This vegan saag paneer is about to spark your love affair with spinach!
I LOVE Indian food! Anything spinach based is my jam. So I got to thinking, what if I could not only perfectly mimic the taste of the creamy spinach sauce and the lightly salty and soft paneer of saag paneer? What if I also put my kind of spin on it. Thus vegan saag paneer pasta was born. Tofu paneer that is healthy and easy, the best Indian inspired spinach pasta sauce of all time. Served over your favorite noodles.
This pasta dish is healthy, quick and somehow so dreamy and delicious you will not know what hit you. You will ask yourself when is it an appropriate time to make this vegan saag paneer pasta again, immediately after you polish your plate.
You’ll be surprised by how something with such simple ingredients can taste so freaking good! I wanted to add spices that I know are accessible to everyone. Traditional saag paneer has garam masala in it, so feel free to exchange the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom for a bit of garam masala. I just like to make sure anyone can make my recipes, even those who can’t find certain spices.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I know this may sound a little outlandish, or even bizarre, but trust me, try this pasta. You’ll never be the same, in a great way. You’ll be shouting it from the roof tops, that Indian pasta is the best thing you’ve ever had. I’m over here just trying to let the world know.
This Indian favorite inspired pasta is made with tofu paneer and creamy spinach.
- 1 Block(15oz.) Extra firm tofu, pressed
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Package(16oz.) Frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Medium Onion, diced
- 6 Cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh ginger, grated
- 1 Small Green chilie, serrano or jalapeno if you are in a pinch
- 1 teaspoon Coriander
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- Pinch of Cloves
- Pinch of Cardamom
- 1 Cup Canned coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
- 16 Ounces Pasta
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by making the tofu paneer. You need to press the tofu first. If you need more information on how to properly press tofu, check out my TOFU COOKING GUIDE.
Once you have pressed the tofu, cut the block into small cubes. Put the tofu in a large ziploc bag or a large bowl. Pour the lemon juice and olive oil on top. Then sprinkle the turmeric and salt on top. Toss to coat the tofu. Let it sit in the liquid for at least 30 minutes.
Now, preheat the oven to 400 degrees(F).
Remove the tofu cubes from the liquid and put them in a single layer on a sheet pan sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake the tofu for 15 minutes, then flip the cubes of tofu and bake for 15 more minutes. The tofu should be golden brown.
While the tofu is baking, start the sauce, and get the water started to boil for the pasta.
Heat the olive oil on medium high in a large non-stick skillet.
Add the onions, garlic, ginger and green chilie. Saute, reducing heat as needed for about 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent and slightly brown.
Then add all the spices and toss to combine. Saute for another 1-2 minutes to cook the spices.
Squeeze as much liquid out of the thawed spinach as you can, then add it to the skillet. Saute for 5-7 minutes to cook the spinach. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
When the pasta water begins to boil, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when the pasta is cooked.
Now, add the coconut cream to the spinach and stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
When the tofu, spinach and pasta are done, toss everything together and serve immediately.