Cauliflower Steak with Montreal Seasoning and Herby Avocado Sauce
In honor of this glorious, three-day grilling weekend, I have a new kind of steak for you today. Move over meat—Cauliflower Steak is demanding space on the grate. Deeply caramelized, seasoned with a garlicky, peppery blend of spices, and finished with a creamy, herby avocado topping, these sassy vegetarian “steaks” can hold their own at any BBQ.
This recipe is sponsored by McCormick.
I tried grilled cauliflower steaks for the first time last summer, and they’ve become one of my favorite sides. They’re super quick and easy to prep, the grilling process is almost entirely hands free, and leftovers reheat nicely the next day.
With a hearty topping or an additional savory side, you can also make a filling, satisfying cauliflower steak meal.
Like its cousin roasted cauliflower, cauliflower steak is dramatically different from cauliflower in its raw form. Grilling the cauliflower takes it from ho-hum, I have to eat this to HELLO MY VEGETABLE LOVE GIVE ME MORE.
The heat of the grill transforms the cauliflower from crunchy and bland to a tender, richly-flavored veggie that’s lightly smoky, sweet, and addictive in a way you didn’t think applied to the vegetable that’s usually left behind on party veggie trays.
Seasoning the cauliflower steak is also critical to its flavor success. While salt, pepper, and olive oil alone will do, I think we deserve more.
About this Cauliflower Steak Recipe
To give this cauliflower steak powerful flavor that can compete with meaty options, I used GrillMates Montreal Seasoning. Most traditionally used to season steaks of the non-veggie variety, this bold-but-familiar blend combines steakhouse classics like black pepper, garlic, and paprika into a single, dynamite container. It gives the cauliflower steaks backbone and just the right amount of salt and heat.
To balance the kick of the Montreal, I topped the cauliflower steak with a twist on chimichurri—a fresh, herby, olive oil-based sauce that’s popular in South American cooking, especially on top of grilled meat. As I’d hoped, the classic pairing translates beautifully to grilled cauliflower.
For the chimichurri, in addition to classic ingredients like cilantro, parsley, and oregano (I used McCormick dried oregano—perfect!), I added diced jalapeño for an extra kick and avocado for more substance and to cool it down.
The next time I make this cauliflower steak recipe, I am doubling the avocado chimichurri. Ben ate a third of it with some combination of chips, a spoon, and (even though I can’t confirm this because I wasn’t in the kitchen at the time), I think he licked the bowl. The sauce VANISHED.
I also go into helpful detail (and share a delicious recipe!) in my post for lemon and walnut-topped , which is a bit more of a “how to cook cauliflower steak” type of post. If this is your first time, give that one a peek, then hop back on over here once you’re ready to cook them up, Montreal style.
What to Serve with Cauliflower Steaks
While cauliflower steak can be a hearty main dish, it’s also an excellent side, especially if you have a lighter main. Here are a few suggestions to serve along with it:
- Grilled Orange Chicken
- Burgers: Try this Sweet Potato Turkey Burger, this Avocado Burger, and this tasty, satisfying Vegan Burger recipe.
- A Hearty Salad: BLT Chopped Salad; Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad (<—this would be so steakhouse but not. I love it!)
- Crockpot Ribs
- Double up on the seasoning with this Grilled Salmon Montreal—if you go this route, I’d double up on the avocado sauce too!
- Any simple grilled fish or meat you love. The only thing I wouldn’t pick is a delicate, super mild white fish, as it wouldn’t stand up to the cauliflower steak’s big, bold flavor, a tasty problem to have.
Have you tried cauliflower steak yet? If not, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. It’s straightforward to prepare, and it’s helped me see new possibilities on the grill.
I hope this recipe does the same for you. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below!
- 2 large heads cauliflower about 2 1/2 pounds each
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon honey use agave to make vegan
- 2 tablespoons GrillMates Montreal Steak Seasoning divided
- Canola or vegetable oil for grilling
- 1 cup mixed fresh parsley and cilantro or a mix, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 jalapeño cored, seeded, and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice about 1 medium lime
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium ripe avocado peeled, pitted, and diced
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 or 3 1-inch “steaks,” depending upon the size of your cauliflower. Reserve the sides for another use (see notes). In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and honey. Brush half of the olive oil mixture over the top of the cauliflower steaks, then sprinkle 1 tablespoon Montreal seasoning over the top.
Prepare the avocado topping: in a medium bowl, whisk together the parsley and cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil. Add the avocado and gently stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Heat a grill to medium (about 350 degrees F). Place the seasoned side of the cauliflower steaks facing down on the hot grill, then brush the tops of the steaks with the remaining olive oil mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon Montreal seasoning.
Cover the grill and let cook for 6-8 minutes, until the bottom begins to char. Flip the cauliflower, then re-cover the grill and cook 5-7 additional minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. If your cauliflower is very thick, you may need to cook a few additional minutes per side. Remove from the grill. Serve hot with the avocado salsa and an extra sprinkle of salt as desired.
- If you live in a house of avocado lovers, I suggest doubling the sauce.
- Ideas for leftover cauliflower florets: you can save them to roast or finely chop them and add 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.
- Store leftover cauliflower steaks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 400 degree F oven until heated through, about 5-7 minutes. The avocado sauce can be refrigerated separately with a piece of plastic pressed over the top for 1 day.
- HERE is a full list of additional cauliflower recipes, many of which are great ways to use up the leftover florets.
- Nutrition was calculated using 2.5 total pounds of cauliflower, as some of the florets are cut away.
I am sharing this post in partnership with McCormick. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!
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