If you’re new to the world of vegetarian recipes, the thought of a cauliflower steak may have you feeling a bit…confused. And if you’re thinking to yourself, these “cauliflower steaks” just look like roasted cauliflower slices, well, you’re not wrong.
What is a Cauliflower Steak?
Cauliflower steaks are made by slicing a head of cauliflower into steak-like slabs and roasting them until tender, but trust me when I say they’re the vegetarian steak you didn’t know you needed.
I’ll admit they don’t taste like steak, but they’re equally good in their own way. They’re packed with flavor, coated in the perfect blend of savory seasonings, and roasted until creamy in the center.
While roasting, the spices become slightly caramelized and develop a deep richness to them. Then combine that with the creaminess of the cauliflower, your mind will be blown. The texture of these roasted cauliflower filets is amazing. Did you ever think cauliflower could melt in your mouth?!
Now that I’ve sold you on the idea of this main course, you’ll want to check out these grillable cauliflower steak options – Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce and BBQ Grilled Cauliflower Steaks.
Plus, now’s probably a good time to tell you that cauliflower can be more than a low-carb steak option. It’s also a delicious Holiday Main and makes pretty convincing Buffalo “Wings.” Is there anything cauliflower can’t do?!
A few ingredient notes
You’ll need just 7 basic ingredients to whip up this dinner main.
- A large head of cauliflower – Emphasis on the large! The key to making the best cauliflower steaks is cutting thick slices of cauliflower. And this is pretty hard to do, if not impossible, with a small head of cauliflower. It’s worth it to rummage the grocery stock in search of the biggest one. Make sure the florets are tightly packed together, too.
- Spices – I use a simple blend of cumin, white pepper, garlic powder, coriander, and sea salt. Feel free to adjust the spices to taste, or replace them entirely with your favorite spice blend. If you’d like to add a bit of heat, either red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper are great options. Add a few grounds of black pepper if you’d like, too.
- Oil – My go-to oil here is extra-virgin olive oil. It has a high smoke point, is pretty neutral in flavor, and encourages the best, crispy edges. If you have a preferred cooking oil of choice, such as avocado oil, vegetable oil, or even coconut oil, go for it. You can also check out the Best Oils for Roasting for more ideas.
Please be sure to see the full recipe card below for measurements.
How to Roast Cauliflower Steaks
Making homemade cauliflower steaks that are roasted to perfection require just 3 simple steps.
Cut the Cauliflower
Start by removing the outer leaves on the bottom of the head of cauliflower. Next, trim the stem just to the bottom of the core. The key is to allow enough of the stem to remain so the head of cauliflower stays intact and holds the steaks together. Depending on the cauliflower head you purchase, the produce supplier may have already done this step for you!
Slice the outer end pieces of the cauliflower off, shaping the cauliflower into a rectangle. Set aside these outer florets for another cauliflower recipe such as Spicy Teriyaki Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps or Broccoli Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Soup.
Then, cut the cauliflower down the middle, creating two halves. Lastly, cut each halve in half, creating 4 cauliflower steaks that are roughly 1-2 inches wide, depending on the size of your cauliflower.
First, brush both sides of the cauliflower steaks evenly with olive oil. I find this easiest to do using a silicone brush or pastry brush, but you can also do this with clean hands. In a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, white pepper, garlic powder, coriander, and fine sea salt.
Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly across the steaks, rubbing it in as needed.
Roast and Serve
Place the cauliflower steaks on a large baking sheet and bake for 24-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. You’ll know the steaks are ready when the edges are crisp and golden, and the interior is fork tender.
Serve immediately with a drizzle of cilantro mixed with olive oil, a squeeze of lime, greek yogurt, or tzatziki sauce, and enjoy!
Now if you were wondering what on earth a cauliflower steak is, you’re definitely wondering how best to serve them. Lucky for both of us, these thick slabs pair well with just about anything you’d serve a classic steak with. Think of our favorite side dishes like:
- Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Sautéed Green Beans and Mushrooms
- Air Fryer Broccolini
- Garlic Herb Dinner Rolls
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- White Wine Mac and Cheese.
And don’t forget the sauce! These cauliflower steaks pair perfectly with a dairy-based sauce like cilantro lime sauce, a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, creamy chipotle sauce, or tzatziki. The cool tanginess balances so well with the savory spices on the steaks.
Make Ahead Options and Storage Tips
Crispy cauliflower steaks will have the best “sear” on them when enjoyed fresh from the oven, but they can be made ahead of time if you’re looking for an easy way to sneak more veggies in throughout the week.
Simply cook these steaks as normal and store leftover cauliflower steaks in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Freezing is not recommended.
Reheat in the microwave, oven, toaster oven, or air fryer until warm and crispy again.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe 30-Minute Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
- Cut the Cauliflower Steaks: Prepare the cauliflower by first gently tearing off any large leaves from the stem. Then, trim the stem, but do not cut it out, we're simply making the bottom level. Then, stand the cauliflower upright on the even stem and cut off the sides of the cauliflower head by a couple of inches, leaving a large middle piece in tact. Set the side florets aside for another use later.1 large cauliflower head
- Keep the cauliflower standing on its stem, and cut the steak pieces. Use your best judgment for how many steaks you'll be able to cut out of the remaining cauliflower head. I generally can get anywhere from 2-4 cauliflower steaks; it just depends on the size of the cauliflower you started with. 2 steaks will result in thicker pieces, and 3-4 generally result in more moderately sized steaks.1 Tablespoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, combine all spices. Place the steak slices on a baking sheet and brush the sides and tops with olive oil. Sprinkle spice mixture across cauliflower steaks, rubbing in as needed, making sure to get all the crevices!
- Roast steaks on a large baking sheet for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. When the steaks are fork-tender and the sides are golden brown and caramelized, they're ready!
- They're really good served with a cool, creamy sauce (several linked above) or even a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of cilantro, too. Enjoy!Cilantro, Cilantro Lime Sauce, Creamy Chipotle Sauce, Tzatziki Sauce, Sour Cream
- Choose a cauliflower head that’s large and that seems to have tight florets; this will help keep them intact when cutting the steaks.