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This beautiful vegan cauliflower steak is topped with black bean and corn salsa, making it a filling grilled dinner idea.

Vegan cauliflower steak with corn salsa

Cauliflower is one vegetable that’s gotten a true branding makeover in the past few years. From crispy cauliflower tacos to buffalo cauliflower bites, cauliflower is suddenly on trend. Growing up, the only way Alex and I ate it was raw on a veggie tray, or steamed (yuck!). We’ve become huge cauliflower fans these days. So why not add a grilled cauliflower steak to our repertoire? These steaks are not so much about a meat substitute as another delicious way to eat this on trend veggie. Keep reading for our grilled cauliflower steak recipe!

Related: Black Bean and Corn Salsa Fresca | Black Bean Salsa

What’s a cauliflower steak?

Cauliflower steak is not trying to be meat. On the contrary, they’re simply a unique way to eat cauliflower! A cauliflower steak is a sliced cross-section of a cauliflower, cut so that all the florets stay in tact. Who came up with the idea of calling it a cauliflower steak, I’m not sure! You can roast or grill cauliflower steaks by slicing the cauliflower down the middle, and then cooking the slices until they become lightly charred. Grilling the cauliflower adds a smoky flavor and lightly charred edges.

Do you need a grill to make a grilled cauliflower steak? A charcoal grill is our preferred method, since it brings in the smoky flavor. But you can also make it in a grill pan on the stovetop.

Vegan grilled cauliflower steak with fresh corn salsa

How to make a grilled cauliflower steak

The other day we picked up some sweet corn and cherry tomatoes at our local market (Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market) the other day and were looking for a new way to use them. We’d tried some grilled cauliflower steaks this past winter after seeing them in an issue of Bon Appetit. While they didn’t work out at the time, we thought we’d try out a grilled cauliflower steak again, this time as a base for a fresh corn salsa. They turned out wonderfully, and were a satisfying grilled summer meal — as well as an interesting meatless option!

A cauliflower steak is typically served with some kind of sauce over it. To make our grilled cauliflower into a main dish, here we’ve served it with a black bean and corn salsa. Using beans adds in plant based protein to make it a more filling dish!

This grilled cauliflower steak recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Vegan Cauliflower Steak

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This beautiful vegan cauliflower steak is topped with black bean and corn salsa, making it a filling grilled dinner idea.


  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 to 3 ears)
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • 15-ounce can black beans
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or mix of cumin, chili powder, and paprika)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. Remove the outer leaves and extended stem from the head of cauliflower. Working from the center, slice across the entire head to create 4 steaks. Steaks can only be made with the florets attached to the core stem. (Florets that detach from the core can be cooked on the side or reserved for another meal.)
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Coat each side of the cauliflower steaks with olive oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Grill each side for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly charred.
  3. For the fresh salsa, cut off the corn, enough for 2 cups kernels. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Drain and rinse the black beans. Chop the cilantro. Juice 2 limes.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together corn, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, lime juice, taco seasoning, 1 pinch kosher salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil,and fresh ground pepper. Stir to combine; taste, and add additional seasonings if desired.
  5. To serve, place each steak on a plate, and spoon over mounds of fresh salsa.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Grilled cauliflower steak, Grilled cauliflower, How to grill cauliflower, Cauliflower Steaks, Cauliflower Recipes

Looking for cauliflower recipes?

Outside of this grilled cauliflower steak, here are a few of our favorite cauliflower recipes:

Looking for more grilling ideas?

And here are a few more vegetarian and vegan grilling ideas:

Last updated: April 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. I seem to be the only one missing something – it never says to cook the corn so the salsa is made from raw corn?

  2. This looks so yummy! I am a huge fan of your blog! I love how all of your recipes are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients and your photography is beautiful!

  3. I’ve been curious to try cauliflower steaks, but grilling looks like it might be the way to go! Just voted for you guys in the Country Living Contest – good luck!

  4. Adore grilled cauliflower steaks! They are such a fabulously versatile veggie. Also like to do them drizzled with a bit of pesto.

    Great blog!

  5. Love this! It’s so good to be able to know the stories and the people behind the food we eat. Is it just me, or does local food just taste better? Definitely celebrating local here in Columbus this week!

  6. I’ve seen pan-fried ‘flower steaks, but never grilled: Why hadn’t I thought of this before?! Genius.