Looking for a unique summer salad ... that's easy to make? Then you're going to LOVE this colorful, delicious Grilled Halloumi Salad! This beautiful salad is full of flavor and packed with grilled veggies and scrumptious halloumi cheese ... make it tonight!
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I love cooking with new (to me) ingredients, and this summer has been all about halloumi cheese. Have you tried it?
This unique cheese is so fun to work with ... you can fry it or grill it, and it won't fall apart! And with it's salty flavor, halloumi is the perfect complement to milder ingredients, like fresh veggies.
I'm working on a few halloumi recipes to share with you, but I had to share this mouthwatering Halloumi Cheese Salad first. This tasty salad is simple to prepare and bursting with fresh flavors. Basically, the perfect addition to any summer meal!
It features mixed greens tossed with a light citrus dressing and tender-crisp grilled vegetables, all topped with that delightful cheese. I love the balance of savory, salty, and sweet flavors in this summery salad, and you will, too!
Best of all, this salad is so simple to make. Keep reading for all the details and lots of fun tips below.
The ingredients for this salad with halloumi cheese are simple, fresh, and healthy. Here's what you'll need:
- Halloumi - Delicious, salty halloumi cheese adds a wonderful savory counterpoint to the fresh veggies and citrus dressing.
- Veggies - I used a combination of zucchini, red onions, and cherry tomatoes here, but feel free to substitute your favorites. Almost anything goes.
- Greens - The base of the salad is a mixture of baby greens. Use your favorite mix.
- Kalamata Olives - If you're an olive lover, this is going to be the perfect finishing touch. Otherwise, skip them if you prefer.
- Dressing - The homemade citrus vinaigrette takes minutes to make and is so delicious! You're going to want to use this vibrant dressing on all your salads! It really complements the flavors of the smokey grilled vegetables and salty cheese in this recipe.
Where to Buy Halloumi
Look for halloumi in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store. If you can't find it locally, check Amazon, which carries multiple brands (including this Kryssos brand cheese I used for this recipe).
Halloumi tends to be a little expensive here in the U.S, but if your area has a Mediterranean, Greek, or Middle Eastern market that carries it, you can usually find it for less. In the DFW area, Sara's Market in Richardson carries multiple brands.
You'll Also Need
Obviously, you'll need a grill to make this recipe. I also recommend using a grill basket, which will keep your veggies from falling through the grill grates.
Don't have a grill?
This meal can easily be prepared inside. First of all, you could use a grill pan (I have this cast iron grill pan and love it) instead of the an outdoor grill (that's actually what I used here). Don't have a grill pan either? Then, you'll want to fry the halloumi in a regular pan and roast the veggies in your oven instead. Check out my guide to roasting vegetables for more tips.
How to Make Halloumi Salad
Ready to get started? You'll find a detailed recipe at the end of this article, but here's a quick overview of the steps:
- Make the salad dressing. You'll start by zesting an orange and a lemon (a microplane zester makes this super easy ... turn it upside down to catch the zest). Then whisk the zest together with fresh lemon and orange juice, olive oil, and maple syrup. Set the vinaigrette aside while you grill the veggies and halloumi.
- Brush the veggies and halloumi with oil. I like to use extra virgin olive oil, but if you're cooking indoors, use an oil with a higher smoke point.
- Grill halloumi. Preheat your grill to medium-high (400 to 450 degrees) or your grill pan to medium. Cook the halloumi on both sides, just until you get some good grill marks.
- Grill the veggies. You'll also want to grill the vegetables on both sides until you get grill marks and / or until they're tender. If you're using a regular grill you can cook the veggies and halloumi at the same time, otherwise cook the halloumi last and do the vegetables in batches (just be aware that the recipe will take longer to make). Once everything's done cooking, transfer it to a platter and season to taste with salt.
- Combine the greens and dressing. Toss the greens with just enough vinaigrette to coat them lightly (you may have some leftover), then spread them on a platter.
- Finish the salad. Top the greens with the olives, veggies, and halloumi. Drizzle the the veggies with the remaining dressing. Alternatively, you can toss everything together in a big bowl ... it's up to you. Tip: Make sure to cool the veggies slightly before adding them to the salad, otherwise the greens will wilt.
Isn't this Grilled Halloumi Salad simply stunning? I absolutely love the vibrant colors ... it pretty much screams summer. And needless to say, it tastes amazing!
Need some practice using your grill. Here are some simple tips that will make things easier.
- Use a grill basket. One of the most frustrating things about grilling is when food falls through the grates. For smaller veggies (like tomatoes), vegetables that get soft as they cook (such as onions), and halloumi (which has a tendency to fall apart, use a grill basket. You'll get all that wonderful smokey flavor with none of the hassle.
- Cut longer veggies on an angle. Slicing longer vegetables, like zucchini, on an angle, creates more surface area. This makes them less likely to fall through the grates.
- Utilize the cooler part of your grill. If your veggies are getting charred, but are still raw, move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking.
- Don't overcook. You want that delicious grilled flavor, but there's no need to char anything. The zucchini and onions should be crisp-tender when they're done, and the tomatoes should be starting to pop. Halloumi has a tendency to dry out when it's overcooked, so once you get some light grill marks, it's good to go.
Serve this Grilled Halloumi Salad with any summer meal or as light dinner. It will feed eight people as a side (maybe more, depending on how many other dishes you have), or about three to four people as a main course.
This salad can be served warm or at room temperature, which I love. No rushing to get it on the table. I like pairing it with Garlic Bread (you could even grill it!), pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce, or Caprese Pizza.
Looking for more halloumi recipes? You'll love my Honey Glazed Halloumi, Halloumi Fries, Halloumi Pasta, Sweet Chili Halloumi Wrap, Mushroom Halloumi Burgers, Halloumi Fajitas, and Halloumi Sandwiches, too!
If it's salad you're craving, try one of these recipes next:
- Classic Garden Salad
- Greek Quinoa Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Greek Tortellini Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Easy Massaged Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing
- Greek Coleslaw with Lemon and Feta
- Superfood Salad
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese that was first produced in Cyprus, a small island country that's located in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s typically made with goat, sheep, or cow's milk, and because it doesn't melt when heated, it's often prepared fried or grilled.
Halloumi has a mild, but salty flavor and a firm texture. When cooked, it becomes crisp on the outside and soft in the middle (though it doesn't melt). Don’t be surprised if it squeaks when you bite into it, similar to cheese curds!
Halloumi is a long lasting cheese, and it can stay fresh for up to a year. Most packages of the cheese have an expiration date which you can check. If you've eaten part of a block, store the rest in an airtight container or zip top bag, then make sure to consume it within three to four days.
Yes, you can eat halloumi raw. However, its flavor and texture are vastly improved by cooking it. When halloumi is fried or grilled, the outside gets crisp while the inside becomes soft (without melting). So delicious!
Grilled Halloumi Salad
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (see notes below)
- 1 large zucchini, sliced ¼-inch thick (on an angle)
- 1 red onion, sliced ¼-inch thick
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (283 grams)
- 1 (8.8-ounce) block halloumi cheese, sliced into 8 pieces (250 grams)
- 4 cups mixed greens
- ¼ cup halved kalamata olives, optional
- Grill pan
- Outdoor Grill
- Combine olive oil, juice, maple syrup, and zest in a small bowl. Whisk ingredients together well, then season to taste with salt and peper. Set aside.
Grill Vegetables and Cheese:
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat OR preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high.
- Lightly brush vegetables and cheese with cooking oil.
- Grill vegetables and cheese on one side without moving. When grill marks appear, flip and cook on other side. (If you are grilling outside, use a grill basket for the tomatoes, onions, and cheese.)
- Remove vegetables and cheese from grill. Season veggies with salt and pepper.
- Toss greens with just enough dressing to lightly coat. Arrange on a platter.
- Top lettuce with grilled vegetables. Drizzle veggies with dressing.
- Add olives (if using) and halloumi to salad.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!