This Grilled Halloumi is what I’ll be enjoying all summer. It is a gooey, cheesy, delicious grilled cheese that can be enjoyed on salads, bread, or on it’s own (because it’s cheese so obviously that is acceptable) (right?).
Halloumi cheese is popular throughout Mediterranean cuisine. This firm cheese is made with goat, sheep, and cow’s milk. Beyond that, what I discovered about this cheese is that it has a super high melting point, which is cool because you can pop this cheese directly on a hot grill!
By simply dressing it with some oil and lemon, the cheese makes a wonderful and unexpected vegetarian meal. With defined grill marks and a firm texture, folks will think it is magic cheese! Here’s how to cook halloumi cheese to *perfection*.
Ingredients for Grilled Halloumi
There are only 4 ingredients needed for this awesome vegetarian recipe, but they basically equate to two ingredients – cheese and seasoning. How easy is that?!
- Halloumi Cheese: The star of the show! It can be found in many grocery stores and natural food markets (near the feta and buffalo mozzarella).
- Olive Oil: I love using olive oil because of all the great health benefits olive oil offers. You could also use avocado oil or even plain vegetable oil if that’s what you have on hand.
- Italian Seasoning: Italian seasoning compliments the lemon perfectly. I mean have you ever used Italian seasoning and not also used lemon juice (I am ignoring spaghetti sauce)?
- Lemon Juice: Again, this is just such a great flavor to add to the cheese as it balances the creaminess of halloumi.
Helluvah Time Finding Halloumi?
Halloumi is a somewhat unique cheese. While I love it and believe everyone needs to make grilled halloumi, if you can’t find it in the store you can use bread cheese or paneer. Both of which are also firm cheeses.
How to Grill Halloumi
Making this grilled halloumi is so easy! It involves 4 steps (1 of which is to serve it) and 4 ingredients.
Step 1: Slice
Cut halloumi into thick (½ inch-ish) slabs. Cutting them into the same thickness allows them to cook evenly and heat all the way through quickly without burning.
Step 2: Season
Stir together olive oil and Italian seasoning.
Brush onto all sides of the halloumi. Brushing this on each side ensures that the cheese will not stick to the grill or hot pan, while also infusing it everywhere with that delicious seasoning!
Step 3: Grill
Transfer halloumi onto either a hot grill or grill pan. Cook over high heat until outside is charred. Leave it be! It can be tempting to move the cheese to check on it, but give it a couple of minutes to develop those great grill marks before moving. (It will also be less apt to stick to the pan if you just let it cook for a bit – once the cheese toasts to golden perfection, it shouldn’t stick to the pan),
Step 4: Serve
Drizzle with lemon juice and serve hot. Halloumi can be enjoyed cold, but because it is such a firm cheese, it is best hot!
Leftovers: If you have leftovers (I doubt you will), they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you want to enjoy them, simply reheat them on a nonstick skillet over medium heat. You may need to add more oil if it has absorbed into the cheese to keep from sticking to a grill or pan.
Variations: Because this is somewhere between a feta and mozzarella, this cheese can be enjoyed with many of the similar flavors that those cheeses would be. You could try adding some balsamic drizzle to finish the cheese, serve with fresh berries, or brush the cheese with pesto and olive oil prior to grilling.
Other ways to cook: If you do not have access to a grill, you can also pan fry, air fry, or bake the halloumi. Pan fried halloumi is my preferred back up method of cooking.
Make it a burger: Halloumi burgers are one of my favorite vegetarian recipes! Just season, pan fry, and slap it on a bun!
How to Use Grilled Halloumi
This can seriously be enjoyed in so many ways! On salads, sandwiches, as an appetizer, on its own, you name it. Here are just a couple of ways I have been loving it.
- Mediterranean Romesco Bowls are hearty and satisfying. They would be so good topped with grilled halloumi!
- Caprese Panini has all of those Mediterranean flavors that go great with halloumi. By using a firmer cheese in this sandwich, it would have a more meaty texture.
- Grilled Romaine Salad is also grilled so it would be simple to throw this on right next to the bbq halloumi. And suddenly, you have a full dinner ready on the grill!
- Portobello Mushroom Gyros are packed with fresh herbs and creamy tzatziki sauce. If you didn’t have portobello or wanted more creaminess, grilled halloumi cheese would make a great addition or substitute for mushrooms in this dish.
- 8 oz halloumi cheese 226 g
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- Slice: Cut halloumi into thick (½ inch-ish) slabs.
- Season: Stir together olive oil and Italian seasoning. Brush onto all sides of the halloumi.
- Grill: Transfer halloumi onto either a hot grill or grill pan. Cook over high heat until outside is charred.
- Serve: Drizzle with lemon juice and serve hot.
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