Grilled Halloumi Cheese is grilled cheese, taken to the literal max. As in, we are grilling cheese, char marks and all!

grilled halloumi cheese recipe with crackers

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Move over Mozzarella Sticks because there’s a new gooey cheese appetizer in my life and her name is grilled halloumi cheese.

What’s halloumi cheese? Let me introduce you.

  • Halloumi is a firm cheese that originated in Cyprus. It’s made with some combination of goat’s, sheep’s, and cow’s milk and is popular throughout the Mediterranean.
  • A unique trait of halloumi cheese is its high melting point which allows it to be cooked directly on the hot grill plates without melting into total oblivion.

Cooking it feels a little bit like magic and eating is pretty magical too.

What Does Halloumi Cheese Taste Like?

Halloumi cheese has a mild and buttery flavor. It is a little bit like a cross between feta, mozzarella, and paneer (hello, Paneer Tikka Masala).

When warm, halloumi cheese tastes creamy, salty, and absolutely delicious!

grilled halloumi cheese salad on on a plate

5 Star Review

“It’s amazing! I love its flavor with olive oil.”

— Rebecca —

How to Grill Halloumi Cheese

Grilled halloumi makes an unexpected, impressive appetizer (especially served with Greek Layer Dip) that will delight your friends.

It can be a vegetarian main, or use the grilled halloumi cheese to make an actual grilled cheese sandwich.

However you enjoy grilled halloumi cheese, you can’t go wrong!


The Ingredients

  • Halloumi Cheese. This mild, firm cheese shines on the grill. It’s also quite the party trick!

Substitution Tip!

If you can’t find halloumi (see “FAQ” below for suggestions on where to buy), you can make this recipe with another cheese with a high melting point and firm texture. Good substitutes for halloumi cheese include bread cheese (which is popular in Wisconsin), Juustoleipä (a Scandinavian cheese that inspired bread cheese), paneer, and queso fresco.

  • Herbs. While you can enjoy halloumi cheese all on its own, I love to give a nod to its Mediterranean roots by adding oregano and thyme.
  • Lemon Juice. A squeeze wakes up the flavor and nicely balances the richness of the halloumi.
  • Olive Oil. While you can fry halloumi cheese in a nonstick skillet without adding any oil (the fat content of the cheese is sufficient), when grilling, oil is an important insurance policy.

The Directions

grilled halloumi marinade in a bowl
  1. Preheat the grill. Then mix the marinade.

TIP!

To keep your halloumi from sticking to the grill, make sure your grates are VERY clean and oil the halloumi well before grilling.

sliced halloumi with olive oil ready to be grilled
  1. Slice the Halloumi cheese.
sliced halloumi and marinade ready to be grilled
  1. Brush both sides with the marinade.
halloumi cheese with marinade on the grill
  1. Grill halloumi for 2 to 6 minutes, turning once or twice, until grill marks appear.
Grilled halloumi cheese on a plate with lemon
  1. Sprinkle with the remaining olive oil, lemon, and thyme. Serve warm with pita bread, mixed into a salad, or however wish. ENJOY!

TIP!

No grill? No problem! You can make grilled halloumi indoors on a cast iron grill pan (like this one) on your stovetop.

Ways to Serve Grilled Halloumi

  • Appetizer. Pile it on a plate alongside pita, Homemade Naan, or toasted baguette slices. As an appetizer is my favorite way to serve halloumi, and my friends go crazy for it!
  • Grilled Halloumi Salad. Cut the grilled halloumi into bite-sized pieces and pile them on your favorite salad. This Mediterranean Chickpea Salad, Israeli Couscous Salad, and this Arugula Salad would all be tasty.
  • Grilled Halloumi Sandwich. Tuck your grilled halloumi into a pita or between slices of toasted bread with thinly sliced, roasted, or grilled vegetables and a smear of Edamame Hummus for a filling vegetarian main.
  • Grilled Halloumi Wrap. Use pita or a whole wheat tortilla to create a tasty grilled halloumi wrap.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover grilled halloumi for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm it in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • To Freeze. Halloumi cheese can be frozen. Freeze slices of uncooked halloumi cheese in a vacuum-sealed bag or airtight container for up to 6 months. Then you can thaw in small batches and grill on-demand.

Meal Prep Tip

Slice the halloumi up to 5 days in advance. Rewrap and refrigerate until ready to grill.

easy grilled halloumi cheese with pita

What to Serve With Halloumi Cheese

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Measuring Spoons. Magnetic measuring spoons keep organized in your drawers.
  • Tongs. These stainless steel tongs have lasted years. Plus, they lock for easy storage.

The Best Grill Brush

These marinade basting brushes are perfect for the grill. They’re stainless steel, with dishwasher-safe and heat-resistant silicone bristles that spread sauce on thick!

a plate with grilled halloumi cheese with herbs and lemon

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Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Easy grilled halloumi cheese salad with pita

Now, THIS is my idea of grilled CHEESE!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Eat Halloumi Cheese Without Cooking It?

While you can eat halloumi raw, it’s best enjoyed cooked. Cooking halloumi improves both its taste and texture. It becomes creamier and some of the saltiness from the brining process mellows to a pleasant amount of saltiness. Grilling and pan-frying halloumi cheese are among the most popular, easy ways to prepare it.

How Do You Bake Halloumi Cheese?

Spread the slices in a single layer in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or until warmed through, flipping it halfway through.

Where to Buy Halloumi Cheese?

Halloumi cheese is sold in America, you just have to know where to look. I can almost always find it at my local Trader Joe’s, Aldi, and the specialty cheese section at my local grocery store. Halloumi is also sometimes available at Walmart depending on your region. If you’re struggling, the best thing to do is type into Google where to buy halloumi cheese? Then the search will be tailored to your location. If all else fails, there’s always Amazon.

Why is Halloumi Squeaky?

Halloumi cheese “squeaks” in its raw form when bitten due to the long protein strands that form its structure. The sound you hear is the proteins rubbing against the enamel of your teeth. Cheese curds and paneer are two other well-known kinds of cheese that are loved for their squeakiness.

Does Halloumi Cheese Have Lactose?

Yes, halloumi does contain lactose. However, if it is made exclusively with sheep or goat milk, then it will typically contain less lactose than those made with cow’s milk.

a plate with grilled halloumi cheese with herbs and lemon

Grilled Halloumi Cheese

Learn how to grill halloumi cheese. Grilled halloumi cheese with herbs is a perfect appetizer or unique topping for salads and sandwiches!

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins

Servings: 12

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces chunk halloumi cheese cut into 1/3 to 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided, plus additional for the grill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme minced
  • Pita bread optional, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat a grill to medium-high (about 400 degrees F). Make sure your grill is VERY clean or the halloumi may stick.
  • In a small bowl, stir together 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and oregano.
  • Slice the Halloumi cheese into 1/3- to 1/2-inch slices.
  • Brush the marinade over both sides of the halloumi.
  • Generously oil the grill. Grill the halloumi for 2 to 6 minutes, turning once or twice, until grill marks appear. When lightly pressed the halloumi should give but not be runny (halloumi is a firm, not melty cheese). Place the lemon on the grill with the cut-sides down and let cook until grill marks appear. (To grill the pita, brush it with olive oil, then cook a minute or two on each side, until hot.)
  • Transfer the grilled halloumi and lemon to a platter. Drizzle the cheese with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Squeeze the grilled lemon over the top. Sprinkle with thyme. Serve warm with pita, mixed into a salad, or however you please.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Halloumi is best enjoyed immediately after cooking but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm it in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • TO FREEZE: Can halloumi cheese be frozen? It sure can! Freeze slices of uncooked halloumi cheese in a vacuum-sealed bag or airtight container for up to 6 months. Then you can thaw in small batches and grill on-demand.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 12Calories: 34kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gPotassium: 15mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 15IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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2 Comments

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    1. Hi Mrs. F. Forte, you can find this cheese at Trader Joe’s, Amazon, and even sometimes Walmart will have it. The best thing to do is type into Google where to buy halloumi cheese? Then the search will be tailored to your location. Hope this helps!