Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Walnut Pesto

cauli steaksGive cauliflower special steak treatment while keeping it 100% vegan and satisfyingly Paleo. Simply grill large florets until nicely charred, and top with a lemon walnut pesto!


If you’re trying to eat more veggies but still want to sink your teeth into something satisfying, give cauliflower steaks a try! These hearty slices of cauliflower are super versatile and can stand up to grilling without getting soggy. Plus, you’ll get a fantastic smoky flavor that can’t be achieved by steaming or baking alone.


To create the steaks, slice a large head of cauliflower into 1-inch pieces. Be sure to leave the stem attached because this is what holds the steaks in place and prevents the florets from falling off. The first couple of slices might crumble off because they are not attached to the stem.


Keep slicing carefully until you have four good pieces. Next, drizzle them with avocado oil to help create grill marks and prevent sticking. You can also season the steaks with herbs — dried basil, oregano, and thyme would all taste great.


Grill the cauliflower steaks for about three minutes per side, then finish them off with a bright, earthy and dairy-free pesto! Basil is blended up with walnuts, avocado oil, lemon zest, garlic and a touch of sea salt to create a nutty, herbal sauce that compliments the smokiness of the grilled cauliflower perfectly!


Enjoy this healthy vegan dish that’s perfect for summertime entertaining, and finish with a batch of fresh-baked coconut flour chocolate chip cookies!

cauli steaks



  • Don’t salt the cauliflower until after you’re done grilling.
  • If you don’t have a grill, you can achieve similar results with a cast iron pan on your stovetop.
  • Reheat leftover cauliflower steaks in a pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, covered with the lid.
  • You can make the pesto a day ahead of time for faster prep. It also tastes great over meat, pasta, and veggie noodles!


  • Food processor
  • Small jar
  • Grill or cast iron grill pan

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 25 minutes Serves: 4



For Walnut Pesto:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
  • ½ cup raw walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ t flaky sea salt
  • ¼ t red pepper flakes

For the Grilled Cauliflower Steaks:

  • 2 T avocado oil, divided
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, sliced into 4 (1-inch) “steaks”
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • ¼ t black pepper


Put all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a jar. Preheat the grill by greasing with avocado oil, or heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron grill pan for 3 minutes. Drizzle the cauliflower steaks on both sides with the remaining avocado oil. Set the steaks on the hot grill, working in batches of two if you’re using a cast iron pan. Grill for 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with walnut pesto and serve warm!

cauli steaks


You may also enjoy:

Crispy Clean Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Tasty Cauliflower Tortilla

Creamy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Is cauliflower a staple in your pantry? How do you like to enjoy it? I'd love to hear in the comments below.