8 Tangy, Salty Halloumi Recipes to Try

8 Tangy, Salty Halloumi Recipes to Try

8 Tangy, Salty Halloumi Recipes to Try

Firm and salty, Halloumi cheese is best when cooked and can stand up to countless preparations, from grilling to frying. This white cheese originated on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, and is  traditionally made with sheep’s milk, though you’ll also find cow’s and goat’s milk versions, or ones that are made with a combination. 

Halloumi is extremely popular in Europe, particularly in the U.K., where it’s the number-one imported cheese. Although most of the Halloumi in the U.S. is also imported, there are a few American producers like Yaya’s Cheese in Boise, Idaho. 

Halloumi has a salty and milky flavor, somewhat like feta — but it may be most well-known for its high melting point and ability to hold its shape when grilled or seared. “It develops a beautiful caramelized outer crust and a squishy, squeaky interior,” says cookbook author and former F&W restaurant editor Khushbu Shah. 

“This unique texture makes it incredibly versatile. Grilled Halloumi cubes, which act as salty ‘croutons,’ are my favorite way to elevate any salad,” says Shah. “They are also satisfying threaded onto skewers with vegetables, and they make a great filling for tacos or a topping for focaccia. Or cut the cheese into slabs, then cook them and stuff them into a sandwich — Halloumi works particularly well in a vegetarian riff on a BLT or seared with hot honey for Mediterranean-inspired Hot Honey Halloumi Sliders.” 

Read on for more ideas on how to use this versatile cheese. 

Grilled Halloumi Burgers with Citrus Tapenade

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn

Halloumi develops a charred crust that yields to soft cheese inside when it’s grilled or sautéed. Make it the centerpiece of a vegetarian burger, seasoning with cumin, salt, and pepper. Top with a citrusy olive tapenade and crushed red pepper flakes for tang and heat.

Greek Kale Salad with Fried Halloumi

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Nidia Cueva

Add crispy halloumi cheese, kalamata olives, and a spicy Mediterranean dressing to classic Greek salad for a piquant, hearty variation from Marve McClain.

Citrus, Beet, and Arugula Salad with Halloumi Croutons

Photo by Dan Perez / Food Styling and Prop Styling by Nurit Kariv

Adeena Sussman elevates a peppery arugula salad to special occasion status in 35 minutes with crispy halloumi croutons, mixed citrus, and jewel-toned roasted beets.

Hot Honey Halloumi Sliders

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Sandwich Calabrian chile–marinated Halloumi, peppery arugula, and roasted red peppers between Hawaiian rolls for these bright, punchy, spicy, and fruity sliders.

Saganaki Halloumi (Cypriot Fried Halloumi)

Photo by Cedric Angeles / Prop Styling by Stephanie Bohn

Fry halloumi cheese in clarified butter, then brush in a spiced honey and serve with lemon yogurt, brandy-basted nectarines, and fresh tomatoes for a sweet and savory appetizer from Christian Hernandez, chef de cuisine of March in Houston.

Halloumi Schnitzel Salad

Carson Downing / Food Styling by Holly Dreesman / Prop Styling by Gabriel Greco

Pieces of crunchy, gooey fried halloumi upgrade this salad to an irresistible main course in an hour.

Halloumi-and-Vegetable Skewers with Pomegranate-Tahini Sauce

Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Marinate halloumi and vegetables in an earthy, punchy, sweet pomegranate-tahini marinade with fresh orange juice for a pleasant depth of flavor.

Mango-and-Halloumi Fritto Misto

Victor Protasio

F&W’s Justin Chapple forms a light but dippable crust on sturdy halloumi and firm mangoes with a batter of fizzy club soda, flour, and cornstarch for this cheese and fruit mixed fry.