Skip to Content

Air Fryer Cauliflower Steaks with Pesto

Whether you’re searching for a low carb dinner option or a main course for Meatless Monday, you can’t go wrong with cauliflower! This easy recipe for air fryer cauliflower steaks is a simple vegetarian dinner option that’s packed with flavor. You’ll love the delicious seasoning blend on the cauliflower when it’s combined with the delicious homemade pesto topping!

Whether you’re searching for a low carb dinner option or a main course for Meatless Monday, you can’t go wrong with cauliflower! This easy recipe for air fryer cauliflower steaks is a simple vegetarian dinner option that’s packed with flavor. You’ll love the delicious seasoning blend on the cauliflower when it’s combined with the delicious homemade pesto topping! 

Air Fryer Cauliflower Steaks with Pesto Pin

*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.

What Do I Need to Make Air Fryer Cauliflower Steaks?

Making vegetarian steaks for dinner is so simple when you use your air fryer! And the best part about this easy recipe is the short ingredient list. To make cauliflower steaks with pesto sauce, you’ll need:

  • Paprika
  • Turmeric
  • Coriander 
  • Cumin
  • Ground ginger
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Cauliflower
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Thai basil leaves
  • Garlic
  • Peanuts
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Lime juice
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Water

Cauliflower Steaks Ingredients

How Do I Make Air Fryer Cauliflower Steaks?

Using your air fryer to cook your cauliflower steaks is a quick and easy way to prepare a vegetarian main course for dinner. With the help of your air fryer, you can cook a delicious steak with pesto sauce in under 30 minutes. Just follow these five simple steps for cooking your cauliflower steaks in the air fryer:

Step One: Prepare the Seasoning

Add the paprika, turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, and salt to a small bowl. Stir the ingredients together until well combined, then set the spice mix aside.

Step Two: Cut the Cauliflower

To prepare the cauliflower, start by removing the green outer leaves from the head. After that, cut the head of cauliflower down the center, then cut 1 ½ inch slices from each side. Depending on the size of your cauliflower head, you’ll end up with four to six steaks.

Step Three: Season the Cauliflower

Drizzle the cauliflower pieces with olive oil on each side, then sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the top of each steak. 

Cutting cauliflower into steaks

Step Four: Air Fry the Cauliflower Steaks

Place the cauliflower steaks in an even layer in the air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the steaks in batches. Set the air fryer to cook at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. When the cook time is up, remove the basket and flip each steak. Continue cooking for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, until the steaks are golden brown.

Cauliflower Steaks in Air Fryer Basket

Step Five: Prepare the Pesto Sauce

While the cauliflower steaks are cooking in the air fryer, you can prepare the pesto sauce. Start by adding the cilantro, Thai basil, garlic, peanuts, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, and sesame oil to the bowl of your food processor. Blend all the ingredients until the sauce is smooth and well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste, then test the consistency of the sauce. If it’s too thick, add water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle the pesto sauce over the top of the cauliflower steaks and garnish with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro when serving.

Pesto in Food Processor

What is the Best Way to Cut Cauliflower Steaks?

To prepare this easy dinner recipe, you’ll need to learn how to cut your cauliflower into steaks without it falling apart. With the help of these simple tips, you’ll be able to cut your cauliflower head into delicious steaks without any issues at all.

  • Pick the best cauliflower. The best way to ensure clean-cut cauliflower steaks is to pick the right head of cauliflower at the grocery store. Make sure your head is large and densely packed, with no brown spots or blemishes.
  • Use a large knife. To get a clean cut on each of your steaks, it’s best to use a large knife for slicing. Look for a knife that is large enough to slice through the entire head in one cut.
  • Slice stem side down. Start by removing the leaves from the bottom of the cauliflower head, then place the cauliflower stem-side down on the cutting board. This will help you avoid smashing the florets of the cauliflower as you slice.
  • Cut down the center. The first cut you make into your cauliflower head should be down the center. After that, you can slice 1 to 1 ½ inch steaks off each half.

Overhead view of air fryer cauliflower steaks

How Do You Freeze Cauliflower Steaks?

Freezing your cauliflower steaks is a great way to meal prep! That’s because freezing cauliflower is so simple. Start by slicing the cauliflower, then lay each piece flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure the pieces aren’t touching.

Place the baking sheet in the freezer for around one hour, until the steaks are frozen solid. After that, you can transfer the cauliflower steaks to a freezer bag for easier storage. Frozen cauliflower will stay good for up to eight months in the freezer.

When you’re ready to prepare your frozen cauliflower steaks, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator or cook them from frozen. If you’re cooking from frozen, you will need to increase the cook time by 2 to 4 minutes to give the cauliflower time to defrost as it cooks.

Overhead view of cauliflower steak with pesto

Air Fryer Cauliflower Steak with Pesto

Whether you’re searching for a low carb dinner option or a main course for Meatless Monday, you can’t go wrong with cauliflower! This easy recipe for air fryer cauliflower steaks is a simple vegetarian dinner option that’s packed with flavor. You’ll love the delicious seasoning blend on the cauliflower when it’s combined with the delicious homemade pesto topping!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Air Fryer Cauliflower Steaks
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 136kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

For the cauliflower steaks

For the pesto

Instructions

  • In a small bowl combine paprika and next 5 ingredients (through salt). Set aside.
  • Carefully remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower leaving the stem intact. Cut the head down the center, and then cut 1 ½ inch slices from each half. Depending on the size of your cauliflower you will have 4-6 steaks.
  • Drizzle the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with seasoning mix.
  • Place steaks in an even layer in your air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook these in batches.
  • Air fry at 375° F for 8 minutes, carefully flip each steak and fry for an additional 7-8 minutes until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, combine cilantro and next 7 ingredients (through sesame oil) in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. If consistency is too thick, add water, one Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve steaks topped with pesto, chopped peanuts and additional cilantro for garnish.

Notes: If you don’t have an air fryer you can bake the steaks in the oven at 400°F for the same amount of time (flipping halfway through)

    Nutrition

    Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 703mg | Potassium: 500mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Vitamin C: 71mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
    5 from 1 vote
    Recipe Rating




    Gloria

    Saturday 29th of October 2022

    I love my air fryer. These cauliflower steaks look delicious.