These vegan cauliflower steaks are light, hearty and easy to make. Topped with a vibrant chimichurri sauce with a Mexican twist, this meal comes together in less than 30 minutes. For this recipe, the cauliflower steaks are cooked in a screaming hot cast-iron skillet, but with summer just around the corner, they would also be great on the grill.
So what are cauliflower steaks?
Cauliflower steaks are, well, cauliflower cut into thick “steaks.” I know, using the word “steak” is deceiving, but what else should we call them?
Cauliflower slabs? EW
Planks? Not bad
Steaks it is. Are we good?
This recipe for vegan cauliflower steaks may be a bit different than others you’ve seen before. Many recipes call for roasting the steaks, and although that’s a great hands-off method, I prefer to cook my cauliflower steaks in a cast-iron skillet. The biggest reason being I like the char and I want my vegan cauliflower steaks to still have a bit of bite. No mushy veg here.
How do you cut cauliflower into steaks?
- trim the leaves and stalks from cauliflower head
- place head stem-side down
- cut the head, top to bottom, into 1-inch thick steaks (you should get 2–3 sturdy steaks) *reserve the ends for another time
What to serve vegan cauliflower steaks with:
- On top of a bed of stewed lentils
- Spread harissa over the steaks and serve in tacos
- Serve like a steak with potato salad and green beans or a fresh green salad
What is chimichurri?
Chimichurri is a classic Argentinian sauce comprised of fresh herbs, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. This Mexican take, featuring cilantro, serrano, and lime, is the perfect sauce to go alongside savory cauliflower steaks.
You can use chimichurri sauce on a variety of dishes, here are some of my favorites ways to use this herby sauce:
- Spooned over actual grilled steak, chicken, pork, fish or seafood (try it with these grilled shrimp skewers)
- As a sauce for tacos or burritos
- Spoon over omelets and scrambled eggs
- Use as a salad dressing
- Use as a marinade (in place of the marinade for these herby chicken and zucchini skewers)
Hearty and satisfying vegan cauliflower steaks topped with a vibrant mexican-inspired chimichurri sauce.
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons each fresh lime juice and red wine vinegar
- 1 cup each fresh cilantro and parsley
- ½ cup chopped white onion
- ¼ cup oregano or mint
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 Serrano or jalapeno ribs and seeds removed, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
For the chimichurri, combine oil, lime juice and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup.
Process cilantro, parsley, onion, oregano, garlic, serrano, salt, and zest in a food processor until minced. With processor running, stream in oil mixture until combined; season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.
Trim leaves from cauliflower heads. Place heads steam side down and cut, top to bottom, into 1-inch thick slices, or “steaks” (you should get 4–6 total steaks). Arrange steaks on a sheet pan, brush both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Coat a large cast-iron skillet with nonstick spray, heat skillet over medium-high for 5 minutes. Add 2 steaks to skillet, place an additional cast-iron skillet or weighted pan on top of steaks, and cook until charred, 3–4 minutes. Flip steaks and cook another 2–3 minutes until charred. Transfer to a serving platter and repeat with remaining steaks.
Serve cauliflower steaks with chimichurri sauce.
Equipment you’ll need:
- Cast-iron skillet
- Baking sheet
- Food processor
- Liquid measuring cup
- Serving Size: 1 steak + 2 tablespoons sauce
- Calories: 145
- Sugar: 4g
- Sodium: 622
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 8g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 3g
- Cholesterol: 0mg