Chicken saag (or chicken saagwala) is a popular North Indian dish that is essentially a combination of spicy chicken and spinach.
It’s a popular choice in Indian restaurants, and if you have already ordered this curry, you will know this is seriously tasty.
The good news is that it can be very healthy and made quickly at home with a few ingredients. Personally, I have grown up to love and appreciate this recipe from a healthy perspective because it’s high in protein, macro-friendly, and budget-friendly.
You can add it flatbreads, salads, wraps, and it’s also perfect for meal prep because leftovers actually taste better.
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 are simply chicken, spices, tomatoes, and spinach.
What is chicken saag?
Chicken saag is a combination of spicy chicken and spinach which has a particular spice mix, tons of flavors, and it can be very healthy.
The homemade version can be very quick, easy, and straightforward to make which is why I often include this recipe in my weekly meal preps.
Also, this recipe calls for a way to use leftover spinach, and you can use tender chicken thighs or legs, or lean chicken breasts which are a combination of protein and greens.
As this is cooked in so many households, there will be many variations, but I really wanted to focus on ensuring that this recipe can be cooked on a weeknight which is good for meal prep and great for the family.
It ticks all these boxes, and you can combine it with naan bread, rice, flatbreads, or you can simply eat it alone.
The reason why there are variations is that saag itself is a classic recipe that is cooked in a certain way. Saag refers to 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.
Chicken Saag Curry
- 500 g chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 cup water
- 0.5 pound baby spinach leaves
- 2 fresh tomatoes chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp red chili 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.
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 favor if you are following a specific meal plan.
Is chicken saag 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 keto-friendly alone.
Is chicken saag 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 bear 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.
Other ways you can cook this recipe?
Use an 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.
Can you reheat Chicken Saag?
Yes you can, and chicken saag is amazing for meal prep and leftovers. It tastes better the next day because you taste more flavor. Even if you are using chicken breasts, which is renowned to be dry when reheated, you will still get great flavors because the spices, tomatoes and spinach balances it out. 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.
How long does it last in the fridge? Can you freezer chicken saag?
Ensure ingredients are fresh and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Yes, you can freeze chicken saag up to 4 months too, and it is best advised to allow this to defrost overnight before reheating.
Love chicken recipes? Why not try these!
- Peri Peri Chicken Thighs
- Cheesy Chicken Buffalo Pasta
- One-Pot Spanish Chicken Rice
- Healthy Chicken Shish Kebab
Founder @ Meal Plan Weekly. Passionate about improving physical and mental health (wellness) via nutrition.