How to Make Indian Spinach Rice with Paneer (Palak Rice)

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Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by Chef Mireille

Indian Spinach Rice with Paneer – popularly known as Palak Rice is a quick and easy Indian style Spinach Rice that is a delicious and healthy way to utilize leftover rice. With the added paneer for extra protein, it makes the perfect one-pot meal. Just enjoy it with some cucumber raita or even just some plain yogurt!

With the goodness of spinach and the health benefits that come from whole spices, this is a delicious healthy dish you can enjoy any day!

If you like Palak Paneer, the popular Indian restaurant dish, you are going to love this quick and easy Palak Rice with Paneer. It’s basically Palak Paneer reinvented into a delicious Palak Rice Recipe with Paneer.

Palak Rice with Paneer Recipe

Sure you can transform it into an instant pot version, but it’s really not necessary when this version made with leftover rice is so quick and easy, since you have the rice already cooked.

Before we get to today’s delicious Palak Rice with Paneer Recipe, here are a few other delicious recipes you can make with leftover rice.

Leftover Rice Recipes

There aren’t a lot of unique fancy ingredients in this Spinach Pulao Recipe. If you cook Indian food at all, you most likely already have these ingredients in your pantry. You just have to make sure you add the fresh ingredients to this week’s shopping list!

Spinach Rice Ingredients

Spinach Rice Ingredients
  • fresh spinach or fresh baby spinach (frozen spinach can also be used in a pinch, but fresh is best)
  • cilantro/ coriander leaves
  • oil
  • whole cloves
  • cumin seed
  • cinnamon stick
  • green cardamom
  • onion
  • ginger garlic paste
  • tomato
  • green chilies
  • turmeric powder
  • leftover cooked rice (preferably Basmati rice)
  • fresh lemon juice or lime juice
  • salt
  • paneer (Indian cooking cheese)
  • garam masala
  • additional veggies of your choice like green peas, green beans, carrots, corn (optional)

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How to Make Palak Rice

  • Blanche the spinach leaves.
  • Grind them with the cilantro until you have a smooth paste, adding a little water if necessary.
Indian Palak Rice
  • In a large skillet or a wok, fry the paneer. Remove from the pan.
How to Fry Paneer
  • In the same skillet, fry the whole spices.
  • Add the onion and chilies. Add ginger garlic paste.
  • Saute until onions are softened.
How to make Spinach Rice
  • Add the tomatoes, chilies and turmeric. Cook until tomatoes turn mushy.
  • Add spinach puree and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice, garam masala and salt. Mix well.
Indian Palak Rice with Paneer
  • Add fried paneer and toss well to combine.

This Indian Spinach Rice Recipe is mildly spiced, so it is one the whole family can easily enjoy!

This flavorful Spinach Rice transforms everyday rice into something special.

Palak Rice with Paneer

Although this can be enjoyed as a complete meal on its own, there are still a few side dishes that will compliment this delicious Palak Rice beautifully.

Make it a Meal

Palak Rice with Paneer Recipe
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Palak Rice with Paneer

Palak Rice with Paneer is a delicious healthy one pot meal, utilizing leftover rice.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course, Rice
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 241kcal


  • 1 cup spinach
  • a small handful cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 5 oz. paneer diced


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • Add spinach and cook for 30 seconds, until the spinach wilts.
  • In a food processor, grind the spinach leaves with the cilantro until you have a smooth paste. You may add a little water, if necessary.
  • Immediately drain with a colander and run with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • In a large skillet or a wok, heat oil.
  • Add paneer and fry for a few minutes until golden brown on all sides.
  • Remove the paneer from the pan and set aside.
  • Add cumin seed to the pan and fry until it starts to change color.
  • Add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
  • Fry for 1-2 minutes until it becomes fragrant.
  • Add onion and chilies.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and stir fry until onions are softened and translucent..
  • Add tomato. Fry for a few minutes until the tomatoes soften and start to break down.
  • Add spinach puree to the pan with the turmeric.
  • Fry for another few minutes.
  • Add the cooked rice, lemon juice, garam masala and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the paneer and mix until thoroughly combined.



You can also add extra vegetables of your choice as you wish like green peas, green beans, sweet corn, bell peppers or carrots.


Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 788IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

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