Air fryer Paneer tikka is a popular Indian Vegetarian tandoori dish, typically served with lemon wedges, and green chutney. Soft Indian cottage cheese, Onion, Peppers are marinated in a spiced yogurt mix, threaded on a skewer, and air fried to perfection. The perfect Vegetarian alternative to Chicken Tikka!
Can be cooked in Oven, on a grill, or barbecue too!
What is Paneer Tikka?
In case you have never heard of Paneer Tikka before but you are curious to know more about it.
‘Paneer’ means Indian cottage Cheese and ‘Tikka’ means anything that is marinated and cooked.
It is a delicious Indian Vegetarian appetizer, where pieces of paneer, onion, peppers are marinated in yogurt and spices. It is then threaded on a skewer and cooked to perfection either in an Air fryer, Oven, Grill, Tandoor, or Barbecue.
Traditionally, tikka is always cooked in tandoor clay. I have simplified the cooking process and always make it in my oven or air fryer.
This recipe is adaptable and versatile, so you can make it with Tofu for a Vegan Version. Use spices that are easily available.
Why you’ll love this Paneer tikka recipe?
Our easy Air fryer Paneer Tikka is fun, colorful, and delicious.
Incredibly Versatile – Perfect as a starter/appetizer or as a side dish or even as a barbecue dish or even as a meal. Even perfect for feeding a crowd.
Easy and Budget-friendly too. The majority of the ingredients – Paneer, Pepper, Onion, Yogurt, and Indian spices are easy to find locally and at a reasonable cost.
Make them in the Air fryer, Oven, or even on the Grill.
Dietary needs – Vegetarian and Gluten-free.
This recipe is pretty simple and straightforward. Don’t be put away by a long list of Indian spices. Check out my tips for shortcuts too.
Paneer – also known as Indian cottage cheese. It is easily available to buy in grocery stores across the UK, in Costco, or in Asian Stores. Some of the popular ones are Everest Paneer Block Cheese, Shagun Paneer Cheese, Sugam Paneer, and Apetina Paneer Cheese. I would highly recommend buying the cheese block rather than diced paneer. You can also make Paneer at home, however, it is time-consuming!
Onion – I prefer using Red Onion for Tikka recipes. Although even White Onion should work.
Pepper -As much as Paneer, Peppers are necessary for a Paneer Tikka. Use Red or Green Pepper for the recipe. Green Peppers are also called Capsicum in India.
Yogurt – Ideally we need thick Yogurt/ Hung Curd for marinating the ingredients. For this reason, I like to use Greek Yogurt and they coat the paneer and vegetables well.
Spices – I like to use Turmeric, Chilli Powder, Ground Cumin, Coriander, Garam masala, and Chaat masala.
Ginger- Garlic – Either use Fresh minced ginger and garlic or Storebought Ginger Garlic Paste. Easy to find at any Asian store near you.
Oil – Vegetable or Sunflower Oil can be used. A little oil is needed for brushing the paneer/veggies before cooking.
Pro tip – If you don’t want to make a spice blend at home, simply mix 3-4 Tablespoons of Tikka masala paste into the greek yogurt. Marinate the paneer and vegetables in that and air fry.
How to make Air fryer Paneer Tikka?
Prepare the Paneer, Vegetables & Skewers. – Dice the Paneer to 1/2 inch chunks. Cut the Onion and Pepper to 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces. Soak the Bamboo Skewers in Cold water for atleast 30 minutes.
Make the Marinade – To a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade and combine to make a smooth mixture.
Marinate – Place the diced Paneer, Onion, and Bell Peppers in the marinade. Soak for at least 30 minutes.
Thread the Skewers – Arrange the Paneer, Onion, and Bell Peppers in alternate on the skewers. Prep the remaining skewers in a similar way.
Air fry – Brush the Paneer Tikka’s with oil and then Air fry the Paneer Tikka Skewers at 350 F / 175 C for 7-8 minutes. Repeat the process with the remaining skewers too.
Tips to make this easy PANEER TIKKA
Always Soak the Paneer in Hot Water before use.
Soak the Wooden Skewers in cold water at least for 30 minutes. This is to ensure the skewers don’t burn while cooking. If you are using Stainless Steel Skewers, give this step a miss!
Marinate and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. The longer resting time allows the paneer and vegetables to soak up all the flavors, really well.
If you don’t want to make a spice blend at home, simply mix 3-4 Tablespoons of Tikka masala paste or your favorite storebought madras curry paste into the greek yogurt. Marinate the paneer and vegetables in that and air fry until golden and crispy on the edges.
I like to use Air fryer when I make small portions of Paneer Tikka. However for feeding a crowd, I prefer using the Oven.
Variations of Paneer Tikka
Don’t have a Skewer, try this Non Skewered version. Place the marinated Paneer and Vegetables in the air fryer basket or a baking dish and cook until golden.
Paneer Tikka Masala – Remove the prepared Paneer Tikka from the skewer and serve with a rich onion tomato based gravy.
How to make a Super Easy Paneer Tikka recipe?
Use a storebought spice paste – I like to use stir in Jamie Oliver Madras Curry paste or a Tikka Masala paste into the yogurt and marinate the paneer and vegetables. Allow them to rest for 30 minutes or so and cook as per the instructions in the recipe card. This is a Quicker version of Paneer Tikka and delicious too.
Serve this delicious Paneer Tikka with lemon wedges and Green Chutney.
If you love this recipe, you will also love these Indian Inspired Air fryer recipes
- 400 g Paneer
- 2 Large Bell Peppers or Use a mix of Peppers
- 1 Large Red Onion
- 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 Tbsp Chickpea Flour
- 3 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1 Inch Ginger grated
- 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
- 1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Paprika Powder
- 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- 2 Tsp Vegetable Oil or Sunflower Oil
- Salt to Taste
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- 1 Tsp Chaat masala
- 3 Tsp Kasuri Methi
- Dice the Paneer to 1/2 inch chunks. Soak in Hot water for at least 10 minutes. Drain.
- Cut the Onion and Pepper to 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces.
- To a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for marindade and combine to make a smooth mixture.
- Marinate and allow to rest for atleast 30 minutes.
- Thread the Paneer, Onion and Bell Peppers in alternate on the skewers.
- Preheat the Air fryer at 350F for 3 minutes.
- Brush the Paneer Tikka with oil and Air fry for 5-6 minutes. Flip the skewers, brush again with oil and air fry for 2-3 minutes until the paneer browns with a little charred edges.
- Serve with Lemon Wedges and Green Chutney.