Cauliflower steaks with kale-walnut pesto

This vegan-friendly dish is a nutrition powerhouse.

Cauliflower steaks with kale-walnut pesto

If you’re vegetarian or vegan or trying to eat more plants but want the heft of something to slice into, try making cauliflower steaks. Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse! It’s a member of the cruciferous or brassica group of vegetables, like kale and broccoli. Cauliflower is low in carbohydrates, meaning it won’t cause a rapid increase in your blood sugar, and it’s a great addition to a healthy diet. It’s also a good source of vitamin C and K, B vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. 

For color and flavor, this recipe includes fragrant kale-walnut pesto. Adding kale to the basil traditionally found in pesto adds fiber and many nutrients, and the walnuts add healthy fats that lend a creaminess, so you won’t miss the cheese.

Servings: 2


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Few pinches of salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup packed kale leaves, stems removed, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Using a sharp knife and starting at the top center of the cauliflower, cut 2 1-inch-thick “steaks.” Reserve the rest of the cauliflower for another use.
  3. Brush one side of each cauliflower steak with olive oil. Then, sprinkle with salt and half the garlic powder. Turn the steaks over and repeat the process.
  4. Place the prepared cauliflower steaks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until tender, about 10 minutes on each side. Check with a fork for doneness. The cauliflower should be slightly golden and tender but not falling apart.
  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the pesto: In a food processor, process the kale, basil, walnuts, salt, and olive oil until the mixture becomes a coarse paste. Thin, if needed, with additional olive oil.
  6. Serve each cauliflower steak on a plate with 2 tablespoons of pesto drizzled on top of each one. (You’ll have leftover kale-walnut pesto.) 

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 175
  • Total fat: 15.3 g
  • Saturated fat: 2.2 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 343 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 9 g
  • Dietary fiber: 4 g
  • Total sugars: 3 g (includes 0 g added sugars)
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Potassium: 492 mg

Note: Includes 2 tablespoons of kale-walnut pesto.

(Recipe from Spicebox Travels, 2019)