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This Whole30 Indian saag chicken is a paleo, Whole30-compliant take on the Indian favorite, saag paneer. Super rich and satisfying, this Whole30 Indian saag chicken absolutely rivals takeout! Such a great Whole30 Indian recipe or paleo Indian recipe, you’ll never miss the paneer.

Whole30 Indian saag chicken in a white bowl

I present to you… the ugliest dish.

I’m just not sure there’s a dish out there can rival a rich Indian saag or palak in homeliness. Dark green mush, dotted with little white cubes of paneer on the buffet line, usually squatting in between a similarly hideous dal and heaps of fluffy jasmine rice, that doesn’t stop saag paneer from being my favorite Indian dish, maybe ever.

Whole30 Indian saag chicken in a white bowl

OK, so, my restaurant-style Whole30 chicken tikka masala might actually win that prize. But saag paneer is sure as hell right beneath it on the leaderboard.

Of course, though, paneer isn’t Whole30-compliant: it’s made almost entirely of whole milk. If you’re into that kind of thing, I have the best ever homemade paneer recipe for you, too! It’s easy and ridiculously rich and creamy, like 400 lightyears better than what you get at the store or at the restaurant. Like, the heavenliness cannot be overstated. You’ve gotta try it.

Indian-spiced chicken marinating

But the heavenliness and richness and holy-crap-meet-me-at-the-Indian-buffet-in-20-minutes-ness of homemade paneer is irrelevant when it comes to the Whole30 or more paleo diets. It’s off limits.

Enter… Whole30 Indian saag chicken. Technically saag murgh but who’s counting? This stuff is divine, y’all, and the chicken is so tender and perfect that you won’t miss the paneer one bit. The Whole30 Indian saag chicken is made by first caramelizing a quartet of Indian aromatics until they’re a deep brown and super rich. Then you blend in plenty of frozen spinach and plenty of coconut cream, making the dish creamy and complex and comforting and perfect.

Whole30 Indian saag chicken in a white bowl

The best part of this stuff is that it makes killer leftovers, and on a Whole30, maximizing leftovers is key.

Oh, the most important part? Don’t skip the caramelization. It absolutely has to look like this:

Caramelized onions, garlic, serrano peppers, ginger for Whole30 Indian saag chicken

And if it doesn’t? I wash my hands of you! Seriously, though, this Whole30 Indian saag chicken will not be nearly as rich or complex or delicious or takeout-worthy if you skip the caramelization. Don’t do it!

4.94 from 16 votes

Whole30 Indian Saag Chicken (Paleo Indian Saag Chicken)


Prep 10 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 45 minutes
This Whole30 Indian saag chicken is a paleo, Whole30-compliant take on the Indian favorite, saag paneer. Super rich and satisfying, this Whole30 Indian saag chicken absolutely rivals takeout! Such a great Whole30 Indian recipe or paleo Indian recipe, you'll never miss the paneer. 
6 servings

Ingredients

Chicken

Saag

  • 2 12-ounce packages frozen spinach steamed
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. ghee
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1-2 serrano chiles minced
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 4 tsp. coriander powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp. dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 14.5- ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut cream the solid white part of a can of coconut milk or coconut cream
  • plenty of salt like 1 - 2 teaspoons
  • fresh cilantro chopped, to serve

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375º F. Combine spices and oil or ghee in a bowl. Place chicken pieces in a large baking dish and coat with oil-spice mixture. Bake for 30 minutes; remove from oven. Preheat broiler then broil chicken for 5 minutes, or until browned in places. Remove from oven and set aside. Let cool slightly, then cut chicken off the bone into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a food processor, process steamed spinach until puréed. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-low heat, place 2 1/2 tablespoons ghee. Add onions, ginger, garlic, and serrano chiles; cook slowly, stirring regularly, until a toffee color. Don't skip this part! Add a tablespoon of water, as needed, if mixture is burning or drying out.
  • Add the garam masala, coriander powder, and cumin powder. Sprinkle with a little water to moisten, if you haven't added water in the previous step. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spices are fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the spinach to the skillet and stir well. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup of water, coconut milk, coconut cream, fenugreek leaves, and cooked chicken pieces. Stir well, then cook about 5 minutes uncovered. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  • Serve over cauliflower rice and top with fresh chopped cilantro.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Calories: 555calProtein: 19gFat: 50gSaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 390mgPotassium: 589mgTotal Carbs: 13gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gNet Carbs: 8gVitamin A: 138IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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36 Comments

  1. skipped the chicken, used fenugreek powder instead of leaves, cooked with ghee in a pressure cooker. fantastic. restaurant quality.5 stars

    1. Grace | 40 Aprons Team Grace | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Sounds delicious! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Thanks for this recipe! I tried it last night. I find that the smell and flavor profile were really on point, but to me the flavors were quite thin. I ended up doctoring it quite successfully though. Modifications I made were: 50% more spices, closer to 1.5-2Tbs salt, and added 2tsp cayenne. I think next time I’m going to add 50% more garlic and ginger, and then skip the water at the end entirely. Oh, I also used almost 3lb of boneless skinless thighs, and the protein-to-sauce proportions were more in line with expectations. I’m still very thrilled with this recipe, I highly recommend trying it, and this will definitely be a frequent dish for me! Thanks again!4 stars

    1. Anna Claire | 40 Aprons Team Anna Claire | 40 Aprons Team says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the tips. 🙂5 stars

  3. This was our first attempt at making saag at home, and it was shockingly delicious! We still can’t believe it was so simple to make a dish that tastes as good as it does at our favorite Indian restaurant!5 stars

  4. Avatar Laura Kirsch says:

    Confused. The recipe calls for 1.5 lbs chicken pieces but then in step 1 cutting chicken off the bone is mentioned. Is it 1.5lbs bone in or out? Can’t wait to make this!

    1. Avatar Savannah | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Hi! So sorry for that confusion- the recipe calls for bone-in chicken. 🙂5 stars

  5. Can you use boneless skinless chicken thighs? Or do you prefer bone in chicken?

    Thank you

    1. Avatar Savannah | 40 Aprons Team says:

      We think the bone in chicken really amplifies the flavors in this recipe, but boneless skinless chicken thighs can certainly be used!5 stars

    1. Avatar Savannah | 40 Aprons Team says:

      It totally is! Wit it having 50 grams of fat and 8 grams net carbs per serving, this recipe is keto as-is! If you want to save an additional 1-2 carbs, then you can omit the onion!5 stars

  6. This recipe looks SPECTACULAR. Thanks for sharing it! Do you think I could substitute cashew milk for the coconut milk? I’m trying to accommodate for dairy and coconut sensitivity.

    1. Avatar Savannah | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Yes, that’ll work!5 stars

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