These cauliflower steaks feature a combination of flavors inspired by North African cuisine, taking the humble cauliflower and packing it with smoky, spicy, herbaceous, and citrusy flavor. This hearty gluten-free and vegan main dish will not disappoint! It’s remarkably easy to prepare and quick to cook.

Overhead shot of golden brown cauliflower steaks on a white serving plate. The steaks were finished with Chermoula and fresh parsley leaves, and there is a small bowl of Chermoula on the side.
Photo Credits: Elana Lepkowski

Cauliflower is becoming my muse! These cauliflower steaks are juicy, tender, comforting, and totally surprising! Before I started developing recipes I never saw cauliflower as my go-to ingredient, but now? I kind of love it!

Rather bland and tough on its own, it’s hard to imagine cauliflower can become a beautiful centerpiece, like the gorgeous whole roasted cauliflower with lemony whipped feta. Or a hearty and satisfying meat substitute to rival chicken or beef, as with our spicy cauliflower shawarma. When I perfected this cauliflower steak recipe I became convinced. Cauliflower is a hero ingredient—and totally underrated!

For this recipe, I brushed cauliflower steaks with smoky and mildly spicy harissa, a red chili paste you can find at our shop. Then, I roast them until lightly charred, super tender, and a little crispy at the edges. 

The golden brown cauliflower steaks are finished with chermoula dressing, a North African condiment made of garlic, citrus, warming spices, and fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro. You can make it fresh yourself, or substitute with a store-bought variety if you’d like to save time. 

The vibrant sauce balances the subtle heat from the harissa cauliflower steaks giving the whole meal a spicy, bright, fresh, and herby vibe that makes me love cauliflower even more! 

Table of Contents
  1. Cauliflower Steak Ingredients 
    1. For the Cauliflower Steaks
    2. For the Chermoula 
  2. How to Make Cauliflower Steaks
  3. Variations to this Recipe
  4. How to Store Cauliflower Steaks
  5. What to Serve with this Cauliflower Steak Recipe
  6. You'll Also Like: Vegan Dinner Recipes
  7. Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Harissa and Chermoula Recipe
Ingredients for cauliflower steak, including olive oil, one head of cauliflower, harissa paste, garlic, honey, dried oregano, fresh lime, Greek yogurt, Salt, and pepper.


Cauliflower Steak Ingredients 

With the wonderful expansion of offerings in local supermarkets I was able to find all of the ingredients for this cauliflower steak recipe at my local shop. If you have difficulty, many items can be found online at our shop or in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African food shops.


For the Cauliflower Steaks

  • Cauliflower: Choose a large cauliflower that is firm with tightly-packed florets and no browning or blemishes.
  • Harissa paste: A magical condiment made from roasted red peppers, Baklouti peppers, spices and herbs. You can also get rose harissa, made with rose petals. You can use either the standard or rose harissa for this recipe. Alternatively, you can make your own paste by following this easy homemade harissa recipe.
  • Garlic: Adds depth to the glaze.
  • Greek yogurt: Helps to bind the glaze to the cauliflower and adds creaminess. Use whole milk for the best flavor.
  • Flavor-makers: Dried oregano scents the cauliflower steak glaze. Salt and pepper enhance the flavor. Honey balances the citrus. Lime brings brightness.


For the Chermoula 

Here’s what you need for the herby condiment that enlivens these cauliflower steaks. Optionally, you can substitute with any store-bought variety, like the red chermoula from our shop).

  • Fresh herbs: Cilantro and parsley form the base of this vibrant green dressing.
  • Preserved lemon: Lemons that have been salted, packed into a jar and let to ferment for several weeks. A staple in Moroccan cuisine, you can make them yourself or find in the pickle or international foods section. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Loosens the chermoula to make it into a dressing and used to drizzle over before baking the cauliflower. Use a high quality extra virgin variety
  • Spices: Ground cumin, paprika (sweet or smoked) and Aleppo pepper flavor the dressing and add heat. Salt and pepper enhance the other ingredients.
  • Lime: Creates a citrusy tang and lifts the flavors.
  • Honey: Balances the citrus in both the dressing and the glaze. Use a high quality variety, like our Greek Alfa honey.
Zoomed in Side shot of a cauliflower steak on a white plate with a metal fork.


How to Make Cauliflower Steaks

The recipe has two components: the chermoula dressing and the harissa-marinated cauliflower steaks. Here’s how you make it:

  • Get ready. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Make the harissa glaze. In a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons of harissa paste, 2 crushed or minced garlic cloves (minced for a stronger flavor), 1 tablespoon of honey and Greek yogurt, and 1 teaspoon of oregano. Squeeze in the juice of ½ of a lime and whisk until fully combined.A white bowl showing a red harissa glaze with flecks of oregano and a pastry brush on the side.
  • Dress the cauliflower. Remove a cauliflower’s outer leaves at the base, then into 1-inch thick planks. Place on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Then brush each side generously with the harissa glaze. Five cauliflower planks on a parchment-lined sheet tray. The cauliflower planks have been seasoned with salt and pepper and brushed with harissa glaze. They are spaced apart to allow them to crisp and turn golden brown.
  • Roast the cauliflower. Drizzle the cauliflower steaks with olive oil and bake on the center rack until they’re tender and a little charred, about 30 minutes.Close up of a roasted cauliflower steak, showing the charred edges.
  • Start the chermoula (or substitute with our favorite jarred chermoula if you’d like). Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse the tender leaves and stems of 1 cup of cilantro and ½ cup of parsley. Then add a chopped preserved lemon (discard any seeds), ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon paprika, a small pinch of Aleppo pepper, 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze in the other lime half. 
  • Blend. With the food processor on low speed, drizzle in ½ cup of olive oil. Watch it as it blends. This step should not take very long at all. Don’t over-process the mixture; chermoula is not meant to be a runny sauce! It should still have a little texture to it at the end. Once it looks like the flavors have melded, turn off your food processor. Taste a little and adjust the seasoning or lime juice to your taste.Food processor with Chermoula that has been blended, showing the slightly chunky texture.
  • Assemble and serve. When the cauliflower steaks are cooked to your liking, remove the tray from the oven. Plate up the cauliflower steaks onto your serving dish and then spoon the chermoula dressing over top just before serving.
Cauliflower steaks on a white serving plate finished with Chermoula with a small bowl of Chermoula on the side.


Variations to this Recipe

This cauliflower steak recipe can be tweaked to your liking. Here are some ideas: 

  • Use red charmoula. We love Villa Jerada’s version, which uses sun dried tomatoes to add another layer of flavor. You can find it over at our shop
  • Experiment with the harissa. Use rose harissa or other harissa varieties, such as apricot. 
  • Change the vegetable. The harissa glaze and chermoula dressing are a gorgeous combination. You can keep these mouthwatering flavors and substitute the cauliflower for carrots, sweet potato, potatoes, or butternut squash.
Overhead shot of cauliflower steak on a white plate with a fork and knife crossing on the plate and chermoula dressing on top.


How to Store Cauliflower Steaks

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can either reheat in a microwave or in a medium oven.


What to Serve with this Cauliflower Steak Recipe

This dish can either be served as a main dish surrounded by other vegetarian delights or as a side dish accompanying a meaty main.

Serve cauliflower steaks as a vegetarian centerpiece with the Crispiest Garlic Smashed Potatoes, Easy Grilled Vegetable Kabobs, Easy Pita Bread, and the BEST Beet Hummus. Alternatively, serve as a spectacular side with Super Tender Braised Lamb Shanks.

You'll Also Like: Vegan Dinner Recipes

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Try our favorite Red Chermoula and Harissa Spread by by Villa Jerada.

One bottle of harissa paste and one bottle of red chermoula from Villa Jerada.
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Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Harissa and Chermoula

photo of author mersedeh prewer.Mersedeh Prewer
Two cauliflower steaks attractively layered on a plate with one resting on top of the other. Both have been dressed with green Chermoula. There is a small bowl of Chermoula on the side and a metal fork on the plate.
Cauliflower steaks are marinated in a smoky and spicy harissa glaze then baked until lightly charred. To top this delicious offering, an herby and citrusy chermoula dressing is spooned over to create a medley of gorgeous North African flavors for this vegetarian, gluten-free dish.
Prep – 20 minutes
Cook – 30 minutes
Total – 50 minutes
Cuisine:
Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
Serves – 4
Course:
Entree, Entree or Side Dish

Ingredients
  

For the Harissa Cauliflower Steaks

  • 3 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the Chermoula Dressing (or substitute with storebought)

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • ½ cup parsley leaves and tender stems
  • 1 small preserved lemon, seeds removed and coarsely chopped (rind and all)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • Small pinch of Aleppo pepper
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Instructions
 

  • Get ready. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Make the harissa glaze. In a small bowl, add the harissa paste, garlic, honey, oregano, lime juice, and yogurt. Whisk until fully combined.
  • Dress the cauliflower. Remove the cauliflower’s outer leaves at the base, then into 1-inch thick planks. Place on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Then brush each side generously with the harissa glaze.
  • Roast the cauliflower. Drizzle the cauliflower steaks with olive oil and bake on the center rack until tender and a little charred, about 30 minutes.
  • Start the Chermoula. Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse the cilantro and parsley until they are coarsely chopped. Then add the preserved lemon, cumin, paprika, Aleppo pepper, lime juice, honey, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Blend. With the food processor on low speed, and drizzle in the olive oil. Watch it as it blends. This step should not take very long at all. Don’t over-process the mixture; chermoula is not meant to be a runny sauce! It should still have a little texture to it at the end. Once it looks like the flavors have melded, turn off your food processor. Taste a little and adjust the seasoning or lime juice to your taste.
  • Assemble and serve. When the cauliflower steaks are cooked to your liking, remove the tray from the oven. Spread the cauliflower steaks onto your serving dish and then spoon the chermoula dressing over top just before serving.

Video

Notes

  • For the herbs: Be sure to trim the tough woody bits off the stem, but not too much as the stems contain a lot of flavor. 
  • You can use high quality store-bought chermoula or make ahead of time. Pour the dressing into a sealable container, drizzle a layer of olive oil on top, and place it in your fridge until you are ready to use. 
  • If you don’t use all of the chermoula with the cauliflower, this dressing typically lasts up to 5 days in the fridge. Use as a condiment for meat–like our Beef Tenderloin Roast Recipe–sandwiches, salads, and more.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 322.1kcalCarbohydrates: 18.7gProtein: 4.1gFat: 27.7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.9gMonounsaturated Fat: 19.8gCholesterol: 0.2mgSodium: 203.3mgPotassium: 579.7mgFiber: 4.3gSugar: 10.6gVitamin A: 1060.1IUVitamin C: 87.6mgCalcium: 70.6mgIron: 1.9mg
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Mersedeh Prewer is a Persian-British recipe developer born, raised and currently living in the United Kingdom. She is passionate about all cuisines but her writing primarily focuses on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. She is a recipe contributor to both The Kitchn and Simply Recipes.
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Comments

  1. Roasted Cauliflower Steaks With Harissa And Chermoula is not vegan,
    the recipe states to use Greek yogurt (or while milk) and honey.