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!
When I was a kid, my mom wanted to get more calcium into my brother’s and my growing bones. We were completely underwhelmed by the idea, so to make it more enticing, she used to place some shredded cheddar in a skillet and melt it. Melted cheese is a delicacy! So we ate away.
Many years later, I discovered the cheese that doesn’t melt. Grilled halloumi cheese has a browned, crusty exterior. A soft, gooey interior. And an intensely savory flavor. It truly is magic – cheese that retains its shape when grilled.
What is halloumi cheese?
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.
It’s like magic! You grill this cheese and it doesn’t turn into a melty mess! It retains its shape. And it develops a crispy exterior and a soft, delicious interior. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.
The ingredients you’ll need
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 and some olive oil. That’s it!
How cool is that? I love recipes that have a short ingredient list. I’m guessing you do too!
How to make grilled halloumi
It’s so easy! Just like the list of ingredients, the set of instructions in this recipe is wonderfully short. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. These are the basic steps:
1. Start by slicing the block of cheese into eight slices. Try to keep them fairly equal in thickness.
2. 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.
3. Then grill the slices in a grill pan over medium heat, about 3 minutes per side. That’s it!
How to serve it?
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 yummy finger food. This is actually my favorite way of enjoying this tasty cheese.
Can I keep leftovers?
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.
An alternative to grilling
Instead of grilling the halloumi 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.
I was asked in an email about microwaving the cheese. I haven’t tried that, and I doubt it would be as good as grilling or pan-frying. The entire point it getting that beautiful golden-brown crust. The microwave can’t do that.
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Grilled Halloumi Cheese
- 1 (8 oz) package halloumi cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Slice the halloumi block into eight (1 oz) slices.
- Brush the halloumi 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.