Vegan Palak Paneer

Palak paneer is a popular Indian dish made with spinach and cubes of paneer cheese. In this vegan version, tofu is used in place of the paneer. For a dairy alternative, substitute store-bought paneer for the tofu, and evaporated milk for the almond milk–cream “cheese” mixture.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 4 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 packages (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan cream cheese
  • 1 package (12 oz.) firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into ½" cubes
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice


  • Spray the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomato paste, curry, ginger, cumin, and turmeric and stir for an additional 30 seconds. Scrape the mixture into the prepared slow cooker. Stir in the spinach. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  • Using an immersion blender, purée the spinach mixture.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk and cream cheese until smooth. Stir the mixture into the slow cooker along with the tofu, salt, and cayenne pepper. Cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Serve over the basmati rice.