May 30, 2017

Saag Paneer Naan Pizza

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
In this recipe, the saag is spread on fluffy naan bread and topped with paneer (an Indian cheese) for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

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Saag, a classic Indian spinach dish, doesn’t exactly look pretty (it looks like a pile of green mush – not going to sugar coat it), but it’s flavorful and delicious, not to mention all that spinach is good for you! Saag is like a healthier, Indian version of creamed spinach.

In this recipe, the saag is spread on fluffy naan bread and topped with paneer (an Indian cheese) for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. The pizza-alternative is a great way to get out of our standard cheese pizza rut.

Saag Paneer Naan Pizza

saag paneer naan pizza recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Spinach – It’s amazing how much spinach you can put into the pot and the minimal ball that comes out. A pound and a half may seem like a mountain of spinach but after it’s blanched you end up with a mere handful.
  • Paneer – Paneer is an Indian cow’s milk cheese made from milk curdled with acid and pressed. This cheese doesn’t melt which makes it great for grilling or pan-frying and it adds texture to the saag mixture. While it can be added raw, I love pan-frying it to give it a bit of a crispy texture. If you can’t find paneer I recommend substituting with halloumi or Panela in this saag paneer recipe.
  • Thai Birdseye chili – Bird’s eye chilies or Thai chilies are small, pointy chili peppers that pack a punch. They add an intense heat to the saag paneer with fruity flavor to dishes rating between 50,000 and 100,000 Scoville units. They can sometimes be difficult to find so I usually buy a large bag of them at my local Asian market. I store them in the freezer in a resealable plastic bag. It’s actually even easier to cut them when they are frozen.
  • Naan – Naan is a leavened oven-baked bread. It’s pillowy and makes a great pizza crust in this recipe. While homemade naan is ideal in this recipe I use store-bought naan for a quick dinner recipe.
closeup saag paneer naan pizza closeup

How to Make Saag Paneer Naan Pizza

  1. Blanch the spinach. Bring a large pot of water over medium-high heat to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch until bright green and tender, about 30 seconds. Remove spinach to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the spinach then squeeze out excess water. Roughly chop the spinach and set aside.
  2. Sauté the aromatics. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Next, add the onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, ginger and chili and cook for an additional minute, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the spices. Add the garam masala, coriander, and turmeric, stirring to cook the spices for just a few seconds. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the spinach to the pan. Stir together the spinach mixture and vegetable stock and cook until the greens are soft and deep green, about 4 minutes.
  4. Pulse the spinach. Add the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms (should look similar to pesto). Return to the pan then stir in the butter and yogurt.
  5. Heat oven. Heat oven to 500ºF.
  6. Assemble the naan pizza. Spread about 1/3 cup of the saag on one of the pieces of naan, leaving about a ½” border around the edges. Then top with pieces of the paneer and Fresno peppers and repeat with the remaining naan.
  7. Bake. Bake until the cheese has melted and the edges of the naan are golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Serve. Cut into equal pieces and serve immediately.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Saag Paneer Naan Pizza

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 4 naan pizzas

Ingredients:

  • pounds baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 Thai birdseye chili, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 4 pieces prepared naan bread
  • 6 ounces paneer, cut into ¼” thick, 1” cubes*
  • 1 medium Fresno pepper, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of water over medium-high heat to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch until bright green and tender, about 30 seconds. Remove spinach to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the spinach then squeeze out excess water. Roughly chop the spinach and set aside.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chili and cook for an additional minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garam masala, coriander, and turmeric, stirring to cook the spices for just a few seconds. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the spinach to the pan. Stir together the spinach mixture and vegetable stock and cook until the greens are soft and deep green, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms (should look similar to pesto). Return to the pan then stir in the butter and yogurt.
  • Heat oven to 500ºF (260ºC).
  • Spread about 1/3 cup of the saag on one of the pieces of naan, leaving about a ½” border around the edges. Then top with pieces of the paneer and Fresno peppers and repeat with the remaining naan.
  • Bake until the cheese has melted and the edges of the naan are golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Cut into equal pieces and serve immediately.

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