Cauliflower Steaks with Lemony Mashed Peas and Mint

These Cauliflower Steaks with Lemony Mashed Peas are full of flavor and texture and are so satisfying.  The savory and slightly sweet cauliflower steaks are roasted to perfection to create a golden crust.  They pair beautifully with the creamy and citrusy peas.  The peas offer plant-based protein and provide a bright and creamy bed for the roasted cauliflower steaks.  I like to garnish the dish with flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, lemon zest, fresh mint leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower Steak Recipe

This simple roasted cauliflower steak recipe is just so delicious and always impressive.  It is the perfect plant-based entree that puts cauliflower in the spotlight.  Cutting the cauliflower into thick slices with the core intact makes for a hearty and satisfying dish.  You could serve them with my green tahini sauce, chimichurri sauce or overtop the lemony mashed peas as shown here.  

This dish is perfect to transition into spring and would be excellent for spring entertaining with the bright green backdrop.  Springtime is always a great time to leverage lemon, peas and mint.  But, early spring can still be chilly here on the east coast so I appreciate the warmth that the oven roasted cauliflower steaks offer.  Whenever you decide to serve it I promise it will make for a memorable plant-based side dish or entree.  

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks Recipe

What are the health benefits of cauliflower?

Cauliflower is a nutrient-rich cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories while offering dietary fiber, vitamin C and folic acid.  Be sure to look at the nutrition facts in the recipe card below to see all the vitamins and minerals this recipe offers. 

This dish is a delicious way to get more cauliflower into your diet without it feeling like a chore.  Here, I used a head of white cauliflower but you could swap it for orange cauliflower, purple cauliflower or even romanesco.  

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Lemony Smashed Peas

How to choose the perfect head of cauliflower

The quality of your ingredients makes a huge difference in the final result.  So, it is important to know what to look for when selecting your produce.  According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, you want to look for cauliflower that is heavy for its size and with compact creamy white curds and bright green firmly attached leaves.  Skip cauliflower heads with brown spots or loose sections that are spread out. 

You can store raw uncut cauliflower in your refrigerator for up to five days.  If it comes wrapped in a tight plastic bag, it is best to leave it in that until you plan to use it.  The sooner you use it the sweeter it will be.   

Cauliflower Steaks with Smashed Peas

How to make cauliflower steaks

The first step to successful cauliflower steaks is cutting them properly.  With a large head of cauliflower you can get two to three steaks by cutting 3/4-inch slices from the top of the cauliflower.  Peel off the leaves and trim and level off the bottom of the cauliflower stem slightly.  Be sure to keep the core intact though.  Place the core side down and cut off the ends to release excess florets.  Save these and roast separately or use for cauliflower rice.  With the middle portion left, slice into two to three even steaks approximately 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick.  You don’t want to go too thin or they will not stay intact while roasting.  

How to prepare cauliflower for roasting

You want to ensure the cauliflower steaks are completely dry so I like to blot them with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from washing.  And always allow proper spacing between the cauliflower steaks on the baking sheet (or cast iron skillet) to avoid steaming the cauliflower (which results in a mushy texture).  I prefer to use a bare baking sheet or cast iron skillet and lightly grease it with olive oil for best results.  You can line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easier cleanup if you prefer but they might not get as caramelized and golden crispy brown on the exterior. 

Note: If you do use a cast iron skillet you will need to work in batches or use an extra large skillet.  

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

The Lemony Mashed Peas

To take this dish over the top, I love to serve the roasted cauliflower steaks over lemony mashed peas.  It is a quick and easy recipe to pull together and makes the dish so much more satisfying.  The peas add creaminess and texture plus they offer plant-based protein and iron.  I added my homemade vegan sour cream for some tang and brightened it up with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.  You can add fresh mint leaves into the mix too or save them for garnish.  Both ways are delicious.  

To make the lemony mashed peas, I like to use a bag of frozen peas and cook until just tender (3-5 minutes).  I then add them to a large food processor with the homemade vegan sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Pulse it until it reaches your desired texture.  I like it mostly smooth and creamy with some chunks of peas remaining. 

Want more addictive, easy vegetable side dish recipes in your life?

If you are a vegetable lover like me, you are always looking for the next best recipe that takes vegetables to the next level.  Here are some of my favorite simple vegetable side dishes for you to try (they are all vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free and gluten-free):

  1. Mini Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic and Herb Vegan Aioli
  2. Crispy Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  3. 10 Tips for Actually Crispy Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries
  4. Maple Roasted Butternut Squash 
  5. Perfectly Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  6. Whole Roasted Rainbow Carrots Over Creamy Hummus with Green Tahini Sauce 
  7. Roasted Green Cabbage with Green Tahini Sauce 
  8. Hemp Seed Crusted Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Green Tahini Sauce 
  9. Crispy Smashed Potatoes
  10. Restaurant-Style Sautéed Mushrooms
  11. Walnut Crusted Roasted Delicata Squash

Now, Let’s Make Some Cauliflower Steaks with Lemony Mashed Peas!

This easy roasted cauliflower steaks recipe will be an instant favorite vegetable side dish.  It is naturally vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly, nut-free and refined sugar-free so it works well for all types of diets. 

I cannot wait for you to give cauliflower steaks a try!  Let’s get roasting!

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Cauliflower Steaks with Lemony Mashed Peas

Cauliflower Steaks with Lemony Mashed Peas and Mint


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 5-6 cauliflower steaks 1x

Description

These Cauliflower Steaks with Lemony Mashed Peas are full of flavor and texture and are so satisfying.  The savory and slightly sweet cauliflower steaks are roasted to perfection to create a golden crust.  They pair beautifully with the creamy and citrusy peas.  The peas offer plant-based protein and provide a bright and creamy bed for the roasted cauliflower steaks.  I like to garnish the dish with flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, lemon zest, fresh mint leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Scale

Ingredients

Cauliflower Steaks

  • 2 large heads cauliflower
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Lemony Mashed Peas

  • 1 pound of peas, frozen
  • 1/2 cup homemade vegan sour cream
  • 1 lemon, zested*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup (optional)

Garnishes: drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, lemon zest, fresh mint leaves and lemon wedges


Instructions

For the cauliflower steaks:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and brush two half sheet rimmed baking sheets or a cast iron skillet with olive oil.  See notes for parchment paper baking sheet option.
  2. Remove the leaves and stem of the cauliflower but leave the core fully intact.  Place the cauliflower on the cutting board (core up) and cut each cauliflower head vertically through the core into two to three 3/4-inch thick steaks each.  Allow the ends of the cauliflower to fall off naturally and set the florets aside for other use (i.e. roasting separately or making cauliflower rice).
  3. Use a silicone brush to coat all sides and crevices of each cauliflower steak with olive oil and maple syrup.  Season both sides of each steak with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  4. Arrange the steaks in a single layer on the baking sheet or cast iron skillet leaving 1-inch around all sides of each steak to prevent them from steaming.  Roast for 30 minutes flipping halfway through until golden brown.  You can broil for an additional minute or two to help it caramelize.

Prepare the Lemony Mashed Peas

  1. Bring four cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Once it reaches a full rolling boil, place frozen peas in the water and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until peas are just tender.  Do not overcook.
  2. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water then drain the rest of the liquid through a colander.  Place the cooked peas in a food processor with 1/4 cup of the cooking water.  Add sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the processor.  Pulse 20-30 times until the pea mixture is chunky but mostly mashed.  Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.  You can also add a couple mint leaves to this mixture if desired (or save all the mint for garnish).

For serving, create individual plates with a couple spoonfuls of the mashed peas and one to two cauliflower steaks on each plate.  Or, serve everything on a platter with the entire smashed pea mixture spread out on the serving platter and all the cauliflower steaks fanned out overtop the peas.  Garnish the plates or platter with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, lemon zest, fresh mint leaves and lemon wedges.  Enjoy while the cauliflower steaks are piping hot.


Notes

For added healthy fats and plant-based protein, sprinkle hemp seeds overtop the dish.  You can also sprinkle hemp seeds overtop the cauliflower steaks prior to roasting.

For a perfect golden-brown sear, I like to use a cast iron skillet or roast against a bare baking sheet brushed lightly with oil.  If you are worried about the clean-up or the cauliflower steaks sticking to the bare baking sheet you can line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

*For me just zesting one large lemon was enough lemon flavor without thinning out the mashed peas too much.  However, you could add the juice of 1/2 or all of the lemon if you like.  It is up to you and how much lemon flavor you want in this dish.  You could also cut the zested lemon into wedges and serve with the dish.

  • Category: Side Dish or Entree
  • Method: Oven Roasted
  • Cuisine: American

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4 Comments

  1. Lydia

    Wow!! This looks amazing!!
    Guess I’ll be adding cauliflower to my grocery list… ?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Haha nice! Hope you loved it!

      Reply
  2. Natalie

    Made this for dinner tonight. Very easy and very tasty.

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Awesome! So glad you liked it and found the recipe easy 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.

      Reply

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