Halloumi has become everyone’s darling in recent years. And for a good reason. Halloumi cheese conquered the world’s hearts thanks to its delicious taste, versatility and easy preparation.
Halloumi is best known as a grilling cheese. It is often used as a vegetarian alternative for grilling or burgers. But the delicious cheese from the Mediterranean region can do even more!
Today, I’ll show you how to grill halloumi and will share with you some creative Middle Eastern recipes using grilled halloumi.
What is Halloumi?
Halloumi is a semi-hard brined cheese. It’s traditionally made of sheep’s and goat’s milk. Halloumi is characterized by its high melting point, which makes it perfect for grilling. It has a pleasantly salty taste and a gooey texture.
What Does Grilled Halloumi Taste Like?
What’s special about halloumi is that it enfolds its full flavor when grilled. In fact, raw halloumi tastes very salty and rubbery. The secret to tasty halloumi is the crispy browned exterior that it will get when being grilled. The taste of grilled halloumi can be compared to a mixture of feta and mozzarella, though halloumi tastes a bit saltier.
How to Grill Halloumi
Grilled halloumi is arguably the easiest and quickest way to cook halloumi, especially on busy weekdays. You can grill halloumi on a barbecue as well as pan fry it (ideally in a grill pan). Both ways work out wonderfully, so feel free to pick either one. The recipe remains the same.
Step 1: Remove from brine
Remove the halloumi cheese from the packaging. Drain the brine. Pat dry with kitchen paper to remove any excess brine.
Step 2: Cut into slices
Cut the cheese into thin slices. They should be about 1 cm (0.4 in) thick. Don’t make them much thinner, as they will break when grilling. On the other hand, be sure not to cut them too thickly either, to ensure they cook all the way through.
Step 3: Grill
Light your grill or preheat your pan. When using a grill pan, you don’t need to add any oil to it. When using a conventional frying pan, I recommend that you add a thin layer of olive oil to prevent sticking.
Add the halloumi slices to the hot pan. Grill on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Flip around and grill for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown from both sides.
Alternatives to Grilling
Besides grilling, halloumi can also be fried, and even oven-baked. If you can’t get enough of halloumi, be sure to try out my delicious Middle Eastern halloumi fries.
What to Eat with Grilled Halloumi?
In Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, halloumi is often served as an appetizer (mezze). Serve grilled halloumi with other Middle Eastern mezze such as hummus, pita bread, olives and sliced vegetables. Many people love this combination for breakfast, but it also makes a great lunch or a starter before having dinner.
Besides, you can also use grilled halloumi as a vegetarian alternative to meat in Western dishes (e.g. for burgers).
Let me show you a few recipe Ideas with grilled halloumi:
- Grilled halloumi watermelon salad
- Middle Eastern halloumi salad
- Halloumi skewers (perfect for barbecue)
- Halloumi burger
- Halloumi wrap
Make Ahead & Storage
Grilled halloumi tastes best when served warm, immediately after grilling. It’s not a dish you’d typically prepare ahead of time. If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. You can chop them into small pieces and enjoy them with a salad the next day.
If you’d like to grill just a few slices, cut off the amount you need and store the remaining halloumi in its brine in the fridge to consume within the next few days.
Any Questions or Feedback?
If you liked this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you could leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. In case you’ve any questions or feedback, please leave me a comment (down the page). I’m happy to help you make delicious Middle Eastern food at home.
- 200 g halloumi
- 1 tbsp olive oil optional
- Remove Halloumi from the packaging. Pour off the brine.
- Cut cheese into thin slices (1 cm thick).
- Preheat the pan. Add Halloumi to the hot pan and fry for 3-4 minutes. Turn and fry for another 3-4 minutes until both sides are golden brown. A griddle pan does not require oil, when preparing in a conventional pan, add a little olive oil.
- Serve on a small plate. Garnish with a little parsley or salad (tomato, cucumber, mint…).
- A grill pan (pan with griddles) does not require oil. When preparing in a conventional frying pan or on an outdoor BBQ, add a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Don’t add any salt to halloumi. It naturally has a salty taste.
- The nutritional values are rough indications. They can vary according to the exact weight, type and brand of your ingredients.
Nutrition information is only a rough estimate and may vary depending on factors such as the cooking method, exact weight, type, and brand of ingredients used.