Roasted or grilled cauliflower steaks are juicy and tender in the middle with a crisp, lightly charred, caramelized, and crispy outside. Perfect as a versatile vegan side dish or main to almost any meal! Gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, paleo, etc.!
For this recipe, we are not cutting the cauliflower into florets. So first, remove any outer layer leaves. Then, soak the whole head in a bowl of salt water (or vinegar water). After 15 minutes or so, rinse the head with cool water and pat it dry.
How to Cut Cauliflower Steaks
Chop away the thick protruding stem to create a flat base so it can sit level on your cutting board.
Use a long sharp knife to slice the cauliflower head into slices (refer to the photos on the blog). I made mine fairly thin at around ¾-inch, and I wouldn’t recommend trying any thinner. If preferred, make them thicker (up to 1 ½ inches); just note that the cooking time will increase slightly. Also, there will be some leftover cauliflower after making the slices. This is normal. Check out the FAQs for what to do with this.
How to Season Them
Mince the garlic. Then transfer it to a small bowl along with the oil and all seasonings. Mix well.
Using a pastry/silicone brush, liberally brush both sides of the cauliflower steaks.
The Cooking Methods
Oven Roasted Cauliflower steaks: First, preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC before cutting the cauliflower steaks, and line a baking tray with parchment paper.Then prepare the steaks as written above and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Roast for 25 minutes in the oven, flipping halfway. The roasted cauliflower steaks are ready when they’re tender in the middle and golden-brown and crisp outside.
Grilled cauliflower steaks: First, prepare the cabbage as written above, only brushing one side of the slices with the dressing. Meanwhile, preheat your grill to medium (around 350-375ºF/176-190ºC) OR use a charcoal BBQ if preferred, brushing the grates with oil.Once preheated, place the cauliflower steaks onto the grill with the seasoned side down and cook for around 4-5 minutes (5-6 for thicker slices. They should be browned and crispy), then brush the top of the "steaks" with dressing, flip them over, and repeat. Allow them to cook until crispy and golden-brown outside and tender in the middle.
How To Make Ahead and Store
Make ahead: You can chop the cauliflower slices and prepare the marinade 2 days in advance, and store them separately in the fridge.Store: Allow them to cool and then place any leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.Freeze: You can freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months in a Ziplock bag.Reheat: You can reheat them in the oven, air fryer, or a stovetop grill pan. I don’t recommend using a microwave.
Slice the pieces evenly: So they cook at an even rate. Note that the yield will vary based on the size of the cauliflower. You can usually make around 4 thin cauliflower steaks per medium head or 2-3 thicker ones.
Time may vary: Depending on how thick the ‘steaks’ are and your individual oven/grill. You can also increase or decrease the time based on how firm you want the cauliflower.
Don’t overcrowd the pan: They need the airflow to become wonderfully golden and crispy.
Be careful when flipping: The slices will be fairly fragile, so be careful when handling them; otherwise, they’ll fall apart.
Leave the core: It holds the pieces together.
Season generously: Cauliflower has a very plain flavor, so it benefits from a liberal topping of the dressing.
Optional Add-ins and Variations:
Sweetener: Brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, etc., could be added (starting with a teaspoon) to the dressing for a subtle sweetness and to encourage caramelization.
Butter: Just a small amount of melted butter brushed over the grilled/roast cauliflower steaks before serving will add incredible depth and richness.
BBQ sauce or Hot sauce: Brush it over the ‘steaks’ in the last few minutes of cooking.
Seasonings: You can experiment with all sorts of seasonings. I.e.,