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Cauliflower steak in black bowl with French lentils and romesco sauce.
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5 from 4 votes

Cauliflower steaks with lentils and romesco sauce

We eat a lot of cauliflower in this house. It’s such a versatile vegetable that can take on nearly any role. It can even be the star of the plate! Perfectly roasted, thick cauliflower slices on a bed of protein-packed, herby lentils and smoky romesco sauce. It’s a restaurant-worthy dinner!
Romesco sauce is like a pesto in texture but made with peppers. Many versions are thickened with leftover bread, but here I’m using panko bread crumbs because they’re a pantry staple and they help create that wonderful pesto-like texture. My version is smoky and a little sweet, and it pairs well with a variety of dishes. Try it on pasta or rice. Use it as a dip for garlic bread or quesadillas, or simply drizzle it over roasted vegetables. Makes about 3 cups of romesco sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Spanish, Vegan
Keyword: cauliflower steak recipe, sauce recipe, vegan bowl
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 466kcal


For the cauliflower steaks

  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

For the lentils

  • 1 cup French green lentils or brown lentils
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

For the romesco sauce


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

  • Place roasted red peppers, drained diced fire roasted tomatoes, ½ cup raw almonds, panko bread crumbs, garlic, smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and balsamic vinegar in a food processor. Process until mostly smooth. It should resemble a pesto in texture, so it won’t be totally smooth.

To serve

  • 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.


Reprinted with permission from Jenn Sebestyen and Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. © 2019.


Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 2735mg | Potassium: 1161mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2273IU | Vitamin C: 187mg | Calcium: 228mg | Iron: 8mg