Grilled Cauliflower Steaks are a completely healthy and delicious way to cook cauliflower on a grill. Seasoned with lemon and fresh herbs, this will quickly become your new favorite cauliflower recipe! Grilled cauliflower steaks are my “oops” remedy of the week.
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 healthy vegetable like cauliflower, shall we?
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.
Grilled Cauliflower Steaks — Veggie Skeptics Approve
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, cauliflower tots, cauliflower rice and cauliflower steaks are 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.
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.
Grilled Cauliflower Cooking Tips
- 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! Just like these Cabbage Steaks, I devoured them for lunch with some greens, but I think this recipe would also be a perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken. Or even these Portobello Mushroom Burgers!
- 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.
More Healthy Cauliflower Recipes
Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
- 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 olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, garlic, and honey.
- 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.
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