Tired of regular roasted cauliflower? Try cauliflower “steaks” instead! Cauliflower steak makes a strong presentation at the dinner table. Think of it more as a side dish or meal component than a protein-rich steak—after all, we’re talking about roasted slabs of cauliflower.
You can serve these cauliflower steaks as a simple side dish topped with gremolata or a sprinkle of parsley. Or, create a restaurant-worthy vegetarian meal out of them. Start with a simple base of whole grains and chickpeas or lentils, then top it with cauliflower steak and a vibrant homemade sauce. Beautiful!
Cauliflower steaks require careful cauliflower selection and slicing. Know that the outer slabs will likely fall apart into large florets, which are still very nice. Cauliflower steaks are a bit more work than simple roasted cauliflower, but they’re worth the effort.
If you follow my recipe while maintaining reasonable expectations, you’ll be plenty satisfied by your results. Keep reading for all of my cauliflower steak tips and tricks!
How to Make Cauliflower Steaks
You’ll find the full recipe below. Here are some tips to know before you get started:
1) Choose your cauliflower wisely.
To successfully make cauliflower steaks, you need a dense head of cauliflower. Select a large head of cauliflower that looks fresh and feels heavy for its size. If you are only finding cauliflower that looks fluffy and airy around the edges, wait to make cauliflower steaks another day.
2) Preheat the oven to 425 with a rack in the upper third.
Four hundred twenty-five degrees is the perfect temperature for roasting vegetables, and roasted cauliflower steak is no exception. For this particular recipe, we’ll roast the cauliflower in the upper third of the oven to achieve maximal caramelization without needing to turn the cauliflower halfway through baking (it’s too delicate for that).
3) Slice your cauliflower carefully.
Using your sharpest chef’s knife, slice the cauliflower into 1-inch thick slabs using a gentle seesawing motion. The florets that compose the outside slabs will likely fall apart, which is ok. We’ll just roast those florets with the steaks.
4) Brush the cauliflower lightly with oil.
Cauliflower slabs are delicate, so we’ll gently brush them with olive oil rather than tossing them around in oil. I like to use a silicone brush, like this one (affiliate link). Then arrange the oiled cauliflower on a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5) Roast until golden (do not turn!).
We’ll roast the cauliflower on a rack in the upper third of the oven to maximize browning. Cauliflower steaks are liable to break if we flip them while baking, so unlike regular roasted cauliflower, we will not turn them during roasting. Roast until the tops of the steaks are lightly golden and the undersides are deeply golden.
How to Serve Cauliflower Steak
Cauliflower steak makes a lovely side dish on its own, or you can make a meal out of it. Here’s how to build a well-rounded meal around cauliflower steak:
- Serve cauliflower steak over a bed of fresh greens, cooked farro, brown rice, wild rice or cooked pasta.
- For extra heartiness, add chickpeas or lentils to the base, or spread some hummus on the plate.
- Top with a fresh sauce or condiment, like gremolata (as shown), tahini sauce, chimichurri, pesto, zhoug or romesco sauce.
- For even more flavor, try adding crumbled feta or sliced Kalamata olives.
Want to try a cheesy option? Halfway through baking, top your cauliflower steaks generously with grated cheese, like Parmesan, part-skim mozzarella or cheddar. The Parmesan or mozzarella options are great over marinara sauce and pasta, as shown here.
More Cauliflower Recipes to Enjoy
Here are a few more fun cauliflower recipes:
- How to Make Cauliflower Rice or Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice
- Lemony Roasted Cauliflower Risotto
- Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad with Feta and Avocado
- Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- Turmeric-Spiced Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted Cauliflower Steak
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Follow this foolproof recipe for beautifully caramelized cauliflower steaks! Serve your cauliflower steak as a side dish or meal component. Recipe yields about 3 “steaks” plus several smaller pieces of roasted cauliflower (yield will vary depending on the size of your cauliflower).
- 1 large, dense head of cauliflower
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the cauliflower from sticking.
- Carefully remove any green leaves surrounding the cauliflower. Using your sharpest chef’s knife, gently slice off the protruding base of the cauliflower to create a more flat surface. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board, flat side down.
- Now we’ll use the chef’s knife to create 1-inch parallel slabs of cauliflower. To create your first slab, gently saw back and forth about 1-inch away from an outer edge (these florets will likely fall apart, and that’s ok). Continue slicing 1-inch slabs until you have worked your way through the cauliflower.
- Gently brush both sides of the slabs (and all over the florets) with the olive oil and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the salt on top, followed by several twists of black pepper.
- Roast until the top sides of the cauliflower are turning golden on the edges and the undersides are deeply golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the cauliflower cool for a few minutes, then use a spatula to serve the cauliflower as desired.
Recipe adapted from my Parmesan-Crusted Cauliflower Steaks with Marinara.