These Vegan Cauliflower Steaks are quick and easy to cook. The savory flavors of cumin and black pepper are baked deep into the tender and juicy cauliflower. Each bite pairs perfectly with this creamy sweet potato and carrot puree rich in beta-carotene. This dish can be prepared and cooked in 30 minutes.
This recipe is a match made in heaven for your next special occasion. I've served it at dinner parties and holiday meals. It's my go-to: dairy-free, gluten-free, low-inflammatory, and vegan entree.
One of my favorite things to do is, cook for people. Holidays bring a lot of opportunities to show gratitude for the people I love most, and hosting someone for a delicious meal fills me up, and them too! This recipe fits on a restaurant menu and will bring raving reviews from your guests.
The beta-carotene puree has rich, deep flavors from the sweet potato and carrots but is perfectly lifted with cinnamon and coconut milk. I chose to top mine with poppy and sesame seeds, but chopped parsley would look amazing too!
Why you'll love this dish
Nourishing - the pureed root veggies will ground you while the digestion-enhancing spices (turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin) will nourish your body and leave you feeling satiated.
Aesthetically pleasing - whether you're looking for an easy, wholesome entree or planning on hosting guests, this dish will not only wow their tastebuds, but it looks beautiful. The bright pop of orange under a sizzling cauliflower steak really sets the plate.
Skin-booster - OK win-win, right? The sweet potato helps regulate hormones, while cinnamon calms the nervous system, but it's the cauliflower that really helps the skin glow. Packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, minerals, and dietary fiber for the gut.
On the difficulty scale, this dish is definitely in the easy category. With limited ingredients, most found in your pantry, you'll have a fresh-tasting and nourishing dish prepared quickly. Here's a look at what you'll need:
Cauliflower - the main attraction here! You'll want to find a large cauliflower so you can cut it into four steaks. If the cauliflower is small, you'll only get two steaks.
Sweet potato - this sets the base of the puree and really brings that smooth but thick texture!
Carrots - give this dish a beta-carotene boost. It also evens out the sweet potato and allows the digestive-warming spices to come in.
Coconut milk - added to the puree when blending for a smooth and sweet addition.
Lemon juice - mixed with oil and cumin to slather the steaks in the acidity is light and barely noticeable but necessary for the cumin flavor to pop.
Spices - Turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin are all tasted throughout this dish.
The trickiest part of this recipe will be cutting the cauliflower to ensure each steak is thick enough without any breakage. Your aiming for 1-2 inch thick slices. If you cut the steaks too thin, you'll risk the "steak" falling apart into florets. While they'll still be edible (and delicious), you won't get that steak vibe.
Here's my example, a full recipe card with detailed instructions at the bottom of this page.
Cut the cauliflower head in half through the core. Then take one half and cut it again into two pieces. Trim the outer side so that the steaks lay flat on either side. In the end, you should have four steaks. Because my cauliflower was small, I cut it in half and trimmed the outer side for two steaks.
Brush each side with the oil mixture and place on nonstick baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Slide them into the oven to bake!
Make the puree by boiling the carrots and sweet potato until tender, and then blend with all other ingredients until a smooth, spreadable mixture forms.
Tip: keep an eye on the roasted cauliflower while it bakes and cook to your liking. Some like the outer a little burnt and crunchy, while others might prefer soft and tender. I personally like it tender and juicy with a little browning on the top.
While the steak needs to be from cauliflower, you can make changes to the puree. If sweet potatoes/carrots are not your thing, butternut squash would be the best alternative.
For the oil, you can use coconut, olive, or avocado. I use avocado since it has a very light flavor.
For the garnish, you can use poppy and sesame seeds, as I did, or chop some fresh herbs to sprinkle on top; parsley would be perfect!
You'll need to blend the puree using a high-speed or food processor. I have both options, but I prefer my Vitamix blender, which has a soup option that keeps the temperature of the puree warm.
Store the puree separately from the roasted cauliflower in the fridge. Reheat and recombine when ready. Good for 2-3 days.
Besides cutting the cauliflower steaks thick enough, my best tip is to ensure they are fully slathered in the olive oil mixture so all the juicy flavors can soak in as it bakes. If your cauliflower was large or you feel you don't have enough, make a second batch!
Vegan Cauliflower Steaks
- 1 blender high-speed blender or food processor
For the Cauliflower:
- 1 large head of Cauliflower
- ¼ cup oil (avocado, olive, or coconut oil) if using coconut oil, ensure it is melted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
For the beta-carotene puree:
- 3 medium carrots sliced into thick chunks
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- ½ cup parsley chopped for garnish
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds and seseme seeds for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400° Farenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchement paper.
- Slice the cauliflower in half through the core. Take one half and slice again ensuring the width of both steaks is at least an inch. Repeat with the second half so there are four steaks in total.
- Whisk the oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt and black pepper together in a small bowl. Brush the top of the cauliflower with ½ of the mixture.
- Roast the cauliflower steaks in the oven for 15 minutes. Once done gently turn the steak over and brush the other side with the remaining mixture. The steaks should be adequatly basted in the mixture. Continue roasting for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden and tender or to your preference.
- While the cauliflower roasts prepare the puree. Remove the skin and chop the vegetables. Place the carrots and sweet potato in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until tender.
- Drain the carrots and sweet potatoes and place them in the blender or food processor with the coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt. Blend on high, stopping to push the contents down as needed until smooth and spreadable. If needed you can add 1 more tablespoon of coconut milk but the less liquid the better.
- Assemble the plate by spreading the puree on the bottom, top with the cauliflower steaks and add the garnish.