Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

This roasted cauliflower steaks recipe is a showstopping main dish! I serve them over creamy romesco sauce & top them with lemon zest & pine nuts.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

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

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!

5.0 from 9 reviews

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This roasted cauliflower steak recipe is one of my favorite vegetarian entrees. If you want to make it a quicker meal, you can make the sauce a few days in advance.
Recipe type: Main dish
Serves: 2
  • 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
Romesco Sauce: (this makes extra)
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Dana

    Excellent main dish for our mostly vegetarian/vegan Thanksgiving dinner! We substituted pecans for pine nuts, and dried cranberries for raisins. Also we used a different Romesco sauce from Cookie and Kate ( I pan-fried the cauliflower steaks in avocado oil, which worked well, but you do need to press them down for good heat transfer during browning. It was all quite easy, fairly quick, and made for a hearty & yummy dish!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Dana, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  2. Tammy

    Yum! Made the sauce tonight to have over pasta and roasted veggies – everyone loved it. I didn’t have hazelnuts so used another 1/4 cup almonds and threw in a can of diced tomatoes to stretch the sauce out a little. Definitely making again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  3. Sam from

    I made this recipe this evening for dinner and it was a total hit. My partner and I both loved it — the sauce really brought it all together and the raisins are not to be missed!

    I will definitely be making this for dinner again. It’s also so easy and quick — perfect for busy weeknights.

  4. Monica

    Just finished our yummy dinner and my first attempt at cauliflower steak. Great hit. The Romesco sauce was was super delicioso. Great recipe. Ole!!

  5. Mariel

    This is such a good recipe! The sauce is so tasty. I used bread since I had it on hand, but next time I’ll try the chickpea version.



    • Sarah

      Use pine nuts – I’m allergic to almonds. Works great

  7. danielle from

    Made this last night and it was delicious. I don’t love chickpeas so I left them out of the sauce but it was still so good.
    Question – how did you get your romesco that bright yellow color?

  8. Gail H. from

    Wow. Surprisingly good. I only added some fresh ground coriander to the cauliflower sauté. Loved the sauce. Thanks for another great meal!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      so glad you liked them – thanks Gail!

  9. Campbell

    This was delicious! I had no idea how filling a cauliflower steak could be, and paired with the sauce it was fantastic. I didn’t have raisins, but tossed some roasted peanuts and pumpkin seeds on top. Added a nice little crunch. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you liked them! I know, I was surprised how filling they were too 🙂

  10. This looks so good! I wish my husband liked cauliflower. I will have to make it for myself. I love those plates too!

  11. Thank you for such a delicious & lovely recipe. This makes my day very special.

  12. It makes me happy you say Valentines Day is your favorite holiday– not enough people appreciate it! Lovely recipe for a night-in celebration

  13. Jesse from

    Really looking forward to making this! Just made roasted cauliflower with edamame mash and was so good… Posting the recipe soon if you’re interested;)

  14. Joan |

    Very light meal, not everyone knows that cauliflower has anticancer properties and high content of vitamin C.

  15. Oh I love romesco AND cauliflower steaks. This is the perfect pairing if you ask me. And I like that you added chickpeas to the sauce to boost protein and make it main dish-worthy. (And we don’t still have our tree up, but we may still have some lights hanging in a few places. 😉 )

  16. I’m all for celebrating vtines with cauliflower! I hate myself for loving it because it’s so popular right now. Oh, well. Good food will be good food. The romesco also sounds dreamy dreamy.

  17. Christine from

    We took down our tree awhile ago but I left some of the other Christmas decorations up – little trees, vintage ornaments, a wreath … I wasn’t ready to say the holiday was over until I looked around yesterday and decided I was done. It’s nice to know I wasn’t the only one keeping that stuff around (: I really love your idea to use chickpeas rather than bread for romesco! I’ve always meant to make a traditional one but never think of it when I have gf bread on hand – this eliminates that problem all together, and it looks so good!

  18. Annie from

    This looks great! I’m all for staying in on V-Day (and a big proponent of cauliflower as a main)… but haven’t yet figured out what side to pair it with. Potatoes seem a little too heavy, but is salad too light? Any suggestions?

    • Savvy

      some kind of kale salad sounds good to me!

    • Jessica

      I’m planning to pair it with rice

  19. Having the Romesco sauce is a new twist one the cauliflower steak. I have made just the steak part, coating the slices with olive oil, roasting them, adding Parmesan cheese at the end and putting the pan under the broiler for a few minutes. Will have to try this new variation. It looks delicious and I like the added color, which makes the plate pop.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
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.