Palak Paneer

When I tried Trader Joe’s palak paneer for the first time several years ago, I couldn’t believe that I had been missing out on eating it for so long. I’m a cheese lover and vegetarian-meal enthusiast, so this dish of spinach and uncured cheese hit the spot for me. Read on to find out more about Trader Joe’s palak paneer and why it might become a favorite for you too.

The details

Price: $3.99

Size: 10 oz

Servings per box: 2

Calories per serving: 210

What are the ingredients in Trader Joe’s Palak paneer?

Spinach, paneer (pasteurized milk, nonfat dry milk, acetic acid), onions, tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, citric acid [acidifier]), canola oil, broccoli, cream, water, spices, tomato puree (water, tomato paste, citric acid [acidifier]), instant nonfat dry milk (nonfat dry milk, lactose, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3), garlic, salt, green chili peppers, chickpea flour, sugar, turmeric (spice and color), ghee (clarified butter), fenugreek leaves. 

How does Trader Joe’s palak paneer taste?

This dish is a delicious combination of uncured cheese and spinach cooked with spices until tender. The result is a savory vegetarian entree with chunks of textured cheese. 

The spinach is smooth and creamy like a gravy. It may not look like much more than dark green puree, but it tastes amazing with its onions and spices. You probably wouldn’t even guess that it’s spinach. 

The cheese itself comes in cubes. The taste is light and mild, similar to American cottage cheese. It’s somewhat firm, so you have to bite and chew it. 

What’s better than eating cheese cubes in a rich savory gravy?

How does Trader Joe’s palak paneer compare to restaurant palak paneer?

I like this dish so much that I order it at every new Indian restaurant I try. It tastes different at every restaurant. Sometimes I’m surprised at how different it tastes.

I like the taste of Trader Joe’s palak paneer better about 50% of the time, which is surprising since restaurant food tends to be better than frozen food. 

At other times, I like the restaurant’s version better because the taste is stronger, probably because it’s fresh. But Trader Joe’s palak paneer is a reasonable take on the dish for a meal at home, especially considering that it’s mass produced and comes frozen.

As a non-Indian person, I can’t speak to the authenticity of the taste, but when I eat Trader Joe’s palak paneer, it’s so satisfying, the way you feel when you eat comfort food at home. 

That’s why this is one of the most favorite vegetarian dishes from Trader Joe’s. This is one of the few foods that I even have cravings for!

What do you eat with Trader Joe’s palak paneer?

You can eat palak paneer with any number of things. It goes well with rice, naan, and paratha.

If you want a more classic experience, eat palak paneer with basmati rice, which is the type of rice that is traditionally served with Indian food. 

I’ve eaten palak paneer with other types of rice like jasmine rice and think that they taste just as good together. My husband disagrees stating basmati is best. 

Trader Joe’s has good naan too. There’s garlic naan and tandoori naan in the frozen food section. For a non-frozen option, try the garlic Indian style flatbread, which is in the fresh bread section. 

Paratha is a flaky unleavened bread. I haven’t had it with palak paneer but have eaten it with other Southeast Asian foods and imagine they would make a delicious pairing. 

Is Trader Joe’s palak paneer discontinued?

Trader Joe’s palak paneer is back! After being absent for a long time (I think more than a year), palak paneer made a reappearance in early 2023.

I couldn’t have been happier. Every week I would look at the Indian food portion of the frozen food section and hope that it was there. I had almost given up hope that it would return. Then it appeared again!

If you love palak paneer, stock up so you never run out!

Final thoughts

Trader Joe’s palak paneer is a great take on the traditional Indian dish and makes for an oh-so satisfying vegetarian entree that you can have any time. It’s a winner! Pick one up next time you’re at TJs. 

Rating: 5+/5

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