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If you are looking for inspiring new ways to cook paneer (Indian cottage cheese), I’ve got you covered. From appetizers to curries and biryanis to parathas, you’ll find 30+ different ways you can turn your block of paneer into a scrumptious dish.
What is paneer
Paneer is an unaged cheese – meaning you can eat it right after it is set. This soft and spongy unsalted cheese is made from either cow’s or buffalo’s milk.
It is a non-melting cheese that holds its shape when cooked. This means that it can be grilled, fried, added to curries, and even baked.
It has a firm texture, like tofu, that allows it to be chopped into cubes without crumbling. This Indian cheese does not disintegrate in curries because, unlike most cheeses that are cooked with rennet, paneer is cooked with an acidic agent.
Read more: Paneer and the origin of cheese in India.
How to make homemade paneer
Before we jump to your favorite paneer recipes, let’s quickly walk through how to make fresh paneer quickly and easily using an Instant Pot (or stovetop). All you need is two ingredients! Trust me when I say this – fresh cheese beats store-bought any day.
Best storebought paneer in the US
If you are living in the US, here are the two brands of paneer I recommend – Haldiram’s and Nanak paneer. You can find them in most Indian grocery stores in the frozen section. They either come as a slab or cubes. I prefer the cubes since they are ready to use, and no chopping is needed.
Dishes made from paneer
Paneer has become a quintessential part of Indian cuisine. It elevates any dish that it is added to. That’s why you’ll often see paneer paired with other veggies such as peas, potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, etc.
The versatility of this Indian cheese is what makes it such a favored ingredient when cooking at home and in Indian restaurants worldwide.
Let’s check out the most popular and delicious paneer recipes that are categorized by course.
Yes, you can have Indian paneer for breakfast as well! Check out these popular Indian paneer recipes that are a great way to start your day!
Start your day right with this protein-packed scrambled paneer.
What I love about this paneer paratha recipe is that the crumbled paneer stuffing can be made in advance and frozen. Perfect for meal prepping!
Check out these easy Indian starter recipes made with paneer.
Schezwan paneer momos
If you love momos, this Indo-Chinese paneer momos recipe is definitely worth a shot!
Chili paneer is another lip-smacking Indo-Chinese appetizer that is perfect for parties!
Sabudana vada stuffed with paneer
Classic sabudana vada recipe gets a makeover with this paneer stuffed recipe!
Aloo paneer tikkis
Make these potato-paneer tikkis or cutlets whenever you are craving chaat. These are perfect with cilantro lime chutney or ketchup!
Paneer pakora (2 ways)
This recipe will teach you how to make two different kinds of paneer pakora and shares a secret trick to make them super crispy!
Paneer kathi roll
Missing Indian street food? Try this paneer kathi roll made with seasoned paneer – it’s finger-licking good!
Curries & side dishes
This section includes all the popular paneer gravy recipes, from paneer butter masala to saag paneer. Serve them with either steamed rice or Indian bread like roti, naan bread, or parathas!
Replicate the flavors of restaurant-style matar paneer curry with this easy recipe!
Paneer tikka masala
Paneer tikka masala dish is probably the most popular Indian paneer recipe that most people can’t get enough of. Tastes great with Basmati rice, tandoori roti, and naan.
This popular kadai paneer recipe is made by cooking paneer chunks, sliced onions, and bell peppers in a spicy kadai masala made from freshly ground spices.
This recipe for paneer makhani is a delicious treat when served with jeera rice. Learn how to make this popular paneer dish using cashew nuts to get that rich, creamy taste.
Check out this almost-hands-free recipe to make this restaurant favorite at home.
Creamy shahi paneer is one of the most popular paneer recipes! This rich curry is made with onions, nuts and lightly flavored with spices. Goes so well with naan!
Aloo matar paneer
Got curry sauce or bhuna masala at home? If so, try this Instant Pot Aloo matar paneer recipe. I love that it comes together in 20 minutes!
Spicy achari paneer
Paneer in pickling spices – need I say more? Try this delectable dish that’ll tickle your senses and will leave you asking for seconds and thirds.
Methi malai matar paneer
This recipe is a must-try in my book for those who love methi (fenugreek leaves) and paneer!
This Mughlai-style paneer is a dish cooked in rich onion-based gravy and is perfect for parties!
Paneer lababdar is a delicious curry made from paneer chunks and grated paneer simmered in a rich onion-tomato sauce. Make this restaurant favorite at home!
Instant Pot Paneer Biryani
Make this fragrant biryani with Basmati rice loaded with paneer and aromatic spices in your Instant Pot!
Achari paneer biryani
Another Instant Pot biryani recipe, but this paneer is seasoned with pickling spices. Such an exciting recipe!
Paneer pulao is an absolute lip-smacking main course meal that is made by roasting large paneer cubes in ghee and then cooking them with rice. It is a one-pot meal that is healthy, delicious, and easy to make.
Other recipe collections to check out
- 10+ Indian chutney recipes – These authentic and tantalizing Indian chutney recipes are just what you need to elevate your meals. Check out this collection of 10+ popular chutney recipes that are perfect with Indian breakfast, snacks, and main courses too.
- 35+ Best Indian breakfast recipes – Running out of ideas on what to make for breakfast? Here’s a list of easy Indian breakfast recipes for your inspiration so that you are never bored eating the same things over and over.
- 35+ Popular Indian side dish recipes – If you love Indian cuisine, here are a few easy-to-make, popular Indian side dish recipes to get you started. Stop doing takeouts and make your favorite restaurant-style side dish at home.
- 45+ Easy Indian Sweets and Desserts that are a must-try – Check out this extensive list of 45+ easy dessert recipes from all over India. They are perfect for dinner parties, festivals, or for days when you are just craving something sweet.
This post was published on December 6, 2021, and has been completely updated with new information on April 27, 2023.