbiome — healthy gut, healthy life! Research also shows that leafy greens contain a specific type of sugar called sulfoquinovose —or SQ for short – that helps fuel the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
MORE LEAFY GREEN RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE!
Save Your Chard Stems!
I’m a huge proponent of closed-loop cooking, which is basically a low-waste way of cooking that focuses on using all of the plant, animal, or ingredients you have on hand. Swiss chard is perfect for this because typically the stem of swiss chard is a throwaway bit. But when pickled…oh boy do you have a stellar snack on hand.
Try this recipe for Pink Peppercorn Pickled Swiss Chard Stems.
Briney, crunchy, goodness, with floral coriander, a pop of bright fruit from pink peppercorns, basically YUM!
Toast Spices Whole
Toasting your spices whole makes them more aromatic because heat draws out the oils from the spices, emphasizing and emboldening the flavor. It’s like sending your spices to finishing school, they come back all proper and mature.
As your spices toast, use your senses to determine if they’re ready. They’ll be darker, more fragrant, they’ll make little popping noises.
STORAGE and REHEATING INSTRUCTIONS
- Storage – Let the dish cool completely, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Reheating – Reheat in a saucepan on the stove.
- Freezing – I don't recommend freezing this recipe.
DIETARY MODIFICATIONS FOR THIS RECIPE:
This recipe is naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, keto, and modifiable in the following ways:
- Vegan — Swap out paneer for vegan non-melting cheese or tofu, and use coconut oil rather than ghee.
- Low-FODMAP — Coconut milk is low FODMAP at 1/2 cup serving size as is paneer at a serving size of 120g.
I can’t wait for you to try this Swiss Chard Paneer! If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!
Swiss Chard Paneer
- 8 ounces Paneer Cheese
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp ghee or butter or avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 cloves garlic finely diced
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper finely diced, seeds and ribs removed
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger finely diced
- 1 medium tomato finely diced, seeds removed
- 1.5 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 5 cups swiss chard about 1 large bunch, remove leaves from stems and chop
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup coconut milk you may need up to 1/2 cup more
- Prepare Paneer: Cut paneer into 1" cubes. In a shallow bowl combine 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp garam masala, and a pinch of cayenne. Toss paneer in spices and set aside
- Fry Paneer: In a skillet over medium-high heat melt ghee (or butter), fry paneer until crispy at edges, about 1-2 minutes. Remove paneer from pan and set aside.
- Toast Spices and Aromatics: In the same skillet, toast mustard seeds, and cumin seeds for 30 seconds or until fragrant (if pan is dry add more ghee). Add finely diced garlic, jalapeno, and ginger and saute for 3 minutes stirring constantly until softened and fragrant. Add tomato, garam masala, turmeric, and cayene. Stir for 2 more minutes.
- Saute Swiss Chard: Add swiss chard and 1/4 water to pan and saute for 10 minutes or until tender. The greens shoud still have some life to them, a bit of a bite and vibrant green.
- Add Coconut Milk + Paneer: Add in coconut milk, start with 1/4 cup and add more as needed (I like it super creamy so I typically end up with 1/2 cup total coconut milk. If your bunch of swiss chard is smaller or larger you may need to adjust the amount of coconut milk). Add paneer back in and stir, being cautious to not break the paneer. Serve immediately.
Can I Help You Meal Plan?
Enter your email below to download my free - one week - real food (mostly plants) meal plan. Grocery list, recipes, prep schedule, it's all there for you 🙂