Grilled Halloumi cheese is perfect for adding to salads and to add extra protein to vegetarian dishes. It's mozzarella texture and high melting point mean that it retains a gorgeous, firm toothsome texture once grilled, with the smokey flavor from a grill pan.
Before we talk about how to grill halloumi, we should talk about what halloumi actually is.
What is halloumi?
Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese. It's part of everyday eating, usually for breakfast, in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, and the Levant. It's usually made from a mixture of unpasteurized sheep's and goat's milk but has expanded to include varying amounts of cow's milk too. Because halloumi is a brined cheese, it is often relatively salty. Just be cautious when you apply seasoning.
How to Grill Halloumi
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How to make grilled halloumi cheese step by step
- Slice your cheese into ½ inch thick slices. If the halloumi is sliced too thin, you run the risk of it breaking apart as you slice it and getting very uneven pieces to grill.
- Place all the halloumi slices into a dish in a single layer and drizzle with a light coating of olive oil. Season with pepper and a light dusting of salt. I prefer to oil the halloumi itself rather than the grill pan. That's because it helps to create better contact with the cheese and the pan. If you only oil the pan, the oil will run off the ridges and settle in the grooves of the pan. This creates a lot of smoke.
- Get the pan very hot to ensure that the cheese starts to color immediately. The cheese is best if it's cooked for about 3 minutes per side. You can grill a minute or two longer if you want very dark grill lines.
More Halloumi FAQ's
Are halloumi and paneer the same thing?
Great question. No, they aren't the same thing, but they can be used as substitutes for one another in a pinch. What they do have in common is their texture and the way the grill and fry are very similar. What sets them apart is that paneer is very acidic and halloumi has almost no acid in it at all. Those characteristics are what give paneer and halloumi they're unique non-melting properties.
High acidity and very low help prevent melting.
Can you eat halloumi cheese raw?
You bet. But it is so much better fried or grilled and it only takes about 6 minutes to do that. So, although you can eat halloumi raw, it would be a little crazy if you did.
What should you eat with halloumi?
Some perfect ways to use halloumi are to top salads with it. It's a fabulous stand-in for a beef burger and it's stunning used in a curry instead of chicken.
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How to Make Grilled Halloumi
- Heat a grill pan over a high heat. Slice the halloumi into ½ inch thick slices.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Place the slices onto the grill pan and grill for 3 minutes before turning over and grilling for a further 3 minutes.
- Place the grilled halloumi on a plate and drizzle with a splash more olive oil and top with some lemon zest if desired.
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Thanks so much Maria!
I love this platform
Why is it crazy to eat halloumi raw?
We, in the Levant at least, eat raw halloumi in sandwiches with assorted vegetables. As well as toasted, grilled and fried.
Thanks so much for the comment Naryn! I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to cause offense at all! I just prefer the smokiness of grilled halloumi, so I would always go for the grilled option. Even with watermelon. It would be crazy for me to go for an option that I didn't like as much. Completely understand that not everyone loves that same smokiness. I think we can agree that halloumi is delicious either way! ♡
Raw halloumi with watermelon is an amazing summer treat. 🙂
Debs, none taken. I just wanted to point out that raw also tastes good.
Btw I followed your steps to grilling halloumi, loved it. And so easy to do. Thanks! ?
That's awesome! Thanks Naryn!
For anyone who needs a last minute, sooo delicious appetizer, this is it. Slice it, dress it, grill it. Ta Da! Serve it with grilled baguette. Easy peasy.