Recipes » Tofu Piccata

Tofu Piccata

This vegan version of piccata is as tangy and savory as the Italian restaurant favorite you love. An oil-free sauce filled with lemon, white wine, and capers surrounds savory baked tofu with classic flavors that pair so well with pasta!

A white plate is pictured with spaghetti and wilted spinach in the back. In the foreground is tofu cooked in a piccata pan sauce featuring capers, shallots and parsley.

Why I Developed This Recipe

Whenever I crave an old favorite, I ask myself what exactly it is that I am missing. In the case of piccata, the answer is simple. I miss the sauce. That lemony, caper-studded sauce spooned over spaghetti. Yum.

I chose to use super firm tofu here for its firm texture, and I dredged it in a flour and seasoning mixture. This resulted in a “breaded cutlet” that held up well to the pan sauce, resulting in a dish that has quickly become a family favorite.

If the super firm variety is not available, substitute a block of extra firm by pressing it in the first step. Although I prefer the texture of the super firm, I have enjoyed this recipe using the extra firm type as well.

Garlic powder, onion powder, and nutritional yeast add a savory chicken-like flavor to this recipe. I call for this mixture to be added in every step so that each layer builds on the one before, resulting in a finished dish that imitates the original.

Method

This recipe has several sections, but each is simple, and uses many of the same ingredients. Read through the recipe before getting started, and plan your workflow.

I find that I can get everything prepped for the later steps during the marinating time, which leaves me free to cook the pasta so it is ready at the same time as the tofu.

For the Marinade:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat and set aside. If you don’t have a silicone mat, brush the baking sheet with oil.

Super firm tofu is easy to use, just drain and lightly squeeze between kitchen towels to remove excess water, no need to press. To substitute extra-frim, press it by wrapping it in kitchen towels with a weighted pan on top for about 15 minutes.

Cut the tofu into 8 slices of equal thickness, making sure to not slice too thinly. This will help the tofu to hold its shape while being breaded, baked, and simmered in the pan sauce.

Place the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined.

Place tofu in a single layer in a rectangular container and pour the marinade over the top. It’s ok if it’s not fully submerged.

Set a timer for 15 minutes, then flip to the other side and marinate for 15 minutes more.

Bake the Tofu

While the tofu is marinating, mix all the flour and seasonings in a shallow container.

When the timer sounds, remove the tofu from its marinade and carefully press it into the dredge, first on one side, then the other, completely coating both sides. Don’t skimp on this step – the breading is necessary for the tofu to form a crust while baking and to help thicken the pan sauce later.

A silpat-covered baking sheet with tofu slices that have been dredged in a flour mixture.

Place breaded tofu on the lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. The bottom of each piece should appear lightly browned and should be developing a crust. Flip and bake for 10 minutes more.

breaded, baked tofu slices on a silpat-lined baking sheet

Remove tofu from the oven and set aside.

Prepare the Sauce

Mix all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Place shallots in a large skillet over medium-low heat with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute more.

Add flour and saute until shallots and garlic are well coated, and the flour has had a chance to heat through. This sauce is essentially an oil-free version of a roux.

Pour the sauce ingredients into the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. Whisk constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is bubbly and beginning to thicken.

Combine the Ingredients

Add the tofu to the pan in a single layer and reduce the heat to low.

Continue to cook, spooning the sauce over the tofu, until heated through and the sauce is thickened about 5 minutes. It is the proper consistency when the sauce coats the back of the spoon.

Add capers and parsley to the pan, cover, and simmer for 2-3 minutes more.

Turn off the heat and serve tofu, spooning the sauce over your favorite pasta.

Print

Tofu Piccata

A white plate is pictured with spaghetti and wilted spinach in the back. In the foreground is tofu cooked in a piccata pan sauce featuring capers, shallots and parsley.

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This tofu piccata is loaded with all of the classic flavors for an oil-free and vegan dish that pairs perfectly with pasta!

  • Author: Jennifer @ Always Add Alliums
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake, Saute
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

For the marinade:

1 block Super Firm Tofu

1 cup Water

1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley

1/4 teaspoon Rubbed Sage

1/4 teaspoon Dried Thyme

pinch Black Pepper

Salt to taste

For the dredge:

4 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder

pinch of Black Pepper

Salt to taste

For the Saute:

3 large Shallots, thinly sliced, about 1.25 cups

3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour

for the sauce:

1 cup Water

3/4 cup White Cooking Wine

juice of 2 Lemons

11/2 teaspoons Nutritional Yeast

1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/8 teaspoon Onion Powder

pinch of Black Pepper

Salt to taste

To finish:

1/4 cup minced Fresh Parsley, loosely packed

1/4 cup Capers, drained

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or lightly oil the sheet.
  2. Drain the tofu and lightly squeeze between kitchen towels to remove excess water.
  3. Cut the tofu into 8 slices of equal thickness.
  4. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk until uniform.
  5. Place tofu in a single layer in a container and pour the marinade over the top. The tofu does not need to be fully submerged.
  6. Marinate for 15 minutes, then flip to the other side and marinate for 15 minutes more.
  7. While tofu is marinating, mix all the dredge ingredients in a shallow container.
  8. When tofu is done marinating, remove each slice and carefully press it into the dredge, completely coating both sides.
  9. Place tofu on the lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. The tofu should be starting to brown and develop a crust on the bottom. Flip and bake for 10 minutes more.
  10. Remove tofu from the oven and set aside.
  11. Mix all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  12. Place shallots in a large skillet over medium-low heat with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute more.
  13. Add flour and saute until shallots and garlic are well coated.
  14. Pour the sauce ingredients into the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. Whisk constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is bubbly and beginning to thicken.
  15. Add the tofu to the pan in a single layer and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook, spooning the sauce over the tofu, until heated through and the sauce is thickened about 5 minutes. The sauce should coat the back of the spoon.
  16. Add capers and parsley to the pan, cover, and simmer for 2 -3 minutes more.
  17. Turn off the heat and serve tofu, spooning the sauce over your favorite pasta.

Notes

  1. If super firm tofu is not available, use extra firm and press before slicing.
  2. My recipes generally do not list a specific amount of salt since different types of salt effect the measurement. Additionally, this recipe calls for adding salt in each step. Please add salt to each step of this recipe according to your taste, and your dietary needs.
  3. If shallots are unavailable, substitute an equal amount of thinly sliced yellow onions.

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