Halloumi is a firm, white, salted cheese that is perfect for grilling due to its reluctance to melt. Grilled Halloumi cheese is a real treat! With its golden brown and crispy exterior and soft, savory center, Halloumi makes a perfect vegetarian main dish or appetizer.
Have you had Halloumi? This layered, brined and salted cheese is popular in the Middle East and in Cyprus and is more recently popular in European and American cuisine. Nobody really knows if it originated in Lebanon and then travelled to Cyprus, or if it went the other way around, but either way, grilled halloumi is delicious and I’m glad I can find it and make it wherever I am now.
I grew up eating this cheese. Sometimes we would have it for breakfast with some fruit, and other times we’d enjoy halloumi as a light brunch or lunch. It’s delicious warmed up and sliced thinly on sandwiches or added to salads. Now I like to eat grilled halloumi in the summer with watermelon, or in place of mozzarella in a Caprese Salad.
Halloumi is perfect for grilling because it has a very high melting point. You can cook halloumi at a high heat and it will keep its shape. The texture of Halloumi can be described as “squeaky cheese”. It’s dry rather than creamy and sometimes will make a squeaky noise against your teeth when you eat it.
Here’s a fun fact. Traditionally, this cheese was made with a combination of sheep and goat milk, but in modern times we make it with cow’s milk as it’s cheaper to produce.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This halloumi cheese recipe is barely a recipe at all. No other ingredients are needed to make this simple dish.
It doesn’t take long. Six minutes on the grill is plenty of time to get beautiful golden grill marks on both sides of the cheese.
It’s delicious. Halloumi is a salted cheese, so it’s super tasty and savory without you needing to add anything to it.
Ingredients for Grilled Halloumi Cheese
- Halloumi. You’ll need a block of Halloumi Cheese. Typically it comes in an 8 or 9 ounce package.
- Oil. Some kind of oil is needed to grease the grill grates (this is very important!). Try olive oil or a cooking spray. Make sure to grease the grill rates, and the brush or spray the cheese with oil as well!
- Sides. I’m serving this with fresh vegetables and olives, plus mint which is very traditional. You can vary that however you want, and enjoy your halloumi however you like.
How to Make Grilled Halloumi Cheese
- Slice: Slice cheese into ½ inch thick slices.
- Prepare Grill: Grease the grill grates and light the grill.
- Grill: Grill the slices of halloumi for 3 minutes on the first side without touching them. Then flip and grill for 3 more minutes to get beautiful grill marks on both sides.
- Serve: Serve with fresh sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and fresh mint leaves. If you like, drizzle with olive oil and fresh black pepper.
What to Serve with Grilled Halloumi
This warm cheese is wonderful served on its own with vegetables as I have it here, but don’t stop there!
Because halloumi cheese has a high protein content, it’s perfect as a meat substitute as well. Serve halloumi grilled with Red Potato Salad and some Instant Pot Broccoli for a filling and delicious meal.
Frequently Asked Questions about Grilled Halloumi
Absolutely! Cook on medium high heat, and make sure to drizzle some olive oil on the pan to prevent any sticking.
Both methods for heating halloumi are delicious, so you can decide for yourself. Frying halloumi cheese involves heating a skillet with oil and heating it for a few minutes on each side, similar to how we’re grilling it. I like the pretty grill marks and smoky flavor that grilling adds. That’s what sets this method apart.
Halloumi can be considered a healthy food, depending on your dietary needs and preferences. As far as cheese goes, halloumi is lower in fat and higher in protein than creamier cheeses. It’s also a lower fat alternative to meat. Keep in mind that halloumi is very salty and contains a good amount of sodium. Weight loss and diet is different for everyone, but feel free to include this dish in your meal plan if it fits.
Halloumi is carried in many large grocery stores. In the U.S I know that WholeFoods and Trader Joe’s both carry it, and you can order it online. It’s a bit easier to find in the UK, and can be found in most supermarkets like Tesco’s, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose.
The flavor of halloumi is hard to explain, as it has a flavor unlike any other cheese. The flavor is not too strong, mellow but certainly flavorful. It has a slight tang similar to feta. Because the cheese is brined, it is quite salty.
The texture of this cheese is springy and squeaky. It’s quite firm, even after being grilled, however heating it does make it creamier.
If you’d rather that your halloumi cheese wasn’t so salty, you can soak the fresh cheese in water for about a half hour and then rise it off. This will pull out some of the salt, making it milder and reducing the sodium content.
This specialty cheese is made almost exclusively in the county of Cypress, an island nation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
I hope you enjoy your grilled halloumi as much as I have enjoyed it all of my life. I’m so happy that this Mediterranean cheese is now readily available for everyone to enjoy! Make sure to pin this recipe so more people can learn how to grill halloumi too.
- 8oz (225g) halloumi block sliced into ½ inch slices
- olive oil spray
- pita bread
- tomatoes sliced
- cucumber sliced
- fresh mint leaves
- Slice halloumi cheese into ½ inch thick slices.
- Grease the grill grates and light the grill.
- Grill the slices of halloumi for 3 minutes on the first side without touching them. Then flip and grill for 3 more minutes to get beautiful grill marks on both sides.
- Serve with fresh sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and fresh mint leaves. If you like, drizzle with olive oil and fresh black pepper.
- To grill halloumi on a grill pan, cook on medium high heat, and make sure to drizzle some olive oil on the pan to prevent any sticking.
- Halloumi is carried in many large grocery stores. In the U.S I know that WholeFoods and Trader Joe’s both carry it, and you can order it online. It’s a bit easier to find in the UK, and can be found in most supermarkets like Tesco’s, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen