What Is Halloumi Cheese and How Do You Prepare It?

The Middle Eastern cheese's high melting point makes it the perfect grilling cheese. That's right, halloumi can go directly on the grill.

Both kids and adults enjoy a melty grilled cheese sandwich (who can resist warm cheese?!). But have you tried direct-grilling halloumi (pronounced huh-loo-mee) cheese over the open flame? The hard, tangy cheese has roots in the Middle Eastern country of Cyprus but is becoming more popular all over the world. It's got a high melting point so it warms up without completely melting, making it the perfect hearty cheese for appetizers and vegetarian dishes. Here you'll learn what halloumi cheese is made of and we'll share our favorite ways to enjoy it. Prepare to add this addicting cheese to your regular menu.

Pesto Veggie Gyro
Jason Donnelly

What Is Halloumi?

Halloumi (also sometimes spelled haloumi or hallomi) is a semisoft cheese that has a stretchy, rubbery texture similar to those beloved balls of fresh mozzarella on your pizza Margherita or Indian paneer cheese. Traditionally, halloumi is made from goat's or sheep's milk (or a combo of the two), but cow's milk is also used today. As for the flavor, it's tangy and salty, somewhere between mozzarella and feta cheeses. A 1-ounce serving of halloumi cheese has up to 9 grams of protein and 25% of your daily calcium needs, making the nutritional value beneficial to vegetarian diets.

Where to Buy Halloumi

Luckily, halloumi cheese can be found in most larger grocery stores. It will likely be in vacuum-sealed packaging or a container stored in brine (a salt and water solution). Look for it in the specialty cheese section of your local store. The price will vary depending on the brand and where you're shopping but expect it cost an average of $8-$10 for a half-pound (8-ounce) portion.

Buy It: Halloumi Cheese 3 Pack ($40, Amazon)

How to Cook Halloumi

While halloumi can be enjoyed raw, it's most commonly served after grilling or frying. It has a firm texture and high melting point, so it won't turn into a cheesy mess as you might think. Since the cheese is already brined with salt, all you need to do is brush a little cooking oil on your halloumi slices and place them on the grill ($119, The Home Depot). The salt helps crisp up the outside, while the inside gets all nice and melty. For more detailed directions, check out our sister site, Allrecipes, to learn how to cook halloumi on the grill or pan-sear some halloumi fries in a skillet.

Halloumi Cheese Recipes

Once you get hooked on halloumi, you'll be looking for all sorts of ways to incorporate it into your favorite recipes. Feel free to use halloumi in any recipe you'd usually go for mozzarella or feta cheese. Try it as a topping for your salad. Grill it and make a vegetarian gyro. Swap out the cheese on your favorite pizza or batter and fry your halloumi cheese like mozzarella sticks for an unforgettable appetizer.

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