Meatless Monday: Tofu Parmigiana

My previous Meatless Monday posts have not really been outside my comfort zone. Yes, the meals were void of meat, but there were no exotic ingredients or unfamiliar flavors. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of trying to think differently when it comes to meal planning, but I haven’t tried anything drastically different from what we would have eaten before. Until now.

You see, there are two foods that scare me. Yes, scare me. I know that might seem a bit dramatic, and I don’t mean to imply that I would run away from either of these foods if they were in front of me. But, I would pick around them or choose foods that do not include them. What are these two ingredients? Tofu and mushrooms. Mustard used to be on this list, but we’ve made peace. And I decided it was time to do the same with the first two as well.

I’ve cooked with tofu twice before – once it was diced in hot and sour soup and the second time it was made into a chocolate mousse. I ate it both times but wasn’t excited about either. The same is true for mushrooms. I’ve worked with them a few times, but usually dice them incredibly small as to “hide” them. For this recipe, both ingredients were front and center. The result? I am now a bonafide mushroom-lover, but I’m still not sold on tofu.

I have mixed feelings about tofu as there is some conflicting research regarding the safe consumption of soy products in women my age, and I’m still formulating my opinion on genetically modified organisms as a food source (and am trying to limit my intake of genetically engineered products where possible). I do think it is probably fine in moderation, which is why I decided to give it a try. The flavor of the sauce, mushrooms, breading, etc. was all fantastic. It was the texture of the tofu that I just wasn’t crazy about. In the end, I think I would have preferred zucchini or eggplant in place of the tofu. Or even just more mushrooms. Imagine that.

Oddly enough, Ryan had the exact opposite reaction. He wanted more tofu, less mushrooms. Obviously it’s up to personal taste. Either way, I think this is a great recipe to try for anyone who hasn’t experienced tofu before because it’s hard to go wrong with cheese-covered anything!

Tofu Parmigiana
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used panko but would suggest regular)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
15 ounce container organic extra firm tofu
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup jarred marinara sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Combine breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Cut tofu lengthwise into 4 steaks and pat dry. (You may want to do three thicker steaks depending on your pan size; I could not fit more than three pieces in my largest skillet at a time. Adjust POINTS accordingly.)Sprinkle both sides of the tofu with garlic powder and salt and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. If possible, use an ovenproof skillet. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and begin to brown, 4 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the tofu steaks and cook until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn over and sprinkle with Parmesan. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the tofu, pour marinara over the mushrooms and scatter mozzarella on top. If your skillet is ovenproof, place pan under the broiler until cheese has browned, about 2 minutes. If your skillet is not ovenproof, cover and continue to cook on stovetop until the sauce is hot and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

Source: Eating Well
4 servings | 7 POINTS


October 11, 2010. recipes.


  1. Maris (In Good Taste) replied:

    Looks delish! I think you could turn anything into parmigiana and it would taste great :)

  2. Lindsey replied:

    I also am terrified of tofu! I have 2 boxes of it in my pantry because I desperately want to use it, but the few times I have I’ve been disappointed. Perhaps this will motivate me…but I’m also like you and slightly anxious about mushrooms as well. Maybe this will convert me!

  3. Bri replied:

    I’m proud of you; I’ve contemplated trying to prepare tofu but so far I’ve been a big chicken. I think you’re right though: burying it in cheese sounds like a good start!

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