This Vegan Tofu Parmesan is the perfect meat free version of chicken parmesan! It’s super crispy and flavorful and works for an easy weeknight dinner or a special occasion vegan dinner.
I originally had Valentine’s Day in mind when I decided to make this Vegan Tofu Parmesan recipe. It’s easy to make but also a little elegant and goes great with a side salad or a plate of pasta. I think it also works great as an easy weeknight dinner though!
I love tofu and have been cooking with it all of my life, but if you’re one of those people who thinks tofu is boring then you definitely need to try this Vegan Tofu Parmesan! It’s anything but boring and will hopefully turn anyone into a tofu lover 🙂
Vegan Chicken Parmesan Recipe Ingredients & Substitutions
- Tofu – You want to make sure to use extra firm or super firm tofu that has been pressed well. I really like to use the super firm, high protein tofu that is pre-pressed. I either get it from Sprouts or Trader Joe’s.
- Batter – I make a super easy batter by mixing equal parts flour and plant based milk. I also add in a little salt and garlic powder for extra flavor.
- Panko Mixture – I really prefer to use panko rather than just regular bread crumbs. Panko is so light and crispy and just works really well when making this Tofu Parmesan recipe. To make this recipe extra flavorful I add nutritional yeast, granulated garlic, dried oregano and salt to the panko mixture.
- Marinara Sauce – Any marinara or tomato sauce will work! I love the flavor of Rao’s Marinara Sauce. It’s on the pricier side but really does taste so much better than most jarred red sauces.
- Vegan Cheese – I don’t usually love vegan cheese but it works well with this recipe. I used violife shredded mozzarella and violife parmesan block that I made shards of and used as a garnish just before serving. Vegan cheese doesn’t melt very well usually, so it helps to broil it at the end of cooking. Any kind of vegan cheese will work though! And, if you’re just making these vegetarian you can use regular cheese.
How To Make Vegan Tofu Parmesan
This Tofu Parmesan might look a little complicated but it’s actually so easy to make:
- Prepare the tofu: start by pressing as much water out of your tofu as you can, or buy a pre-pressed tofu if you can find it. I put the tofu on its side and cut 4 big slices out of it. You can really cut the tofu whichever way works best for you. Set tofu aside while you make the batter and panko mixture.
- Make the batter: to a small bowl, add the flour, milk, salt and granulated garlic. Whisk until a batter has formed.
- Make the panko mixture: Add panko to a shallow dish and then add the nutritional yeast, dried oregano, granulated garlic and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Batter and bread your tofu: I like to use my hands to spread the batter on all sides of the tofu. You don’t need it to be too thick, just a light coating to help the panko stick to the tofu. After spreading the batter on the tofu, place it in the panko mixture. Sprinkle the panko on top of the tofu and make sure the tofu is completely coated with panko. Repeat with each slice of tofu.
- Cook the tofu: You can either bake the tofu or pan fry it. I like to pan fry mine in about a tablespoon or so of oil so the crust gets really nice and crispy. Heat a large pan with oil and place the tofu in. Cook for about 5 minutes each side, until browned and crispy.
- Place the crispy tofu on a baking sheet and top each one with a spoonful of marinara sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Bake until cheese is melted. Enjoy!
Tofu Parmesan Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
- Is this recipe gluten free? No, but it can easily be made gluten free by using gluten free flour and gluten free panko.
- Can I make this tofu parmesan ahead of time? Yes, I would recommend not baking it until ready to eat so it will be as crispy as possible when serving.
- Can the tofu parmesan be frozen? Yes, you can either freeze it just before baking or after baking. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- What kind of vegan cheese do you use? I used some violife mozzarella shreds as well as the violife parmesan block.
- What should I serve this with? I just served mine with a vegan Caesar salad but traditionally I see chicken parmesan served over pasta a lot so that would be great too!
Have a question that I didn’t answer? Ask me in the comment section and I will get back to you ASAP!
Tips For Making The Best Vegan Chicken Parmesan Recipe
- Make sure your tofu is well pressed. This recipe tastes best when the tofu is nice and firm, rather than being mushy or watery. I like using this tofu press.
- Use panko instead of breadcrumbs. Like I said above, panko is much lighter and crispier than breadcrumbs and it gives this tofu parmesan such great crunch.
- Use a good marinara sauce. I like to use Rao’s brand of marinara or tomato sauce. It has so much flavor and really adds to making this recipe delicious.
- Pan fry the tofu in oil. Yes, baking the tofu is healthier, but I really love the taste and the crispiness that you get from frying the tofu in a little bit of oil. You don’t have to use a lot, just enough to really crisp up the panko on the outside of the tofu.