Skip to Content

Paneer Satay (Air Fryer, Baked, and Grill Instructions)

If you're looking for something different to try for dinner, then this Paneer Satay with Peanut Sauce is it!! Flavorful paneer cheese is tossed in a tasty, easy, seasoning mix, then cooked to crispy golden perfection and served with the tastiest peanut sauce for dipping.

This recipe has instructions for air fried paneer, baked paneer satay, grilled paneer, and pan-frying, so ANYONE can make it no matter what kitchen equipment they have on hand.

Paneer satay on a plate drizzled with peanut sauce.

The paneer cubes become soft and delicious on the inside when cooked, with crispy flavorful edges.

These paneer skewers are an amazing vegetarian appetizer, main dish, or grilling recipe. And if you're anything like me, you LOVE paneer because it's pretty much the only acceptable way to eat cheese as the main part of dinner!

Jump to:

Here's why these paneer skewers are the BEST

  • I chop the paneer into small cubes, so that EACH SIDE is coated with seasonings. I've seen other recipes where the paneer is in a long stick, so it has less seasonings in every bite.
  • The paneer is flavorful but not too spicy, seasoned with simple ingredients. I like to add spice in the peanut sauce instead. 🙂
  • Paneer takes just 5 minutes to cook. Aaaaamazing!
  • The paneer seasoning and peanut sauce use a lot of the same ingredients, making for easy prep.
  • The peanut sauce is the BEST!! All other peanut sauce recipes I've tried end up too thick for my liking. This peanut sauce is flavorful, slightly spicy (but not really—mostly just flavorful) and perfect for drizzling AND dipping.
  • It's vegetarian and can be made gluten-free with one easy swap: use gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos.
Drizzling paneer kebabs with peanut sauce

Related recipe: Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

Cooking tips

I normally add the cooking tips below the recipe, but I wanted you to read them before you get started.

→ You'll need fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and brown sugar for both the paneer and the peanut sauce, so don't put those ingredients away! 

→ Can't find paneer? Halloumi, grilling cheese (queso para freir), or even extra firm tofu should work.

→ Grab a zester: I recommend grating/zesting the ginger and garlic to get them to be really fine, as opposed to mincing/chopping by hand.

→ Wear gloves! I highly recommend wearing plastic kitchen gloves when skewering the paneer because the yellow curry powder stains your hands for a couple of days.

→ Skewers are totally optional! The recipe comes out the same whether you air fry paneer pieces individually (or bake them individually). Skewers just make it a lot prettier (why does food on a stick always taste better?!?) and make for good portion control... otherwise I'd probably keep reaching for bite-size paneer pieces and eat way too many! Paneer is cheese after all, and I probably shouldn't eat a pound of it in one sitting. 🙂

Skewers are also good if you're planning on grilling, so you don't lose paneer pieces to the grill grates (or if you're using a grill pan, so you don't have to flip each piece individually.

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water as the instructions say.

If air frying, you'll need to make sure your skewers fit inside your air fryer. You can cut wooden skewers to fit, or you can buy 6-inch skewers here.

→ You can air fry, grill, bake, or pan-fry the paneer. I include instructions for all methods of cooking, but the ingredients are the same. You're asking me which method I prefer?? I would have to say air fried or baked. With grilling you run the risk of the paneer sticking to the grill grates a little bit.

Pieces of grilled paneer on a plate

Related recipe: Chicken Kofta Kebabs

Ingredients

You can double the recipe by simply doubling the paneer. You will have enough sauce using the ingredients below to season 2 lbs of paneer.

Paneer satay ingredients

  • 1 lb paneer, cut into ~1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or honey or agave)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil or sesame oil)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
Paneer satay ingredients

Related recipe: Tikka Masala Naan Pizza

Peanut sauce ingredients:

  • 3-4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or use coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce for a gluten-free version)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or honey or agave)
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste (or less to taste, based on spice preference) - if vegetarian, check to make sure your chili paste doesn't have fish sauce
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated or minced (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • ½-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2-3 tablespoons water (optional, to make the sauce thinner and drizzle-able)
Ingredients to make peanut satay sauce

You'll also need:

  • Small skewers/kebab sticks (you can cut long wooden ones to fit your air fryer or baking pan or buy 6-inch skewers)
  • Plastic gloves (so your hands don't turn yellow if you're going to use skewers)
  • Cilantro or scallions or chives for garnish (optional!)
  • An air fryer (or grill, grill pan, or baking dish if not air frying)

Related recipe: Shrimp and Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

Instructions for air fryer paneer

Step 1: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while preparing the ingredients, to prevent them burning too much on the ends.

Soaking wooden skewers in water

Step 2: Combine all the paneer seasoning ingredients, from the curry powder to the soy sauce, in a bowl. If your paneer is unseasoned or if you like things on the saltier side, add a pinch of salt (and pepper, if you like) to the mixture.

Step 3: Toss the paneer cubes in the mixture until coated. If using skewers, carefully place the seasoned paneer cubes onto the skewers - do not keep your fingers in front of the paneer cube that will be pierced by the sharp skewer! And I recommend wearing gloves for this step.

Paneer cubes in seasoning mix

Step 4: Preheat the air fryer to 400F (if your air fryer requires preheating). Air fry at 400F for 4-6 minutes, or until the paneer starts to char and turn golden. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a minute or two, or until safe to touch, then serve with peanut dipping sauce.

Air fried paneer skewers

Baked paneer satay

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with olive oil or vegetable oil.

Step 2: Place the seasoned paneer (on skewers or not) on the parchment paper and bake for 4-6 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom, flipping halfway. Allow to cool a few minutes and serve warm with peanut sauce.

Grilled paneer 

Step 1: To grill paneer, preheat your grill or grill pan. The temperature doesn't really matter because paneer is fully cooked and we just want to make it crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and get those beautiful grill marks - get it hot but not smoking hot.

Step 2: Brush a little vegetable oil onto the grill grates.

Step 3: Place the paneer skewers onto the grill and grill for 2-3 minutes per side. You can also skip the skewers and flip individual pieces of paneer on the grill, but that's more work.

These instructions also work to make pan-fried paneer satay in a regular pan. I recommend a non-stick pan, or a well-seasoned cast iron or well-oiled enamel cast iron pan to cook paneer in a pan.

Dipping piece of grilled paneer into peanut sauce

Peanut dipping sauce

Combine all the ingredients for the peanut sauce, except water, in a medium bowl and stir together gently. Stir slowly to prevent liquid splashing out. It will look like it is curdling and thick, but the mixture will come together. Stir in a tablespoon or two (or more) water to get the sauce to be the consistency that you like. I prefer a thinner sauce that I can drizzle, so I add a few splashes of water.

This recipe makes extra dipping sauce (WHICH IS A GOOD THING!). The extra sauce is amazing for dipping veggies, slathering over grilled chicken, or using in a stir fry. It's also great for dipping spring rolls, dumplings, or any other dippable Asian appetizer food.

What to serve with paneer satay

If you're serving paneer satay as an appetizer, then you can follow it with any Southeast Asian-inspired main dish. Try this Chicken and Soba Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce, or this Chicken Satay Pizza!

If air fried paneer is the main dish, then it goes great with coconut rice, a light Asian-inspired cucumber salad, or spicy Asian noodles.

Whatever you choose to serve it with, make sure to use LOTS of peanut sauce because it is so good!!

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Close up of paneer satay kebabs with peanut sauce.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Paneer Satay with Peanut Sauce

This easy paneer satay recipe has instructions for air fried paneer, grilled paneers, and baked and pan-fried paneer so you can choose your own adventure! The peanut sauce is the tastiest and is perfect for drizzling and dipping.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time19 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 7 skewers
Author: Kate

Ingredients

For the paneer:
  • 1 lb paneer cut into ~1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic grated or minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or honey or agave)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil or sesame oil)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)
For the peanut sauce:
  • 3-4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or honey or agave)
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste (or less to taste, based on spice preference) - if vegetarian, use chili paste without fish sauce
  • 1 small clove garlic grated or minced (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • ½ inch fresh ginger grated
  • 2-3 tablespoons water (optional, to make the sauce thinner and drizzle-able)

Special equipment

Instructions

Instructions for air fryer paneer
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while preparing the ingredients, to prevent them burning too much on the ends.
  • Combine all the paneer seasoning ingredients, from the curry powder to the soy sauce, in a bowl. If your paneer is unseasoned or if you like things on the saltier side, add a pinch of salt (and pepper, if you like) to the mixture.
  • Toss the paneer cubes in the mixture until coated. If using skewers, carefully place the seasoned paneer cubes onto the skewers.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400F (if your air fryer requires preheating). Air fry at 400F for 4-6 minutes, or until the paneer starts to char and turn golden. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a minute or two, or until safe to touch, then serve with peanut dipping sauce.
Baked paneer satay
  • Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with olive oil or vegetable oil.
  • Place the seasoned paneer (on skewers or individual pieces) on the parchment paper and bake for 4-6 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom, flipping halfway. Allow to cool a few minutes and serve warm with peanut sauce.
Grilled paneer
  • Preheat your grill or grill pan until it's hot but not smoking. Brush a little vegetable oil onto the grill grates.
  • Place the paneer skewers onto the grill and grill for 2-3 minutes per side.
Peanut dipping sauce
  • Combine all the ingredients for the peanut sauce, except water, in a medium bowl and stir together gently to prevent liquid splashing out. Stir in a tablespoon or two (or more) water to get the sauce to be the consistency that you like.

Notes

  • This recipe makes extra sauce, which is amazing for dipping fresh veggies, spring rolls, or dumplings, or for adding to stir fry the next day.
  • Skewers are optional if you don't want to deal with them! They make things easier for grilling because you don't have to flip individual pieces of paneer and you won't lose them between the grill grates. Skewers also make for a prettier appetizer and help with portion control, but they're not absolutely necessary.
  • This recipe makes about 7 skewers, with about 4 pieces of paneer per skewer. You can double the recipe by doubling the paneer but keep the rest of the ingredients the same.
  • For gluten-free paneer satay and peanut sauce, use gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos in place of soy sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 355kcal (18%) | Carbohydrates: 37g (12%) | Protein: 10g (20%) | Fat: 19g (29%) | Saturated Fat: 10g (50%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 43mg (14%) | Sodium: 185mg (8%) | Potassium: 85mg (2%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 35g (39%) | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 344mg (34%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

Share this post by clicking the buttons below:

Comments or questions about the recipe?
Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.