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Vegetarian

Crispy and Cheesy Tofu Parmesan

Do you ever feel sorry for vegetarians because you think their food is bland, tasteless, and boring? Well, I’m here to tell you that you should definitely not feel that way. Over the years, I have discovered that some of the yummiest, most delightful meals are prepared sans meat. 

This tofu Parmesan is loaded with all of the wonderful things you love about chicken Parmesan, but the protein is represented by tofu in this version. It’s crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, salty, cheesy, tomato-y, garlicky. Marvelous, really.

The key to cooking good tofu is to get it really nice and dry before cooking it so that it doesn’t end up bland and jiggly in the middle. It’s also important to salt and pepper all sides of the tofu prior to cooking. After that, the preparation of this tofu Parmesan is similar to traditional chicken Parmesan. Serve with pasta and a salad for a complete and tasty meal!

Ingredients:

1 block of extra firm tofu

½ c. Italian breadcrumbs

1 large egg, beaten

2 tsp. garlic powder

¼ c. grated Parmesan

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 c. marinara sauce

½ c. shredded mozzarella

Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese, for topping

About 30 minutes before cooking, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. 

Preheat the oven to 400. 

Create a breading station by combining the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, grated Parmesan, salt, and pepper on a plate. On a separate plate, beat a large egg. 

Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, and then divide into 8 sections. They should look like small versions of playing card-sized sections that are about ½ inch thick. Pat the tofu dry again and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge each piece of tofu in egg and then cover with the breadcrumb mixture on all sides before adding it to the skillet. Repeat with the remaining tofu.Cook the tofu for about 2 minutes, or until brown, then flip and repeat on the other side. 

Set the cooked tofu on a lined baking sheet. Cover with marinara (the amount should be of your preference) and mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and a little browned. Enjoy immediately with pasta!

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