For a healthy, delicious dinner that’s fun and easy to prepare, look no further than this vegan cauliflower steak recipe! Drizzled with a lemon, parsley, and garlic tahini sauce, these “steaks” are just as pretty as they are tasty.
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By Thursday night, does anyone actually feel like cooking? I admit it’s one of the most difficult nights for me to get in the mood to whip something up. Feeling tired from the first half of the week, combined with some pre-Friday excitement, makes take out much more attractive than a home cooked meal.
But since I try to reserve eating out for the weekends, I usually muster up the energy to put something easy together. While my go-to recipes for Thursdays are rather simple, I try to choose ones that do not sacrifice taste! That’s where this cauliflower steak recipe comes in. It’s incredibly easy to make for dinner, but still loaded with flavor!
I first saw cauliflower “steaks” pop up on restaurant menus a few years ago when I was living in Philly. I loved the idea of using a vegetable as the mainstay of a meal, adorned with tasty sauces, legumes, nuts, seeds, and more. Since then, I’ve seen many takes on these steaks (see what I did there?) but have yet to make my own!
One of the best versions I’ve tried had dried fruit, pine nuts, and some type of yogurt sauce. YUM! Knowing that veggie steaks do well with a tasty sauce, I got to thinking about one of my favorite ingredients to use in creamy dressings: tahini!
This sesame seed paste is so versatile, and with the right flavorings, transforms from a bitter puree into a delicious condiment. In this recipe, I’ve coated cauliflower steaks with garlic tahini sauce mixed with lemon and parsley. The result? PERFECTION.
Vegan cauliflower steak is an especially good option for meatless Monday or for a Friday in Lent, if you abstain from meat.
How to Cut Cauliflower Steaks
To prepare the cauliflower for this recipe, first pull off the leaves and trim the bottom without fulling slicing it off (photo 1). Next, make slices that are about 1.5 inches thick, cutting lengthwise from the top of the head through the core. It’s helpful to get a fairly large head of cauliflower to make this part easier. Some of your steaks may fall apart, but that’s OK. Roasted cauliflower is delicious in any shape.
Once you cut your steaks, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes. While that’s happening, whip up the sauce! It’s as easy as that, my friends.
Depending on how fancy you want to get, you can also mix up the seasonings here. I sometimes rub cauliflower steaks with turmeric, chili powder, smoked paprika, or garlic salt. Are you drooling yet?? (My Roasted Kohlrabi Steak with Mushroom Sauce is another veggie steak/good sauce combo if you’re interested!)
- Grilling: Heat your grill to medium and brush both side of the steaks with olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can also bulk up the seasoning and squeeze some lemon juice or grate some lemon zest. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes on each side (covered) until tender and slightly charred.
- Sautéing/Frying: Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the cauliflower steaks for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.
Now that you know you can make these in a frying pan so you don’t have to even turn on the oven, there’s really no excuse not to try?!
More Cauliflower Recipes
- Greek Cauliflower Rice
- Cauliflower al Pastor Bowls
- Garlic Rosemary Grilled Cauliflower Foil Packets
- Weeknight Cauliflower Curry
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like it! Please rate and review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments card. And don’t forget to check out the seasonal veggie meal plans while you’re here.
Vegan Cauliflower Steak with Lemon Parsley Tahini
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1 lemon - juiced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic - minced or pressed
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare the cauliflower by removing the leaves and trimming the stem without slicing it off. Cut the cauliflower lengthwise from the head through the core, making 1.5-inch slices that resemble flat "steaks." Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you may slice between 4 and 6 flat pieces.
- Transfer the cauliflower steaks to the lined baking sheet. Brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, flipping the cauliflower halfway through.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the tahini sauce. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and whisk. It will stiffen up, so add up to 1/4 cup water slowly, and whisk to get a runnier sauce that can be easily drizzled.
- When the cauliflower is finished, transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with sauce. Enjoy!
- Serve with a side salad or steamed vegetables. You may have some leftover sauce, which you can keep in an airtight container in the fridge and use as a veggie dip.
- You will likely have some stray cauliflower florets after you cut the steaks. You can toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them on the same sheet as the steaks. Eat them on their own with the leftover sauce or add them to salads.
Enjoy this easy dinner! – Lizzie
This Vegan Cauliflower Steak recipe was originally published in April 2018. It was updated with some new photos and tips in March 2020.