Home Style Instant Pot Saag Chicken

Instant Pot Saag ChickenPre-Fall often catches me by surprise. I am left wondering how to tackle the rest of the year and make it meaningful!

This year has been a year of the unpredictable, and both good and bad. Mostly pleasant surprises like this lovely saag chicken recipe that should get your back to school routine into shape.





This year, back to school came and as always filled me with a new wave of nostalgia. We have a high schooler in our midst. The fact, that in four years, back to school will be somewhere else, away from my world of hurried breakfasts and quick kisses was startling. A few tears shed quietly on my morning commute.

Instant Pot Saag Chicken

Back to school often also brings in a different routine. This year, the high schooler has made her way into prep school. Her bus timings do not work, so her dad and I are left with going to two different places, both leaving the house around the same time. Β To cope with changes, I ended up creating a super comforting version of Saag Chicken, inspired by a recipe my mother made.

Saag Chicken

In mom’s kitchen was a one-pot dish that she actually reserved for times when my dad traveled. It was a very simple rendition of spinach cooked with fresh seasonal greens and Bengali spices. It was pure, wholesome, comforting and redolent with the rich and heady scent of cinnamon, cardamom and fresh ginger. I created this on a casual Sunday, when we had were expecting friends. I did not have a lot of time. I did have a lot of kale and spinach on hand.

Saag Chicken

Creating with oodles of simplicity in the instant pot, was just what I needed. I ended up with fork tender chicken, soft fragrant and flavorful greens redolent with ginger and cinnamon. I remembered that one really did not need a lot of cream to bring out the best in a seasonal green dish. From my table to yours is another 30 minute recipe.

Home Style Instant Pot Saag Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

A fragrant wholesome rendition of chicken with seasonal greens.


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds, boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large piece (about 2 inches) cinnamon, broken
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup packed very finely chopped kale (I use a food process for very fresh kale)
  • 1 cup packed very finely chopped spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Chopped cilantro to garnish


  1. Heat the oil at the base of the instant pot. Add in the cumin seeds and wait until the seeds begin to sizzle.
  2. Add in the diced red onion.
  3. Add in the ginger and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens and wilts.
  4. Add in the chicken thighs, turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt and mix well. Add in the cinnamon and stir well.
  5. Add in the tomatoes, kale and spinach and cover and cook under pressure for 12 minutes.
  6. Let the instant pot cool come to low pressure naturally.
  7. Stir in the lime juice.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


  • Pamela

    A question about amounts:
    I have always wondered about the American measurement for herbs and greens. What is 1 cup of packed chopped greens? I have a hard time in imagining it?? I wonder what it is in grams? I am an American, but I have lived in Japan for 50 years where a recipe like that would include the amount in grams or bunchs (1 bunch of spinach, for example = in Japan, a bunch of spinach comes in a standard amount). It seems so inexact to say a packed cup I have always thought, what is packed to one might be different to another. Just saying. I guess you use a lot is what it means…… πŸ˜‰

    Kale is nice. I think the American collard greens is closer to the North Indian/Kashmiri Haak Greens. But all kinds of greens would work.

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