Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks are my “oops” remedy of the week.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with honey, lemon, and toasted walnuts. Meaty, caramelized, and satisfying! Easy, low carb recipe that’s perfect for a simple side or light dinner. {can be made vegan; gluten free} Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

As in….

I just ate peach pie for dinner. Twice. Oops.

What? We’re out of cheese dip, and I’m the only one standing by the bowl? Oops.

The wine is empty. Oops.

If your last week (er, month) been anything like mine, “oops” moments are a familiar event. I’m not going to say I regret them.

After all, why labor over a homemade fruit pie, then deprive yourself of enjoying a slice after lunch and dinner…and a small sliver at breakfast too?

And why visit an outdoor beer garden if not to order a pint?

As an embracer of oops moments, I also appreciate an infusion of healthy food to sustain myself between them. Bring on the wholesome, the nourishing, and the good things my body needs!

Put another way: I fully intend to eat more pie, so let’s work in a little veg, shall we?

Simple grilled cauliflower recipe: Cauliflower steaks brushed with lemon and garlic, then grilled until caramelized and tender. Satisfying vegan recipe that’s perfect for a light meal or side. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

I am both wary of (and historically terrible at) “detoxing,” so when I need a healthy pick-me-up or reset, I turn to foods that, while unquestionably wholesome, won’t leave me feeling deprived. Today’s recipe for Grilled Cauliflower Steaks is a prime (<—did you see what I did there?🤓) example.

If you need evidence that cauliflower, a rather bland-looking veggie that I don’t even remember seeing growing up, let alone eating, has gone mainstream, consider this: my first experience of a grilled cauliflower “steak” was at a local brewery. If breweries in Wisconsin, the land of all things beer, cheese, and sausage, serve grilled cauliflower with pride, it’s legit.

While raw cauliflower can lack appeal to all but the staunchest of veggie lovers, grilled cauliflower is an entirely different business. Heat softens and caramelizes the cauliflower until it becomes tender and almost sweet. It’s a similar effect to what happens when cauliflower is roasted in the oven, with the extra tasty upgrade of the grill’s smokiness.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with lemon, garlic, and toasted walnuts. Healthy, low carb, and satisfying! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

While you can make Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with little beyond olive oil, salt, and pepper, I added a few simple ingredients to give the recipe interest and depth. You’ll find lemon juice for brightness, garlic and parsley for freshness, a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat, and a shower of toasted walnuts for crunch. A brush of honey (or agave if you prefer to keep the Grilled Cauliflower Steaks vegan) balances the flavor and helps the cauliflower caramelize even more deeply on the grill.

A few tips for planning ahead:

  • One head of cauliflower will yield 3 thin or 2 thicker “steaks,” depending upon the side of your head of cauliflower, so if you are cooking for a crowd, plan accordingly.
  • You’ll have a handful of leftover florets from the sides of the cauliflower head once the steaks are cut from the center. Feel free to toss these into a grill basket and cook them right away beside the steaks, or refrigerate them for a different cauliflower recipe later in the week.
  • Main dish or side dish? Either! I devoured nearly two of these steaks for lunch with some greens, but I think this recipe would also be a perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken.
  • Switch it up. This simple grilled cauliflower recipe is easy to adapt. Try swapping the parsley, walnuts, and lemon for cilantro, almonds, and lime. Orange, black pepper, and scallions would be scrumptious too.
  • Upgrade. Try topping the grilled cauliflower steaks with Parmesan. I haven’t done this myself yet, but I suspect it would be delicious.
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Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with honey, lemon, and toasted walnuts. Tender, caramelized, and so satisfying! Perfect recipe for a simple side or light meal.

Yield: 4–6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large heads cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoons honey (use agave to make vegan)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:

  1. Remove the outer leaves from each cauliflower head. Cut off the bottom stem end so that you create a flat base and can stand the cauliflower up on a cutting board. Resting the cauliflower on the stem, use a large, sharp knife to trim away the sides, then cut the remaining head into 2 very thick or 3 more moderate “steaks.” Reserve the sides for another use (see notes). In a small bowl, stir together the lemon zest and lemon juice, garlic, and honey.
  2. Heat a grill to medium (about 350 degrees F). Brush one side of each cauliflower steak with the lemon–olive oil mixture and then sprinkle the brush sides with half of the salt. Place the salted side down on the hot grill, then brush the tops of the steaks with the olive oil mixture and season with the remaining salt. Cover the grill and let cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the bottom is beginning to char. Flip the cauliflower, then re-cover the grill and cook 5 additional minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Remove from the grill. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, parsley, and walnuts. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
  • The total cooking time will vary based upon how thick you slice the steaks, as well as your grill.
  • Ideas for leftover cauliflower florets: you can save them to roast or finely chop them and add them to a salad or stir-fry. If you prefer to cook them that night, you can also toss them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, then grill them in a grill basket and use them for salads, scrambled with eggs, or as a side.
  • HERE is a full list of additional cauliflower recipes, many of which are great ways to use up the leftover florets.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 6)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 126 Calories
  • Total Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 426mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 5g

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

18 comments

  1. in between all the froze and popsicles this summer, i think cauliflower steaks will be a darling for weeknight meal. it also happens to be one of my fav vegetable growing up!

  2. Erin, these look fabulous! Love that you cooked these on the grill- what a great way to showcase cauliflower :) Pinning!

  3. Lexi @Lexi'scleankitchen Reply

    Such a perfect appetizer!! Cannot wait to try this!

  4. The one problem I have with cauliflower steaks as an entree is that you don’t get protein.  Personally, I can’t survive without a good amount of protein in my meals.  So I would choose to do these as a side dish.  I’m not surprised that your first cauliflower steak was at a brewery – good breweries do good food when they do food.  The way my husband and I figure it, if they have good taste and creativity in making beer, it’s a small step to doing the same with food.  I’ve only been to one Wisconsin brewery, the Delafield Brewhaus near Waukesha, and hope to do more at some point.

  5. Ooh, I love cauliflower steaks! This is my kind of meal with the lemon and walnuts!

  6. I need a MAJOR oops reset!! (only mine has been like an oops month) Cauliflower looks great!

  7. LOVE the idea of grilling cauliflower! Yum!

  8. I like the Wisconsin brewery as a litmus test for cauliflower steaks. Lol. These look fantastic. I’m all about them! XOXO!

  9. haha i had cookies for dinner with wine, so ya, I need this. Love those steaks. So filling too! YUM!

  10. Love a good flavored cauliflower steak! I usually just roast it in the oven. Need to try grilling next time.

  11. Amazing, such a healthy option!

  12. I prefer to eat meals accompanied by meat, but when we have vegetarian friends coming around is nice to be prepared. This recipe will sure be a success, it’s amazing!

    Rating: 5

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