Easy Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini and Pomegranate

These pan seared cauliflower steaks are dense and meaty vegetarian main that's meat-eater approved! It's crisp on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside and with a garlicky, lemony tahini sauce, plus sweet and tangy pops of pomegranate seeds. Plus, it's ready in under 30 minutes!

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A cauliflower steak surrounded by tahini, cilantro, and pomegranate arils on a white dinner plate.

My days have been filled with flavorful soups, like clam chowder and lobster bisque, plus Italian comfort foods like braciole and chicken parmesan.

But I also love enjoying light, vegetarian dinners that make the most of the little bit of seasonal produce that's available right now.

This recipe for cauliflower steaks with tahini and pomegranate is exactly kind of the food I love eating in the winter!

A bunch of cilantro and a cut open pomegranate sit on a wood board.
A seasoned cauliflower steak sitting in a cast iron skilet.

Cauliflower steaks are kinda genius. I tried the whole roasted cauliflower thing before, but it didn't impress me nearly as much as these steaks.

Thick slices of cauliflower are seared in a hot cast iron skillet until the outsides are incredibly browned and the insides are just tender.

Cast iron works best for this since it retains heat so well, but any good heavy bottomed skillet will work.

You want to bring the cauliflower almost to the point of being burnt - that's when it develops that super caramelized flavor and ultra crispy texture.

Pan friend cauliflower steak on a white dinner plate with knife and fork.

The tahini sauce is creamy and slightly bitter with a pungent pop of garlic and lemon. Simple, but powerful. It makes an excellent accompaniment to the charred cauliflower, and is also great with these lamb meatballs!

The sweet and tangy pomegranate arils also add gorgeous color to the plate. Don't skip them! Toasted pine nuts and cilantro give the final touches to this satisfying dish. If you're not a fan of cilantro, fresh mint would work just as well, maybe even better.

And if you have any extra pine nuts, use them to make Italian pignoli cookies or eggplant caponata!

Close up of a grilled cauliflower steak on a white diner plate.

I love this dish as a vegetarian main, but it could work really well as a side dish, too. Just whack the steaks up into smaller pieces and you're good to go.

This recipe is totally vegan and gluten free but it tastes like something anyone would want to eat.

Close up of a grilled cauliflower steak on a white diner plate.
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Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini and Pomegranate

Cauliflower steaks are a really great vegan entree. I love to make sure they are alllmost burnt.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • 1 small clove garlic finely grated on a microplane
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • kosher salt to taste
  • cold water as needed
  • 1 large head cauliflower leaves and stem trimmed
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • flaky sea salt such as Maldon, for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro or mint leaves torn


  1. Combine the garlic, lemon, tahini and salt in a bowl. Whisk together and add cold water, a tablespoon at a time while whisking. The mixture will seize up at first. Keep whisking and adding water until it forms a smooth, saucy consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust with more lemon and salt as needed.
  2. Place the cauliflower stalk-side-down on a cutting board and trim ¼ off the edge on either side. Cut two thick slices (about 1 ½-2 inches) out of the middle, then save the remaining crumbled edge pieces for another use (like soup or a salad).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a sheet pan inside to heat up. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Season the cauliflower steaks on both sides with salt and pepper, then carefully place one in the hot pan. Reduce the heat to medium-high and let cook until dark brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until dark brown on the other side. Transfer to the oven, then pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and repeat with the remaining cauliflower steak. The steaks are done when a knife can easily pierce the middle of each.
  4. Spoon a generous amount of tahini sauce on each plate, then place the cauliflower steaks on top. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, then scatter the pomegranate arils and pine nuts all around. Garnish with a few cilantro or mint leaves, and serve immediately.


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  1. 5 stars
    I just made a cauliflower and tahini salad today (though with farro, so not gluten free) and I love the combination of the two flavors. I didn't think of pomegranate, but I can imagine that they bring it to the next level!

    Your talk about doing a cleanse is reminding me that I usually do a no sugar/no drinking month at the beginning of the year. I do have a couple of sugary blog posts to deal with this weekend, but you have inspired me! A sugar-free/wine-free month is coming up.

    1. Oh, farro sounds like such a lovely addition! I've been going crazy with the tahini lately, can't seem to get enough of it. So, did you start that cleanse?? I'm curious to hear how it's going!