This vegan chicken parmesan recipe, served with pasta, is packed with delicious flavors. With breaded and baked tofu in place of chicken, this simple recipe uses ingredients that are relatively accessible!
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Make Vegan Chicken Parmesan with Baked Tofu
I love using tofu as a replacement for chicken in any recipe like this baked tofu parmesan!
Marinating the tofu before baking packs in lots of flavor to ensure the final meal is just as tasty as a non-vegan option!
If you don’t like tofu, just use a store-bought vegan chicken breast or breaded chicken.
You can bread store-bought vegan chicken the same as tofu in this recipe. If you’ve bought breaded vegan chicken, simply top the vegan chicken with tomato sauce and vegan cheese!
Sauce for the Vegan Chicken Parm Recipe
A good vegan chicken parm requires a fantastic sauce. Since there’s lots of flavor in the breaded tofu, I kept the sauce simple and classic.
A fresh tomato sauce flavored with garlic, basil, salt and olive oil is the perfect pairing for a vegan chicken parm recipe! Strained tomatoes keep the flavors fresh along with tomato paste to thicken the sauce and add a boost of tomato flavor.
When cooking, make the sauce first so it can simmer while you bread the tofu parmesan!
Make Vegan Parmesan
Most of the cheese flavor in this tofu parmigiana recipe comes from the vegan mozzarella cheese rather than from Parmesan itself. However, for full flavor, a sprinkling of vegan Parmesan before serving is needed.
You can certainly use store-bought vegan parmesan, but I always keep some homemade vegan parm in my fridge. It’s a simple recipe, using only three ingredients and takes just a couple minutes to make!
In my house, we call vegan parmesan cheese “sprinkle cheese” because it’s so delicious to sprinkle on anything, especially a recipe like this! I make this two ways, either with cashews or sunflower seeds as the base ingredient.
Mozzarella for Vegan Chicken Parmesan
As mentioned above, much of the cheesy flavor in this vegan chicken parmesan recipe comes from the vegan mozzarella cheese shreds. Broil the shreds on top of the breaded and baked tofu pieces.
There are countless brands of vegan mozzarella, so select whichever you prefer or have access to.
Not all vegan mozzarella cheese shreds melt nicely. Don’t broil the tofu parmesan too long otherwise it’ll burn; keep careful watch over your tofu at this point!
For this recipe video, I’ve used “pizza style” shreds which taste pretty mild (and don’t melt well, but crisp which I find tasty). They are fortified with calcium which is nice!
I honestly buy whichever vegan cheese happens to be on sale at the time since I’m not picky (but I am frugal, haha).
Vegan Chicken Parmesan Pasta
Vegan chicken parmesan is best served with a side of pasta! Since this recipe makes a large enough batch of tomato sauce, the pasta can easily be served topped with sauce and a sprinkling of vegan parmesan cheese.
Any type of pasta you have is perfect to serve with tofu parmigiana. I typically select whole wheat pasta but feel free to make what you like!
I hope you enjoy this vegan chicken parm recipe as much as I do. This is seriously one of my favorite things to make, even though some work is required (the hardest step is simply getting the tofu breaded, but I use a vegan breading technique that works really well).
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Chicken Parmesan (Baked Tofu Parmesan)
Vegan Chicken Marinade
Vegan Chicken Breading
Vegan Chicken Parmesan Sauce
- ½ cup vegan mozzarella-style cheese shreds
- cooked pasta
- vegan Parmesan cheese
- fresh basil , extra (optional)
Vegan Chicken: Marinade
- Slice the tofu into 8 thin square pieces (or whatever shape/ thickness you want).350 grams extra firm tofu
- Place the tofu into a container with a lid (that seals well) and add marinade ingredients.1 cup vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon dry oregano, 1 teaspoon dry basil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Place lid on container and shake to coat the tofu in marinade. Make sure the marinade coats all layers of tofu.
- Marinate for at least 1 hour (best to marinate overnight if possible).
Vegan Chicken Parmesan: Sauce
- Mince some garlic.3-4 cloves garlic
- Heat olive oil in a sauce pot. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the garlic starts to soften and is fragrant.2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pour strained tomatoes into the pot and allow to simmer for ~10 minutes (may need to increase heat to medium-high to achieve a simmer).3 cups strained tomatoes
- Add tomato paste, sliced fresh basil leaves and salt to taste. Stir well and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.155 mililitres tomato paste, ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, salt
- You may want to simmer for longer to help the sauce thicken (depends on how thin your strained tomatoes are).
- Set sauce aside while you bread and bake the tofu.
Vegan Chicken: Breading
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Set up 2 plates and 1 bowl for breading the marinated tofu.
- On one plate, pour about ¾ of the starch (save some dry starch for the end to add to the plate as needed).¼ cup starch
- On the second plate, mix panko breadcrumbs with spices.¾ cup panko, 1 teaspoon dry oregano, 1 teaspoon dry basil, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In the bowl, pour in plant-based milk.¼ cup plant-based milk
- Take a piece of tofu and lightly coat in starch; brush off excess.
- Coat starch-covered tofu with the plant-based milk, then place into breadcrumbs. Lightly press breadcrumb mixture onto each side of the tofu. Repeat for all 8 tofu pieces.
- Place breaded tofu on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly spray the tofu with oil then bake for 12 minutes.oil spray
- Take tray out of the oven, flip each tofu piece, spray other side of the breaded tofu with oil, then bake for another 12 minutes or until both sides of the tofu are nicely browned and crispy.
Vegan Chicken Parmesan Assembly:
- Place tomato sauce onto each piece of breaded and cooked tofu. Top the sauce with vegan mozzarella cheese shreds.½ cup vegan mozzarella-style cheese shreds
- Turn the oven broiler to 450 °F and broil the breaded tofu until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes (this can start to burn within seconds so keep a very close eye on it – depending on the brand of vegan cheese you use, it may not melt very well).
- Optional to top the tofu with extra fresh basil.fresh basil
- Serve with a side of cooked pasta and top everything with extra sauce and a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese.vegan Parmesan cheese, cooked pasta
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.