Instant Pot Chicken Saag (Chicken & Spinach Curry) is a delicious dish from north India. A step-by-step recipe to prepare this in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.

Chicken Saag Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Chicken is simmered in a creamy spinach sauce.  Sounds exotic?  Don’t worry; it is super easy to make. This curry is full of flavor and loaded with nutrients.  You will always find some version of this spinach curry in any Indian restaurant, which is a popular one to order.

“Saag” is a Punjabi term used for leafy green preparations. These could be made with spinach, mustard greens, chard, etc.  I used spinach in this Chicken Saag, but feel free to use other greens you like.  This curry is a healthy way to incorporate leafy greens in a kid’s meal.  

My daughter loves everything saag, so I make multiple versions – Palak Paneer,  Saag Paneer, and Saag Aloo with mustard greens and Vegan Palak Tofu.

Love Spinach? Check out this collection of 21 Indian Spinach Recipes.

How to make Chicken Saag in Pressure Cooker?

This is a very quick, one-pot recipe.  Start the instant pot and add in the oil, cumin, ginger, and garlic.  Then add in the chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes.  The ingredients can be cut into large pieces as we are going to blend them later.  

Add the tomato and spices and stir them with the onions. Add water and deglaze the pot (important for newer versions of the instant pot).  Then add the spinach leaves and place the chicken on top of the spinach leaves.  Cook on manual or high pressure for 8 minutes.

steps to make palak chicken in instant pot

When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually.  Remove the chicken pieces on the top and keep them aside.  Then, use the immersion blender to grind the ingredients in the pot to a smooth paste.  

You can also use a normal blender to grind and then transfer the saag back to the instant pot.  If needed, cut the chicken pieces to the desired size and transfer them back to the saag in the pot.

Steps to make chicken saag in instant pot

Simmer for a few minutes so the chicken is mixed well with the greens.  Use a glass lid when simmering as there could be some splutters when spinach boils.  Chicken Saag is ready to be enjoyed with naan or rice.

Chicken Saag Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Enjoy the goodness of spinach and chicken in this hearty and healthy recipe.  Give this recipe a try, and I am sure you are going to love it as much as we do!

If you are looking for more Indian Chicken Curry Recipes, check out these –

4.72 from 108 votes

Chicken Saag (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

This one-pot Chicken curry with spinach is one of the delicious north Indian dish.  Chicken simmered in a creamy spinach sauce, makes it a nutritious dish for all.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 10 ounces Spinach (Palak)
  • 1 lb Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 2 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1″ inch Ginger, grated
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 large Onion, about 10 ounces
  • 1 small Tomato
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 tablespoon Cream , optional



  • Clean and trim spinach leaves. Wash them thoroughly under cold water.

Stovetop Method

  • Prepare the chicken and cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Dice or puree the onions based on your preference. If you like a smooth saag, then puree the onion. Puree the tomato. Set aside.
  • Boil water in a large pot. Add spinach leaves to it and let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the spinach leaves from the water and transfer them to an ice bath for a couple of minutes. Remove spinach from the ice bath, squeeze out extra liquid, and transfer to a blender. Blend to a coarse paste. It is good to have a little bit of texture to the pureed spinach.
  • Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add the oil and ghee, and let them heat for 30 seconds. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
  • Add the onions and saute for 6-7 minutes until they are golden in color. Add ginger and garlic and saute for another minute.
  • Add the tomato puree and spices and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken, and saute for 5-6 minutes until the chicken changes color.
  • Add the spinach mixture to the pan. Mix well, then cover with a lid and cook for about 8 minutes. Stir in between at least once. If needed, add water to adjust the consistency.
  • Remove the lid and give the curry a stir. Add the garam masala and if using, cream to the curry. Cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Saag Chicken is ready to be served!

Instant Pot Method

  • Chop the onion and tomato into small pieces.
  • Start the instant pot in SAUTE mode and heat oil and ghee in it. Add cumin seeds and saute for 30 seconds
  • Add the onions, ginger, and garlic.  Saute for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato and spices. Stir well. Add water and deglaze the pot.
  • Add the spinach and carefully place the chicken pieces on top of the spinach (you can place the whole chicken thigh or cut it into pieces). Press CANCEL and close the instant pot lid with the vent in the sealing position.
  • Press MANUAL or Pressure Cook mode for 8 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, do a quick pressure release.  PRESS Cancel. 
  • Open the lid, remove the chicken pieces and set aside.  Blend the spinach and other ingredients to a creamy texture preferably using an immersion blender.  
  • Cut the chicken into smaller pieces about 1 inch in size and then add it back to the spinach curry.  
  • Add the garam masala and, if using, cream to the curry. Press SAUTE and give the curry a quick boil.  This could splutter out, so cover with a lid. 
  • Chicken Saag is ready.  Enjoy with naan, roti or rice. 


Greens: I used spinach in this recipe.  However, I have made this using a combination of spinach and chard, mustard greens, or kale, and the saag comes out great. 
Tomato: I used fresh tomato puree in this recipe. You can also replace it with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. 
Instant Pot Method: 
  • As we are going to puree after cooking for this method, it is okay to chop the onions, tomato, ginger, and garlic into larger pieces. 
  • If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could transfer the ingredients to a regular blender, blend them to a smooth paste, and then transfer them back into the instant pot insert.  
  • If the chicken is not well cooked, then boil for a bit longer in step 7.
  • If using chicken breast, pressure cook for 6 minutes. 


Calories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 21gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 732mgPotassium: 726mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 6810IUVitamin C: 25.7mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 3.1mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian
Diet: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Low Carb, Nut-free, Paleo
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

You May Also Like

Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don't miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Dear Meeta,
    I have started cooking after ages thanks to the IP and your recipes. I noticed that for palak paneer you include tomatoes but not for palak chicken, any specific reason? I made the palak chicken today but added a little tomato and it came out quite nice. I had more than one pound of thighs so used all 1.7lbs and it turned out great. Thanks for the easy recipe. Should I try without the tomato next time? please share your rationale.
    Neeraj Arora

    1. Hello Neeraj – So glad the ip is helping you get back in to cooking. It will work either ways with or without tomatoes, just try what you prefer. In the authentic Saag, tomatoes are typically not added. In the saag recipe, I skip tomatoes. Thank you for sharing back your experience and review!

    1. Hey Roma – Sorry to hear. Asking some questions, so we can try to figure out the issue.

      Are you using an 8qt instant pot? In 8qt, as the surface area is more, sometimes more liquid is needed.

      Was there much time lag between adding water and starting pressure cook? Sometimes while on saute, if the liquid dries completely, then there is very less liquid remaining to pressure cook which can lead to burn message. Please let me know if this helps.

  2. I’m on a keto diet and I’m wondering where the 22g of fat is coming from. They only fatty things in here are the oil and the chicken thighs. I’ve seen recipes that finish the saag with heavy cream or coconut cream. Without something like that, I’m curious to know how this has 22g of fat per serving. Thanks!

    1. Hello Scott – I checked the nutrition calculator. It says total 75gms of fat in the chicken and 14 gms in the oil, and some in other ingredients. Please check with the nutrition calculator you prefer to confirm. Hope you enjoy it!

  3. This is so delicious! Thank you so much for posting the recipe. Can we substitute lamb? If so does the time change? Thanks again!

  4. Wonderfully recipe! My husband and I are planning on adding this to our regular dinner rotation. I’m going to try your instant pot Kheer recipe next. Thank you!

    1. Hey Nicole – Glad you and your husband enjoyed the Saag. I would love to hear how the kheer turns out 🙂

  5. Hi Meeta,
    This recipe looks great and I can’t wait to try it. However, I just have one question.
    The nutritional value states there is 1160mg sodium per serving. I think this is wrong. Your recipe is for 4 servings. But there is only one teaspoon of salt added and none of the other ingredients contain salt or sodium of any negligible amount. A teaspoon of regular table salt has 2325mg of sodium (and kosher salt has about 1800mg). So the amount of sodium per serving would be far less, about 581mg per serving if table salt is used (or 450mg if kosher salt). Does that make sense or am I missing something?

    1. Hello Pam – You are right. When I put the ingredients through the new nutrition calculator I am using, it does give 732mg. Now I am not sure why it is not lower as you mention, but it is definitely in the better range now 🙂 I hope you enjoy the saag chicken. Would love to hear how it turns out!

      1. Hi Meeta –
        I only accounted for the table salt. So perhaps it is accounting for the natural sodium in the chicken and the spinach but yes, still a big win. Yay.
        Can’t wait to make this for tonight’s dinner. 🙂

  6. Made this last night and made some adjustments. Cooked the onions first and then added the garlic, ginger, and spices. Seemed odd to cook the garlic for so long. Also, had issues with my pot coming to pressure because of the lack of liquid. I used chicken breasts and even after multiple heat up attempts and the full 6 minutes cook time after finally coming to pressure, they were still raw in the middle. I went ahead and cut them and put them in the sauce to finish the cook on them. Overall a really good dish, though. Thank you!

    1. Hey Chris – Sorry I missed seeing your comment earlier. I am glad that even with the issues faced you still liked the Chicken Saag.

      I will make it clear in the recipe that the chicken breasts must be cut into pieces (I did that for the thighs). I wonder if you are using a 8qt instant pot, I have heard that the 8qt needs more liquid due to the larger surface area.

      1. I also had some issues with the lack of fluid. I have a 6qt instant pot. The chicken wasn’t cooked yet so I added more water and cooked it longer.

  7. Hi Meeta—

    This looks delicious! Have you ever made it with lamb? I’m partial to lamb saag and am wondering what adjustments would be necessary here to do that.



    1. Hey Michelle – I love lamb and goat meat more than chicken too 🙂 I believe this can be made with lamb, just extra cooking time will be needed for lamb. If you can precook lamb a bit, then it would easily add to the recipe as is. Another option is to try cutting lamb in small pieces and add it to the recipe and cook for 15 minutes. The only downside is that the spinach might not be as green when cooked for long. However someone reported that they used frozen chicken, cooked this curry for 15 minutes, and loved the taste. So give it a try 🙂