Sylvia Meo, R.D.
Updated: Feb 13
Unlike the usual batter coated, cheese covered, greasier versions out there, this Italian inspired Tofu Parmigiana recipe is healthy, delicious and incredibly easy to prepare. An Italian comfort recipe with a twist that's perfect for busy weeknights, lazy weekends or entertaining and best part, this meal can be on the table in less than 30 minutes!
Why eat tofu?
Tofu is a good source of complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. It is an excellent source of iron and calcium, contains other important nutrients such as magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and vitamin B1, yet is low in calories.
Soybeans with which tofu is made contain natural plant substances called isoflavones which are believed to have various health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Due to much of the soybeans grown being genetically modified, make sure to purchase and eat either organic or non-GMO Project verified tofu.
Soft, silken, medium, firm, extra-firm tofu...what is the difference and how do you choose the right one?
Soft or silken tofu has the highest water content, consequently is has a smooth and custard-like texture.
Use it in: smoothies, dressings, puddings, dips, sauces, cheesecake filling or as an egg substitute for baking.
Medium or regular tofu, although denser, is still somewhat soft and delicate.
Use it for: soups, stews, eggless scrambled "eggs" or stuffed pasta filling.
Firm or extra-firm tofu is more compact and the most versatile. It can also be found already seasoned, flavored or smoked, like the one I recommend in this recipe.
Use it: pan-fried, stir-fried, deep-fried, baked, grilled, or to make vegan ground beef.
Now let's get cooking!!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 (16 ounce) package fine herbs firm or extra-firm tofu, rinsed
1/4 cup plain or Italian-style breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups homemade tomato sauce or your favorite bottled organic tomato sauce
4 slices fresh mozzarella (or use 4 bocconcini, cut in half)
4 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
HOW TO MAKE THIS TOFU PARMIGIANA:
1. Combine the breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a plate.
2. Slice the tofu lengthwise into 4 equal slices. If you can't find a herb flavored tofu, simply add dried basil to your breadcrumb mixture. Without patting dry the tofu slices, press them one at a time into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to coat all sides.
3. Heat the oil in a pan on medium high heat. Place the breaded tofu slices in the hot pan cooking each side until crispy golden, about 3 minutes per side.
4. Remove the tofu slices from the pan. Set aside half a cup of the tomato sauce and pour the rest of it in the pan, then place the tofu slices over the sauce.
5. Spoon the reserved tomato sauce equally over the four tofu slices. Top with the mozzarella or bocconcini and the remaining grated parmesan. Cover the pan and let the cheese melt for about 5 minutes.
6. Garnish the tofu slices with the fresh basil and dig in!
To ensure perfect browning and crispiness, don't peak when cooking the breaded tofu slices.
If your are using an oven-safe pan, you can also preheat your oven broiler and place your pan on the middle rack under your broiler for about 5 minutes to nicely melt the mozzarella.
Serve this with a side of fresh arugula salad or roasted vegetables!
This is also a freezer-friendly dish. Once the breaded tofu slices are cooked, continue the rest of the recipe in a baking dish, tightly cover the dish and freeze. Whenever you want to have it for lunch or supper, preheat the oven at 350F and bake for 20-30 minutes or until fully heated through and the cheese has melted.
Looking to eat more plant-based? Here are some recipes and articles that could inspire you!
Easy Ways to Add More Plant-Based Proteins Into Our Every Day
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
I'd love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review below or share a photo of it on Instagram. Tag @thefoodfullife on Instagram or Facebook and hashtag it #foodfuleats #foodfullife #foodful
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