Tender Roasted Tahini Cauliflower Steak served with lentils for a hearty, protein packed vegan dinner. The cauliflower is coated in an herby tahini dressing that roasts the cauliflower to golden perfection.
One thing I strive for is to make veggies taste amazing for Gregory. I put in the extra effort because he is someone that isn’t a fan of veggies. And when he says he doesn’t like a specific vegetable, I strive to make them the tastiest.
And after I made this cauliflower for him, his eyes went wide with the first bite and he said “wow, this is amazing.” That is the highest compliment in my opinion.
Why You’ll Love This Roasted Cauliflower & Lentils
- A great alternative to a meaty dish. You still get the protein from the lentils and having it paired with the roasted cauliflower provides a lovely tender and flavorful savory chew.
- Pretty easy to assemble. The hardest part is cutting the cauliflower and that is only because you want to make sure that the cauliflower stays in a steak shape. After that, you just baste it and roast.
- The cauliflower and lentils are vegan, high protein thanks to the lentils, gluten-free and nut-free.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Cauliflower: Make sure you use a medium or large head of cauliflower. A larger head of cauliflower will allow you to cut decent sized steaks without the florets breaking apart.
- Lentils: I like cooking up more tender lentils like black lentils to pair with the cauliflower. It’s a nice bite and chew to compliment the cauliflower. You can use other lentils like brown lentils or any other small lentils like French lentils. If you use red lentils, just note it will be more mushy, so up to you how you wish to prepare.
- Tahini: Helps make this dish nut-free, but can be substituted with a nut or seed butter that is natural with only the nut/seed listed in the ingredients (with salt if applicable).
- Tamari: Can be substituted for coconut aminos or use a gluten-free soy sauce.
- Herbs: I used a mix of parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage. Mince finely to add to the sauce to coat the cauliflower. You can change to your favorite herb mix, but I really love using fresh herbs.
- Nutritional Yeast: I’m always partial to nutritional yeast. It’s not necessary, but if you are a fan like I am, I love how it provides a lovely flavor and crust to the cauliflower.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic. If needed, you can sub for garlic powder. I would use about 1 teaspoon garlic powder as a substitute.
How to Make Your Cauliflower & Lentils
Start with cooking your lentils. Rinse and drain your dry lentils and then place in a sauce pan along with some vegetable broth, rosemary and thyme. Now cook until they have absorbed a majority of the liquid and are tender. If there is excess liquid, you can drain it in a colander and set aside.
Preheat your oven and then trim around your cauliflower stem to clean it. I like to cut through the stem to create 3-4 cauliflower steaks. Cutting through the stem helps in my opinion, keep the cauliflower more whole.
Mix your remaining sauce ingredients together in a bowl and then with a brush or spoon, carefully coat your cauliflower on both sides. Place the cauliflower pieces on a lined baking sheet and bake at a high heat to make the cauliflower tender. Then set the cauliflower to a broil until golden. Then remove from the oven and serve with the lentils.
Expert Tips for the Perfect Roasted Cauliflower Steak
- Keep the cauliflower stem intact. This will help guide you in cutting your cauliflower steaks and keep their shape without the florets falling apart. When cutting the cauliflower, I tend to place the head of the cauliflower on the cutting board with the stem facing up and then cut through the stem to help keep the pieces together.
- Don’t waste any of the cauliflower. You can use extra sauce to coat the remaining cauliflower florets to roast in the oven. Still tender and delicious. If you’d like additional cauliflower steaks, use 2 cauliflower heads and double the sauce.
- Use fresh herbs to bring out the most flavor in your cauliflower. You can try dry herbs, but I find the fresh herbs make all the difference for the flavor in the cauliflower.
- High heat is necessary for a tender cauliflower. Roast at 425F to make the inside soft, and then broil to help make the cauliflower nice and golden on the outside. Just make sure to watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Want to make the cauliflower crispy? You can sprinkle some panko bread crumbs overtop the cauliflower to bake in the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cauliflower “steak” refers to a slab of cauliflower that is cut from stem to floret to hold it together into one solid piece that can be roasted or grilled until tender. Since cauliflower is bland in flavor, seasoning it with different sauces or marinades allows it to acquire a variety of different flavors.
You can still make this work with another natural nut butter. Just make sure to use some natural nut or seed butters that only have a nut or seed along with nothing else but salt if applicable.
Make sure to use a good quality tahini. My favorite brands include Soom Foods and Whole Foods 365 Tahini. If you are using a different brand, make sure that your tahini is made with just smooth and not bitter.
How to Serve
This recipe is designed to compliment the roasted cauliflower with the cooked lentils. You can also pair this with some quinoa, millet or rice for some extra starch. I also like to sauté some extra vegetables and top with some healthy fats like this simple herby tahini sauce.
More Hearty Vegan Meals
- Easy Homemade Seitan Stir-Fry
- Savory Mixed Vegetable Lentil Curry
- Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Nourish Bowl
- Chili Lime Tofu Skillet
- Chipotle Orange Chickpeas
Tender Roasted Tahini Cauliflower Steaks served with lentils for a hearty, protein packed vegan dinner. The cauliflower is coated in an herby tahini dressing that roasts the cauliflower to golden perfection.
- 1 cup dry black lentils, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- 1 small piece of fresh rosemary
- 1 medium sized cauliflower
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp gluten-free tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/8 cup minced herbs (I did a mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2–3 tbsp water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Set oven to 425F. Place the lentils, vegetable broth, thyme and rosemary in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then set to a simmer. Cook the lentils according to package until the lentils are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid.
- Trim the leaves away from your cauliflower and then cut the cauliflower head into 3-4 even slabs.
- Add the tahini, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, herbs, and garlic to a small bowl and whisk together. When the mixture clumps together, whisk in the water to thin the mixture out.
- Brush the cauliflower with the mixture on both sides and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking tray in an oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then, set oven to high broil and allow to cook for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the edges are golden.
- Allow to cool for at least 5 mins before serving along with the lentils.
Keep the cauliflower stem intact. This will help guide you in cutting your cauliflower steaks and keep their shape without the florets falling apart. When cutting the cauliflower, I tend to place the head of the cauliflower on the cutting board with the stem facing up and then cut through the stem to help keep the pieces together.
Don’t waste any of the cauliflower. You can use extra sauce to coat the remaining cauliflower florets to roast in the oven. Still tender and delicious. If you’d like additional cauliflower steaks, use 2 cauliflower heads and double the sauce.
Use fresh herbs to bring out the most flavor in your cauliflower. You can try dry herbs, but I find the fresh herbs make all the difference for the flavor in the cauliflower.
High heat is necessary for a tender cauliflower. Roast at 425F to make the inside soft, and then broil to help make the cauliflower nice and golden on the outside. Just make sure to watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Want to make the cauliflower crispy? You can sprinkle some panko bread crumbs overtop the cauliflower to bake in the oven.
Keywords: Roasted Tahini Cauliflower Steak with Lentils, roasted cauliflower, tahini cauliflower
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