Fasting-Friendly Saag Paneer Pasta Recipe
- Cook Time 10 minutes
- Serves 4
- Difficulty Easy
If you're following an intermittent fasting plan, you know it's tough to avoid breaking your fast. Sometimes you might feel hungry, but it's hard to know what you can eat that will keep you on track. Cue: It's Skinny and this fast-friendly saag paneer pasta recipe!
This recipe is approved by diet expert Jorge Cruise, who literally wrote the book on ZERO Hunger intermittent fasting. Jorge loves this flavorful, filling, no-guilt recipe, and we promise you will too. Ready for some guilt-free Indian food?
What is Saag Paneer Pasta?
Saag paneer is one of those Indian dishes that everyone adores. For the uninitiated, the dish is a comforting combo of creamy, cheesy spinach and spice. What’s not to love?
Saag paneer is a dish that combines saag (leafy greens) and paneer (semi-firm cheese). The dish is from the Punjabi region of India and has been enjoyed for many centuries. So how did cheese first make its way to India? There's some debate on the origins.
Cows, and thus dairy, are revered in India, but most Indian food contains ghee (clarified butter) and perhaps cream or milk. It’s somewhat rare to find cheesy dishes in Indian cooking, except for paneer. Paneer is an acid-cured cheese, similar to feta or firm cottage cheese.
Legend has it that Moghuls first created the cheese by fermenting milk in their rawhide saddlebags (the rennet from the leather cured the curdled milk into a semi-firm cheese). It’s an interesting origin story, whether or not it’s really how saag paneer was invented.
Greens grow throughout India and are frequently used in Indian cooking. Often Indian cuisine uses mustard greens, but spinach is often used too, especially in western versions of this dish. Spinach is known as palak, so you may also hear this dish referred to as palak paneer.
As for combining it with pasta, we figured what’s better than a creamy, Alfredo-like pasta dish? Noodles are frequently used in Indian dishes, particularly in Indo-Chinese cooking. Using the noodles gives this dish an excellent mouthfeel and makes it really hearty (of course, you could also use It’s Skinny Rice if you prefer).
This yummy saag paneer pasta dish really has it all—it’s creamy, spicy, flavorful, and satisfying. Best of all, it’s very low carb—low enough that it won’t break your fast if you follow an intermittent fasting plan.
Jorge Cruise has shared how much he loves It's Skinny as a faster's pasta because there are ZERO net carbs and only 9 calories in an entire bag. You can add additional very low-carb ingredients, and it won't take your body out of a fasting state. These fasting solutions are perfect for those who have a hard time maintaining their fast for the 12-16 hours that are often suggested on intermittent fasting plans.
The best part of this saag paneer pasta recipe is that it doesn't feel like a "diet" dish at all. It's ultra-flavorful and even decadent. It's vegetarian and ideal for many diets, from low-carb to gluten-free to keto. You can make this dish quickly, and it tastes like it took hours to create.
Simple, satisfying, and delicious—it's what we all crave in Indian food, and this saag paneer dish really delivers!
Cooking with It’s Skinny
If you've never tried It's Skinny, get ready to be amazed. These miracle noodles are ultra-low in carbs but delicious and so easy to use. Simply open the package, drain, rinse (if you like), pat dry, and add them to your pan at the end of cooking—no need to boil water or dirty another pot.
It’s Skinny Pasta cooks up in about 2 minutes—it just needs to heat through, and it's ready to enjoy with all your favorite pasta and noodle dishes (and RICE)! It's Skinny is available in four varieties to help you find the perfect recipe match. Try:
- It’s Skinny Spaghetti
- It’s Skinny Fettuccine
- It’s Skinny Angel Hair
- It’s Skinny Rice
Is choice paralysis taking over? No worries! We also offer a variety pack of all four types. So you can give each one a shot and recreate all your favorite meals with a ZERO carb spin.
So how do you make carb-free pasta? Especially pasta with only 9 measly calories per bag? It sounds impossible, right? It's Skinny uses a very special ingredient called konjac. Konjac is a root vegetable often used in Asian cooking. It's high in glucomannan fiber—a filling type of fiber that keeps blood sugar levels steady and makes you feel satisfied.
We know that once you try It's Skinny, you will love it. It’s Skinny Pasta has wowed many chefs and diet experts with its versatility, easiness, and deliciousness (not to mention the killer nutritional stats). It's the ideal texture for noodle dishes. It takes on the flavors surrounding it and won't overpower the other ingredients. Basically, it's the perfect pasta solution for intermittent fasters, keto dieters, and those just looking to lighten up their meals!
Saag paneer pasta is a great way to use It’s Skinny because it's such a unique spin, but one you're sure to recreate again and again.
FAQs About Saag Paneer Pasta with It’s Skinny Noodles
We’re all for customizing recipes and making them your own. But, of course, even experienced cooks have questions when they make ingredient swaps. So let's answer some questions about cooking saag paneer pasta.
Could I Add Protein to Saag Paneer Pasta?
Of course! Remember that adding protein may make this dish less fasting-friendly, but it's a great way to expand this recipe into a satisfying main meal. What kind of protein goes with saag paneer?
Even though saag paneer is often a vegetarian dish (like many Indian dishes), we can take a cue from our favorite creamy Italian dishes. Like Alfredo, saag paneer pairs perfectly with chicken. It could also go well with shrimp. Try adding crumbled bacon or sausage to this dish for a flavorful option. You could also swap out the cheese cubes with marinated tofu.
Could I Use Another Green Vegetable in this Saag Paneer Recipe?
Yes! Saag paneer actually refers to any leafy green. This saag paneer would be delicious with kale or the traditional mustard greens. You could do half spinach and half another leafy green. Spinach offers iron, folate, and vitamins, but so do many other leafy greens.
As for other veggies, you could include broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, or zucchini in this dish. Keep in mind that any swaps could modify the fasting-friendliness, so be sure to carefully check the carbohydrates and other stats if you are following an intermittent fasting plan.
Should I Only Use It’s Skinny Spaghetti in this Recipe?
You can use any variety of It’s Skinny in this saag paneer pasta recipe. It’s Skinny Rice would be a great option here because rice is often used in Indian dishes (and it goes well with the other textures in this meal).
Fettuccine is a wider noodle that goes well with creamy sauces. Angel hair is thinner and more delicate but could still pair well with spinach. It’s really your choice—this saag paneer pasta recipe works with any variety of It’s Skinny!
Are you ready to give this Saag Paneer Pasta recipe a try? Here are the details to help you make this delicious dish.
It’s Skinny Saag Paneer Pasta
Doesn’t break a fast, Jorge Cruise approved. Created By Chef Michele Ragussis.
NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR SAAG PANEER PASTA
- Angel Hair | It's Skinny
- 1 Package of It’s Skinny (any variety)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ clove garlic, minced
- ½ shallot, minced
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup of cream cheese
- ½ tsp of coriander
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1.5 oz. of paneer cheese, cubed
- 1 tablespoon of cilantro or fresh scallion for garnish