Cauliflower Steaks (That Melt in Your Mouth!)

Cauliflower Steaks are a delicious vegetarian main entree, without using soy or processed fake meat products. While they are nothing like a real steak, there’s something about cutting cauliflower into large slabs and roasting it with flavorful spices that makes it feel more special— and a lot more like a main course– than cooking it as smaller florets. Serve it with chimichurri sauce or vegan gravy for a flavorful dinner that melts in your mouth!

cauliflower steak with a side of chimichurri sauce

What is a Cauliflower Steak?

A cauliflower “steak” is simply a head of cauliflower that is cut into larger slabs, instead of smaller florets. Because it’s larger, it takes a little longer to roast, and looks more impressive on a plate, so it can pass as a main course for a vegan or vegetarian meal.

You can serve it between bread or inside a bun, like a veggie burger alternative, or you can use it as base for other toppings, like my Cauliflower Steak Pizza. (Which is less labor-intensive than making a whole cauliflower pizza crust!)

fork in a cauliflower steak

What Does Cauliflower Steak Taste Like?

Cauliflower has a relatively mild and neutral flavor, which is why it works so well in popular dishes like mashed cauliflower, cauliflower pizza, and cauliflower Alfredo. If you season it with only salt, it will keep that mild flavor, but you can also punch it up by using the seasoning mix in the recipe below.

I think the combination of garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika adds a pop of flavor that can go well with a variety of other sauces and side dishes, but you can season this however you like. (Try my Cajun seasoning for an extra spicy kick!)

cauliflower steak on a plate

The key to getting a melt-in-your-mouth texture is to brush each side of the cauliflower with a bit of olive oil, then roasting it until it’s easily pierced with a fork.

How to Cut Cauliflower Steaks

The hardest part of making a “steak” out of a head of cauliflower is cutting it correctly. Don’t expect to cut it perfectly the first time you try this, and also keep your expectations low when it comes to how many “steaks” you’ll get out of a single head. (I never get as many as I think I will!)

how to cut cauliflower steak and on a pan

Tips for cutting cauliflower steaks:

  • On average, you’ll get 3 steaks out of a single head of cauliflower.
  • It’s okay if you leave some of the green leaves on the head of cauliflower as you cut through the stem to make the “steaks.” You can easily trim any extra leaves off of each cauliflower steak before cooking them.
  • When shopping, look for the largest head of cauliflower you can find. (This way you’re more likely to get a large stem, which is better for cutting slabs.)
  • You can only make steaks out of the center stem of the cauliflower, so you’ll save the remaining sides you slice off for later. (Try making roasted cauliflower florets as an easy side dish.)
  • Slice the cauliflower directly through the stem, making slabs that are roughly 3/4-inch thick for stability. Don’t try to slice them thinner than 1/2-inch thick, or they could fall apart when you roast them, and if you cut them more than 1-inch thick, they won’t cook as quickly or evenly.

Cauliflower Steak Tutorial (1-minute video):

 

Cauliflower Steaks (That Melt in Your Mouth!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Cauliflower Steaks are an easy vegetarian main entree, made by roasting large slabs of cauliflower with a flavorful seasoning blend until tender.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: cauliflower steak
Servings: 3 steaks
Calories: 80 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
  • extra-virgin olive oil , as needed for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF and grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

  2. Remove the green leaves from the head of cauliflower and cut off any excess stem. Slice off one side of the cauliflower, right at the edge of the stem in the center. (Reserve the extra cauliflower scraps for another use.)

  3. Cut the cauliflower into slabs, right through the center of the stem, that are roughly 3/4- to 1-inch thick. You should be able to get 2 to 3 steaks per large head of cauliflower. Be careful not to cut the steaks too thin, or they could fall apart.

  4. Place the 3 cauliflower steaks on the baking sheet and drizzle them lightly with olive oil on both sides. Season evenly with the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt on both sides. (I like to use a brush, or rub the seasoning in with my hands, to make sure every nook and cranny of the cauliflower is well seasoned.) You can mix the seasonings in a small bowl first to make a seasoning mix, or just sprinkle each one over the cauliflower individually to avoid having an extra dish to clean later.

  5. Place the pan in the oven for the cauliflower to roast for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, use a spatula to flip over each steak, and then return the oven to roast until fork-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes more. The steaks should be golden on both sides, and the center stem should be easily pierced by a fork.

  6. Serve warm, with your favorite sauce and side dish. I especially love this with chimichurri sauce, but it also makes a great holiday meal with vegan gravy. I think this is best served warm right away, but you can store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Cauliflower Steak Nutrition (Per steak): Calories: 80; Fat: 5g, Carbohydrates: 8g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 3g

Recipe Notes:

  • This recipe is very adaptable! If you want to use less oil, line your pan with parchment paper for stick prevention and sprinkle the seasoning over the top. I like these best with a light brushing of oil for a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • These steaks don’t get crispy on the outside, but you could add some sort of breading if you’d like that effect.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how it works for you! And if you try something different, I’d love to hear about what you tried. We can all benefit from your experience!-

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite vegetarian main entree? 

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