Vegan Cordon Bleu is crispy on the outside, chewy, and loaded with gooey vegan cheese and smoky vegan ham on the inside.
For the Vegan Cordon Bleu
- 16-ounce Block Super Firm Tofu (see note 1)
- 2-4 Slices Vegan Ham (see note 2)
- 1-3 Slices Vegan Swiss, Gouda or Provolone (see note 3)
- 1 cup Unsweetened Unflavored Non-Dairy Milk
- 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour (see note 4 for GF option)
- 3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Teaspoon Salt (Or to Taste)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper (Or to Taste)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning, optional
- 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs (see note 4 for GF option)
For the Vegan Dijon Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup Soaked Raw Cashews (see note 5 for substitution)
- 3/4 cup Filtered Water
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- Preheat the Oven: I recommend preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius) and lining a baking tray with parchment paper before beginning.
- Remove Packaging: Prep your super firm tofu by removing the packaging and blotting gently with a paper towel.
- Cut the Tofu: Slice the tofu In half, so your two pieces measure the same as the whole block of tofu, but it’s half the thickness (see photo for clarification). You basically want to split the block in two but have similar sized blocks, about an inch thick each.
- Couldn’t Find Super Firm Tofu? If you did not buy super firm tofu (the kind that comes vacuum sealed), drain out all the water and press the block of tofu in either a tofu press or between two plates/cutting boards with a heavy weight on them for 20-30 minutes. Waterlogged tofu will not get very crispy. Keep in mind that pressed tofu is thinner, so if your pressed tofu is less than 2” in thickness, I would not cut it to get two pieces. You’ll need a second pressed block tofu to get the other serving.
- Make the Tofu Pockets: Use a sharp paring knife to make an incision running on the long end of the side of the first tofu block. Leave about ½” of clearance on either end so the pocket does not split. Try to go most of the way to the other end, leaving about an inch uncut at the bottom. Now slightly widen the pocket by using the knife to carve a larger slit (refer to photos and video in the article above for technique). I like to make several thin cuts with the knife and then use a toothpick to dig out all the little pieces of tofu. The deeper and wider your tofu pocket, the more vegan ham and cheese you can stuff in there.
- Stuff the Tofu Pockets: How much stuffing you’re able to fit depends on the size of the pocket you made into the tofu. Cut two slices of cheese into a rectangle that measures slightly smaller than the length and depth of the pocket. This takes a little trial and error. Repeat with 1-2 slices of vegan ham. Sandwich the vegan ham between the two slices and gently stuff them into the crevice. If they do not fit, trim a little extra off. Now, depending on how big the pocket is, you can stuff some of the scraps of cheese and ham in the remaining space in the pocket. I stuffed mine pretty full, but that’s after several rounds of testing and gaining confidence. The trick is not to break your tofu. Gently stuff small pieces in there until you are satisfied. Repeat with the other piece of tofu.
- Mix the Batter: In a large measuring cup (I like the spout and handle for this!) or a small bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, flour, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning until you have a thick but pourable batter. The thick batter helps grab onto the panko crumbs.
- Set Up Your Station: Place two wide and shallow bowls or containers next to each other on your work surface. Pour the batter into one (use a spatula to scrape out as much as you can), and add the panko breadcrumbs to the other one. It can be helpful to have two people during this process—one to do the battering and one to do the dredging. Place the parchment paper lined baking tray nearby. But you can do it yourself and wash your hands in between if needed. It also helps to have some paper towels or a wet kitchen towel nearby.
- Coat the Tofu: Place the tofu into the batter first and flip it, making sure all sides are coated. Let the excess batter drip off and place it in the breadcrumbs. With a clean and dry hand (so either wash your hands or ask someone to help), coat the wet tofu completely with breadcrumbs, making sure all edges and sides are completely covered. If any bit of the plain tofu shows through, you can add a little more batter and then some breadcrumbs to that area. Place the coated and dredged tofu onto the lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining piece of tofu.
- Bake: Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Use an oven mitt to remove the tray and place it on a heat-safe surface. Use a metal spatula to carefully flip each piece of tofu. Return to the oven and bake for 15-20 more minutes until golden brown.
- Make the Dijon Cream Sauce: While the vegan cordon bleu is baking, add all the sauce ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. If it's too thin, add a few more cashews or a little more nutritional yeast. If it's too thick, add a splash of water (like a tablespoon). Taste and make any other adjustments to your tastes if needed.
- Serve: Place the tofu cordon bleu on a plate and allow to cool for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy immediately after those few minutes!
- Note 1: If you can only find the type of tofu that is labeled extra firm or firm and comes packed in a tub of water, you’ll need to press the tofu to get the excess water out. Drain the tub and press the block of tofu, using either a tofu press or two plates or cutting boards, paper towels, and a heavy weight (like books or a cast iron pan) for 20-30 minutes. Otherwise it may turn out soggy. There’s a chance that once you’ve pressed the tofu, it will be too thin to get two pieces of vegan cordon bleu out. In my opinion, the tofu needs to be at least an inch thick to be able to make a pocket and stuff it without the tofu bursting. If you need to buy tofu in water, buy two to ensure you’ll be able to get two servings.
- Note 2: Any vegan deli meat will work instead, but we think that vegan ham tastes best. Can’t find any vegan deli meat in your area? You could make my vegan ham, vegan salami, or vegan pepperoni and slice it super thin (when cold) to stuff in the tofu pockets.
- Note 3: Any sliced vegan cheese (or even shreds) should work here. Swiss is traditional, but we really loved the vegan gouda in this vegan cordon bleu.
- Note 4: Use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs if needed. A less crispy but still decent alternative is regular breadcrumbs.
- Note 5: Raw sunflower seeds or even canned white beans (drained and rinsed) are good options if someone is allergic to cashews. If there’s no allergy, I highly recommend sticking with the cashews as we thought the flavor was best that way.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dinner, Fancy
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American, French
Keywords: Vegan Cordon Bleu, Vegan French Recipes, Tofu Recipes