Roasted Cauliflower Steak

A bright, nutty topping and creamy arugula pesto amp up the flavor in this roasted cauliflower steak recipe. It's a simple, satisfying, and delicious meal!

roasted cauliflower steak

Jack and I made this cauliflower steak recipe for Valentine’s Day last week. We loved it so much that I knew I had to share it with all of you!

As a cook, one of my favorite things to do is to turn a vegetable into a main dish. This cauliflower steak recipe is a fantastic way to do just that. I start by searing thick slices of cauliflower in a hot cast-iron skillet until they’re deeply golden brown. Then, I transfer them to the oven and roast until they’re nutty and tender. To make them a meal, I serve them over a swoosh of arugula pesto and top them off with a quick garnish of herbs, capers, golden raisins, and nuts.

All together, the combination is simple, elevated, and absolutely delicious. The topping and the sauce contrast beautifully, and the meaty cauliflower steak is so satisfying. If you’re looking to shake up your regular dinner rotation, look no further. This cauliflower steak recipe is just the thing for you.

Cauliflower steak recipe ingredients

Cauliflower Steak Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this cauliflower steak recipe:

  • Cauliflower, of course! In order to slice 4 cohesive steaks, I recommend starting with two heads of cauliflower. You’ll definitely have extra cauliflower florets leftover. Roast them alongside the steaks, or try one of the cauliflower recipes at the bottom of this post!
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – You’ll use some for cooking the cauliflower and more for the pesto and the topping.
  • Arugula pesto – This bright, peppery sauce is quick and easy to make in the blender. It uses basic ingredients like arugula, cashews, olive oil, and lemon juice.
  • Pine nuts and hazelnuts – They add nutty flavor and plenty of crunch to the simple topping.
  • Parsley – For fresh flavor.
  • Golden raisins – Their sweet flavor balances the bite of the arugula pesto, and their chewy texture contrasts nicely with the crunchy nuts.
  • Capers – For salty, briny flavor.
  • Sliced red chiles or red pepper flakes – For heat.
  • Lemon zest – It brightens the whole dish up.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Cauliflower steak in a skillet

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

When you make this cauliflower steak recipe, the first step is cutting the cauliflower. Remove the outer leaves from the first head of cauliflower. Stand the cauliflower upright on its bottom stem, and cut the cauliflower in half from top to bottom. Then, slice a 1 1/2-inch-thick steak from each half of the cauliflower, keeping the core intact. Repeat with the second head of cauliflower. You’ll just use the cauliflower steaks in this recipe. Save the remaining florets for another use!

Next, sear the cauliflower steaks. Coat the bottom of a skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. Sear each cauliflower steak until it’s golden brown on both sides, work in batches as necessary.

Then, bake. Place the seared cauliflower steaks on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and season them with salt, pepper, and a bit more olive oil. Roast at 425°F until the cores are fork-tender, about 25 minutes.

Herb and nutty topping in small bowl with spoon

Meanwhile, prepare the topping and sauce. Whizz together the arugula pesto, and mix together the topping ingredients.

When the cauliflower steaks are ready, plate them over the sauce and sprinkle them with the herb and nut topping. Add a final drizzle of olive oil, if you like. Then, dig in!

Roasted cauliflower steaks on plates with forks and knives

Cauliflower Steak Serving Suggestions

Served with the topping and sauce, these roasted cauliflower steaks are a light, yet satisfying meal on their own. If you’re in the mood for something heartier, add a bed of cooked grains under the cauliflower steak. Wheat berries, farro, quinoa, or couscous would all work well here. A few roasted chickpeas would be a nice garnish too!

Round out the meal with crusty bread or focaccia for sopping up the flavorful sauce. Enjoy!

Cauliflower steak recipe

More Favorite Cauliflower Recipes

Leftover cauliflower? Use it in one of these recipes:

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Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

rate this recipe:
4.93 from 14 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves 4
This cauliflower steak recipe is a delicious, satisfying plant-based meal! I call for two cauliflowers here so that you can cut 4 really sturdy, cohesive steaks. You'll have quite a bit of cauliflower leftover. Simply roast the florets, or save them to use in one of the cauliflower recipes linked above.



  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1 small fresno chili, chopped or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the coarse outer leaves of each cauliflower, then slice 2 (1½ -inch-thick) “steaks” from the center of each cauliflower, keeping the core intact. Cutting the steaks from the center is the best way to get slabs that will stay intact through the cooking process. You’ll have quite a bit of cauliflower leftover. Save it to make our Cauliflower Pasta or any of these cauliflower recipes another day!
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and brush with oil. Place one or two cauliflower steaks in the pan and sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower steaks. Transfer each steak to the baking sheet, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, and roast in the oven for 22 to 28 minutes, or until the core is fork-tender.
  • Make the topping: In a small bowl, stir together the pine nuts, hazelnuts, parsley, raisins, lemon zest, capers, chili, and olive oil.
  • Assemble plates with a slather of the pesto, a cauliflower steak, spoonfuls of the topping, and another drizzle of olive oil, if desired, and serve.


4.93 from 14 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Oregon

    Just wondering what you’re supposed to do with the arugula pesto. It is not mentioned in the directions.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi, it’s mentioned in Step 5 of the instructions. We spread a layer of pesto on each serving plate, then top with a cauliflower steak.

  2. Lynn

    5 stars
    This was so yummy. Wish I made two for each of us. We licked the plate clean! Thank you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Lynn, I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. Thisamericanplate

    5 stars
    The Cauliflower Steak recipe you’ve shared is a creative and mouthwatering way to transform a humble vegetable into a stunning main course. I love the idea of searing the thick cauliflower slices in a cast-iron skillet for that golden-brown crust and then roasting them to achieve a tender, nutty texture. The combination of arugula pesto, herbs, capers, golden raisins, and nuts adds an exquisite layer of flavors and textures to the dish, creating a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and tangy notes.

    The detailed instructions on how to cut the cauliflower steaks and the thoughtful suggestions for making a heartier meal with cooked grains or roasted chickpeas are much appreciated. Serving this delicious cauliflower steak with crusty bread or focaccia to soak up the flavorful sauce sounds absolutely divine. I’m excited to try this recipe and enjoy a unique, elevated, and satisfying plant-based meal that’s perfect for a special occasion or simply to spice up the dinner routine.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Thank you for your comment! I hope you love the dish.

  4. Ashley

    4 stars
    These were great!! I didn’t have hazelnuts so I used cashews and I roasted all the nuts. Awesome!!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you loved the recipe!

  5. Joan

    5 stars
    OMG! This has to be one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever eaten. I did make a couple of modifications. I used pine nuts and pecans, cran raisins and added a little pesto to the topping. I put it all on a schmeer of my homemade hummus. I also roasted a handful of cherry tomatoes alongside the cauliflower steak.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Joan, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Kathy

    Any substitute for the arugula pesto? This looks so yummy!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Kathy, these steaks would be great over romesco sauce!

  7. Mary Beth Albrechtsen

    5 stars
    We just made this for dinner and it was very good. Thank you for creating vegetarian recipes that are so flavorful.

  8. kim from

    5 stars
    Best cauliflower steaks ever! My husband can not do chili’s but it made no difference… wildly satisfying! We had roasted tomato/red pepper soup to add some base colours. (he’s thanked me 3 times for a delicious dinner) … happy veggies say thank you for all the love and the lemons!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I’m so glad you loved the recipe!

  9. Sandra Cupp

    Where is the recipe for the arugula pesto?

  10. VSM

    5 stars
    Wow–this was delicious! There are so many textures and layers of flavor in this one. While I loved it as the main dish, my husband would agree with another poster and have me serve this as a side dish–he loved it though! Since my family doesn’t do well with chili spice, I substituted some chopped pimentos.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Taylor

    5 stars
    We made this last night and it was delicious! The lemon zest in the topping provided the perfect amount of ‘zing’. However, I didn’t find this filling on it’s own, it definitely needs a side or another course.


    This dish has left me drooling. I absolutely love cauliflower done this way. It’s my second favourite way to use cauliflower after cauliflower wings.

    The images look amazing as always.

    Thanks for the recipe I will definitely be giving this a try.


  13. nrp

    I’m not going to make this exactly but I’m going to use your stovetop > oven technique to make cauliflower nachos! Normally I just roast the slabs and then broil them with nacho toppings but it’s a struggle to get color on them. Great idea, thanks!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.