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Grilled Cauliflower Steaks are tender and juicy inside, charred and lightly smoky on the outside. They’ll deliciously satisfy even the most dedicated carnivore.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks on a white oval platter

If you’re wondering what sets these apart from other recipes, there’s one secret: butter. Just a pat of it just before you take these off the grill to melt into every little crevice and make these irresistible.

Ingredients for Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

grilled cauliflower steak recipe ingredients on a marble board
  • Large Cauliflower Heads: You’ll need 2 large heads of cauliflower for 4 thick steaks. Look for tight, bright white heads that are heavy for their size.
  • Olive Oil: Any variety that you have on hand will work here.
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Butter: If you use unsalted butter, finish with an extra sprinkle of kosher salt.
  • Lemon: To serve in wedges, optional.

How to Cut Cauliflower Steaks

For the best cauliflower steaks, start with a large head of cauliflower. Set the head of cauliflower on a cutting board with the stem side down and cut in half, from top to bottom with a very sharp knife. Then carefully slice off a 1 to 1 1/2-inch thick ‘steak’ from the cut-side of each half, taking care to leave the stem intact. (See photos below.)

slicing steaks from cauliflower head on black cutting board

How to Use Leftover Cauliflower Florets

You’ll get two, thick and beautiful cauliflower steaks from one large head of cauliflower. This means that you’ll end up with leftover cauliflower florets. Fortunately there are infinite cauliflower recipes to make good use of them. Here are a few ideas:

  • Leave them in large pieces and grill them along with the steaks. (Use a grill basket if you end up with small florets.)
  • Save them for another day to make Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower or simply steam or pan fry them for a simple side dish.
  • Whirl them in your food processor to make ‘rice’ for Cauliflower Fried Rice.
  • Steam them to make mashed cauliflower, which would be excellent served as a bed for these Grilled Cauliflower Steaks!

Recipe Options

Though wonderful prepared simply, these cauliflower steaks have endless options for embellishment. Here are some great options:

  • Brush the steaks with BBQ sauce in the last few minutes of grilling.
  • Add extra seasoning like smoked paprika, parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and/or fresh cilantro.
  • Spoon on Green Olive Tapenade or Artichoke Tapenade before serving.
  • Smash an anchovy filet or two into the butter before adding it at the end (my favorite!).
  • Make these naturally gluten free steaks vegan and dairy free by finishing with a drizzle of good olive oil instead of butter.


What is a cauliflower steak?

A cauliflower steak is a thick slice of raw cauliflower, cut from the center of a cauliflower head, leaving the stem intact. You can get two thick slices (steaks) from one large head of cauliflower. Great for grilling and standing in for meat as in this Cauliflower Piccata.

How do you know when cauliflower is cooked?

You’ll know when cauliflower is cooked when a sharp knife pierces easily into the flesh. Take care not to over cook cauliflower as it can turn mushy and unpleasant. You want the texture to retain some bite.

What to Serve Alongside

How to Make Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

Cut two 1 to 1 1/2-inch slices from the center of two large cauliflower heads. Brush the sides of each steak with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

cutting and seasoning cauliflower steaks

Grill cauliflower steaks over medium heat until tender inside; 7 minutes on the first side and 5 to 7 minutes on the second side. Top each steak with a butter pat 1 minute before removing from grill. Transfer to platter and serve immediately.

grilling cauliflower steaks and finishing with butter

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

5 from 8 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 14 minutes
Total: 24 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Calories: 241
Servings: 4 people
Smoky, juicy cauliflower steaks – perfectly charred and finished with butter.


  • 2 large heads cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • fresh lemon wedges optional
  • fresh parsley chopped, for garnish


  • Trim leaves from cauliflower heads and slice off just enough of the stem so the head will sit flat.
  • Place one cauliflower head upright on a cutting board and starting at the center cut in half from the top straight down with a sharp knife. Cut 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick slices from each half, leaving the stem intact. Repeat with second cauliflower head so you have 4 equal steaks. (Reserve remaining cauliflower for another use. See recipe note #1)
  • Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium.
  • Brush each side of cauliflower steaks with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Grill cauliflower steaks for 7 minutes on the first side to develop visible grill marks. Gently flip with tongs and grill 5 to 7 minutes more to your desired tenderness. During the last minute of grilling, top each steak with a pat of butter to melt into all of the crevices. Transfer to platter along with lemon wedges (optional), and garnish with parsley; serve immediately.


  1. You can leave the remaining cauliflower florets in large pieces to grill along with the steaks. Or make cauliflower mash to serve under the grilled steaks for a main dish.


Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 860mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 139mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Valentina says:

    5 stars
    Marissa, this recipe is so awesome. Love the simplicity of the ingredients and how much delicious flavor you get out of them. And it’s pretty, too! 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thanks so much, Valentina!

  2. Ben | Havocinthekitchen says:

    5 stars
    I will be honest: while cauliflower stakes and similar “stake” ideas look stunning, that won’t be my first option for everyday meals. I prefer my vegetables bite-sized. However, if you entertaining some guests, that’s a great option – a “wow!” effect is guaranteed:) And if served with some sauce / dressing (thinking of blue cheese), that will certainly be the star of the dinner! Awesome presentation here!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thanks so much, Ben!

  3. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says:

    5 stars
    Grilled cauliflower steaks are the best! I’ve never tried your trick of adding butter during the last minute of cooking – I LOVE that idea!!!! I bet it’s the perfect touch of rich taste and decadence! I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I’m so excited for you to try the butter finish, Cheyanne! It adds that little extra ‘something’! 🙂

  4. Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    I’m the sole cauliflower eater at our house Marissa! But I don’t care, because I’d rather have it all to myself. I love grilled cauli steaks. Such a light, tasty, healthy recipe for summer. Pinned!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      haha…love it, Mary Ann! Thank you!