Healthy Vegetarian Indian Paneer Tikka Salad Recipe

How to make the best traditional Indian Paneer Salad recipe.

Our Paneer Tikka Salad is a healthy vegetarian dish served warm as a light lunch or side dish at an Indian dinner.

Garlic, tomatoes, onion and Indian cottage cheese are roasted in the oven with fragrant spices and served on a bed of baby spinach leaves with toasted naan bread.

Our quick & easy Paneer Salad recipe features simple and affordable ingredients like tomato, cumin, garlic, red onions, diced paneer cheese, chili powder, garam masala, lime juice, baby spinach and naan.

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Save our Healthy Vegetarian Indian Paneer Tikka Salad recipe to Pinterest!
Save our Healthy Vegetarian Indian Paneer Tikka Salad recipe to Pinterest!

What Is Paneer?

Paneer is a fresh cheese common in the Indian subcontinent. It is an unaged, non-melting soft cheese made by curdling milk with a fruit- or vegetable-derived acid, such as lemon juice. Its acid-set form before pressing is called chhena

We love cooking with paneer when preparing Indian dishes like Vegetarian Shahi PaneerChicken Shahi Korma, Malai Kofta and Paneer Soup.

If you’re vegetarian or looking for new ways to add healthy protein to your diet, paneer offers a tasty addition to your next Indian salad.

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Healthy Vegetarian Indian Paneer Tikka Salad recipe ingredients.
Healthy Vegetarian Indian Paneer Tikka Salad recipe ingredients.

Travel to India by Cooking Paneer Tikka Salad at Home

I love traveling through Asia.

My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.

After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout Asia for 6 months, visiting the PhilippinesIndonesiaMalaysiaSingaporeCambodiaLaosMyanmar, ThailandVietnamThe Maldives and India.

I spent over a month traveling through India. I started in the capital, eating my way through the bustling markets and fine dining restaurants in Delhi. I then embarked on a magical weekend getaway to awe-inspiring Taj Mahal in Agra. In India’s north you’ll find plenty of barbecue and wheat based side dishes like scorched naan bread.

For the second half of my Indian adventure I explored the southern state of Kerala. The south is famous for its seafood, coconut, tropical fruits, and rice based side dishes like crispy dosa and Thakkali Biryani. The colonial capital of Cochin was formerly run by the Portuguese. It’s also one of the only places in India you can find beef on a menu.

After enjoying a jaunt to the Maldives my India trip came to a close in the Bollywood capital, bustling and cosmopolitan Mumbai. The city is famous for its specialty street foods and fine dining restaurants at opulent luxury hotels. The Taj Mahal Palace in particular serves one of the world’s most famous Afternoon Teas.

What I found most fascinating is India’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in FranceGermanyItaly or Spain, each city in India had its own local speciality.

After you’ve traveled to India, return home to prepare an authentic and fragrant feast for friends and family featuring this flavourful Paneer Salad recipe!

This easy vegetarian Indian Salad recipe features garlic, onion, tomato and paneer.
This easy vegetarian Indian Salad recipe features garlic, onion, tomato and paneer.

Where To Eat Paneer Salad

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to local Indian restaurants that serve traditional Paneer Tikka Salad.

Haven’t traveled to India before? It may be helpful to first sample Vegetarian Paneer Salad at a local Indian restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can assess the desired spicy heat level, perfect paneer to roast vegetable ratio, and complimentary side dishes to serve at the table.

In Toronto, popular Indian restaurants that may serve Paneer Tikka Salad include Udupi PalaceLahore Tikka House and Kothur Indian Cuisine.

Bake Paneer Tikka Salad ingredients in a roasting pan.
BakePaneer Tikka Salad ingredients in a roasting pan.

My Family Loves Paneer Tikka Salad

I’ll never forget my first experience eating Paneer Salad.

I woke up at a luxury hotel in Cochin, the capital of the southern state of Kerala, to find a decadent breakfast buffet. I felt like I had arrived in a different country as the dishes in Southern India are unique to what you’d find in northern city’s like Agra and Delhi.

The waiter asked me if I’d like to try a local breakfast speciality, crispy dosa served with a selection of chutneys. I remember sipping bitter darjeeling tea while dipping dosa into spicy chutney. I experienced an unforgettable explosion of flavours in my mouth as hot tea muddled with the flavours of spiced chutney. A wonderful way to wake up to the world!

The waiter saw that I loved the dosa and moments later brought over a small bowl of Paneer Salad, an eye catching dish featuring blistered tomatoes, scorched red onions, crispy garlic and browned paneer cheese. After devouring the small bowl in a matter of seconds I realized I was forever in love with the salads simplicity.

After traveling throughout India and eating at some of the world’s best Indian restaurants I was excited to share my love for Paneer Tikka Salad with family in Toronto.

I’ve hosted many Indian-themed feasts, showcasing dishes from Delhi to Bengal via fragrant curries, fresh salads and hearty soups.

I served a creamy Chicken Shahi Korma with crunchy Indian Onion Salad for an al fresco lunch in the spring. While in the summer at the cottage in Muskoka we enjoyed a vegetarian feast featuring Shahi Paneer and Indian Chickpea Crepes.

When I finally introduced my parents to this Paneer Salad recipe their eyes bulged with glee. I knew they’d both enjoy the warm salad because they love roasted vegetables, paneer cheese and toasted naan bread.

If you’ve traveled to India on holiday there is no better way to share your adventure at home with family and friends at home then by serving our homemade Paneer Salad recipe.

Easy Paneer Salad recipe features tender roasted vegetables.
EasyPaneer Salad recipe features tender roasted vegetables.

Paneer Salad Recipe Health Benefits

Our healthy Paneer Tikka Salad recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Packed with folate, vitamin C, and potassium, spinach helps keep your blood, immune system and eyes healthy. 

A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, limes help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.

A rich source of blood-building iron, cumin may also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol. It is also traditionally used as a digestive aid.

Chili has been proven to help reduce the duration of sickness, prevent heart disease, and promote weight loss. 

Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.

Serve our healthy Paneer Salad recipe with toasted naan bread.
Serve our healthy Paneer Salad recipe with toasted naan bread.

Cooking Tips

If it’s your first time cooking restaurant-style Paneer Salad at home be sure to review our detailed step-by-step recipe below. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started.

  • We’ve used large beefsteak tomatoes in this recipe but you can substitue for roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes.
  • We’ve roasted the vegetables in flavourless canola oil but you can add substitute for coconut oil for a subtle taste of the tropics.
  • We’ve used red onions in this recipe to add colour to the salad but you can substitute for shallots or sweet Vidalia onions.
  • We use a tiny amount of chili powder to give the salad a bit of heat. If you like spicy food feel free to add chopped serrano chilies.
  • We’ve used baby spinach in this salad recipe but you can substitute for finely chopped romaine lettuce.
  • Tikka typically features Indian cottage cheese marinated in Greek yogurt sauce. You can purchase prepared Tikka sauce to use in this recipe, or simply toss in oil and spices to help the paneer get crispy in the oven.
Our Paneer Tikka Salad recipe is a delicious vegetarian Indian side dish.
Our Paneer Tikka Salad recipe is a delicious vegetarian Indian side dish.

What To Serve withPaneer Salad

Paneer Tikka Salad is one of our favourite vegetarian dishes to serve from India. The healthy recipe can be served as a light lunch all on its own or as a side dish at dinner.

If you’re hosting a large Indian-themed dinner party buffet you may want to also include fresh salads, soups, and a seafood or chicken curry.

I particularly like to serve this Paneer Salad recipe with Pitod Ki Sabji Vegetarian Indian Chickpea Dumplings, Vegetarian Malai Kofta, Vegetarian Shahi Paneer or Punjabi Samosa.

You May Also Enjoy These Salad Recipes…

Now you're an expert on how to make the best roasted Paneer Tikka Salad recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best roasted Paneer Tikka Salad recipe!

How To Make VegetarianPaneer Tikka Salad Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vegetarian Paneer Tikka Salad

How to make an easy healthy Paneer Salad recipe. Our vegetarian Paneer Tikka Salad features Indian spices, tomatoes, onions and spinach.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Paneer Salad
Servings: 6
Calories: 361kcal


  • French knife
  • Roasting Pan
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoon


  • 2 lb Beefsteak Tomatoes quartered
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Medium Red Onions
  • 12 oz Paneer cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 4 cups Baby Spinach packed
  • 2 Naan Bread sliced into wedges


  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Place the tomatoes in a roasting pan along with the garlic, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Peel the onions, cut into wedges and put them into a seperate roasting pan with the paneer. Shake together so they lie in a single layer. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle over 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place both pans in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the cumin, chili powder, garam masala, lime juice, 2 tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk to combine.
  • When the 25 minutes are up, remove the onion pan from the oven, add the naan, and toss together so the naan becomes coated. Return to the oven and cook both pans for another 8-10 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic cloves and when cool enough squeeze the flesh into the dressing. Add the tomatoes to the onions, paneer, and naan, leaving some of the juices behind. Add the spinach and dressing, and enough of the tomato juices so that are coated well. Serve hot.


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 32.6g | Fat: 13.1g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 1923mg | Potassium: 747mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 13g | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 3mg

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