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Friends and family are always asking for my vegetarian recipes. This is one of those favorite recipes that we have enjoyed. It's not hard to find great vegetarian recipes that don't require a lot of time and effort. Our Paneer Makhani recipe isn't difficult, and easy to make your own.

Paneer Makhani recipe

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This recipe for Paneer Makhani is easy and very flavorful. You simply just need to add the spices, cheese, and water, tomatoes and let it simmer a while.  This is a recipe that can probably be adapted to the slow cooker pretty easy.  I usually just toss it in the dutch oven when I get home and let it do it's thing while I cook up a pot of basmati rice for the side.

Let me know what you think!  

What is Paneer?

Paneer is a fresh, white cheese with a slightly salty taste. It is very versatile since it doesn't melt like other cheeses.  And it is a great vegetarian substitute for tofu or meat. 

Paneer is used in a lot of Indian dishes as a meat-free alternative.  

Make sure the paneer is soft and spongy. If not, microwave it for 30 seconds until it's soft. 

Can Paneer Makhani be made vegan?

Absolutely! If you swap out the paneer for tofu, the butter for vegan butter, the sugar can be used for honey, and coconut milk for the cream, you can make this dish vegan. 

Looking for more vegan recipes? Check out our Vegan CrockPot Chili!

What is Paneer Makhani?

Paneer Makhani is a curry dish made by cooking paneer cheese in a sauce of buttery tomatoes, and spices. Often served with basmati rice, roti, or naan.

The paneer is a little chewy, a great texture for this meatless dish. Also the creamy and spicy flavors merge together wonderfully. 

Also known as Butter Paneer or Butter Masala, this North Indian classic has a few different variations depending on the family. Some like to fry the paneer before adding it to the dish, but we like to use it raw and save a step. 

I find that the longer this dish sits, the better it tastes. This is a great dish for slow cooking because it allows the spices to sink into the cheese. 

Makhani refers to the silky curry sauce made with lots of butter. The cream makes this dish very smooth, but make sure you add it in last to make sure it doesn't curdle.


Paneer Makhani recipe

This post contains affiliate links that I make a small commission on with no added fee to your purchase.

Vegetarian Cooking Made Easy!

Creamy Paneer Makhani - Butter Paneer Recipe

Fun Topping Ideas:

  • Sour Cream
  • Microgreens
  • Honey


1 lb Paneer – Indian Cheese
 5 medium ripe tomatoes or 1 can crushed tomatoes
 4 cloves garlic
 3 tbsp butter
 1 tsp Ground Cumin
 1 tsp turmeric
 1 tsp Chili Powder, Salt Free, Freshly Ground
 2 tbsp Garam Masala, Freshly Ground – 1 oz
 2 tsp honey
 1 tsp ginger – ground
 2 cups water
 1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
Paneer Makhani recipe


In a Dutch oven add your butter, tomatoes, garlic and spices and water and bring to a simmer 15-20 minutes.

Dice the paneer into thick cubes and add to your tomato mixture and add your honey and let that simmer for 10 minutes on a low to medium heat.

Add cream and stir gently. If it is too spicy, add more cream. On a low simmer let it rest 5 minutes.

I love this with rice or naan. But be creative and make it your own!

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