Tofu Parmesan Sandwiches feature breaded and pan-fried tofu, plenty of marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese and melty mozzarella cheese with fresh basil for a wonderfully delicious, hearty, healthy vegetarian meal that will have everyone asking for seconds.

There’s not much better than a really good sandwich that just hits the spot! This Tofu Parmesan Sandwich recipe is definitely a new favorite, it’s got everything you could ever want in a sandwich. It’s warm, crunchy, cheesy, bursting with flavor, and just SO incredibly delicious. We’re obsessed with it – even the slight messiness of eating it!

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Not only is this tofu sandwich recipe super tasty, but it’s also easy pretty easy to make – bread and cook the tofu, then pile on all of the toppings, broil and enjoy! With plenty of plant-based protein from the tofu and everything placed between sliced baguettes, it’s filling and perfect for lunch or dinner. This sandwich bursts with flavor in every single bite. You’ll be making it again and again because it is so simple to throw together, and the entire family will love it.

Why you should make this recipe

  • Easy to make. This Tofu Parmesan Sandwich can be ready in just over 30 minutes and there aren’t many steps. The most time-consuming part is breading and pan-frying the tofu, but it’s really easy!
  • Nutritious. With a great source of protein, carbs, healthy fats, and dairy, this is a well-rounded recipe, and great to fit into a healthy vegetarian diet. You can even make this vegan by using vegan cheese.
  • Tastes amazing. Tender and crispy fried tofu with marinara, parmesan, mozzarella, and crusty bread are simple ingredients, but together they are so powerful! This is definitely one of my favorite sandwich recipes.
Sandwich made on French bread with tofu, marinara and mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients needed

These are your basic chicken Parmesan ingredients with the addition of bread for the sandwich and tofu to replace the chicken. The ingredients are fairly simple but provide these sandwiches with SO much flavor and texture. Here’s what you’ll be needing: 

  • Tofu. Protein-rich, low in calories, and budget-friendly; tofu is a great plant-based substitute for chicken in this recipe. A firm or extra firm tofu is best here!
  • For the breading. To bread the tofu, you’ll need Panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, sea salt, garlic powder, flour and plant-based milk.
  • Neutral oil. Use a neutral cooking oil, like vegetable oil, for frying the tofu.
  • Marinara. Use your favorite jarred marinara sauce.
  • Bread. Two soft baguettes, cut in half, work great. You could also use focaccia bread or ciabatta rolls.
  • Cheese. Mozzarella melts perfectly over the tofu and grated Parmesan cheese adds tons of classic flavor.
  • Herbs. Fresh herbs such as parsley or basil deliver a nice freshness to these sandwiches.

How to make this recipe

There are two main steps to making a Tofu Parm Sandwich: bread and fry the tofu, and assemble the sandwiches. It’s well worth the 20 or so minutes you’ll invest! Here’s the simple process:

  1. Prep the tofu. Drain and press the tofu (full instructions can be found HERE!). Cut it into 8 even pieces (see photo and video for reference). Set aside.
  2. Make the breading. In a shallow bowl, mix together the Panko, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and sea salt. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and milk.
  3. Bread the tofu. Dip the tofu cutlets in the flour and milk mixture to fully coat and then gently toss them in the Panko mixture so that they are fully covered. Repeat with all of the tofu.
  4. Fry the tofu. In a large skillet, heat a ½ inch of oil until sizzling hot, turn the heat down to medium. Add in the tofu, carefully, and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides. About 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with any remaining tofu, working in batches as needed.
  1. Assemble the sandwiches. Slice the bread in half, place it on a large baking sheet, and top each with ¼ cup of marinara sauce, making sure to spread some on the top and bottom. Place 2 pieces of the tofu on each sandwich and then top with the parmesan and mozzarella (divided evenly among the sandwiches).
  2. Broil. Place in the oven and broil until the cheese is nice and melted. Every broiler is different so I suggest you stand by the oven and watch until the cheese is melted.
  3. Serve. Sprinkle on some fresh basil and ENJOY!
Sandwich with fried tofu, marinara, cheese and fresh basil.

Expert tips

  • To make this recipe vegan, simply use vegan cheeses.
  • Take care not to overcrowd the tofu when frying, so it all gets nice and crispy.
  • These sandwiches are great served with fries or potato wedges for a casual meal, or add a salad or veggies to balance out the fried tofu.
  • Serve your sandwiches immediately after you prepare them.

Frequently asked questions

Do you really need to press the tofu?

Yes, do NOT skip this step! Pressing the tofu removes excess water, if you don’t do this it won’t hold it’s shape, or become nice and crispy. Full instructions can be found HERE!

Is tofu good for you?

Tofu is a great source of protein and is a great addition to a meat free or plant based diet. It contains good amounts of iron, calcium, minerals and vitamin B1.

Can you make this crispy fried tofu ahead of time?

Ideally, you want to assemble the sandwiches and serve the fried tofu as soon as it’s cooked. However, we have enjoyed leftovers, the next day, cold, over a salad and it was still delicious! 

Storage recommendations

Once cooked, store the breaded tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to about 3 to 4 days. It’s at its crispiest directly after cooking, but you can bring some back when reheating.

You can reheat the breaded tofu either in a pan for a few minutes, in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or in an air fryer for 3-4 minutes and until warmed through.

Woman's hand holding a Tofu Parmesan Sandwich.

As usual, PLEASE let me know if you make this dish and how you like it! You can come back here and leave a comment or tag me on instagram (@foodwithfeeling).

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Tofu Parmesan Sandwiches on a marble cutting board.

Tofu Parmesan Sandwiches


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 medium sandwiches 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Tofu Parmesan Sandwiches feature breaded and pan-fried tofu, plenty of marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese and melty mozzarella cheese with fresh basil for a wonderfully delicious, hearty, healthy vegetarian meal that will have everyone asking for seconds.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 15oz block of extra firm tofu (I actually love the super firm tofu from trader joes for this!)
  • 1 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of plant based milk
  • Neutral oil for frying
  • 1 cup of marinara, divided
  • 2 baguettes, each cut in half to make 4 sandwiches total
  • 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • Slices of mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Fresh basil for serving

Instructions

  1. Drain and press the tofu (full instructions can be found HERE!). Cut it into 8 even pieces (see photo and video for reference). Set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix together the panko, italian seasoning, garlic powder and sea salt.
  3. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and milk.
  4. Dip the tofu cutlets in the flour and milk mixture to fully coat and then gently toss them in the panko mixture so that they are fully covered. Repeat with all of the tofu.
  5. In a large skillet, heat ½ inch of oil until sizzling hot, turn the heat down to medium. Add in the tofu, carefully, and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides. About 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with any remaining tofu, working in batches as needed.
  6. Assemble the sandwiches by slicing the bread in half, placing them on a large baking sheet, and topping each sandwich with ¼ cup of marinara sauce, making sure to spread some on the top and bottom. Place 2 pieces of the tofu on each sandwich and then top with the parmesan and mozzarella (divided evenly among the sandwiches). Broil in the oven until the cheese is nice and melted. Every broiler is different so I suggest you stand by the oven and watch until the cheese is melted.
  7. Sprinkle on some fresh basil, serve, and ENJOY

Notes

Once cooked, store the breaded tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It’s at its crispiest directly after cooking, but you can bring some back when reheating. You can reheat the breaded tofu either in a pan (a few mins only), oven (10-15 mins), or air fryer (for 3-4 minutes) until warmed through.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop & Broil
  • Cuisine: Italian