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From Squeak to Sizzle: How to Grill Halloumi

A plate of freshly grilled halloumi cheese on a plate.

If you’re looking for new ways to add some flair to your grilling season, add halloumi to your grocery list. We’ll teach you how to grill it, and the best ways to enjoy this squeaky cheese.

What Is Halloumi?

Halloumi is a unique cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk, or a combination of the two. It’s traditionally prepared on the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

You can also purchase some made of cow’s milk, but we highly recommend sheep- or goat-milk halloumi. This unripe, brined cheese is considered semi-firm. It has a spongy, yet rubbery, texture, that squeaks between your teeth while you chew it.

You can eat halloumi plain and raw, but most enjoy this salty cheese with beautiful flame-kissed lines across each slice. Because of its high melting point, halloumi is ideal for grilling or pan-frying.

We’ll teach you how to prepare your halloumi, and then toss it on an open flame.

How to Prep and Grill Halloumi

Luckily, you can find halloumi in many supermarkets today. If you’re having trouble, though, call up any specialty food market in your area.

Follow these steps to prepare and grill your halloumi:

  • Cut the cheese into slices that are about 1/2-inch thick, and then drizzle them with olive oil.
Sliced halloumi cheese on a chopping block next to some roma tomatoes and fresh basil.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy
  • Heat the grill to medium-high heat. After cleaning your grill, use tongs to dip a wad of paper towels in oil and wipe down the grates.
  • Place the halloumi slices directly over the grill, always keeping the lid up.
  • After about three to five minutes, turn the halloumi over and grill the other side. You’ll notice light brown grill marks appear. If your cheese sticks to the grates, it’s not quite ready for flipping.
Six slices of halloumi cheese on a grill.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy
  • Plate your halloumi and top it with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and parsley. To add a little sweetness, drizzle some balsamic glaze over it and add a few soft basil leaves.
  • Serve it right away—you’ll get the most flavor while it’s warm.

Other Ways to Enjoy Grilled Halloumi

Grilled halloumi has gained popularity over the years, and you can enjoy it in several ways. You can serve it up with watermelon wedges, like they do in Cyprus, or concoct your own creation.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes for some inspiration:

  • Grilled Halloumi Sandwiches: These are like a new way to enjoy caprese stuffed with pan-fried (or grilled) thick slices of halloumi and fresh slices of tomato. The balsamic glaze or pesto is optional, but we recommend including at least the pesto for optimal flavor. You can also add a balsamic glaze drizzle with fresh basil leaves.

Get the Recipe: I Heart Vegetables

  • Halloumi Tacos with Pineapple Salsa: Another exciting way to enjoy pan-fried halloumi cheese, this time in taco form. This untraditional recipe is a perfect example of how versatile this squeaky cheese can be. Enjoy these warm tacos topped with cooling pineapple salsa.

Get the Recipe: Cookie + kate

  • Grilled Halloumi with Watermelon and Basil-Mint Oil: If you want a more traditional recipe, this is it! It’s grilled to perfection and accompanied by watermelon wedges and charred, vined cherry tomatoes. Don’t take a bite until you drizzle it with basil-mint infused oil.

Get the Recipe: Epicurious

Other Ways to Cook Halloumi

 Vegetarian skewers with halloumi cheese and tomatoes on a chopping block.
Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

Halloumi is a fantastic cooking cheese, which is why it’s the star of a ton of recipes and accompanies so many others. Besides grilling, there are several other ways you can cook this cheese.

It tastes just as delicious pan-fried. Just add about one tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet on medium-to-high heat, and then cut the cheese into 1/4-inch slices. Cook each side for about two or three minutes, or until it’s golden brown and crispy.

You can even try halloumi kebabs! Cheese on a stick is both exciting and delicious. Cut the halloumi into 1/2-inch cubes. Toss on a bit of olive oil and some cracked salt and pepper, and then throw them on the grill. Finish them with some squeezed lemon juice and fresh parsley.

There are many ways you can enjoy this squeaky cheese. Whether you serve it up as an appetizer at your next dinner party or make halloumi burgers for dinner, people will love this new and exciting addition to your spread.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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