This grilled halloumi cheese recipe takes just 10 minutes to make! Serve the cheese with baguette slices, in a salad or alongside grilled meat and vegetables.
Grilled halloumi cheese is one of the easiest things to cook and one of the most satisfying things to eat. It’s equally good on salads, like my Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad, as it is served with slices of baguette or pita bread, fresh tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Halloumi falls into the category of cheeses with a high melting point, which means it holds up well on a grill or in a skillet. Golden brown on the outside, soft on the inside. Delightful all around!
INGREDIENTS FOR GRILLED HALLOUMI CHEESE:
These are the main ingredients needed for this recipe…
- HALLOUMI: Blocks of halloumi cheese can be found in the cheese or deli section of many grocery stores. If your regular store doesn’t carry it, try a specialty Mediterranean store or a health food store, such as Whole Foods.
- OLIVE OIL: Use either extra-virgin olive oil or light olive oil.
- OIL FOR GRILL: If using an outdoor grill, brush the grates with a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil.
💙 What’s to love about this grilled halloumi recipe:
▪️QUICK & EASY: It takes just 10 minutes to slice and grill or pan fry halloumi, making it ideal for last-minute appetizers or stress-free salads.
▪️VERSATILE: BBQ halloumi pairs well with either sweet or savory ingredients. It tastes just as good when drizzled with balsamic vinegar or brushed with honey.
▪️TASTE: Halloumi has a wonderful briny, tangy flavor. Grilling adds a fantastic toasted flavor to the mix.
What is halloumi cheese?
Halloumi is a semihard, unripened cheese from Cyprus that is traditionally made from goat’s or sheep’s milk, or a combination of the two. Occasionally it is made with cow’s milk. It’s stored in brine, and has a wonderful salty, tangy flavor.
It has a similar squeaky texture to fresh mozzarella balls, but softens, rather than melts, when cooked.
To grill cheese, you need a cheese with a high melting point, which makes halloumi ideal for this purpose. Like queso blanco or paneer cheeses, halloumi doesn’t melt. However, it does soften slightly when cooked. It can be grilled or cooked in a hot frying pan.
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How do you grill halloumi cheese?
The instructions for grilling halloumi are easy as can be…
SLICE THE HALLOUMI: Cut the halloumi crosswise into 8 even slices, about ⅓-inch thick.
PAT DRY: Use a paper towel to pat dry each slice of cheese.
BRUSH WITH OIL: Using a pastry or basting brush, brush both sides of the sliced halloumi with a little olive oil.
PREP THE GRILL: Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat and brush the grates with oil. Alternatively, use a grill pan and heat it over medium-high heat until very hot. This is the pan I use (though I bought the rectangular double-burner version).
GRILL IT: Grill the halloumi cheese until there are golden brown grill marks on each side and the cheese is a bit soft to the touch. Two to three minutes per side should do the trick.
SERVE: Serve it immediately! The cheese is best straight from the grill. It has a tendency to turn rubbery once it cools.
How to serve halloumi
There are so many ways to serve halloumi. Here are a few ideas…
With baguette: Serve the grilled cheese on toasted baguette slices and top with additional ingredients. Some of my favorite combinations are tomato, basil and balsamic glaze (like a mock caprese salad), honey and strawberries and roasted peppers with pesto.
Meze platter: Meze (or mezze) is made up of a variety of small plates that can include hummus, babaganoush, roasted peppers, roasted garlic, olives and halloumi cheese.
On a salad: Grilled halloumi works with almost any type of salad, but one of my favorites is Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad with Grilled Halloumi.
How long do you cook halloumi on the grill?
When cooked on a hot grill (medium-high heat), halloumi cheese takes just 2 to 3 minutes per side. The cheese should have golden brown grill marks on each side and be a little soft when pressed with your finger.
How do you keep halloumi from sticking?
Before cooking the halloumi, brush both sides of each slice with olive oil. If using an outdoor grill, I also recommend brushing oil on the grates.
Don’t try to flip the cheese until the grill marks are well seared into the grill side of the cheese. When a slight crust forms on the grill marks, the cheese easily releases from the grate.
Can you eat halloumi without cooking it?
While halloumi is at its best when cooked – either grilled or pan-fried – there are a couple of ways to enjoy it raw.
Watermelon, feta and fresh mint salads are always popular in the summer. Try replacing the feta cheese with crumbled halloumi. Serve the salad chilled. Or replace the goat cheese with halloumi in Watermelon Phyllo Bites.
Halloumi is very firm and can be grated. Grate it over pasta or your favorite green salad. Try it in place of goat cheese in my Strawberry Arugula Salad.
Grilled Halloumi Recipe
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. If using an outdoor grill, brush the grates with oil.
- Cut the block of halloumi crosswise into 8 even slices, about ⅓-inch thick. Pat dry the slices with a paper towel.
- Brush both sides of the cheese slices with olive oil.
- Grill until the cheese has golden brown grill marks and feels a bit soft when pressed with your finger, but is not melted, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Serve immediately.
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