Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Jalapeño Chimichurri Lentils & Maple Mustard Tahini

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 14 votes

Grilled cabbage steaks with jalapeño chimichurri lentils and maple mustard tahini is an explosion of flavour. Simple and so flavourful.

Image shows grilled cabbage steaks topped with lentils and herbs.
Image shows a grilled cabbage steak topped with lentils, herbs and a creamy sauce.
Image taken from overhead shows ingredients for a grilled cabbage dish.
A hand is pouring olive oil into an herb-based sauce.
Image shows sliced rounds of cabbage coated in spices.

Have you ever grilled some cabbage steaks? It’s so good it’s unbelievable. The charred edges have that same crave-able flavour that well-roasted cauliflower gets in a super hot oven. It’s also the perfect spring-to-summer transitional grill recipe. Are veggie burgers cancelled? Probably not, but it’s good to switch up your routine once in a while.

Here in Ontario, we’re getting gorgeous sunshiny days and nights that are still going down to 2 degrees! Climate change is wild, friends. I’ve got a bunch of plants just hanging out on my porch, waiting to go in the ground when the temperature evens out. Until then, we grill cabbage and act like everything is totally fine.

I saw a bunch of variations on chimichurri in the latest issue of Magnolia Journal, and knew that it’s herbal and peppery flavours would be perfect with the lightly sweet charred cabbage. I added warm, just-cooked lentils to the chimichurri so that they could soak up all that flavour. We spoon those over our charred cabbage steaks and finish the whole thing with a creamy maple mustard tahini sauce. It’s all a giant, super hearty flavour bomb.

Hope you give this one a try if you’re ready to step into grilling season! I have an older recipe for grilled cabbage with a bright yellow tahini sauce here. For a more traditional application of cabbage, my charred corn slaw with peanut lime dressing is so satisfying. If you need even more inspiration, I have an entire vegan grilling guide right HERE.

Image shows one creamy sauce and one herb-based sauce.
Image shows rounds of cabbage on a grill with char marks.
Image shows grilled cabbage steaks topped with lentils, herbs and a creamy sauce.
Image shows a grilled cabbage steak topped with lentils, herbs and a creamy sauce.

Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Jalapeño Chimichurri Lentils & Maple Mustard Tahini

Grilled cabbage steaks with jalapeño chimichurri lentils and maple mustard tahini is an explosion of flavour. Simple AND way more exciting than a veggie burger!
5 from 14 votes
Cabbage Steaks with Jalapeño Chimichurri Lentils - The First Mess
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4



  • ¾ cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups flat leaf parsley, lightly packed
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes


  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • sea salt, to taste
  • cup cold, filtered water


  • 1 small green cabbage (about 3 lbs)
  • avocado oil spray
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal steak spice blend
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  • Make your chimichurri and tahini sauces ahead of time to cut down on prep time. Then, all you have to do is cook the lentils and grill the cabbage.
  • My favourite Montreal steak spice blend is by the Joe Beef crew. It’s incredible and I put it on everything.


  • Make the jalapeño chimichurri lentils. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover them with water by about 2 inches. Put the saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring lentils to a boil and then lower them to a simmer. Cook until lentils are just-tender, about 25 minutes. Drain.
  • While lentils are cooking, make the jalapeño chimichurri. Finely chop the parsley and transfer to a medium bowl. To the parsley, add the jalapeño, garlic, capers, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.
  • Stir the warm lentils into the jalapeño chimichurri. Once thoroughly mixed, just set the lentils aside at room temperature.
  • Make the maple mustard tahini. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, and salt until combined. Then, vigorously whisk in the cold water. The sauce should thin out a bit and become more pale and creamy in colour. Set aside.
  • Grill the cabbage. Preheat your grill to medium high heat. Cut the cabbage into 1 ½ inch-thick “steaks.” Set the cabbage on the cutting board so that the core is facing up. Then cut 4 round steaks through the middle section so that each piece has a bit of the core intact (this is what will hold it together on the grill). Save the rest of the cabbage for another use.
  • Place cabbage steaks on a baking sheet. Spray one side with avocado oil spray and season with half of the steak spice, salt, and pepper. Repeat with the other side and remaining steak spice.
  • Place the cabbage steaks on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 5 whole minutes, or until charred on one side. Using both tongs and a flipper, carefully flip the steaks over. Close the lid and cook cabbage steaks for another 5 minutes, or until charred on the other side and soft in the center.
  • Remove the cabbage steaks from the grill and serve with the jalaleño chimichurri lentils, maple mustard tahini sauce, extra chopped parsley, and chili flakes (if desired).
22/05/2019 (Last Updated 13/05/2024)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, grill, lentils, main course, nut free, salty, sauce, side dish, smoky, sour, spicy, spring, summer, tahini, umami, vegan


5 from 14 votes (8 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating

  • Sharon

    5 stars
    Wow! This dish is so incredibly flavorful. I packed up the leftovers for my husband’s lunch and he just texted me about how much he loved this recipe. Oh, and he had a carrot muffin on the side. Thank you, Laura for all the great inspiring recipes!

  • Melissa

    5 stars
    Great recipe! We didn’t have cabbage and had several gallons of big fresh carrots from the garden so I spilt and roasted those in the oven instead. It was delicious!! The kids preferred them separately.

  • andrea

    I looked up that joe beef spice blend……it has canola oil in it!!! otherwise, this and all the 5 recipes in this email look amazing!

  • Colleen

    5 stars
    So totally delicious! 10/10 plant based witch magic level good.

  • Leslie

    5 stars
    This is the most delicious thing I think I’ve ever eaten. I was a little nervous about the chimichurri…but oh my gosh…I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t wait to make this again!

  • Melanie

    Fabulous!! Loved it!!
    Made for Vegetarian Christmas dinner. It was a huge hit!!
    I roasted instead of grilled the cabbage steaks and made extra lentils. I placed a layer of lentils on plate, then steak, then lentil chimichurri and then tahini sauce.

  • Cara

    5 stars
    AH-MAZING! I just made these on my grill pan. I used a square cookie sheet as a cover and the cabbage steaks turned out perfectly. The jalapeño lentil chimichurri is out of this world – I could eat it on its own. Perfect combination of sweet, savory, fresh and decadent. My 12 year old and I devoured it! I’ll be making this again for sure.

  • Sissel

    Thanks for a wonderful recipe! I am planning on serving it to my neighbours. One of them do not like parsley. Would the meal taste good if I replace the parsley with fresh coriander (cilantro)? Thanks

  • Lisa Lavin

    Do you think whole unhulled mung beans would work in place of the lentils?

    • Laura

      Hi Lisa,
      You could definitely cook up whole mung beans instead of the lentils if you like! Just adjust accordingly for liquid ratios and cooking time.

  • Elizabeth Emmons

    5 stars
    Oh my! These are delicious! I must make a comment, as a person living in NYC with no outdoor grill to close! I used a Le Creuset stovetop grill pan and it worked perfectly! Do not be discouraged by the grill aspect because they still turn out amazingly. Absolutely delicious. Thank you for making the best vegan recipes!

  • Bonnie

    Your link for the Montreal Spice Blend doesn’t work, plus I live nowhere near Montreal (if it’s a local product).  Could you give a substitute, using spices that might be available to anyone (or anyone with access to well-stocked stores)?

    • Laura

      Hi Bonnie,
      I have fixed the link. But to add: Montreal Steak spice refers to a style of spice rub that originated in Montreal, but is not exclusive to the region. Some commonly available spice manufacturers have a Montreal Steak Spice-style blend in their lineup. Here are some links for you that I found after a quick Google search:
      1. McCormick
      2. Penzey’s (Although it may be confusing, this is the same style of blend under the title of “Quebec Beef Spice”)
      3. Lastly, here’s a recipe that I found online if you’re inclined to make your own.

  • Emily Frigon

    Just made these in my grill pan and they are fantastic! I didn’t have capers or jalapeño so I subbed sun dried tomatoes. 10/10!

  • Sandy

    These lentils are the best! I prepped them in advance and had to restrain myself from eating them by the spoonful.

    They’re also extremely delicious on top of potatoes or rice.

    Will be making them again and again.

    Thank you for such a great recipe.

  • Anita

    So yummy! Even the kids devoured it. Thanks so much for a great recipe.

  • Di-Di | The Foxy Flexitarian

    Your description of “a giant, super hearty flavour bomb” is spot-on, Julia. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe.

  • Julia Kern

    We made them on Friday. Totally delicious.

  • Julia Kern

    Dear Laura, I‘ve never written to a blogger or cookbook author, but I have to make an exception. I realized over time that your cookbook stands out with my family‘s liking compatibility of vegan recipes. For 5 months, due to Rich Roll and a history of Colin Campbell and all the other important people, I am a total plant based person, my family as long as they eat what I give them, and my mission is to learn to make it as tasty as I used to cook which is not a small feat if you can readily rely on dairy products for umami and mouthful creaminess. I love Amy Chaplin‘s Cooking and Sarah Britton and the Oh she glows woman (inspite of the name and style) but your recipes are outstanding in the simplicity and taste scale. But tonight we had your millet polenta, goji berry steamed veg and chocolate cupcakes with Moro‘s tabbouleh and David Tanis‘s lime slaw and it was better than any big scale Sunday roast ever. This family with three deeply suspicious teens raved over these best cupcakes ever; the sponginess and lightness and chocolate satisfaction exceeded even our Nigel Slater used-to-chocolate-cake-when-eggs-where-an-option.
    So, thank you. Thank you. I am 1/3 through your cookbook recipes and I‘ll probably try all of them out in due time. Thank you. I love cooking but my genius is more to following recipes than creating them and people criticize me for it a lot but I don’t mind when I can cook what you already imagined, tested and tried.
    Please keep going.
    Hamburg, Germany

  • Catherine


    All three components of the recipe can be used elsewhere. Delicious, intense, thoroughly satisfying.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Love your blog.

  • Cassie Autumn Tran

    I love this idea so much! Lentils and cabbage are such a fantastic pairing. I would love to replication the jalapeno chimichurri lentils for a separate dish and add the grilled cabbage steaks on top of a gigantic sandwich or something like that, LOL!

  • KaviN

    I could see these tangy, spicy lentils being delicious in all kinds of applications — spooned over sourdough toast, tossed with whole grain thin spaghetti with some spring veggies, maybe even bulked up into a relishy “salad” with a ton of bias-sliced celery? You’ve done it again!

  • Jane Lustgarten

    We don’t have a grill. Please send directions for cooking in oven.

    • Laura

      Please see my reply to Tracey above.

  • Tracey

    Any suggestions for using the oven for the cabbage? Should I broil or bake them? The chimichurrri sounds delicious.

    • Laura

      Hi Tracey,
      I would quickly sear the cabbage steaks on both sides in a large sauté pan over medium heat (with a slick of oil in the pan). Then, I would transfer the cabbage to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast it in a 400 degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender in the center of the steaks.