Healthy BBQ Side Dishes With A Twist – Cauliflower Steak


“Whoa, Bert…slow down. You mean to tell me that cauliflower belongs in BBQ?”

Absolutely, positively, YES. That’s EXACTLY what I’m telling you. 

Let’s face it…cauliflower is pretty good by itself. And studies show that it’s kinda good for you.  Considering it’s 98% water (you know, that best and safest drink on the planet?)…it’s VERY good for you. And it tastes as good as it’s seasoned. 

But the haters still don’t want to believe…

“Where does cauliflower fit into a grill? How’s it gonna take grill marks? Who’s really gonna eat that outside of vegetarians and vegans?”

Well, sweetheart, YOU’re gonna eat it. And it’s going to look good as well as taste good. And it actually fits very nicely into any grill. And it’ll be as good as the flavor of the wood smoke that you use for any other meat or vegetable. 

Now, most people see cauliflower as just a vegetable. Today, hardcore BBQ friends, we’re going to prove otherwise. 

Start by grabbing 8 of the largest cauliflowers you can find. You know, the huge ones, even in the organic section. Cut the sides off 6 of the cauliflowers lengthwise, about ⅛ of an inch off each side. After all, these will become steaks, and steaks are big and juicy, right? 

This should leave you with 2 whole cauliflowers and some great pieces. Those, we’re going to turn into cauliflower mashed potatoes, to continue the healthy streak we’re on. But we’ll get to that in a second. 

Spritz both sides of each cauliflower steak with olive oil. Then apply celery salt and pepper to both sides of each steak, and rub the spices in very gently. Keep in mind we’re going to treat this just as we would a beef steak, with a few modifications…

And now, slap them right on your preheated 350 degree grill for about 4 minutes total per side. Two minutes on the first side, then turn on that side 180 degrees for perfect grill marks. Flip sides and repeat the process, ensuring consistent grill marks on both sides. Once these are achieved, move quickly to the top rack of the grill to avoid burning and to add smoky flavor. DO NOT. I repeat, DO NOT leave them in the grill for more  than 2 minutes afterwards. You want something you can cut into, not try to pick through grates of a grill. Always remember, this is a steak and we must treat it as such. 

Now for the carne asada flavor. In a mortar or a food processor, you will have previously blended the following to taste (I didn’t use measurements because this is based on preference. As long as it tastes like steak, you’re good):

  • Cumin
  • Celery salt
  • Paprika
  • Dehydrated onions
  • Garlic powder
  • Avocado oil
  • Chili powder

Ensure that you have enough paprika and/or chili powder to achieve the desired steak color and taste.

Remove the steaks quickly and set them on a rack. Brush the carne asada flavor on all sides of the steaks. Serve immediately to maintain the tenderness of the steak. It should have a mouthfeel that suggests medium-well preparation.

Bon appétit!!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Servings: 3 (Two ‘steaks’ per guest. Feel free to add more if you need to)


6 of the largest cauliflowers you can find – the larger the better!

For the ‘Carne Asada’ drizzle – blend and adjust the following to taste:

  • Cumin
  • Celery salt
  • Paprika
  • Dehydrated onions
  • Garlic powder
  • Avocado oil
  • Chili powder


  • Preheat the grill to 300-350 degrees. You want it hot enough to leave
  • Cut ⅛ inch off the sides of each cauliflower, then halve them. This should leave you with 2 solid 1-2 inch steaks.
  • Dust with oil, celery salt and pepper.
  • Place steaks on a preheated grill, and heat directly for no more than 4 minutes total on each side. Every 2 minutes, rotate the steaks at 90 degrees to ensure proper grill marks and heat evenly.
  • Once you have finished directly heating the steaks, place them on the upper rack to allow them to absorb gentle smoke. Do not allow them to rest for more than 5 minutes because you don’t want to lose any firmness – you want to be able to cut them and get the full steak experience.
  • Remove steaks from heat and brush with the Carne Asada drizzle that we mentioned before.
  • Serve while hot and firm to the knife.

Published by Uncle Bert View more posts

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