Crispy Tofu Steaks with Caramelized Onion Gravy

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These tofu steaks will satisfy your comfort food cravings! Covered in a crispy panko coating and topped with savory caramelized onion gravy, they make a great vegan main course for special dinners.

Does the idea of tofu steaks sound kind of bad to you? It does to me, and I created this recipe!

But don’t be fooled. These suckers are absolutely delicious and super indulgent.

Do tofu steaks taste like actual steak (as in the meat kind)? Not at all! I’m calling them “steaks” simply because they’re cooked up in big slab form and served smothered in gravy. Feeling like some comfort food? These steaks are exactly what you need!

How It’s Made

The Gravy

This component of the recipe takes longer, so I recommend you get started on it first!

You’ll need to caramelize some onion. Slice your onion super thin, then add it to a skillet with some oil, thyme, and a pinch of sugar. Set the skillet over medium-low heat and let the onions slowly cook, giving them a stir every so often. Make sure the heat stays pretty low — you don’t want the onions to start sizzling.

After about a half hour the onions should be super soft and browned.

Now raise the heat a bit and add some white wine. Let it simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off, then start sprinkling in a bit of flour, stirring all the while to coat the onions. slowly whisk in some broth and soy sauce, bring the liquid to a simmer, and let it cook until the gravy is thick and rich.

The Tofu Steaks

Start with a block of extra-firm tofu. Cut it into 4 equal-sized rectangular slabs.

In one small bowl, whisk together a batter from some non-dairy milk, flour, flaxseed, vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. In another bowl, whisk together a breading from some panko breadcrumbs, flour, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper.

Heat up some oil in a skillet. Grab one of your tofu slabs and dip in in the batter, followed by the breading. Place the slab into the skillet and cook it for a few minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. You can cook a few steaks at once if you can fit them in the skillet without crowding.

Smother your tofu steaks with gravy and devour!

Tofu Steak Tips & FAQ

  • Be very gentle with the tofu steaks when frying and serving them. The coating is very delicate, although it should stay in place if handled with care.
  • Storage and reheating: Store your leftover tofu steaks and gravy in separate sealed containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. The gravy can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove. The steaks are best reheated for a few minutes in a 400°F oven, followed by briefly placing them under a broiler to recrisp the coating.
  • Can these be made gluten-free? Possibly, but I haven’t tried making a gluten-free version, so I’m not sure. I think your best bet would be to use gluten-free tamari in place of soy sauce, gluten-free panko breadcrumbs, and an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.
  • Can these be baked instead of fried? I’m sure they can, but I haven’t tried it. I’d try lightly brushing the steaks with oil and baking them on each side at around 400°F on each side until crispy. Keep in mind that they’re not likely to get as crispy as if you fried them though.
  • Is there a substitute for the wine? You can leave it out if you prefer.
  • If you do use the wine, check with Barnivore to ensure the brand you use is vegan.
  • To switch things up, try serving these tofu steaks stuffed into rolls as sandwiches! I haven’t tried this, but it occurred to me that it would be delicious. Please let me know how it is!

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5 from 5 votes Print

Crispy Tofu Steaks with Caramelized Onion Gravy

These tofu steaks will satisfy your comfort food cravings! Covered in a crispy panko coating and topped with savory caramelized onion gravy, they make a great vegan main course for special dinners.

CourseEntree CuisineAmerican Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 40 minutes Total Time 1 hour Servings 4 Calories 373 kcal Author Alissa


For the Caramelized Onion Gravy

  • 1tablespoonolive oil
  • 1large onion,thinly sliced
  • ½teaspoondried thyme
  • Pinchorganic granulated sugar
  • ¼cupdry white wine
  • 1 ½tablespoonsall-purpose flour
  • ¾cuplow sodium vegetable broth,plus more as needed
  • 1tablespoonsoy sauce

For the Batter

  • ½cupunflavored soy or almond milk
  • 1tablespoonground flaxseeds
  • 2tablespoonsall-purpose flour
  • 1teaspoonwhite vinegar
  • ½teaspoonsoy sauce
  • 1large garlic clove,very finely minced

For the Breading

  • ½cupall-purpose flour
  • ½cuppanko breadcrumbs
  • ½teaspoonpaprika
  • ½teaspoondried thyme
  • ½teaspoonsalt
  • ¼teaspoonblack pepper

For the Tofu Steaks

  • 1(14 ounce or 400 gram) packageextra firm tofu,drained and pressed
  • Olive oil,for frying

US Customary – Metric


To Make the Caramelized Onion Gravy

  1. Place the olive oil, onion, thyme, and sugar into a medium skillet and place it over medium-low heat. Allow everything to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 30 minutes.

  2. Add the wine, raise the heat to medium, bring it to a simmer, and allow it to cook until most of the liquid has cooked off, about 3 minutes.

  3. Stir in the flour to form a paste coating the onion. Cook the onion and flour for about a minute.

  4. Slowly stir in the broth and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to cook until it becomes nice and thick, about 5 minutes. The gravy thickens quickly, so add in some additional broth or water if it becomes too thick.

  5. Remove the skillet from heat. Taste test the gravy and add more soy sauce if you’d like.

Make the Crispy Tofu Steaks

  1. In a shallow dish, whisk together the batter ingredients. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes, until it thickens up.
  2. In a separate dish, stir together the ingredients for the breading.

  3. Cut the tofu in half width-wise, then cut each piece in half thickness wise, creating 4 rectangular slabs.

  4. Very generously coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. You want at least ⅛ inch of oil.

  5. When the oil is hot, place one of the tofu slabs into the batter, flipping to coat each side, then transfer it to the panko mixture and coat each side. Place it into the skillet, and repeat for the remaining tofu slabs, cooking as many as you can fit at a time without crowding.

  6. Cook the tofu steaks for about 4 minutes per side, until golden brown, very carefully flipping between sides so as not to remove the coating.

  7. Cook any remaining tofu slabs in a second batch, following the method above.

  8. Divide the tofu steaks onto plates and top with caramelized onion gravy. Serve.

Recipe Notes

This recipe only makes a small amount of gravy, but like I said above, you only need a little. If you’re a serious gravy monster, make a double batch.

Nutrition FactsCrispy Tofu Steaks with Caramelized Onion GravyAmount Per ServingCalories 373Calories from Fat 208% Daily Value*Fat 23.1g36%Saturated Fat 3.6g18%Sodium 693mg29%Potassium 312mg9%Carbohydrates 29g10%Fiber 3.4g14%Sugar 4.2g5%Protein 12.9g26%Calcium 180mg18%Iron 4mg22%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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I made these tonight with mashed potatoes like you suggested and they were excellent! Thanks for a great recipe!


  • Thank you for posting this recipe! We have a guest coming for Thanksgiving who is vegan AND does not consume gluten or alcohol. I want to make him something delicious, so I’ve been scouring the inter-webs for recipes. Yours fits the bill. I set up a test run substituting gluten-free flour and gluten-free Panko crumbs, and then used white grape juice with a splash of lemon as a substitute for the wine in the gravy. Turned out very nicely! I was a little skeptical the tofu would hold onto the batter when dipped, so I dredged it in gluten-free flour first. Looking forward to making this again in November.


    • Gluten free flour is fine, but you can also use potato starch if you don’t have the flour on hand. I rarely have to cook gluten free, but when I do, potato (NOT corn) starch to the rescue


      • We have made this recipe a lot — and I mean A LOT.

        The tofu steak itself has become a staple in our house. It’s great on its own, it’s great with the gravy and mashed, it’s great in a sandwich, it’s great in smaller sizes as sweet and sour tofu… There’s really no limit to what you can do with it. It was a game changer for us, so THANK YOU!


        • Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

          More about me →

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