Fried Halloumi

5 from 1 vote

Fried halloumi is a Greek appetizer that’s crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Make this recipe to serve with a tasty Greek mezze! 

platter of fried halloumi

Greek cuisine is well known for its delicious mezze items. Along with foods like marinated feta cheese and other Greek appetizers, this recipe is perfect for serving on a cheese tray or as part of a Greek mezze. 

I include it in my recipe for fregola salad and when it’s warm and crispy, it’s the perfect snack food.

Fried Halloumi

Cuisine: Greek / Mediterranean

Originating from Cyprus, halloumi is a semi-soft, brined cheese, with a slightly salty flavor, similar to mozzarella. It’s primarily a sheep’s milk cheese, but can also be made from goat or cow’s milk.

What’s especially unique about this cheese is the way it’s produced. Unlike most cheeses, halloumi isn’t made with acid or acid-producing bacteria. It’s one of the few cheese that’s cooked in its own whey.

red pin marks Athens on map of Greece

Alternate names/spellings: 
hallomi, hallumi, anari



Pan fried

Difficulty: Easy 🥄

Pan fried strips of cheese drizzled with honey

Halloumi cheese FAQ

Can you eat halloumi raw?

When it’s fresh, the texture of halloumi is slightly rubbery but it has a wonderful salty, tangy flavor.

Can you cook halloumi in a frying pan?

Yes! Pan frying halloumi cheese gives it a crispy, golden brown exterior, while the inside stays warm and soft. This makes it perfect for a Greek mezze!

Why doesn’t halloumi cheese melt?

The production of halloumi is very unique, and it results in the cheese having very long strands of protein that are resistant to melting.

Additionally, when those long strands of protein move across human tooth enamel, it results in a funny squeaking noise.

If you’re interested in learning more about halloumi, check out this article about squeaky cheeses!

close up: drizzling honey over cheesy greek appetizers

Ingredient notes and substitutions

Halloumi cheese

You can find this product in most well-stocked grocery stores. I usually get mine at Trader Joe’s. If your local store doesn’t carry it or is out of stock, you can use Indian paneer or Finnish Leipäjuusto cheese instead.

However, keep in mind that paneer does have a milder flavor.

Making fried halloumi

It won’t take long to get the ingredients ready for this appetizer.

Just decide which garnish you’ll be using and have those ingredients on hand and prepared before you fry the cheese. This way, you are able to serve the dish while it’s still warm and gooey on the inside.

  1. Drain, slice, and dry.
    After you’ve drained and sliced the halloumi, pat it dry so you don’t get extra moisture in the pan when frying.

    Then, it’s just a matter of searing the slices in hot oil until they turn golden and have deep brown edges.
  1. Garnish
    Add your choice of garnishes and serve while everything is still hot.
overhead: frying halloumi cheese in skillet

What to eat with halloumi

The cheese may be eaten raw if desired. The squeaky, semi-soft cheese is a delicious substitute for mozzarella in a caprese salad.

After frying it, serve it with sweet or savory toppings for delicious Greek appetizers. Or, use it as a meatless protein source. It has a firm, meaty texture similar to portobello mushroom caps.

This makes it fantastic in sandwiches, but it’s also perfect FOR a sandwich! Use two slices of fried halloumi as a gluten free, keto substitute for bread!

  • Sweet fried halloumi

A combination of drizzled honey, a sprinkle of chopped pistachios, and dried rose petals is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth.

Dried rose petals have a slightly sweet, earthy flavor that some people compare to strawberries. They’re available in some grocery stores, or you can find them in specialty stores or from online retailers like Amazon. 

  • Savory Option 1 – Middle Eastern spices

Dukkah – An Egyptian condiment, dukkah (or duqqa) includes various types of ground nuts, sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, and salt. You can use my recipe to make your own duqqa, or buy it ready to use.

Za’atar – This is a savory and tangy Middle Eastern spice blend. Make some Lebanese zaatar and try it for yourself. 

  • Savory Option 2 – Greek style fried halloumi

This topping adds a Greek salad spin to fried halloumi. Balsamic glaze over chopped cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of oregano is sure to win you compliments.

drizzling honey onto strips of fried halloumi

Storing the cheese

  • When it’s fresh and uncooked, store it tightly wrapped in its original wrapper or plastic wrap. If unopened, it will stay good for up to up a year.
  • After opening it, use within two weeks. It’s best to keep it submerged in salt water inside of an airtight container.
  • Raw halloumi freezes well, and will keep for up to a month in the freezer without the texture being affected. 
  • After cooking, the fried halloumi appetizers are best eaten while they’re warm.

    Refrigerate any leftovers, then reheat and eat them again within 3-4 days. Although you can eat fried halloumi when it’s cold, the texture is firm and quite rubbery.
overhead: strips of fried halloumi on appetizer platter next to jar of honey

Still Hungry?

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This post, originally published on Silk Road Recipes Feb. 19, 2021, was last updated with new content on Oct. 24, 2021.

platter of fried halloumi

Pan Fried Halloumi with Honey

5 from 1 vote
Fried halloumi cheese is crispy on the outside and soft inside with a delightful texture. Drizzle with honey and nuts for an easy treat.
Servings: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes
Total: 8 minutes


  • 8 oz halloumi cheese (See Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Sweet Garnish

  • Honey
  • Pistachios chopped
  • dried rose petals

Savory Garnish #1

Savory Garnish #2


  • Drain and cut halloumi into 3/8-inch slices. Pat dry with paper towel.
  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and sear the cheese in the hot pan until each slice develops a deep brown crust, about 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the other.
  • Remove from skillet and plate with garnish of choice (sweet or savory).


  1. Halloumi cheese does not melt. Paneer cheese is a good substitute for halloumi cheese. You can find it in the cheese section of larger grocery stores, or specialty stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Another option is to source from a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean grocer.


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 680mg | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 567mg

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: appetizers
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image: drizzling honey onto strips of crispy halloumi cheese


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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