Simple, delicious Vegan Tofu Parmigiana in just 20 minutes or less!
Mamma Mia – here we go again (yup, pun intended): another delicious pasta dish on the blog – and today I have created this yummy, high protein, vegan tofu parmigiana!
This week I’ve teamed up with Explore Cuisine to bring the taste of Italy to your plates. I’ve been using their bean pastas myself for years and when I heard that they are on a journey to offer healthy, globally-inspired recipes, I was instantly up for the challenge of creating a unique recipe inspired by Italian cuisine.
Parmigiana in all shapes and forms used to be one of my favourite dishes before embracing the plant-based life and I have to admit: to this point I haven’t had a proper parmigiana pasta. So it was no question that I’ll re-create a tasty, vegan, high-protein version of this classical dish!
Homemade Vegan Tofu Parmigiana Sauce
In this Vegan Tofu Parmigiana I’ve actually gone and created the tomato sauce from scratch. It’s honestly easier than you might think and I would recommend making it from scratch if you have 5 minutes extra to spare in the kitchen. If not – don’t you worry – you can simply use a pre-made pasta sauce, ideally already including garlic and herbs (in that case omit the garlic and herbs from the ingredient list below!)
For the base of my tomato sauce I’ve used organic tinned cherry tomatoes (I love their natural sweetness!) and cooked them with onion, garlic and herbs before blending into a smooth tomato sauce. To create a thicker texture and re-create the ‘parmesan’ flavour of a typical parmigiana, I’ve used almond meal & nutritional yeast and simply stirred 2 tablespoons each into the pasta sauce to finish it off.
Tofu cooking hacks
A slice of garlic-ked tofu on the top adds some delicious texture to the dish – you can of course replace this with your favourite vegan protein, such as pre-made vegan chicken-style pieces. I however love using tofu here, as it’s high in protein and low in natural sodium – some pre-made protein sources can be really high on the salt/sugar front, so be aware of this if you replace the tofu in this dish.
The preparation for these ‘tofu steaks’ is super simple: it’s important that you use firm tofu for this dish (soft or silken tofu are great for other dishes, but they simply won’t work in this recipe). I can’t recommend enough to press your tofu prior to using it in a recipe – it creates a super dense texture and works particularly well when you use the tofu in this ‘steak’ form. It also helps the tofu crisp up in the pan with just a little oil.
To finish of this parmigiana I’ve added homemade vegan mozzarella on the top and let it melt in the oven grill for 2 minutes – of course, please feel free to use a ready-made vegan cheese alternative – vegan mozzarella style shreds work particularly well with this dish. You can also pop the tofu & vegan cheese into a microwave to melt, which makes it quicker for you (I don’t own a microwave, hence why I use my oven for these steps).
Why bean pasta?
I love using edamame bean pasta in recipes like this Vegan Tofu Parmigiana – it’s such a delicious & healthy way to add more protein and fibre to my diet and they’re simply so versatile in flavour that they work in a variety of different dishes. Make sure to also check out my other recipes created with this style of pasta, such as my recipe for Green lentil penne with pea pesto and these Simple Sesame Noodles!
This Vegan Tofu Parmigiana recipe is:
- simple & easy
- 100% vegan
- gluten free
- quick to make in 20 minutes or less
- suitable for 2 portions
- high in protein
- high in fibre
Getting the taste of Italy into your kitchen! This Vegan Tofu Parmigiana recipe is super easy to create in just 20 minutes, it’s high in protein & fibre as I’ve created it with Explore Cuisine’s Edamame Spaghetti, which are naturally gluten free, organic and a simply a great way to add more (vegan) protein to your dish.
- 100g Explore Cuisine Edamame Spaghetti
- 200g firm tofu, pressed
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 30g vegan cheese
For the sauce
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme (or fresh)
- 1 can cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 2 Tbsp almond flour
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- salt, to taste (optional)
- Cook the Edamame Bean Spaghetti according to the packaging instructions, drain and set aside.
- In the meantime cut your tofu into 2 ‘steaks’ and add them to a small frying pan with a drizzle of oil, sprinkle the garlic powder on the top and gently cook until golden on both sides.
- Add the diced onion to a large frying pan alongside the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. As the onion becomes translucent, add in the garlic and stir.
- Add in the thyme, cherry tomatoes and dried basil and cook for about 3 minutes before transferring to a blender or food processor to blitz it all up into a smooth tomato sauce. You can also use a stick blender at this stage.
- Transfer the sauce back to the pan and stir in the almond flour and nutritional yeast.
- Top your tofu steaks with the vegan cheese and either grill in the oven for 2 minutes or pop into the microwave for 20-35 seconds (or until the cheese has melted).
- Assemble: start with a portion of the Explore Cuisine Edamame Bean Spaghetti, add a serving of the sauce onto the pasta and top the dish with the cheesy tofu.
- Buon appetito!
You can replace the tofu with your favourite vegan protein – I find vegan chicken style shreds are a great alternative in case you’re not a big tofu lover.
The almond flour adds a great texture to the pasta sauce – alternatively you can also use hazelnut meal.
If you have fresh herbs to hand, feel free to exchange them with the dried ones in this recipe. Fresh always gives the best flavour, however I didn’t have any to hand when creating this recipe.
- Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
- Calories: 558
- Sugar: 4.6
- Sodium: 0.665
- Fat: 22.5
- Saturated Fat: 5.6
- Unsaturated Fat: 5.7
- Carbohydrates: 48.6
- Fiber: 17.7
- Protein: 45.9
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: vegan parmigiana, tofu parmigiana, vegan parmigiana recipe, explore cuisine spaghetti recipe, high protein vegan meals