Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Purée

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An elegant vegetarian dish: roasted cauliflower steaks atop a flavorful cauliflower purée. Good to eat and good for you!

Cauliflower steak on cauliflower puree.

The idea for this recipe came to me after I discovered an amazing documentary series on Netflix called Chef’s Table, which debuted last year. Each episode of the show focuses on a world-renowned chef and gives an intimate view of their life, their restaurants and their journey to mastering their craft. It’s beautifully done and so inspiring — I binge-watched the entire first season in just a few days. You can watch the trailer below.

One of the featured chefs on the series is Dan Barber, the chef and co-owner of Blue Hill in Manhattan and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. After learning about him, I was eager to try some of his recipes; a quick Google search led me to his Cauliflower Steak with Cauliflower Purée in Bon Appétit and Food52’s Genius Recipes column. The recipe goes along with Barber’s nose-to-tail, whole-farm eating approach, as he uses the center of the cauliflower to make the “steaks” and the remaining florets to make the purée. I love the idea as a way to jazz up the trendy cauliflower steak, so I decided to feature my own slightly adapted version here.

What you’ll need to make Cauliflower steaks

Ingredients including chicken broth, sea salt, and vegetable oil.

How to make Cauliflower steaks

To begin, use a sharp knife to cut two 1-inch-thick slices from the center of the cauliflower. Cut the remaining florets into 1/2-inch pieces.

Knife with cauliflower cut into steaks and florets.

In a medium pot, bring the broth and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add the cauliflower and bring back to a boil. 

Skillet of cauliflower florets.

Cover, reduce the heat to low and steam for about 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender.

Skillet of cooked cauliflower florets.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Add 1/2 cup of the broth from the pot, along with the butter.

Cooked cauliflower florets and butter in a food processor.

Process until smooth, then add the thyme and process until just combined.

Pureed cauliflower in a food processor.

Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower steaks to the skillet, nice side down (whichever side is prettier), and then drizzle the cauliflower steaks with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle each steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Cauliflower steaks in a pan.

Cook until the first side is golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Flip the cauliflower steaks over and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until tender, about 10 minutes.

Browned cauliflower steaks in a pan.

Rewarm the cauliflower purée. Then, divide the purée between 2 plates, and top each with a cauliflower steak, nice side up.

Cauliflower steak over cauliflower puree.

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Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Purée

An elegant vegetarian dish: roasted cauliflower steaks atop a flavorful cauliflower purée. Good to eat and good for you!

Servings: 2
Total Time: 45 Minutes


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a sharp heavy knife and starting at top center of cauliflower head, cut two 1-inch-thick slices of cauliflower, cutting through stem end and leaving the leaves intact. Set the cauliflower steaks aside. Cut the remaining florets into ½-inch pieces.
  2. In a medium pot, bring the chicken or vegetable broth and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the cauliflower and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and steam for about 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Add ½ cup of the broth from the pot, along with the butter, and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the thyme and process until just combined. Discard the remaining broth and transfer the cauliflower purée back to the pot.
  3. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower steaks to the skillet, nice side down (whichever side is prettier), and then drizzle the cauliflower steaks with the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle each steak with ¼ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Cook until the first side is golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Flip the cauliflower steaks over and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Rewarm the cauliflower purée over medium heat. Divide the purée between 2 plates, and then top each with a cauliflower steak, nice side up.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (2 servings)
  • Calories: 353
  • Fat: 33g
  • Saturated fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Sodium: 1376mg
  • Cholesterol: 49mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • I was at our cabin this weekend and had a head of cauliflower to cook. It was super hot so I didn’t want to heat up the cabin with the oven so I just sliced the cauliflower and pan seared it in a pan as directed (didn’t do the purée). I don’t think I will cook cauliflower any other way from now on!!! So delicious!

    • — Heather D on September 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made the cauliflower steaks as part of a vegetarian Indian meal & they were absolutely delicious.

    • — Lynn on October 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious recipe! I make it once a month. The purée has a great texture, excellent taste and compliments the steaks perfectly. Plus this dish is easy to make.
    Thank you Jenn!

    • — Christina Maffia
    • Reply
  • I often roast cauliflower florets, adding garlic cloves to the sheet pan. The intention is to serve this with pasta (mashing the garlic cloves with some EVOO), but most of the cauliflower ‘disappears’ right from the pan!
    For this recipe, I had some already-roasted garlic cloves and blended a couple into the sauce. The ‘steaks’ cooked perfectly in a carbon steel skillet.
    Thank you for this recipe: the presentation is beautiful and it’s absolutely delicious!

  • How is it possible for cauliflower to taste this good and look this pretty. We just got back from vacation; we ate our weight in all the things. I told my husband that tonight we were having cauliflower steak. You should have seen his face… then you should have seen it after his first bite. Delicious. The purée absolutely elevated the dish to something phenomenal.

  • Sure wish I had bought the BIGGEST cauliflower in the store! The puréed vegetable is sooo good! But the presentation with the flower slice makes this dish. I used an immersion blender to purée the steamed cauliflower as I didn’t want to wash snd put away a bigger appliance. It worked fine.

  • I’ve made your Golden Roasted Cauliflower often and was anxious to try this recipe as well. The presentation was beautiful; I can imagine making this with purple cauliflower! I used homemade vegetable broth and added about 1/2 cup of pureed cannelini beans for a little protein. This was excellent and another of your ‘5 star’ recipes!

    • Great idea to add cannelini beans to the puree. (Need a protein oomph for the hubby.) Thanks for the tip!

  • This was absolutely delicious. My husband thinks I’m a chef now! I used vegetable broth and a vegan butter.

  • Really liked this idea and it tasted great. I find chicken broth produces a richer flavor than vegetable broth (in general) and used it here. I enjoyed making this and seeing how it came together for the final presentation. Not particularly filling, so next will make it with something else (like the suggested salad). Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

  • Bland!

  • Hi Jenn, First off, you are my first source I go to when searching for recipes…and you have never disappointed! I have no doubt that finishing the steaks in the oven will produce the best and tastiest dish, but is there anything else we could do without turning on the oven?
    Thanks so much!

    • So glad you’re enjoying the recipes, Frank! After you sear the “steaks,” you could add about a bit of water to the pan, cover, and steam over low heat until tender. Hope that helps!

  • This is not only beautiful looking (reminds me of a beautiful tree) but just as delicious. The only thing I did different was that I cooked/browned the cauliflower steams in my air fryer. Thank you – it was delish!

  • Novice cook here… this was fantastic! Delicious, and made me look like a pro. Just challenging enough with making the puree, but easy enough to make for a beginner like me.

  • Vegetarian entre made with chicken broth? Someone is not editing your copy. I suspect vegetable broth will work just as well. Us vegetarians notice things like this.

    • Hi Wendy, this recipe would be just as good with vegetable broth and I’ve updated the recipe to indicate that either will work. Enjoy!

  • I loved the recipe. The purée is amazing with e cauliflower steak. My husband was not a fan, he said it was just too much cauliflower ? I also made the kale chickpea salad with it, loved it!

  • This is tan excellent recipe for an appealing variation(s) on my normal steamed cauliflower. Pan browning the thick slices produces an excellent flavor and texture. I added a bit of cajun seasoning for an extra zing and used a cast iron skillet which browned them beautifully.

  • This is so simple and so elegant. I have fresh thyme in my garden right now! It looks particularly nice if you make it with the purple cauliflowers that you see sometimes.

  • Awesome as usual. So simple and a delicious vegan meal. The puree would be a great as a side dish alone, but the steak made it complete.

  • I have not made this yet but it looks amazing.. thinking of serving to a large dinner party and wondering if you can grill these steaks on one side and then put in the oven or even grill on both sides.. timing might be tricky?

    • Hi Robbie, I’d grill on one side and finish in the oven. You could also sear in the oven ahead of time, then finish in the oven before serving. Hope you enjoy!

  • Yummy! I made this last week and absolutely loved it, especially the pureed portion. For several years I have made cauliflower the same way (roasting with olive oil and hot sauce) so I was long overdue for a change of flavor. This recipe was great, easy and tasty.

  • I was wondering about using greek yogurt in the puree instead of butter to decrease the fat and increase the protein. What do you think?

    • — Sarah Thiemann
    • Reply
    • Hi Sarah, I think it would work, but the yogurt will make it a little tangy. I’d love to hear how it turns out with the yogurt!

  • Thank you, Jenn! Finally…a fantastic recipe for fantastic cauliflower! A HIT!

  • What a great idea! This was delish!
    My head was a little too big – will get a smaller one next time

  • Innovative idea to use both form of cooked cauliflower. Thank you. I tried it and added at the end some garlic, lemon and olive oil to the steak. They were so yummmyyyy.

  • This is my idea of heaven — cauliflower WITH cauliflower. The only addition I made is that I used Meyer Lemon infused olive oil to drizzle on top before cooking in skillet and then topped with some lemon zest before serving.

  • I absolutely love baked/crunchy vegetables done like this, and I’m glad to see that this cooking method is getting more popular. It’s great done with not only cauliflower, but also broccoli and cabbage! Here in southwestern Hungary we have a lot of types of broccoli and also celeriac…hmmm…with grilled/baked paprika in the puree? 🙂

  • I love cauliflower but usually do it as cauliflower rice and when I came across this recipe, I did this minus the purée and absolutely divine not to mention paleo and whole30 approved ?

  • This is just about the most delicious vegetarian recipe I have found. Very satisfying and looks great for a dinner party too.

  • This recipe reminds me of the time after WWII in Germany. Not much meat consumption then, but my Oma fried Couliflower at least once weekly – I always ask for it and loved it. Tried it again and all the memories floated back to me.

    • — Gabriele Overweg
    • Reply
  • I made this for dinner last night for four of us. Because I was making four steaks, I cooked one side of each in my cast iron skillet and then put the four steaks on a rimmed baking sheet and put that in the oven for 15 minutes. The steaks still weren’t quite done, so I put each one in its dinner plate and put them in the microwave for a minute each. It was delicious and I will definitely be making it again. I’d like some ideas on reducing or replacing some of the butter (fat) while maintaining the creamy texture and wonderful flavor.

    • Hi Ann, So glad to hear you enjoyed this! You can simply reduce the butter in the recipe to make it a little less indulgent. One reader mentioned that they used only 1 Tbsp. of butter and still found the purée creamy and delicious.

  • Yum! Recently went vegan to clean up our diets. I made it with vegetable broth, olive oil, and vegan butter! So good and filling. Any suggestions for the left over purée?

    • Glad you liked it! I think the leftovers would be nice tossed with pasta or with steamed or roasted veggies.

  • Where does the preheated oven come in?

    • — Carolyn Stranges
    • Reply
    • Hi Carolyn, after you’ve cooked one side of the cauliflower on the stove, you flip it over and transfer the skillet to the oven to cook the other side. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

  • I made it on Mother’s day especially for my granddaughter who is vegetarian. Everyone tried it and it was absolutely delicious. I was never a fan of cauliflower, now I will be cooking it more often! This recipe was a hit with my family. Sylvia

  • So where is the cauliflower coming from for the processor?

    • — Monika Legrone
    • Reply
    • Hi Monika, For the steaks, you’re using just two 1-inch-thick slices from the center of the cauliflower. The remaining cauliflower is cut into florets and used for the purée.

  • Thanks Jenn, for another delicious yet easy to make dish! It was fantastic and my five year old even enjoyed it.
    I used a vegetarian bouillon cube (so that I wouldn’t have leftover chicken broth), and reduced the salt I added, and it was so delicious. I wasn’t a fan of cauliflower but this certainly changes that.

    Is it ok to substitute olive oil for the vegetable oil….?

    • Hi Ponyo, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, I think olive oil would work here.

  • Hi Jenn,
    I made this the other night and it was outstanding! I live pretty close to Blue Hill at Stone Barns but have never eaten there. This was the next best thing! I also made your recipe for Grilled Flank Steak with Garlic & Rosemary to go with the cauliflower and my fiance loved it. Thanks for two fantastic recipes!!

  • This was exceptionally good even though I used only 1 tblsp of butter in the puree (trying to follow Weight Watchers). Even with the reduced butter, the puree was creamy and delicious. I will definitely make this again. Thanks Jenn for another great recipe.

  • I made the Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Puree and it was over the top delicious. Thank you for being who you are and sharing your version of great recipes!

  • I would like to make this for my partner, but he is a vegetarian and would not be able to use the chicken broth. What would you suggest as a substitute in order to still add flavor to the cauliflower?

    • Hi Sarah, Vegetable broth will work just as well. Hope he enjoys it!

  • I happened to have cauliflower so I made it last night. Not only does it make for a beautiful presentation but it’s also delicious!! I added some extra spices to give it a kick. My family asked “what we were celebrating”, the plates looked so good! And my picky eaters gobbled it up. It also occurred to me that it’s a great dish to make before hand and finish off in the oven before guests arrive. Thanks Jenn!!!

  • Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables, and I will be trying this recipe soon – I already know it will be wonderful! I just watched the first episode of Chef’s Table last night and learned how Chef Massimo saved 1,000 wheels of parmesan after a devastating earthquake that would have put so many people out of business otherwise. I will be watching them all, and can’t recommend this series highly enough.

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