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 vegan pasta for dinner!
*Blog post originally shared April 3rd, 2018 and updated February 5th, 2020*
Why you will love this recipe:
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 fried eggplant parmesan growing up, I love that this tofu parmesan is just a bit lighter and packed with protein!
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!
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 ½ cup of dried quinoa to a blender and blend at 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. If you can't find Italian seasoning at the grocery store, 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!)
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!
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. I like to serve the tofu over a bed of pasta topped with a hearty tomato sauce, plenty of fresh basil, and vegan parmesan cheese.
FAQ & Expert Tips:
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!
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. This also makes this tofu parmesan lower in fat and calories.
Personally, I love Jovial or Ancient Harvest. However, use whatever pasta brand you love!
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and will last for 3-4 days in a closed container. It also can be stored in a closed container in the freezer for up to one month.
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!
More Tofu Recipes You Will Love:
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Baked Tofu Parmesan
- 12 oz gluten free pasta
- 14 oz firm or extra-firm tofu cut into long thin slices
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted
- ½ cup quinoa flour ½ cup quinoa blended
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon himalayan salt or more
- ½ cup vegan parmesan use more if desired
- 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 ½ 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 or in the freezer for up to 1 month. However, it is best enjoyed the day it is made.