This roasted cauliflower steaks recipe is a showstopping main dish! I serve them over creamy romesco sauce & top them with lemon zest & pine nuts.
Cauliflower is one mighty veggie – it’s can transform into rice, a creamy dip or queso, and even mashed potatoes! But sometimes, I crave it made simply. This caramelized cauliflower steak recipe is what I make on those days. Golden brown, tender, and savory, these roasted cauliflower steaks have become one of my favorite vegetarian main dishes. They’re not a side salad trying to be a meal, and there’s no fake meat. Who knew a slab of cauliflower could be so satisfying?
How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
Making a cauliflower steak isn’t difficult, but you do have to be careful when cutting the cauliflower. First, remove the outer leaves, but feel free to leave any tender inner ones intact. Start in the middle of the head, and carefully cut a 1-inch thick steak, being sure to keep the core intact. Repeat, working outwards from the head’s center, until sliced slabs no longer hold together.
In this recipe, I sear the steaks in a cast-iron skillet before I transfer them to the oven, but you can also spread them in an even layer on a baking sheet, season them with olive oil, salt, and black pepper, and roast at 400 until tender, but firm, about 20 minutes. That’s it!
Cauliflower Steak Serving Suggestions
While you could serve roasted cauliflower steaks as a side dish, I love to give them an elevated plating and make them the main event. (I especially love this simple, elegant recipe for a date night-in!)
Because I think cauliflower and romesco sauce are a match made in heaven (see this sandwich recipe), I serve each cauliflower steak over a bed of a lightened-up romesco sauce. I keep the key ingredients – roasted red peppers, tomato paste, nuts, vinegar & paprika – but I use less olive oil than I normally would, and I swap the traditional breadcrumbs for chickpeas to make the sauce thick, but still gluten-free. The result is a luscious, tangy sauce that pairs well with a cauliflower steak and a simple garnish of pine nuts, golden raisins, parsley, and lemon zest. If you don’t have a lot of time to put this together, the sauce can be made at least a day in advance.
Serve any leftover sauce with grilled vegetables, dollop it onto a baked sweet potato, or slather it onto crusty bread topped with roasted cauliflower florets and parsley.
If you love this cauliflower steak recipe…
Try my cauliflower po’ boy or cauliflower soup next, or check out this post for more of my favorite cauliflower recipes!
Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce
- 2 1-inch thick cauliflower “steaks” from 1 medium cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil (or other high-heat oil)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon golden raisins
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 roasted red bells peppers, fresh or from a jar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup cooked chickpeas (or 1 slice ciabatta bread, for thickening)
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
- ¼ cup blanched almonds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Make the Romesco Sauce: In a blender, combine the red peppers, tomato paste, water, vinegar, chickpeas, hazelnuts, almonds, garlic, paprika, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Season to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut two 1-inch thick slices from the cauliflower, keeping the core intact. Heat the oil in a large cast iron pan. Place the cauliflower steaks into the pan and gently press them down. Lightly brush the top of the steaks with a little more oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sear for 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown, then transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender but firm.
- Spread two plates with romesco sauce and top each with a cauliflower steak. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, pine nuts, golden raisins, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Store extra romesco sauce in the fridge for up to 4 days. Slather it on sandwiches or use as a veggie dip.
The tabletop items in this post were kindly provided by Anthropologie.
This recipe is amazing! It is as pretty as it is delicious. I meant to take a picture of it! Served with collard greens (and replaced the parsley with celery leaves since my husband doesn’t like parsley). The only thing is that with the roasting, toasting, etc. it took me closer to an hour. But I’m a slow cook since I don’t cook that often! 🙂 Thank you for a great recipe!
Hi Karyn, I’m so glad you loved it!
I meant to give it 5 stars!! : )
Gorgeous meal. Kids and hubby loved it. Served it with lemon greek potatoes.
I’m so glad the recipe was a hit!
Very good. We’ll make it again!
Love this so much! Healthy twist on the sauce
Sub sweet potato (1 in microwave) iso beans
Walnuts iso your nuts
Ginger iso garlic (happier tummy)
This recipe has honestly changed my life. I did not know that I could honor and elevate cauliflower to such a level. It was delicious! Thank you so much for bringing this beauty into my life!