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Baked tofu parmesan topped with vegan cheese and marinara sauce on baking sheet

Vegan Tofu Parmesan


  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Crispy Tofu Parmesan is breaded and pan-fried until golden, then baked in the oven until extra crispy! A cozy and hearty vegan main with a gluten-free option. 


Ingredients

  • 1 16 ounce block tofu, cut into 4 thin pieces*
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegan chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup (62 g) panko breadcrumbs*
  • 1/31/2 cup (80-120 ml) olive oil*
  • 1 cup (240 ml) marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup (55g) vegan mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (28 g) shredded vegan Parmesan 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil and/or parsley, for serving 

Instructions

  1. Marinate: slice tofu and soak in liquid covered for  at least 30 min, or overnight for stronger flavor. Remove the tofu from the marinade and place on a plate; reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade, and discard the rest.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 450F and grease or line a baking sheet. Then, prepare the three-step breading process:
    1. Flour: place the flour, Italian seasoning (if using), salt, and pepper on a shallow plate. Mix well.
    2. “Egg” Wash: Whisk the reserved 1/3 cup of the tofu marinade with the cornstarch in a shallow bowl or plate with a lip.
    3. Breading: place the breadcrumbs on a shallow plate.
  3. Prepare the Tofu: dredge both sides of the tofu in the flour mixture first, then briefly in the “egg” mixture, then into the breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Set aside and repeat with the remaining pieces of tofu
  4. Pan-Fry: Warm the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the breaded tofu to the oil and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer the tofu to a plate lined with a paper towel briefly, to absorb the excess oil.
  5. Bake: Transfer the tofu cutlets to the prepared baking tray and top each cutlet with 1/4 cup (60 ml) of sauce, 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese, and 1 tablespoon of vegan Parmesan. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Serve: Transfer to serving plates and top with fresh herbs. Serve warm; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days and are best reheated in the oven, toaster oven, or air fryer.

Notes

  • Oil: the amount of oil you need for frying will vary based on the size and type of your pan. I used a large nonstick ceramic pan and only needed 1/3 cup of oil, but if your pan is larger and made of stainless steel or cast iron you may need to add more oil to prevent sticking. 
  • Baked: Prepare the tofu cutlets as written, then spray both sides generously with spray oil. Place the cutlets on a prepared baking sheet and bake plain for 15-17 minutes before removing from the oven, flipping, topping with sauce, and returning to the oven to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. You can also make this recipe in the air-fryer, but may need to reduce the cook time by 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Gluten-Free: use gluten-free all-purpose flour and gluten-free panko breadcrumbs