Baked Tofu Parmesan Recipe ~ Vegan

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Baked panko crusted Tofu Parmesan recipe from scratch in a homemade marinara sauce. Basically a “vegan chicken parmesan” without any of the cholesterol, fat and cruelty. Oil free, air fryer method included.

Crispy. Saucy. Healthy. Italian Tofu Parmesan!

The best vegan tofu parmesan baked to perfection until perfectly crispy on the outside and with a perfect meaty texture achieved with the frozen-defrost method.

It all starts with my homemade vegan parmesan!

I’m a big fan of the walnut version but it can also be done with raw cashews, pine nuts and even macadamias. Best to experiment with your favorite nuts and find your favorite combo.

the panko breadcrumb crust:

  1. Using panko breadcrumbs results in the crispiest texture ever. If not available just use any unseasoned whole grain bread crumbs you have in the pantry.
  2. Alternatively you can make your own breadcrumbs using stale or toasted bread. Process in the food processor until a coarse texture forms, slowly using the pulse button so you don’t over do it.

Because of the wonderful walnut parmesan coating this tofu can be made as healthy as possible. Not greasy, completely oil-free using the oven baked method or air fryer without the tofu steaks drying out at all.

what to serve with:

Panko Crusted Tofu Parmesan

Optional: you can top your tofu with plant based cheese slices and finish under the broiler for a few seconds until melted and gooey. Keep in mind however that the cheese contains oil so it must be omitted for the whole food plant based and Plantricious diets.

P.S. If you try this recipe please come back here to rate it, snap a photo and tag me with #VeggieSociety on Instagram, it always brightens up my day ~ Florentina Xo’s

Crispy Panko Crusted Tofu Parmesan in Tomato Sauce

how to make the best tofu parmesan:

Vegan Tofu Parmesan with Polenta
5 from 3 votes

Baked Tofu Parmesan

Baked panko crusted Tofu Parmesan recipe from scratch in a homemade marinara sauce. Basically a "vegan chicken parmesan" without any of the cholesterol, fat and cruelty. Oil free, air fryer method included.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Pressing Tofu::45 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 30 minutes



Panko Crust:

  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs (or any plain whole grain bread crumbs will do)


  • Drain the tofu and slice into 8 slices width-wise. Pat dry with a lint free towel and try to press out as much of the water as possible.
  • Place in a freezer proof container and freeze solid.
  • Defrost the tofu and wrap it in a lint free towel. Place on a tray and cover with a heavy object to press. (Use a skillet, cutting board, heavy pot, canned tomatoes etc.) Press for a good 45 minutes or so to get out as much of the moisture as possible.
  • Meanwhile mix together the vegan parmesan and bread crumbs and set aside.

Prepare the Tofu:

  • Season the tofu pieces with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper on both sides then coat in the tapioca.
  • Whisk together the batter ingredients until smooth then dip each tofu slice in it.
  • Coat in the vegan parmesan crust mixture shaking off any excess.
  • Place the coated tofu pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet or air fryer tray without touching each other.

Oven Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 400”F and cook the tofu for 30 minutes flipping half way.
  • OPTIONAL: Top the tofu with your favorite plant based cheese slices ( I love Follow Your Heart & Violife) and place under the broiler for about 30 seconds or so until melted.
  • Meanwhile heat up the marinara in a skillet and transfer the parmesan tofu into sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over the top and serve hot over creamy polenta, pasta or mashed potatoes.

Air Fryer Method:

  • Follow the steps above, but instead of baking it air fry the tofu at 375”F for 12 to 15 minutes flipping half way.


To make creamy polenta whisk 2 cups of yellow cornmeal into 12 cups of boiling water. Add a pinch of sea salt and a bay leaf and simmer for about 45 minutes until thick and creamy stirring every few minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 cup of cashew milk. As the polenta cools down it will continue to thicken up until solid.


Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 555mg | Potassium: 313mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 686IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian Tofu, plant based, vegan,, wfpb
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 291kcal
Author: Florentina
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      1. I was sondering the same thing. I fighred it was tapioca starch but I’m glad you answered ASG for all of us to read. Thanks for a wonderful recipe, .I can’t wait to try it this week (maybe my carnivore husband might even try a piece)!

  1. Why do you slice the tofu, freeze it, thaw it, then press it? Couldn’t I just press it and slice it? Does freezing the tofu change it in some way?

  2. I was sectical and I was wrong.
    I served w/polenta, house tomato sauce and sauté of onion, peppers, celery, garlic, and chili flake. Baked on greased plan and sprayed with avocado oil. Only flaw was I cut the tofu to thin.

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