You may be asking yourself, how can the crispy slices in these pictures not only be Tofu but also be gluten-free & egg-free?! Well, I can assure you this Baked Tofu Parmesan is healthy, delicious, and also incredibly easy to make. All you need is 10 ingredients to make this delicious vegetarian pasta for dinner!
*Blog post originally shared April 3rd, 2018 and updated February 5th, 2020*
Why you will love this healthier tofu parmesan
One of my favorite things to do is invent healthy vegetarian versions of my favorite comfort foods growing up. Take my Vegan Truffle Mac and Cheese or my Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo for example. While I LOVED eating authentic eggplant parmesan growing up, I love that this dish is just a bit lighter and full of more protein!
I actually have tried other versions of vegetarian tofu parmesan dishes, but have found many options to be too heavy with breading and ultimately a bit too unhealthy for me to make on a weekly basis.
That’s when I came up with the idea to make a vegetarian tofu parmesan that used quinoa flour in place of breadcrumbs and coconut oil in place of butter or eggs. Plus, this tofu dish is baked instead of fried like the traditional eggplant parm! Yay for healthy fats and tons of protein, fiber, and iron existing in this tofu pasta recipe!
How to Make Crispy Baked Tofu
Making this crispy tofu parmesan is incredibly easy and it requires 10 ingredients to make!
First, press the tofu
For this tofu pasta recipe, it’s incredibly important to use FIRM or EXTRA-FIRM tofu! Why? Because firm tofu has less moisture and will hold up better during baking.
To soak up even more moisture, I always cut my tofu in half and press it tofu between two dish towels or stacks of paper towels for at least 5 minutes. Basically, you want the tofu as dry as possible prior to baking.
Then, make the quinoa flour
If you’re wondering, “what the heck is quinoa flour?!” it’s actually just stone-ground quinoa. While you can buy quinoa flour in many grocery stores, I prefer to make my own at home!
To make homemade quinoa flour, just add 1/2 cup of dried quinoa to a blender and blend on high speed until the quinoa is powdered and resembles flour. There might still be a few whole pieces of chunks of quinoa left after blending. This is totally okay and actually adds a bit of crunch to the dish!
For reference, I like to buy my quinoa in bulk from Costco as I’ve found this is where I can get the best bang for my buck. I included a link to the quinoa I buy, but I can assure you it’s much more affordable to buy at the store.
After that, it’s all about the seasoning!
All you need to do is mix in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to give this quinoa flour flavor. I personally add 1 tsp of salt, but definitely add more or less depending on your preferences and tolerance to salt.
Also, if you can’t find an Italian seasoning mix at your grocery store, it’s really just a mix of dried oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram, rosemary, and sage. You can also follow this Italian seasoning recipe to make it homemade!
Next, dip the tofu in melted coconut oil & quinoa flour
Once the tofu is prepped and the quinoa flour is made, it’s time to get out tofu ready to be baked!
Very lightly dip the tofu in a shallow bowl filled with coconut oil and remove. Let any excess coconut oil drip off the tofu and back into the bowl. Then, take the coconut-oil coated tofu and add it to the dish containing the quinoa flour.
Roll the tofu around until it is coated in quinoa flour and then add the tofu strips to a parchment-lined baking sheet. (PS- these are the best baking sheets ever!)
What coconut oil works best for this recipe?
I like to use refined coconut oil as it doesn’t have a coconut taste. If that doesn’t bother you, virgin coconut oil also works just as well in this recipe!
Can oil other than coconut oil be used?
Personally, I have not tried it. However, I would guess any oil with a high smoke point would work. This means skipping the olive oil and going for other oils like avocado oil, grapefruit oil, or sunflower oil that won’t burn at high heat.
Is it possible to make this tofu oil-free?
If you want to keep this dish oil-free, dip the tofu in almond milk or any plant-based milk for a similar, yet slightly less crispy, baked tofu.
Finally, bake the crispy gluten-free tofu!
Once in the oven, the quinoa flour turned into a super-crispy crust that makes this tofu parmesan even better than I could have imagined!
I like to bake the tofu for 15-20 minutes on the first side, remove, flip, and then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes on the second side for optimal crispiness.
How to serve Tofu Parmesan
Now that the tofu has cooked, it’s time to plate it as this baked tofu is best served one!
I like to serve the tofu over a bed of pasta topped with a hearty tomato sauce. Then, I top the tofu with plenty of parmesan and fresh basil.
Can this dish be made vegan?
Yes, and it’s JUST as delicious! Simply replace the parmesan cheese with vegan parmesan or your favorite vegan cheese. It’s really that easy as the baked tofu and pasta are already vegan.
What tomato sauce works best for this recipe?
I really love this recipe with Muir Glen or Rao’s Arrabiata sauce. Also, I sometimes make it with a homemade roasted tomato and garlic sauce that I promise I will share on the blog soon!
What gluten-free pasta do you recommend?
Personally, I love Jovial or Ancient Harvest. However, use whatever pasta brand you love!
What is the best way to store tofu parmesan?
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and will last for 3-4 days in a closed container. I personally LOVE eating this vegetarian pasta dish as leftovers for lunch during the week.
A Healthy Vegetarian Tofu Pasta Recipe
This Baked Tofu Parmesan makes the perfect healthy weeknight dinner when you are craving a comforting pasta dish. I don’t know about you, but I definitely think eating pasta can be comforting and filling without weighing you down. I hope you love this tofu pasta as much as I do and that it becomes a weekly staple dinner in your home!
Looking for more tofu recipes? Check out these SGTO favorites!Print
This Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Tofu Parmesan is paired with a roasted garlic tomato recipe for the best weeknight dinner recipe.
GF Tofu Parmesan
- 12 oz gluten free pasta
- 14 oz firm or extra-firm tofu (cut into long thin slices)
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour (1/2 cup quinoa blended)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp himalayan salt (or more)
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- fresh basil (to top dish)
- First, cut the tofu in half and place between two dish towels or paper-towels to remove any excess moisture from the tofu. Press the tofu for at least 5 minths and then cut each half into long slices. During this time, cook the pasta according to instructions and make the quinoa flour.
- To make the quinoa flour add 1/2 cup quinoa to a blender and blend until it is a fine powder (some chunks are okay). Then, season the quinoa flour with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take each tofu slice, dip it in the melted coconut oil to lightly coat, making sure to let any excess coconut oil drip off back into the bowl. Then, dip the tofu into the quinoa flour mix to evenly coat. Add each tofu slice to the baking sheet making sure to leave space between each slice.
- Bake for the tofu for 15-20 minutes on one side. Then, remove the pan, flip the tofu, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until browned. The tofu will be slightly soft right out of the oven, so let cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes before serving.
- To finish, add desired amount of pasta to your plate, top with garlic roasted tomatoes, 2-3 slices of tofu, parmesan, and fresh basil. Enjoy!
- Tofu parmesan can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days in a closed container. Best enjoyed day of making!
Keywords: tofu parmesan, crispy tofu parmesan, tofu pasta, recipes, pasta with tofu, vegetarian pasta, healthy, gluten-free