Roasted Cauliflower Steaks | Cook for Your Life

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks With Sunflower Seed Pesto

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5 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 43 min total
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 11 ingredients

When it comes to good nutrition and disease prevention, this flavor-packed side dish — made with cauliflower and sunflower seeds — offers a one-two punch. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which research shows may help...


Cauliflower Steaks

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into 3-4 (1-inch-thick) whole slices, plus remaining florets (see Chef Tips)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus a few stems for garnish

Sunflower Seed Pesto

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup raw or dry roasted and unsalted shelled sunflower seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ clove garlic, peeled
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
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Nutrition Facts


68 cals


6 g

Saturated Fat

1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

0 g

Monounsaturated Fat

0 g


4 g


2 g


1 g


2 g


43 mg


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (If using foil, spray with nonstick cooking spray.) Place cauliflower on prepared baking sheet, and brush “steaks” and florets with 2 teaspoons of oil. Sprinkle with pinch of salt and pepper. Roast until lightly caramelized and almost cooked through, about 18 minutes.
  3. Gently flip each “steak” and floret and brush with 1 more teaspoon of oil. Sprinkle with thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper and roast until well caramelized and cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
  4. While cauliflower is roasting, prepare the pesto. Place olive oil, basil, sunflower seeds, mustard, honey, and garlic in bowl of a small food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and pulse a few more times until well combined and desired flavor is achieved.
  5. Arrange cauliflower on large plate or platter. Top with pesto, and garnish with sunflower seeds, thyme, and basil.

Chef Tips

How to Make Cauliflower “Steaks”:

  1. Rinse cauliflower and remove outer leaves. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Leave stem intact, but trim bottom so cauliflower stays flat and stable when placed on cutting board.
  3. Place cauliflower on cutting board with stable stem side down and use sharp chef’s knife to slice cauliflower in half.
  4. Starting at cut side of each half, carefully cut two, 1-inch-thick slices. Trim away stem ends.
  5. Break remaining cauliflower pieces into florets. (You should end up with three to four big steaks, a few mini steaks, and a bunch of florets.)

This recipe contains cancer-fighting foods: cauliflower, garlic

This recipe was specially crafted to support cancer prevention and survival. It adheres to AICR’s Cancer Prevention Recommendations. Learn more about AICR’s recipe guidelines.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society