Crispy Halloumi Fries

5 from 3 votes

Better than potatoes or cheese sticks, my spiced halloumi fries are the easiest, tastiest snack you can make in less than 30 minutes! My crispy halloumi recipe is seasoned with the best of Mediterranean flavors and topped off with a savory za’atar yogurt.

closeup: halloumi fries on a plate

Nothing stimulates the appetite quite like a good, solid crunch. Instead of pulling out the freezer fries or ordering takeout, try this simple halloumi recipe for a taste of something new!

Halloumi fries are a popular snack throughout both the Mediterranean and Middle East, and recipes from this part of the world present some truly mouthwatering combinations: tangy and fatty, creamy and spicy, and unique presentations of fruits and herbs make each dish one to remember.

closeup: plate stacked with crispy halloumi fries

If you’re a fan of fried paneer pakora, you’ll love these crispy halloumi fries! 

Or maybe you’re not going for “crunch” and instead are looking for more of that fresh flavor and soft center. In that case, try frying the cheese on its own.

Fried halloumi can be served sweet, savory, or even in a refreshing Greek salad.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Halloumi – This white cheese has a lot of body and a high melting point, which makes it ideal for frying. 
  • Paprika – Sweet and smoky with a subtle heat, the paprika adds a great contrast to the naturally salty cheese.
  • Vegetable Oil It’s important to select an oil with a high smoking point for a fried halloumi recipe. I use vegetable oil, but peanut or canola oils are great alternatives.
  • Toppings – Enjoy any of the following on their own or in any combination!
    • Zaatar Yogurt Just mix plain yogurt with ½ teaspoon zaatar seasoning for a wonderfully savory and creamy sauce for drizzling or dipping!
    • Pomegranate Seeds This sweet, sour, juicy fruit is a welcome taste on salty halloumi fries. For an even more intense pomegranate flavor, try a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.
    • Chopped Mint Leaves Chop this cool, refreshing herb very finely so that you don’t get too much in any one bite. 
    • Chili Flakes – These could be mixed into the yogurt or even added to the flour for extra spice.
    • Sumac – Fruity and sour, sumac is one of the most essential Middle Eastern essentials!

Tip From Kevin

Halloumi Cheese

Halloumi, the rebel in the cheese family, defies the melt with its sturdy structure and high melting point. Its secret? A unique combo of proteins that holds up under heat, resulting in a satisfyingly firm texture. Perfect for grilling, it chars beautifully, making every bite an irresistible delight. This Cypriot gem boasts a salty-sweet flavor and a divine squeaky bite.

How to Make Halloumi Fries

  1. Slice Cheese. Slice the halloumi into 16 uniform strips ½“ thick. Keeping them the same size is the best way to ensure they cook evenly, and this size gives you a nice “steak fry” thickness. 
  2. Dredge. Add the flour and paprika to a shallow bowl – something that’s a good height for dredging – and whisk together. Roll each cheese strip in the flour so it’s evenly coated in the mixture. Set aside until you’re ready to fry.
  3. Heat Oil. Fill your deep skillet or saucepan with 1” of vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Test it to make sure it’s ready for frying by dipping one end of a coated cheese strip into it. If it sizzles, it’s ready!
  4. Fry. Carefully lower the fries into the oil. If your pan is too small to prevent them from touching as they fry, prepare in batches. Cook for 4 minutes until golden brown, turning as needed for all sides to brown.
  5. Serve. Transfer the hot, crispy halloumi fries to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil. Then, transfer to your serving platter with your desired toppings and enjoy while hot!
  • Deep Skillet or Saucepan – Choose one with deep sides to prevent splatters. Because you’ll need to fill it at least 1” deep with oil, you might be better off with a smaller diameter so that you don’t need to go through half a bottle of oil to get the right depth!

Storing and Reheating

I highly recommend serving halloumi fries immediately and not saving any for leftovers. The texture reverses once it’s refrigerated — the crust softens while the inside hardens.

If you truly do want to save them, reheat them within 3 days. Reheat in the oven or air fryer to restore as much crunch to the exterior as possible.

overhead: plate with halloumi fries recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

What is halloumi and what does it taste like?


Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese usually made from goat’s or sheep’s milk. It originated in Cyprus, but it’s just as popular in the Middle East as it is in the Mediterranean. 

It tastes almost like a mellow feta. Though salty and tangy, it isn’t at all overwhelming. It’s a bit rubbery as-is, but once fried it softens beautifully and takes on an appetizing, tender texture.

How can I make extra crispy halloumi fries?


The easiest way to crisp up cheese fries is to add a bit of cornstarch to the flour. Mixed into the crust, it makes the exterior even crunchier while the center continues to soften.

Why soak halloumi before frying?


Soaking will remove some of the cheese’s saltiness. Depending on the taste you’re going for, this may or may not be something you want to try before making your halloumi fries.

I think the saltiness of the cheese makes for truly spectacular, crispy fries without needing to add too many extra seasonings.

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closeup: someone holding a halloumi fry with pomegranate and dipping sauce
plate of halloumi fries with toppings yogurt, pomegranate seeds and mint

Crispy Halloumi Fries

5 from 3 votes
A cheesy Mediterranean snack, halloumi fries are dredged in seasoned flour, fried and topped with za’atar yogurt, pomegranate and mint!
Servings: 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 23 minutes

Ingredients 

Toppings

  • zaatar yogurt (1 cup plain yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon zaatar mixed)
  • pomegranate molasses
  • pomegranate seeds
  • mint leaves chopped
  • chili flakes
  • sumac

Instructions 

  • Cut the halloumi cheese into 16 thick "fries".
  • Whisk the flour and paprika together in a shallow bowl. Roll the cheese evenly to coat.
  • In a deep sided skillet or saucepan heat 1-inch of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Test the oil by dipping one end of coated halloumi in oil. If is sizzles it is time to fry.
  • Carefully place the coated halloumi in the hot oil for 4 minutes, or until golden brown all over, turning as needed.
  • Transfer fries to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Transfer to plate or platter and sprinkle with any or all of the toppings.

Notes

  1. Cut the halloumi cheese into 1/2 inch thick strips so they cook evenly.

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Protein: 14g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 765mg | Calcium: 638mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): crunchy halloumi fries w/ toppings

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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