Vegan Crispy Black Pepper Cauliflower Steaks

The best cauliflower I’ve ever had! 

I don’t love cauliflower, but this, this my friends, is one of the best meals I have ever had. Vegan crispy black pepper cauliflower steaks smothered with the best dang mushroom gravy are all kinds of totally amazing! Super crispy, a little spicy, and so easy. I definitely think these cauliflower steaks are the perfect Thanksgiving entree.

These cauliflower steaks are dipped in a wet, black peppery batter. Coated in panko and fried to get them brown and crispy. Then you finish them in the oven while you make the mushroom gravy. I could literally just eat this gravy by the spoonful. It is that good! 

This recipe makes about 4 large steaks. Which can either serve 4 people a huge cauliflower steak, or 8 people can share them, because they are definitely shareable! These vegan black pepper cauliflower steaks will be everyone’s favorite dish at all your holiday parties.

I love how quick and easy this recipe is, because what I want during the holidays is more time out of the kitchen and with family and friends. 

Please, add these to your Thanksgiving or any holiday meal list immediately. They will not disappoint! They are so crunchy, so flavorful and so festive. If you, like me, aren’t a cauliflower lover, this will change your mind forever. 

5 from 3 votes
Vegan Crispy Black Pepper Cauliflower Steaks
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Super crispy, peppery cauliflower steaks. Smothered with the best mushroom gravy. 

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Lauren Hartmann
Crispy Black Pepper Cauliflower Steaks
  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • 1 Cup Non dairy milk, I used soy milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup All purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup Corn starch
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Cups Panko bread crumbs
  • Light oil for frying
Mushroom Gravy
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan butter, I used Earth Balance
  • 2 Tablespoons All purpose flour
  • 1 Cup Vegetable broth
  • 1 Teaspoon Poultry seasoning (usually contains Thyme, Sage, Rosemary and Nutmeg)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 

  2. Now, cut your head of cauliflower into steaks. You will probably need to trim the ends where the florets aren't connected to the stem. Then cut the center into steaks you should be able to get about 4 steaks. Set them aside. 

  3. Then, whisk together the non dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. 

  4. Next, in a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and corn starch. Then whisk in the salt and pepper. Then pour the non dairy milk and vinegar into the dry ingredients. Whisk to fully combine and create the wet batter.

  5. Put the panko in a separate bowl. 

  6. Put each cauliflower steak into the wet batter. Coat completely, let any excess drip off. Then place in the bowl of panko and coat each side in panko completely. Repeat with all the cauliflower.

  7. Now heat the oil in a large non stick pan on medium high, about 1/4 an inch of oil should be in the bottom. Then add the cauliflower steaks. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes until nice and brown and crispy. Then flip and brown on the other side. 

  8. Then, place the cauliflower steaks on a sheet pan, and finish in the oven at 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes. To make sure the cauliflower is cooked through. 

  9. While the cauliflower is in the oven, make the gravy. Heat the olive oil on medium high in a non stick or cast iron skillet. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes or so to cook the mushrooms and garlic, reducing heat as needed. Season with a few pinches of salt and pepper. 

  10. Remove the mushrooms from the pan, and put in a bowl and set aside. Then add the vegan butter to the pan. 

  11. Melt the butter on medium low and then add the flour. Whisk together to make a roux. It should be paste like. Cook for a minute, then whisk in the veggie broth. Make sure the roux is fully combined and there are no lumps. Simmer for a moment to let thicken. 

  12. Then season with the poultry seasoning and a pinch of  salt and pepper. Then add the mushrooms back in.  Taste and adjust seasoning. 

  13. Once the cauliflower and gravy are done, serve immediately. I top my cauliflower with the gravy right before serving so they don't get soggy! 

Recipe Notes

You can just bake the steaks without frying first, they just won't be as brown and crispy. You can bake them at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Until crispy and cooked through. 

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  • Reply
    October 28, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    I just made these cauliflower steaks and we loved them. Can I save the leftover batter?

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      October 29, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Yes, you should be able to save any leftover batter in the fridge! I’m so glad you loved them!

  • Reply
    November 2, 2018 at 12:44 am

    Omg so delicious. Awesome recipe. Turned out amazing!! Loooove the sauce.. added a mix of shitake with regular mushroom. Let me know if you want a pic 😉 thanksss

  • Reply
    November 4, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    My meat eating husband said he wants these every day! They were incredible. I topped with a lemon caper sauce but I’ll try the gravy next time. Awesome recipe!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      November 5, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      That is AMAZING!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2018 at 12:10 am

    Made this tonight to see if it would be a good thanksgiving entree and it was amazing. This is the perfect vegan holiday meal. The gravy was delicious and the cauliflower would work even if you were meat eater. Everything on this site looks so good! So glad I stumbled onto it.

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