Vegan cauliflower steaks are an eye-catching, vegetable-forward centerpiece dish. Serve them with lentils and a romesco sauce that’s made with roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, breadcrumbs, and almonds.
With protein from the lentils and a punch of flavor from the romesco, this is a satisfying, dinner party-worthy meal. Vegan & gluten-free.
Cauliflower is truly having a moment. What used to be a simple side dish has now moved into center stage.
It’s used for everything from pizza crusts, to rice, and even as a main course, as it is today with this cauliflower steak recipe.
Vegan cauliflower steaks
This vegan cauliflower steak recipe is served with lentils, which makes the dish filling & satiating. And it’s finished with a generous spoonful of romesco sauce.
Romesco is a roasted bell pepper & tomato sauce with breadcrumbs and almonds. Think of it as the bell pepper’s answer to pesto. It comes together really quickly in the food processor.
Vibrant romesco sauce gives the dish a flair of fanciness. But in reality, this cauliflower dish is weeknight and family-friendly. You could even pull it out on a Monday!
The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook
This vegan cauliflower steak recipe is from the new cookbook by Jenn Sebestyen, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook.
Jenn is the blogger behind the popular website veggieinspired.com. She and I have been blogging buddies for years now. (We kicked it in Chicago together this past summer!) And I’m so excited to see her first cookbook out in the world.
Jenn is a mom, and that’s reflected in her recipes. She shares how to get kids involved in the prepping and cooking. Plus, she offers ways to serve vegetables in a manner that will appeal to little ones.
Now, let’s get cooking!
How to cut cauliflower steaks
Place a head of cauliflower stem-side up on a cutting board. Cut it in half, right through the middle of the stem.
Then place one cauliflower half stem-side down. Cut a 1-inch slice off the middle. That’s your first “steak.” Repeat with the other half.
Then do the whole process over again with the second head of cauliflower.
(You will have cauliflower left over. Save it for another time.)
How to make cauliflower steaks with romesco sauce
For this recipe, the cauliflower steaks are roasted in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Brush each steak with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Lay the steaks on a parchment paper covered baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes. Gently flip, and then roast for 10 minutes more until both sides are golden brown.
Now it’s time to make the lentils.
Put lentils, vegetable broth, and thyme into a pot. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for 20 minutes until tender.
Drain the lentils. Then return them to the pot with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley.
Finally, make the romesco sauce.
Put drained roasted red peppers from a jar, drained diced fire roasted tomatoes, raw almonds, panko bread crumbs, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, and vinegar into a food processor.
Process until it’s mostly smooth, and has a texture resembling pesto.
Ladle romesco sauce onto four plates. Then top each one with lentils, and a cauliflower steak. Garnish with finely chopped almonds.
Cauliflower steaks with lentils and romesco sauce
For the cauliflower steaks
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
For the lentils
For the romesco sauce
- 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes drained
- 1/2 cup raw almonds + additional finely chopped almonds for garnish
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
To make the cauliflower steaks
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place a head of cauliflower stem-side up on a cutting board. Cut it in half through the middle of the stem. Carefully trim away all the green leaves from both halves, taking care not to cut the florets from the core. If the stem is rather long, cut the bottom half off, again being very careful not to cut too far up so the florets stay attached. Now place one half stem-side down and cut a 1-inch slice off the middle. This is your “steak.” Repeat with the other half, and then repeat the whole process with the other head of cauliflower. Save the remaining florets that you aren’t using for steaks for another time.
- Brush both sides of each “steak” generously with the olive oil. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sprinkle on the cauliflower steaks; you likely won’t use it all. Roast the cauliflower for 15 minutes, gently flip over, and roast for 10 more minutes until golden brown on both sides.
For the lentils
- Meanwhile, place the lentils, vegetable broth, and thyme in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and return the lentils to the pot. Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley. Stir, taste, and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
For the romesco sauce
- Ladle ¼ to ½ cup of romesco sauce on each plate, topped with one-quarter of the lentils, and one cauliflower steak. Garnish with finely chopped almonds.
Ways to use leftover cauliflower
You will have cauliflower left over from this cauliflower steaks recipe. Here are some ways to use it.
- Brown rice bowl with cauliflower & hummus
- Cauliflower bisque with fried capers
- Easy roasted cauliflower in the air fryer or oven
- Creamy cauliflower queso
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook, so that I could produce this review. As always, the thoughts & opinions are totally my own.