Grilled Halloumi Cheese with grilled tomatoes that are marinated with garlic, and served with balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and olives. This Mediterranean appetizer bursts with flavors!
This recipe for grilled Halloumi cheese is an easy one to make. It takes about 5 minutes on the grill plus 30 minutes to marinate the tomatoes.
What Is Halloumi Cheese?
Halloumi cheese or Haloumi, is a cheese made of a mixture of goat and sheep's milk. It's salty and squeaky and holds its shape when you cook it. It's not a cheese that melts when cooked that's why it's always grilled or pan-fried.
Is Halloumi Greek Cheese? There is usually the confusion that Halloumi is a Greek cheese but it's not. Even though it is in many Greek dishes, Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese.
Best Ways To Eat Halloumi
Halloumi cheese is either served as an appetizer or as a filling Vegetarian substitute for meat. So the best ways to eat Halloumi cheese are:
- Grilled (or pan-fried) and served with balsamic or honey and sesame. In Greece, we love to serve grilled Halloumi as a warm salad with grilled vegetables or over a dark leafy green salad (like a mixture of spinach and rocket for example).
- Inside wraps and sandwiches instead of meat. Like a pita wrap with vegetables and grilled Halloumi for example (in this case it substitutes Gyros or Souvlaki).
How To Grill Halloumi Cheese
Since Halloumi is a grilling cheese it's very easy to grill. It doesn't stick because it doesn't melt. It takes only a few minutes to cook and once you see how easy it is you'll be making it over and over again!
Grilling Halloumi on a grill pan or griddle: Cut the cheese into 1.5 cm (¾-inch) thick slices.
Heat your grill pan or griddle very well over high heat. Then brush the cheese with some oil (I use olive oil) and grill for a few minutes.
Grilling Halloumi on BBQ: Just an extra step when grilling on fire, brush the grates with oil as well!
How to grill Halloumi in a pan: If you want to cook Halloumi in a plain pan (cast iron would be great) add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. It will be more pan-fried than grilled though.
What To Serve With Grilled Halloumi
The saltiness of this cheese and the delicious juices released from the grilled tomatoes definitely call for some bread or pita bread on the side. In Greece, bread is grilled and seasoned with dried oregano, olive oil, and sea salt. Serve this together with this grilled Halloumi appetizer for a little taste of heaven.
You can also season the pita bread with dried oregano, sea salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of olive oil. Rub all over and grill the pita for a minute on each side. It gets so yummy that way!
As an appetizer Halloumi goes amazing with most meat, pasta, and vegetable dishes. Here are a few examples: Chicken with Hilopites, Mpiftekia (Greek burgers), Briami (Vegetable Bake), and Healthy Greek Chicken Pasta Salad.
Grilled Halloumi Cheese
For The Halloumi Recipe:
To Serve With:
- fresh basil leaves
- green olives
- Marinate the tomatoes. Rub the slices with the olive oil and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of dried oregano. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Heat a grill pan (or griddle or bbq) over high heat. Remove excess marinade from the tomatoes but do not discard it.
- Grill the tomatoes for 3 minutes turning them once (see note 1 below).
- Grill the cheese (after brushing it with some olive oil first) for 3 to 4 minutes turning it once as well.
- Serve. Lay the cheese and tomato slices on a plate. Mix the leftover tomato marinade with the balsamic vinegar and drizzle over the cheese and tomatoes. Toss a few fresh basil leaves (chop if too big), and serve with some olives on top. Enjoy!