Making your own grilled cauliflower steaks is a great way to make your vegan meals more filling and delicious. With this recipe, you can enjoy the taste of grilled goods without any guilt!
Plus, it's easy to make with only three ingredients (plus salt and pepper). You’ll be able to whip up these tasty grills in no time at all. These stakes also make a great side dish for your favorite soups, making them a complete meal!
🤔 Why this recipe works
Imagine warm, crispy, grilled cauliflower steaks next to about anything you can think of to make a complete meal. They were perfectly cooked. Thick cauliflower slices made with whole cauliflower heads are tasty and require no effort.
- Cauliflowers are fantastic overall - they are delicious, versatile, and even make great leftovers.
- When sliced into thick steak pieces and grilled perfectly, grilling cauliflower unleashes its full potential and tastes much more hearty.
- This vegan cauliflower steaks make a great main dish or side dish for a Vegetarian roast.
- It is a healthy and low-calorie dish.
- You only need a few staple ingredients.
We love eating seasonally; that's when you can find all those beautiful and colorful broccoli and cauliflowers. So try to eat cauliflower as part of our winter and fall season meals.
This vegan cauliflower steak recipe has a few simple ingredients
- Medium cauliflower
- Olive oil or avocado oil
- Garlic powder (or onion powder)
- Lemon juice
Optional: freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.
See quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card.
Make this recipe easy in 20 minutes with minimal babysitting.
To make cauliflower stakes, try choosing cauliflower heads that look firm and medium in size. Make sure they don't have any brown spots.
Prepare and cut the cauliflower head
Carefully remove the outer leaves surrounding the head of cauliflower. Using a sewed knife or a sharp knife, gently slice off the cauliflower stem of the cauliflower head.
Now place the head of cauliflower on a cutting board, flat side down.
We’ll use the sewed knife to create around 1-inch thick slices.
Make thick steaks placing the knife one inch away from the outer edge and placing your hand on top of the blade and the cauliflower head, grabbing it firmly. Gently saw back and forth (some florets will likely fall apart, no worries).
Continue slicing 1-inch steak slices until you have worked your way through the whole cauliflower, always grabbing the top of the remaining cauliflower head with your free hand to keep it together.
Note: the florets that undoubtedly will fall apart from the outer slices can also make it to the grill; they will grill nicely, and the grits can be served with your cauliflower stake and are equally crunch and delicious.
Cook the cauliflower steaks
Brush your grill with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and carefully place cauliflower steaks next to each other.
Season. Squeeze the lemon juice on top, followed by the onion or garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
Cook at medium-low heat and fully cover with a lid or the oven baking tray— for 10 minutes. Sneak pick and make sure the cauliflower stakes have crispy edges and look golden brown.
With the help of a spatula, turn each of the thick slices and gently brush with olive oil and sprinkle salt. Cover again and cook for another 10 minutes.
Making cauliflower fork-tender while also grilled: cauliflower pieces, wrap a baking dish tightly in foil or lid until heated through. The drying process produces steam which converts moisture in the vegetable cells.
Serve and garnish
Use a spatula to serve the grilled cauliflower steak recipe as desired and serve immediately. You can finely chop some parsley to garnish the cauliflower steak on each plate and add a dollop of your favorite sauce.
We like our roasted cauliflower stakes with pesto; we used or kale pesto in the pictures (grab the kale pesto recipe).
💡 Top Tip
Serve each grilled cauliflower steak with a dollop of your favorite sauce. We like using our kale pesto, our Green Goddess dressing, or the oil-free creamy vegan sauce. You can also use a chimichurri sauce or any other sauce that you would use for a piece of steak, such as pico de gallo.
You can make this recipe as simple as salt and pepper cauliflower steaks, or you can go for one of the suggested seasonings.
Learn how to make a whole roasted cauliflower with only olive oil and salt!
I like using some spices when I am not having my grilled cauliflower steaks with vegan kale pesto, arugula pesto, or basil pesto. My spices of choice are garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder, cajun, or a mix of Italian seasonings.
Our green creamy vegan sauce is another sauce that is super easy to make and pairs perfectly with these steaks.
I like garnishing our cauliflower stakes with chopped parsley, but if you like cilantro, it is also a great option.
If it is possible, use high smoke point oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil.
Sometimes we use the oil from a garlic confit instead of the extra virgin olive oil to brush the grill and the stakes before cooking. If you do so, you can skip the garlic powder; the garlicky flavor we are looking for will be in.
The same goes for any flavored oil you can think of. They are a great way to infuse flavor into a cauliflower steak.
We use a minimal amount of olive oil in the recipe to keep it healthy so that you won't have any remaining olive oil mixture.
Spicy cauliflower steaks
We love making Harissa cauliflower steaks for a change. While grilling the steak, brush half a teaspoon of harissa sauce on each steak; then repeat after turning them.
Smoky BBQ cauliflower stakes
You can easily turn these keto cauliflower steaks into a barbecue feast. Just brush the steaks with your favorite BBQ sauce (we like the Sweet Baby Ray's, (affiliate link) because it is naturally vegan and delicious). (affiliate)
Lightly brush the BBQ sauce on each side as you turn the steak on the grill, skillet, oven, or air fryer.
Cauliflower steak air fryer method
Brush the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle your seasoning of choice, as suggested in this recipe, to coat the steaks.
Place the cauli steaks in the air fryer basket and cook at 375 ºF (190 ºC) for 15 minutes; then gently flip each steak halfway through, lightly brush with oil, and season again. Keep cooking for another 10 minutes until you desire doneness.
Roasted cauliflower slices
You can also make roasted cauliflower steaks oven-roasted, using a baking sheet for 30 minutes at 400 ºF (204 ºC), turning them halfway. Though, I find that for this recipe, it is more convenient to grill cauliflower for two reasons:
Kosher salt and Black Pepper: use small amounts, or you could make a meal taste overly salted.
- You need to flip the cauliflowers after 10 minutes.
- Grilled cauliflower steaks only take 20 minutes, vs 30 minutes, if oven roasted. So preheating the oven, then opening it, flipping, using parchment paper, and opening it back, seems like a lot of hassle for me; in reality, we are speaking about a straightforward recipe, so I prefer to keep it that way. NOT a baking sheet to clean, only a grill.
Tip: look for our Spiced Roasted Cauliflower recipe, with a fantastic tahini-based seasoning that will have every person at the dinner table asking for the recipe.
🥢 How to serve cauliflower steaks
Cauliflower steaks are good to add to a tasty side dish and serve dinner with them as well. What is the easiest way to make cauliflower meat with cauliflower?
In addition to adding your favorite vegan sauce, or a sprinkle of homemade vegan parmesan cheese, some serving suggestions you can enjoy with your cauliflower steak are crispy rice or steamed Jasmin rice.
You can serve it with a hearty salad, with some homemade vinaigrette, made in only 5-minutes.
🥡 Storing leftovers
Storing leftover cauliflower steaks is easy. You can store the leftovers for up to 3 days inside a closed refrigerator using an airtight container.
For reheating, place the cauliflower steaks in a grill pan on low-medium heat, and turn them. It should take about 5 minutes. They will still be super yummy!
Alternatively, you can use the microwave.
I like using leftover cauliflower stakes for making easy pasta. Just boil your pasta, as usual, drain, and then add your favorite vegan pesto and cauliflower grits and florets, creating an easy, lazy dinner with added veggies and nutrition.
You can also add cauliflower steak leftovers to any stir-fry, curry, or salad.
📚 Cauliflower recipes
We are fans of this healthy and versatile vegetable and often use it. The following cauliflower recipes will surely quickly earn a place in your heart; they are absolutely delicious! See more recipes to include in your diet.
- Vegan cauliflower wings
- Spiced Roasted Cauliflower
- Cauliflower rice
- Vegan Eggplant and cauliflower involtini
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Stovetop Grilled Cauliflower Steaks Recipe
- 1 head cauliflower 2 pounds – 1 kg
- garlic powder or onion powder
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin or avocado oil
- ½ lemon juiced
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt fine
- black pepper freshly ground, to taste
- sage and kale pesto
- Clean the cauliflower head. Carefully remove any green leaves surrounding the cauliflower. Using a sewed knife or a sharp chef’s knife, gently slice off the protruding stem of the cauliflower to create a flatter working area surface.
- Slice the cauliflower steaks. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board, flat side down. We’ll use a sewed knife to create around 1-inch (2.5 cm) parallel slabs of cauliflower. To create your first slab, place the knife one inch away from the outer edge and place your hand on top of the knife and the cauliflower head, grabbing it firmly. Gently saw back and forth (some florets will likely fall apart, no worries). Continue slicing 1-inch slabs until you have worked your way through the whole cauliflower, always grabbing the top of the remaining cauliflower head with your free hand to keep it together.
- Prepare the grill. Brush your grill pan with one tablespoon of olive oil, and carefully place your “steaks” next to each other.
- Season. Squeeze the lemon juice on top, followed by the onion or garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Cook on the stovetop at medium-low heat and fully cover with a lid or the oven baking tray—Cook for 10 minutes.
- Turn. With the help of a spatula, turn each of the steaks and gently brush with olive oil and sprinkle salt. Cover again and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Serve. Use a spatula to serve the cauliflower as desired, avoiding the florets falling apart.
Air fryer cauliflower steak
- Brush the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle your seasoning of choice, as suggested in this recipe, to coat the steaks.Place the cauli steaks in the air fryer basket and cook at 375 ºF (190 ºC) for 15 minutes; then gently flip each steak halfway through, lightly brush with oil, and season again. Keep cooking for another 10 minutes until you desire doneness.
Oven roasted cauliflower steaks
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (204 ºC). Then line a baking sheet and place the steaks, the brush with oil, and season. Bake them for 30 minutes turning them halfway.
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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I love the simplicity of this grilled cauliflower steak. I can't wait to try different spice variations on this.
Dana Sandonato says
This was so incredibly good, so incredibly easy, and it really reminded me that I need to do more with cauliflower. One of the veggies that I always forget about, and then I eat it and am like, WOAH.
Oh yeas! Cauliflower are super versatile, so many dishes can be made with this fantastic Veggie!
Such a wonderful use for cauliflower! I love those flavors and how easily it comes together. Yum!
Heather Johnson says
i love cauliflower steaks - thanks for all the tips - they were definitely better this time around with your help!
I am sure they will! thanks for your comment Heather!
Sara Welch says
This was such a quick and easy recipe and was an excellent way for my kids to enjoy their veggies, too! Easily, a new favorite recipe!
Kayla DiMaggio says
Loving this grilled cauliflower steak! It is so delicious!
That's great, Kayla! Cheers, and thanks for your feedback!
cauliflower steaks are so delicious and love all the spices you've used!
Thank you Nancy! I agree! They are the best!
I've not tried cauliflower steaks before, but I like the simplicity of your version. And that it's grilled for ease too. Will have to try.
I am sure you will love them, Choclette! Let us know how it goes!
Such a genius recipe! You are such a talented blogger.
Thank you, Jacqui! That's so kind of you! 🙂
Allergy Spot says
Cauliflower is so versatile. I’d forgotten how good a cauliflower steak can be - this is a great recipe to get the texture just perfect!
You are right! Such a great veggie! We love using it in all possible ways!
i love cauliflower steaks - so filling and delicious
Love this recipe! Fantastic healthy and delicious dinner!
Super! We are glad you enjoyed it Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing!
It's surprising what you can rustle up with a humble old cauliflower! This looks really healthy and appealing too. Win-win!
amazing isn't it"
Can't beat a flavour-packed cauliflower steak like this for a sensational vegan supper - totally delicious, thank you!
Thank you, Kate! I am glad you liked it!
My family is going to love these on our Meatless Monday. Appreciate all the information to make the best cauliflower steaks.
That's great Andrea, meatless Monday is a great idea to introduce more veggies in the family's diet!
SO easy and delish! I did them in the oven but this summer I will try them grilled for sure! Thank you!!!!
That's nice! Yes, the oven works perfectly as well! Thanks for sharing your experience Casey!
I love cauliflower and hadn't ever thought to grill it before, it comes out super tasty and I love the grilled flavor.
Glad you liked it, Sharon!
I love the flavor of grilled cauliflower! This is such a simple way to enjoy it. Delicious!
So easy and simple yet so tasty! I was really impressed with this vegetarian dish. Will be making this again!
Thank you, Tara! I am glad you enjoyed our roasted cauliflower stakes!
Love these savory, filling, tasty cauliflower steaks! Thanks for all the detailed instructions and photos. Next time I'm going to try your suggestion of drizzling them with chimichurri sauce. Yum!
This grilled cauliflower steak is so simple and delicious. I can't wait to create different variations using my favorite spice blends.
My cauliflower steaks were easy to make and so delicious! I can't wait to make these again!
This was such a hit! Thank you for Love all the ingredients, can’t wait to try this!
We love cauliflower steaks but have only ever ordered them at restaurants. This is way more cost-effective and every bit as delicious!
These cauliflower stakes are so good! We are always looking for new ways to add more plant-based meals to our weekly diet, and this was exactly what we needed! Will make it again for sure with the Mediterranean seasoning!
Thank you, Dijana! We are glad you liked our cauliflower steaks!
Tayler Ross says
I've made this cauliflower steak several times and it always turns out perfectly. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
You are welcome, Tyler! I am glad your cauliflower steaks came out as expected!