Cheese-Topped Cauliflower Steaks Recipe (2024)

By David Tanis

Updated Oct. 12, 2023

Cheese-Topped Cauliflower Steaks Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour 5 minutes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
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Cauliflower “steaks” were all the rage in upscale restaurants a few years ago, but they’re easy to make at home in any number of variations. To get thick slices, you’ll want to invest in a couple of cauliflowers and be prepared to turn the trimmings into soup or use for stir-fry for another meal. Or simply skip the slices and use florets instead. You can serve these with a light marinara sauce, but they are very tasty with no sauce at all.

Featured in: A ‘Steak’ Dinner With Vegetarians in Mind

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Yield:4 to 6 servings

  • 2medium cauliflower heads (about 2 pounds each), cut into 12 (¾-inch-thick) slices, trimmings reserved for another purpose
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for roasting
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 12slices fresh mozzarella (from 1 1-pound package)
  • 12slices provolone (from 1 8-ounce package)
  • 12slices Monterey Jack (from 1 8-ounce package)
  • About ½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes
  • ½cup dry, coarse bread crumbs, preferably homemade (see Tips)
  • 12anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry (optional)
  • Pitted black olives, such as niçoise (optional)
  • 2tablespoons roughly chopped Italian parsley
  • 1teaspoon roughly chopped rosemary

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

810 calories; 56 grams fat; 32 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 19 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 26 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams sugars; 54 grams protein; 1627 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Cheese-Topped Cauliflower Steaks Recipe (2)


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower slices on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle both sides of the cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, rotating the pans and switching racks halfway through, until fork-tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

  2. Step


    Top each cauliflower steak with a slice of fresh mozzarella, a slice of provolone and a slice of Monterey Jack. Sprinkle each steak with a generous amount of grated Parmesan or pecorino, a tiny bit of red-pepper flakes and a heaping tablespoon of bread crumbs, and bake until golden and bubbling, another 15 minutes.

  3. Step


    Top each steak with a torn piece or two of anchovy (if using), a few black olives, a bit of parsley and rosemary.


  • You may prepare the cauliflower steaks in advance though Step 2, then reheat briefly to serve. They also taste good at room temperature.
  • To make homemade bread crumbs, pulse some bread in a food processor and leave the crumbs out at room temperature to dry out for a couple of hours.



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Cooking Notes


Your not baking a french pastry… use amounts of cheese to your preference


I've made a variation of this in the past with half the amount of cheese. sometimes with marinara, sometimes without. It's delicious! The small trimmings- don't waste them in soup or stir fry. Roast them with the "steaks", then they're great for snacking while you wait for the rest of dinner to finish cooking. Or, if I'm feeling lazy, the cauliflower steaks and rice are my entire dinner.


Love David Tanis recipes - I made this tonight but think the provolone is one cheese too far. It kind of overwhelmed the dish, and I bought the mildest I could find.


My preference would be to go with a brush of garlic flavored olive oil, just grated parm-reggianno, a few red pepper flakes, a bit ofchopped kalamata/anchovy sprinkled on top.


I think I will put the anchovies on at the same time as the parmesan, i.e. BEFORE baking. Anchovies will sort of dissolve when heated up, rather than placed cold on top of the finished dish. I'll also use less cheese, probably skip the provolone, following others' recommendations.

Steak maker

Does the cauliflower need to be filleted first? How do I debone it?

Franchesca Cleland

Love cauliflower, especially roasted, but let's be honest - to get 6 perfect "steaks" like those shown, you'll need approximately 6 heads of cauliflower!

Stella Luna

I did use less cheese and a gravy boat of marinara on the side, and this was delicious. Omnivores need practice creating vegetarian meals. This was plenty on its own or with a little salad, and lends itself to various riffs. Thanks!


We eat a lot of cauliflower steaks, and decided to give a new recipe a whirl. Didn't make this exactly - only used mozzarella and parmesan cheese, as well I omitted the breadcrumbs. I served it with a light marinara sauce, as well as a green salad. It was fantastic - roasted, caramelized cauliflower that was lightly cheesy with salty olives and a hint of rosemary. Will be making this one again.


Trader Joes


Note: take pan from oven to sprinkle pepper flakes on. The updraft and blow them right into your (my) eyes. Ouch.


Delicious! I didn’t have anchovies, breadcrumbs, or olives, but I added flavour with paprika, fresh rosemary, turmeric, chilli pepper flakes, and lots of garlic in the rub. So easy and so satisfying!


Agree with others about adding a tomato element. Chopped tomatoes together with anchovies and olives and placed in a layer under the cheese (and only used mozz and parm). Came out great.


I’m really surprised no one else has mentioned that it takes twice this long to roast, I re read the recipe thinking I missed a step (i.e. par boil or cover) this is very delicious but keep in mind it will take twice as long as indicated.

Virginia From Chile :)

Delicious! I made these with less cheese than noted, but wouldn't mind more. Omitted the anochovies (not my fav), but olives and cilantro instead of parsely (sorry not on the fridge this time). Don't omit the breadcrumbs... extra crunchiness if they are really coarse. Deffinitely making them again!


Delicious! And Easy! This is essentially a big grilled cheese open-faced sandwich, with cauliflower instead of bread. I understand some people thinking there’s too much cheese, but in our house there’s no such thing. Very nice with the marinara, more “family friendly” than anchovies and black olives.


delish!! used a prized cauliflower from our garden.every ingredient was perfect!will be a yearly garden recipe.


I had never liked cauliflower before but cooked this way it's delicious!I make it with parmesan as the only topping for me, and with anchovies, olives and parmesan for the rest of the family.Thank you for liberating me from broccoli only in the cruciferous family!


Melted cheese on a cauliflower base. Delicious, but there is no cauliflower taste, just cheese. I eliminated the provolone and three cheeses was still too much. Wasting so much cauliflower to get “steaks” that add nothing to the dish was a shame. My guests loved it.


Very yummy. Just like others have posted below, I didn't add the provolone, but I added a fair amount of red pepper flakes. And don't forget the herbs. Rosemary is not my favorite, but it is delicious with this meal.

A Smith

A little trick for getting good cauliflower steaks…don’t trim the bottom or leaves. Wash it then slice right down the middle. Then you can cut slices off of both sides (starting from the middle/cut). After you slice them you can trim the leaves and the bottom. I also use the knife to pick them up and place them. I also don’t cut the final/outer pieces. I simply pick them up with the knife and roast them with the round side on top.


I made this as described. I found it had way too much cheese. It overpowered the cauliflowers.

Sunshine Again

Two slices of cauli from 1 small cauliflower with a small raw cauli snack for chef. Layer 1/2" fresh mozza, slices of Havarti, light sprinkle of parm. Flipped with a spatula before adding cheese, breadcrumbs, pulverized anchovy and 3 black olives (in a mortar). Sprinkle of salt, tiny bit of olive oil, and parsley for serving. Had to push together cauliflower slices that fell apart, cheese kept together for serving. Would make again, try more flavorful cheeses, maybe cheddar and fresh mozzarella.


Too much cheese. I love topping cauliflower steaks though. I just make them like mini pizzas: a little sauce, some shredded mozzarella then olives/onions/peppers etc. to keep them vegetarian.


This has potential, but as others have noted, way too much cheese. I'd say you could cut it to a third of what is suggested here. The anchovies were a great addition and next time I'm add more red pepper as I like heat.


Oh this was good! Salty, cheesy, spicy. And all in proportion. I was a little weary of the anchovies but it all worked!


I cut back on the cheese about 1/2 (eye-balled) and used a balsamic gouda instead of Monterey Jack. I forgot the bread crumbs but it was very good and very easy. Topped with marinara sauce. I will make it again with variations.

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Cheese-Topped Cauliflower Steaks Recipe (2024)
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