Parmesan Baked Tofu with Burst Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

Why you’ll love this parmesan baked tofu recipe

  • it will be your new favorite way to make tofu; 
  • super flavorful; 
  • recipe comes together in no time;
  • you can use the parmesan mix on chicken for different eaters; 

Ingredients 

  • Tofu – I use firm or extra-firm tofu. I do prefer organic and Trader Joes sells sprouted tofu if that’s something important to you. The secret to making a nice piece of crispy tofu is to press the moisture out of it. You can do this by wrapping the tofu block in paper towels and putting something heavy on it (like a skillet) for a couple minutes or using a tofu press like the one in the photo
  • Parmesan cheese – I love parmesan cheese! I get a block of parmigiano reggiano from Costco and grate it by hand or in the food processor. You can use pecorino (sheep’s milk cheese) or a vegan parmesan instead. 
  • Garlic powder – I like using garlic powder in place of fresh garlic when I want a subtle garlic flavor. 
  • Oregano – I use dried oregano in the seasoning mix for the tofu. 
  • Paprika – There are different kinds of paprika available. I use regular paprika in this recipe, also known as sweet paprika. 
  • Garlic – I use thinly sliced fresh garlic for the tomato sauce. They key is not to burn the garlic. You want it to be golden brown. 
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – is optional, but I find it to be a key ingredient when cooking tomatoes. They add a subtle spice kick. 
  • Tomatoes – I like to use cherry tomatoes, but you can use a large tomato as well. 
  • Basil leaves – basil and tomatoes go so well together. My grandma taught me to tear basil by hand so you don’t bruise it, especially if your knives are not sharp. 

How to make parmesan baked tofu

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a small baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Squeeze the moisture out of the tofu by wrapping the block with paper towels and placing on a cutting board. Place something heavy, such as a skillet filled with cans, on top and allow it to sit for 15 minutes or longer. Alternatively, use a tofu press to press out the moisture. Cut tofu into 4 slabs.
  3. Place the oil in a medium-size dish that is big enough to dip in the tofu slabs. Mix the cheese, spices, salt and pepper in a separate dish.
  4. Dip the tofu slabs in oil (one at a time) and toss to coat. Then dip the tofu into the cheese mixture, coating all sides and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tofu pieces.
  5. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until golden.
  6. Make the sauce: heat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes and swirl until fragrant. When the garlic just starts to turn golden around the edges, increase the heat to medium and add tomatoes and a big pinch of salt plus pepper to taste. Cook tomatoes, stirring, until they start to lose their shape, about 5 minutes. Check seasoning and remove from heat. Stir in basil and spoon over tofu.

Tips 

  • If you make a lot of tofu, it may be worth getting a tofu press. It helps press out the moisture out of tofu. This is the one I use. 
  • When sautéing garlic for the tomato sauce, be sure not to burn the garlic or else it will give a bitter flavor to the sauce. 
  • You can tear basil by hand if your knives are not super sharp. That way you don’t bruise the leaves. 

Substitutions 

  • Tofu – boneless skinless chicken breasts – see this recipe 
  • Parmesan cheese – pecorino, vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast

Other recipes you may like 

*Crispy Baked Tofu 

*Baked Parmesan Chicken Caprese

*Grilled Chicken with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

 

If you give this parmesan baked tofu recipe a try, snap a pic and tag @pamelasalzman so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Subscribe for free to my site for the latest recipes,  updates and things I’m loving lately.  If you enjoy this recipe, I taught it last year in my online class!  Give me an hour a month, and I’ll make you a better, healthier cook!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Parmesan Baked Tofu with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Serves: 2-4, depending on what else you're serving
 
Ingredients
  • Tofu:
  • 1 (12 to 15-ounce) firm or extra-firm tofu block
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil (you may need a smidge more)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese (use vegan Parmesan if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ---------------------------------------------
  • Sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons unrefined olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • A few large basil leaves, torn by hand
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a small baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Squeeze the moisture out of the tofu by wrapping the block with paper towels and placing on a cutting board. Place something heavy, such as a skillet filled with cans, on top and allow it to sit for 15 minutes or longer. Alternatively, use a tofu press to press out the moisture. Cut tofu into 4 slabs.
  3. Place the oil in a medium-size dish that is big enough to dip in the tofu slabs. Mix the cheese, spices, salt and pepper in a separate dish.
  4. Dip the tofu slabs in oil (one at a time) and toss to coat. Then dip the tofu into the cheese mixture, coating all sides and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tofu pieces.
  5. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until golden.
  6. Make the sauce: heat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes and swirl until fragrant. When the garlic just starts to turn golden around the edges, increase the heat to medium and add tomatoes and a big pinch of salt plus pepper to taste. Cook tomatoes, stirring, until they start to lose their shape, about 5 minutes. Check seasoning and remove from heat. Stir in basil and spoon over tofu.

 

Miso soup recipe

I think the reason I started cooking at such a young age is because I love to eat good food.  My mother was and is a terrific cook, but she didn’t have time or the interest to really experiment in the kitchen, especially outside the Italian food comfort zone that she was in.  So when I was in the mood for something that my mom didn’t know how to make, I would grab a stack of her cookbooks and a couple years worth of Gourmet Magazine and flip through until I found what I was looking for.  I could get lost for hours reading recipes and then coming up with my plan.  How much easier we have it now with the internet, although I can still get lost for hours on cooking websites!

One of the simple pleasures in life for me is finding out that something I love to eat in a restaurant is incredibly simple to make at home.  We don’t eat out very much, but the kids love their annual birthday dinner at Benihana and I look forward to sushi out with my girlfriends every now and then.  When I am at a Japanese restaurant, I love starting my meal with a comforting bowl of miso soup.  You may remember from my post on Creamy Miso-Ginger Dressing how beneficial unpasteurized miso is to the digestive system as well as being a wonderful detoxifier.  Of course, I love the salty savoriness of it, too!  Many years ago I decided to figure out how to make miso soup with the preconception that it would be difficult.  For goodness sake, it’s about as easy as boiling water.  In fact, when I taught this miso soup recipe in a class a few years ago, more than one person remarked that it was easier than cooking pasta (and better for you, too!)

I typically make miso soup the way you would find it in a Japanese restaurant in the US, except for the canned fried onion crisps.  What’s up with that?  Do they add those to miso soup in Japan?  Somehow I’m doubting it.  Regardless, I always add wakame, which is an amazingly nutritious sea vegetable that you need to try if you haven’t.  It’s so high in minerals and incredibly alkalizing — go get some!  I love the wakame flakes by Eden since they rehydrate in minutes and there’s no chopping involved.  If I have tofu in the fridge, I’ll add that and perhaps some thinly sliced green onion.  The day I photographed this soup, Mr. Picky asked for soba noodles, so I tossed a few into his bowl.  Steamy Kitchen has a version with shiitake mushrooms and sliced boy choy that looks great.  Like me, she enjoys soup for breakfast!

Some of the ingredients may seem exotic or hard to find, but I assure you no good natural food store worth their sea salt doesn’t carry unpasteurized miso and a good selection of sea vegetables.  In fact, I found everything at my local Whole Foods.  The only ingredient that may throw some of you, especially my vegetarian and vegan friends is the bonito flakes, which are made from a type of mackerel that has been steamed, dried and shaved into flakes.  It adds a really cool smoky, hearty undertone to the soup.  But if it’s not your thing, I would add a drop of shoyu or simmer the stock with some dried shiitakes to make up for omitting the bonito.  No matter how you prepare it, this just might be the easiest and most healthful bowl of soup you never thought you could make.

Miso Soup
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 ¼ cups of water
  • 1 (6-inch) piece kombu (dried kelp)
  • 1 cup dried bonito flakes (optional, but delicious)
  • ½ cup rehydrated wakame (soak according to package directions and chop, if necessary)
  • 6 ounces firm non-GMO tofu, drained and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 Tablespoons organic and unpasteurized miso (I use white. But check labels if you need the miso to be gluten-free.)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallion greens
  • Shoyu or tamari to taste, if desired
Instructions
  1. Make the dashi (broth): In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water and kombu to a boil. Remove the pan from heat and add the bonito flakes. Cover the pan and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain stock through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth-lined colander into a large bowl or another saucepan. If you are not using the stock immediately, allow to cool uncovered and then refrigerate it, covered for up to a week.
  3. Transfer all but ½ cup of stock back to the original saucepan and add tofu and wakame, if using, and heat until hot.
  4. Whisk miso into the reserved ½ cup of stock until smooth. If you think you will consume all of the soup now, stir all of the miso mixture to the heated stock and serve immediately. Otherwise, add a spoonful of the miso mixture to each individual bowl and ladle hot stock on top. You can add noodles to each individual bowl, if you like.
Notes
Miso is a live food. In order to preserve its beneficial enzymes, do not boil it.

Easy-Peasy Chocolate Tofu Pudding

We used to celebrate Valentine’s Day a little differently than we do now.  It was also the one holiday of the year where I was off the hook.  My husband took care of the dinner reservation and the flowers, and all I had to do was wash my hair and get dressed up.  But it’s not as easy for both of us to get out of the house on a weeknight now that we have kids ranging in age from 8 to 15.  The book reports, sports practices, and a pre-6:00 am alarm the next morning just aren’t conducive to a relaxing evening out.  So these days I am happier making a cozy Valentine’s dinner at home for my family.  But what can make this feel like it’s not just any old night is… dessert!

Before you think I’ve lost my marbles, let me just tell you chocolate pudding made from tofu is nothing new.  Dairy-free and egg-free people, as well as vegans have been making it for years.  And you know what?  It’s delicious and uber-simple to make!  I was skeptical the first time I heard about using tofu in a dessert, but I also didn’t realize there were two different kinds of tofu.  There’s one kind that stays firm when you stir fry it or bake it, and there’s silken tofu which is rather gelatinous and very soft.  Silken tofu is used quite effectively to add creaminess in dairy-free desserts or salad dressings in place of cream cheese, sour cream and egg yolks, for example.  I’m still on the fence about tofu since I much prefer to consume soy in its more healthful, fermented form, which tofu is not.  But I also don’t promote a lot of pasteurized cow dairy (not easy for most people to digest.)  I’m guessing a little tofu every now and then won’t harm you.  However since tofu is made from soy and soy is one of the top four genetically-modified foods in this country (along with corn, canola and cottonseed), I do make a point of choosing organic or non-GMO tofu.

In my area I can’t find fresh tofu, which I hear is great, so normally my preferred brand is Wildwood Organics “Sprouted Tofu.”  The soybeans have been soaked and sprouted before being turned into tofu, resulting in a more digestible food.  But I did a side-by-side taste test in my free time and the Mori-Nu tofu that you see pictured here tasted more neutral than Wildwood so that’s the one I would recommend for this recipe.  And even though this is as “instant” as pudding gets, I do think it tastes better if it sits in the fridge for at least an hour, if you can wait that long.  I promised my kids that I would include their opinion in my post and let you know that they think the serving size is too small.  I disagree, but if you would like a more substantial serving, you can double the recipe to serve 6.  Instead, I prefer to keep the serving size as is and bring out some fun toppings (always a fan of the topping bar!) like fresh berries, finely chopped or sliced nuts, raw cacao nibs, finely shredded coconut or freshly whipped cream.  Dessert should be for special occasions and what’s more special than Valentine’s dinner with the ones you love?

More ideas for Valentine’s dinner and dessert coming soon!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy-Peasy Chocolate Tofu Pudding
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces organic silken tofu, such as Mori-Nu
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar or natural cane sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Transfer to individual ramekins or small bowls. Refrigerate for at least two hours for best flavor.