Grilled Halloumi cheese is a delicacy. Golden brown, crispy exterior. Soft, gooey interior, and a wonderfully savory flavor. It's a magic cheese that you can grill!
Have you heard about the cheese that doesn't melt? When cooked, it has a browned, crusty exterior. A soft, gooey interior. And an intensely savory flavor. It truly is magic - a cheese that retains its shape when grilled.
So you grill this cheese and it doesn't turn into a melty mess! Instead, it develops a crispy exterior and a soft, delicious interior. The pieces remain intact and you can enjoy them as savory finger food. Yes, it's as good as it sounds. And that magic cheese is called halloumi.
The beauty of this recipe is that you only need TWO ingredients to make it! The exact amounts you'll need are listed in the recipe card below. But basically, you'll need a block of halloumi cheese - it usually comes in 8-ounce blocks - and some olive oil. That's it!
How to grill halloumi cheese? It's so easy! Just like the list of ingredients, the instructions for making this recipe are wonderfully short. You'll find the details in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Start by slicing the block of cheese into eight slices. Try to keep them fairly equal in thickness.
Brush the cheese slices with olive oil. It adds great flavor! Alternatively, you can simply spray the grill surfaces with olive oil, as shown in the video below.
Then grill the slices in a grill pan over medium heat, about 3 minutes per side. That's it!
You can sprinkle the cheese with spices before grilling. I don't usually do that - I prefer the natural flavor of the cheese. But if you'd like to try, a few tasty options include smoked paprika, ground cumin, and garlic powder. I don't recommend using dried herbs, as they tend to burn when grilled.
Halloumi cheese makes a wonderful salad topping. Sometimes I add it to this arugula salad to turn it into a complete meal.
It's also delicious all by itself, eaten as finger food. This is actually my favorite way of enjoying this tasty cheese.
Ideally, you should enjoy this recipe when freshly prepared. Keeping leftovers is kind of like keeping a leftover grilled cheese sandwich. It will be okay when you reheat it in the microwave. But it won't be as good as when eaten fresh.
Still, if you must, you can keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them very gently in the microwave on 50% power, or eat them cold.
Instead of grilling this cheese, you can pan-fry it. The instructions are pretty much identical. You slice the cheese, spray the frying pan with olive oil, heat it over medium heat, then fry the cheese slices until browned, about 3 minutes per side.
Frequently asked questions
It's a semi-hard, unripened brined cheese from Cyprus. It's made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk. It tastes like a combination of fresh Mozzarella and feta. What's unique about this cheese is that it has a high melting point, which makes it an ideal candidate for grilling or frying.
You can, but it won't be very good. Without cooking it has a rubbery texture and it's also VERY salty. Cooking improves its texture and mellows its saltiness.
I was recently asked in an email about microwaving this cheese. I haven't tried that, and I doubt it would be as good as grilling or pan-frying. The entire point is getting that beautiful golden-brown crust. The microwave can't do that.
Both are equally good, in my opinion. If you're too lazy to use the grill, and quick pan-frying is easier, go for it! I've made it both ways and both are excellent. Both methods produce a gooey interior and a crispy exterior.
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Grilled Halloumi Cheese
- 1 (8 oz) package halloumi cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- A pinch of spices (such as smoked paprika, ground cumin, and garlic powder)*
- Slice the halloumi block into eight (1 oz) slices.
- Brush the slices with olive oil on both sides.
- Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium heat, about 5 minutes. If you don't own a grill pan, a regular nonstick pan will work, although the fried cheese won't look as pretty without the grill marks.
- Place the cheese slices in the pan (work in two batches if necessary). Cook 3 minutes on each side, until crisp and browned. Serve immediately.