Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Steak

This entry was posted on Feb 5, 2018 by Charlotte Bell.

Cauliflower Steak

When I was growing up, the rare occasions when we would have steak were always cause for celebration. My Depression-era parents rarely sprung for expensive cuts of meat, but when they did it was always noted and appreciated. By everyone except me.

I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. I didn’t care much for any kind of meat, but I really couldn’t stand steak. Nothing about it was appealing—the heaviness, the texture, the aggressiveness of the flavor. The fact that it was a big deal in my family made me feel clueless, but I couldn’t argue with my experience.

In my early 20s, I learned to be okay with steak, but it still wasn’t my favorite thing. I always felt monumentally sleepy after eating a steak, and my digestion never felt quite right, but I could understand why so many people liked it.

A few years ago, one of my favorite vegan restaurants offered cauliflower steak as a dinner special. Of course, I was curious. I ordered it, and to my delight, it tasted nothing like steak.

Cauliflower steak is basically roasted cauliflower that’s sliced into big slabs rather than cut into florets. Because cauliflower has a mild flavor, it takes on spices really well. In the past, I’ve made it with just olive oil, salt and pepper. I make it simple when I’m serving it with another dish that’s more complex. Sometimes I like to dress it up with more complex flavors, which I tend to do when its companion foods are on the simpler side—say beans and rice or a brothy soup. Try sprinkling them with smoked paprika or Indian spice for variety.

No matter how you choose to flavor it, cauliflower steak is really tasty, with a pleasing crisp-tender texture. The recipe I chose in my most recent attempt comes from

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Steak

  • 1 head of cauliflower, sliced through the core into 4 “steaks” (You can save the rest of the cauliflower for roasting later on.)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place cauliflower steaks on the baking sheet.
  3. Place the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper, salt and black pepper in a jar with a lid. Shake up the marinade until it’s homogenous.
  4. Brush half of the marinade onto the tops of the steaks.
  5. Roast the cauliflower for 15 minutes. Gently turn them over and brush the rest of the marinade onto the other sides. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until crisp around the edges.


About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.

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