Who said plant-based dishes had to be boring? If you’re looking for a healthy spin on a mealtime favorite, cauliflower steak is a perfect choice. Roasting cauliflower slabs gives them a crispy exterior and tender interior — and they’re so easy to customize with seasonings and toppings so you can satisfy whatever savory craving you have. Keep reading for an expert’s tips on cutting cauliflower steaks the right way, plus an easy cauliflower steak recipe that’s perfect for weeknights or a dinner party.
What is cauliflower steak?
Cauliflower steak is one of many vegetarian dishes rising in popularity on social media platforms such as TikTok. This dish is made by cutting a cauliflower head into thick slices, or “steaks,” seasoning them and cooking (roasting or grilling) them until they’re golden on the outside and tender on the inside.
What makes cauliflower steak a delicious alternative?
Cauliflower is an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be substituted into various dishes, including cauliflower rice, mash, and even pizza crust (Click for more healthy cauliflower recipes.) But you might be surprised to learn that it has its own “meaty” texture, making it a great steak substitute. “It’s high in fiber, making it [more] filling,” says Chay Wike, cookbook author and blogger at The Kitchen Commune. Don’t worry about a bland bite: Wike adds that it’s “also easy to season and caramelize, which gives it tons of flavor.”
Pro secret to perfect cauliflower steaks
To make great cauliflower steak, it’s important to know how to cut it correctly so it stays intact while cooking. Like broccoli, cauliflower is a compact head of florets that can easily fall off when separated from the core. To prevent cauliflower from falling apart, Lydia Sims of Pearl Lemon Catering, recommends first removing the leaves and trimming the stem. “It’s crucial the core remains to hold the florets together,” she explains. From there, “slice the cauliflower from the top down through the core in even slabs about 1 inch thick,” Sims says. You don’t want the steaks to be too thin or they’ll fall apart during cooking.
Easy cauliflower steak recipe
If you’re looking to try cauliflower steak for tonight’s dinner, we have you covered. This hearty recipe comes from Vered DeLeeuw, founder of Healthy Recipes, and features oven-roasted cauliflower for extra crispiness. It’s seasoned with paprika and so easy to make in under an hour!
Oven-roasted cauliflower steak
- 2 medium cauliflower heads
- Olive oil (or olive oil spray)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided (or ½ tsp. of any other salt)
- ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
- 1 tsp. garlic powder, divided
- 1 tsp. paprika, divided
- 1 tsp. coriander, divided
Yield: 3 Servings
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil high-heat-resistant parchment paper. Coat or spray with olive oil.
- Wash cauliflower heads, remove outer leaves and trim bottom of the core. Keep core intact.
- Slice each cauliflower head into ¾” thick slices. About 3 steaks per head.
- Arrange steaks in a single layer on baking sheet. Coat with olive oil and half of the seasonings.
- Bake cauliflower for 15 minutes. Remove, turn over and coat again with oil and remaining seasonings. Bake until crispy or fork-tender (about 10-15 minutes).
Note: Roast the cauliflower florets that fall off while cutting alongside the steaks for future meals!
6 topping ideas for cauliflower steaks
Cauliflower steaks are a great base for a variety of flavor combinations Whether you want to try something new or wow a crowd, these great topping ideas will bring your cauliflower steak recipe to the next level.
1. Tahini drizzle
Go Middle Eastern with this earthy sauce made from sesame seeds. Finish with a sprinkling of harissa seasonings.
2. Tomato sauce and cheese
Recreate chicken parmesan with this classic pairing. Just top the cauliflower steak with tomato sauce and mozzarella, then broil until cheese is melty.
3. Buffalo sauce
Ready for spice? Add a burst of tangy flavor with this sauce, then top with a sprinkling of blue cheese.
This Latin American condiment is perfect for a bright, acidic bite.
5. Avocado crema
Cool the palette with this blend of avocado, sour cream and lime juice.
6. Barbecue sauce
Just like BBQ cauliflower wings, but bigger and sweeter!
For more easy vegetarian recipes, check out these below: