These cauliflower steaks with garlicky edamame mash use the whole head of cauliflower. All together, it’s a hearty meal with plenty of plant protein!

A seared cauliflower steak has been served with a light green edamame mash on a rimmed, cream colored serving plate.

I spend a lot of time supporting my clients through the process of replacing animal-protein based dishes with meatless options.

Cauliflower steaks and whole roasted cauliflower are two of my favorite suggestions. When it’s given the royal treatment as an entrée, cauliflower is beautiful to look at and nutritious to eat. It’s an especially good main dish option for those folks who want to eat more plant-based, yet don’t have much of a taste for vegan meats, tofu, or tempeh.

The only drawback of cauliflower-as-an-entrée, at least as I see it, is that it’s not rich in protein. And my outlook as a dietitian is that balanced plates should always deliver on a solid vegan protein source. Protein is essential for satiety, immune function, muscle repair, and many other processes. When I plan my own meals, I usually pick my plant protein and work backward from there!

Back to these cauliflower steaks. When I made them the first time, I wondered how I might pair them with a plant protein that would fit seamlessly into the dish. I thought of edamame, a protein that I love but don’t use often enough at home.

Edamame hummus is a favorite of mine. I wondered what it would be like to incorporate the stray pieces of cauliflower that are always leftover after making cauliflower steaks into a creamy, mashed edamame—similar to edamame hummus, but softer.

Success! The garlicky edamame mash completes this meal, affords vegan protein, and ensures that the whole head of cauliflower is used up.

What is cauliflower steak?

Cauliflower steaks are just thick slabs of cauliflower that are seared, grilled, or roasted. These crosswise slices of the cauliflower feel more substantial than eating regular cauliflower florets or pieces—hence the cheeky designation as a “steak.”

A black, cast iron skillet holds a piece of seared, browning cauliflower.

How to cut cauliflower steaks

Cauliflower steaks are generally pretty easy to cook. The hardest part of making them, at least for me, is cutting the cauliflower correctly.

I cut my head of cauliflower crosswise into slabs that are about 3/4-1″ thick. A good, sharp chef’s knife is important for this. It’s also helpful to have a visual for this, so here’s a video you can check out if you’d like to see the process before you do it.

In that video, the person starts slicing from one side of the cauliflower head to another. I usually start with one cut down the center of the cauliflower then slice outward from there. You can try slicing both ways and do whatever is most intuitive for you.

As you get further from the middle of the head of cauliflower, it will be harder to cut big, even steaks. Some florets and pieces will start to fall away. I usually just roast those pieces with the steaks that I was able to cut successfully.

In this recipe, though, the stray cauliflower pieces are a good thing! They become part of the protein-rich edamame mash. I’m not always a successful root-to-stalk cook, but I am always trying to do better. I love that this recipe allows me to employ the whole vegetable.

A silver sauce pot is filled with a mixture of shelled edamame and vegetables.

Adding your plant protein

While the cauliflower steaks make this meal visually appealing and hearty, edamame does the heavy lifting for vegan protein.

Protein isn’t edamame’s only attribute, however! Edamame, which is another name for young soy beans, also provides fiber, which is good news for cardiac and digestive health. It’s a good source of folate, Vitamin K1, and thiamine, also known as vitamin B-1, as well.

Edamame isn’t as soft as other beans. It’s a little chewier, which is part of what makes it fun to snack on. When it’s warmed and puréed, though, it turns into a tasty and nutritious hummus. Recently I had the thought, inspired by this recipe from Sprouted Kitchen, to do an edamame mash instead.

The problem was that the edamame mashes I made kept turning out a little dense, rather than fluffy. That’s when I thought that cauliflower might be a good addition, to lighten up the mash and add even more good nutrition. Since I always have stray bits of cauliflower after making cauliflower steaks, this recipe became my cue to test a new edamame mash.

A small, white pinch bowl of pureed edamame rests on a white marble surface.

How to prepare edamame mash

Preparing the edamame mash to pair with the cauliflower steaks is simple. You’ll bring water to a boil and add both your shelled edamame (I always buy frozen and thaw before this step) and your cauliflower pieces.

Then, you’ll drain the cauliflower and edamame and add them to a food processor. Use the S blade to pulse and process this mixture, along with garlic, vegetable broth, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

This mash is very delicious on its own. It can be an accompaniment to lots of plant-based dinners. I’ve tried it with grilled and baked tofu, my lemon pepper tempeh cubes, chickpeas, sautéed greens, and many other components. I love that it combines a plant protein and a nutrient-rich vegetable in one simple, flavorful side.

Serving cauliflower steaks with garlicky edamame mash

I think that the steaks and mash are perfectly satisfying on their own. However, they can be even more delicious with a good sauce. Some options for drizzling:

Of course, if you’d like to make the meal even heartier and more colorful, you can always add your favorite vegetable side dish. I love to serve this recipe with sautéed kale or broccoli rabe in the winter and grilled zucchini in the summer.

Storage and preparation

The cauliflower steaks with garlicky edamame mash lend themselves easily to your weekend batch cooking efforts! Both the steaks and the mash can be prepared—separately or together—and stored in the fridge for up to five days.

A seared cauliflower steak has been served with a light green edamame mash on a rimmed, cream colored serving plate.
5 from 4 votes

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlicky Edamame Mash

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium or large head cauliflower 1 1/2-2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or another neutral cooking oil)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces frozen, shelled edamame (3 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves or 2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
  • Dressing of choice (optional, for drizzling)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375F. Wash the cauliflower head and trim the part of the stem that's protruding, as well as the leaves around the stem, so that the cauliflower can rest on a flat surface. Cut the cauliflower in half, and then cut two steaks from each side by simply slicing across the cauliflower. You'll have some florets left at the ends. Save these!
  • Heat a cast iron skillet or a large pan over medium high heat. Add half a tablespoon of oil to the pan. Place your first two steaks (or as many as you can fit) into the pan and sprinkle them with salt and pepper (add any herbs or spices you like). Sear for 3-4 minutes, or until the bottom of the steaks is browning. Flip the steaks, sprinkle the other side with salt and pepper, and sear the new bottom side for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a parchment or foil lined baking sheet and repeat this process with the other half tablespoon of oil and remaining two steaks.
  • Place the baking sheet with all four steaks in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the steaks are tender all the way through. (If your skillet is wide enough to fit all four steaks, you can simply transfer it to the oven after searing.)
  • While the cauliflower steaks are baking, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the edamame and whatever ends you have left from your head of cauliflower (I usually have 1 heaping cup of florets). Boil for 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Drain the edamame and cauliflower and transfer them to a food processor fitted with the S blade. Add the garlic, broth, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Process the mixture for about a minute, stopping a few times to scrape the bowl down, until it forms a thick mash. It should be uniform and easy to scoop, but it should retain a little texture. Pulse in the tarragon, if using, and the parsley. Taste the mash and adjust salt, pepper, and lemon to taste.
  • Divide the warm mash onto four plates (about 3/4 cup per plate). Layer the cooked cauliflower steak on top of the mash. Serve, with a drizzle of dressing if you like.

Notes

Leftover garlicky edamame mash will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leftover cauliflower steaks will keep for up to 3 days, too. If they break apart while you store them, you can toss the florets into a salad!
An angled photograph of a white, rimmed plate with a seared slab of cauliflower and a small accompanying portion of mashed green edamame.

In addition to being delicious and nutrient-dense, this meal is also great for serving to friends or family. I hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

xo

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    15 Comments
  1. Gena,
    I so want to try this recipe, but i am REALLY not fond of these kinds of beans. Any other suggestions of beans or legumes which would go with this.
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Lauri! I think chickpeas would work, or cannellini/Great Northern if you don’t mind a sort of monochrome dish 🙂

  2. Mmm….just made this! Have been sick with belly troubles all week so the cauliflower curry we planned on making was out. I needed something flavorful + satisfying but simple. This totally hit the spot!

    We were out of edamame so I used some edamame hummus as the base of the mash. Worked perfectly!

    xo

  3. As someone who discovered the wonders of edamame less than a year ago I would have NEVER thought to make a mash with it. I made this for dinner last night and my husband and I both loved it. I topped it with your lemon hemp dressing and it’s a winner! (Like want to lick your plate and then steal your husband’s mash good.) It was also fun to shake up how I roast cauliflower.

  4. I made this tonight. Loved it. I had some leftover broccoli florets I added to the mash as well. Thanks for a great dinner

    • That’s awesome, Lisa! I’ve actually thought about doing the whole dish with a broccoli head. Bet the florets added some nice color 🙂

  5. Looking forward to making this. Such a clean meal:) Have some great clean, grain free breakfast options up rt now. It’s that time of year!

  6. I really love this idea, and it’s pretty too. Plus, fits in with my agenda to eat more cauliflower this year, just because I like it so much! And I really appreciate the “use up all the parts of the vegetable” effort, too. 🙂 xo

  7. I’ve never made cauliflower steaks, and I’m not sure why. I love roasted cauliflower. But I’ve never just roasted it in a big ole chunk. Must do this! On root-to-stalk cooking, I’ve been saving all my scraps in freezer bags, and when I get enough, I made a big batch of veggie broth. Just made about 24 cups of broth last night. I store it in my deep freezer for future use! Saves money on ever having to buy broth again.