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Saag “Paneer”

The traditional version of Saag Paneer, which literally translates to “spinach and cheese,” can be found at virtually any Indian restaurant, served alongside Naan, mango chutney and yogurt. With my family’s allergies to gluten and dairy, we can’t get the restaurant version, but substituting Violife Just Like Feta for the cheese, chickpea tortillas for the naan and coconut yogurt for conventional yogurt makes this version just as good.

This recipe is inspired by the Saag Paneer recipe from Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker cookbook.

Read my post, “How to: Host a Dinner Party for People with (and Without) Food Allergies and Intolerances,” including a shopping list and recipes for an Indian-inspired dinner party featuring this recipe, Red Lentil Dal and Dairy-Free Mango Lassis.

Please note: This post includes affiliate links to featured products for your convenience. If you make a purchase using one of the links, I may receive a small commission, at zero extra cost to you. Win-win!

Saag “Paneer”

Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8



  • pounds fresh spinach
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 small knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 fresh, red plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • tsp garam masala
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp soy-free Earth Balance
  • 12 ounces Violife Just Like Feta, cubed (in place of traditional Paneer)

To serve:

  • Siete Chickpea Tortillas (in place of traditional Naan)
  • Mango chutney (check to make sure it's free of your allergens)
  • Plain vegan, nut-free, soy-free yogurt (I used Harmless Harvest, which contains coconut)


  • Make a bed of half of the spinach and half of the kale at the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Top with onion, ginger, tomatoes and garlic.
  • Place spices in a small bowl and stir to combine, then sprinkle over onion mixture and greens.
  • Add remaining greens, cover, and cook on low for 5 hours.
  • Add Soy-Free Earth Balance and more salt.
  • Use an immersion blender (or carefully transfer to an actual blender) and blend lightly (you don’t want it to liquefy; just blend a bit until some of it is pureed).
  • Return to slow cooker, add cubed Violife Just Like Feta and allow to warm through for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve with Siete chickpea tortillas, mango chutney and plain vegan, soy-free, nut-free yogurt.
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Hey there, I'm Liz!

As a former food editor and everyday home cook, I’ve spent the past 15+ years testing, tasting and saving delicious, Octofree recipes for my family. It’s with lots of love that I share the best of the bunch with you, along with tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

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