Chicken saag, or chicken saagwala, is a popular North Indian dish which is essentially a combination of spicy chicken and spinach.
If you have already tried chicken saag in a restaurant, you will know this is seriously tasty and the good news is that it can be healthy too.
There are many variations of the chicken saag recipe which means there is not a right or wrong way to cook this dish providing you use the core ingredients which is simply chicken, the spices, tomatoes and spinach.
What is chicken saag?
As you can see, chicken saag is a combination of spicy chicken and spinach which has tons of flavours and can be healthy.
Here in this recipe post is a homemade version which does not require complex ingredients and this is a one-pot recipe which is very straightforward.
This is a great way to use leftover spinach and you can use tender chicken thighs or legs, or lean chicken breasts which is a combination of protein and greens.
As this is cooked in so many different households, there will be many variations but I really wanted to focus on ensuring that this recipe can be cooked on a weeknight, good for meal prep and great for the family.
It ticks all these boxes and you can combine it with naan bread, rice, flat breads or you can simply eat it alone.
There reason why there are variations is because saag itself is a classic recipe which is cooked in a certain way. Saag refers to the leafy greens such as spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, basella, fenugreek and dill.
However, I can ensure you that chicken saag is easy to cook and you can get it right the first time.
How to make chicken saag
1) Main ingredients
Chicken: You can use chicken breast, thighs or legs but it does depend on your preference. For taste, I highly recommend thighs or legs because the chicken will be more tender and it will taste amazing once combined with the spices and spinach. Chicken breast will be dry but it is very lean and macro-friendly which can still be a tasty meal prep for the week.
Herbs and Spices: Here are the spices which I have used:
- Ginger and Garlic paste
- Cumin powder
- Coriander powder
- Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – Thanks to Spice Kitchen for this amazing powder
- Garam Masala
The spice is just right but if you want to make it more spicy you can add fresh green chillies with the onions as this will give it an extra kick.
Tomatoes: I used fresh chopped tomatoes but you can use tomato puree or canned tomatoes. I would advise to use less (100g canned tomatoes) otherwise it will be too sweet.
Spinach: You can use fresh, frozen or pureed spinach. For this recipe, I simply added spinach leaves last and covered my saucepan for five minutes.
Other ingredients you can add.
Potato: If you want to make “chicken saag aloo”, then add potatoes which will certainly feel more heavier.
Chickpeas: I never added chickpeas but I have seen chicken saag with chickpeas which looks intriguing.
Lentils: Also, I never added lentils but I have also seen chicken saag with lentils which I imagine would taste really good and it also has extra protein.
3) Other ways you can cook this recipe
Instant Pot: This is a great way to make a chicken saag slow cooker recipe because it can be made in one pot and left alone.
4) What to eat with chicken saag?
This will taste best with flat bread or naan bread, and also with rice.
5) Can you reheat Chicken Saag?
From my experience, chicken saag is amazing to prep for your lunch or dinner on a busy week. It tastes better the next day or two because you will get more flavour. Even if you are using chicken breasts, which is renowned to be dry when reheated, you will still get great flavours because the spices, tomatoes and spinach balances it out.
This recipe is enough to make 3-5 meal prep portions depending how your portion the chicken.
How to store: Ensure ingredients are fresh and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can freeze chicken saag up to 4 months too and it is best advised to allow this to defrost overnight before reheating.
How to reheat: You can reheat chicken saag in the microwave for 2 minutes or for 5 minutes in a saucepan – just ensure the chicken is piping hot.Print
Chicken saag, or chicken saagwala, is a popular North Indian dish which is essentially a combination of spicy chicken and spinach. If you have already tried chicken saag in a restaurant, you will know this is seriously tasty and the good news is that it can be healthy too. Here in this recipe post is a homemade version which does not require complex ingredients and this is a one-pot recipe which is very straightforward. This is a great way to use leftover spinach and you can use tender chicken thighs or legs, or lean chicken breasts which is a combination of protein and greens.
- 600g Chicken Thighs (cut into bite sized pieces)
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 Large Onion (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
- 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
- 1 Cup Water
- 200 Baby Spinach Leaves
- 2 Tomatoes (chopped)
- Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)
- 2 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1 & 1/2 tsp Dried Fenugreek
- Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large saucepan which is on medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped onions, followed by the garlic and ginger paste, stir to combine for 5 minutes.
- Keep the heat high and add the chicken thighs, and season with salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes and reduce the heat to medium-high.
- Add the spices. Stir to combine. Add the chopped tomatoes and cover the saucepan for 15 minutes on medium-low heat to allow it simmer.
- Remove cover and add 1 cup of water. After you stir to combine, add the baby spinach leaves and cover on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
- Remove cover and stir to combine. It will be ready to serve.
- You can refrigerate this up to 3-4 days and reheat it for 2 minutes in the microwave or saucepan.
- You can freeze this up to 4 months.
- Nutritional information below is only for the chicken saag only.
- Category: Main Course
- Method: One-pot
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 255 kcal
- Sugar: 4.5 g
- Sodium: 679 mg
- Fat: 9.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.2 g
- Fiber: 4.4 g
- Protein: 34.4 g
Keywords: Chicken Saag, Chicken Saag Recipe, Recipe for Chicken Saag, Chicken Saagwala
Frequently asked questions
How many calories in Chicken saag?
According to MyFitnessPal app, each portion of chicken saag was 255 calories (kcal) which is very low but once you combine it with a naan bread or rice, it will be around 400 calories. This is why portion control can work in your favour if you are following a specific meal plan.
Is this chicken saag recipe keto friendly?
Generally, chicken saag is keto friendly and low carb. However, we often eat this with rice or naan bread which balances out the meal. If you want to keep it low carb or keto friendly, you will need to combine this with a low-carb rice or naan bread such as blended cauliflower or almond flour naan. Also, if you follow another chicken saag recipe, there are variations which may include lentils or chickpeas. This recipe is just spicy chicken thighs with spinach and chopped tomatoes which is kets-friendly alone.
Is this chicken saag recipe healthy?
Chicken saag is and can be healthy – even if you are using thighs or legs. It is a great way to use more spinach and leafy greens, or even throw in extra legumes. If your goal is to make this recipe very healthy, I would advise using chicken breasts which are lean and high in protein. Do bare in mind, if you are counting calories, combining this with rice or naan bread can increase the calories per meal. This is why portion control and meal prep can help keep this recipe under 400 calories.
Is this recipe gluten free?
The chicken saag recipe on this website is gluten free.