This colorful, delicious Grilled Halloumi Salad is full of flavor and packed with veggies ... 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 Salad first.
This tasty salad is simple to prepare and bursting with fresh flavors. Basically, the perfect addition to any summer meal!
This gorgeous Halloumi Cheese Salad features 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 for the salad:
- Oil for Cooking
- Halloumi Cheese
- Red Onion
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Baby Lettuce
- Kalamata Olives, Optional (Leave off for a less salty dish.)
For the dressing, you'll need:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Orange Juice + Zest
- Lemon Juice + Zest
- Maple Syrup
- Salt (I prefer Kosher salt.)
This simple vinaigrette takes minutes to prepare and is so delicious ... you're going to want to use this bright, citrusy dressing on all your salads! It really complements the flavors of the smokey grilled vegetables and salty cheese in this recipe.
You'll also need a grill pan or an outdoor grill to make this recipe. For grilling outside, 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.
About Halloumi Cheese
Are you familiar with halloumi cheese? This unique cheese was first produced on the island of Cyprus, a small country located in the Mediterranean Sea. These days, halloumi is most popular in the Mediterranean and Middle East, and surprisingly, in the United Kingdom.
Halloumi has mild, but salty flavor and a firm, somewhat rubbery texture that's great for frying or grilling, since it doesn't melt when heated. You may even find that it squeaks a little when you bite into it ... kind of like cheese curds!
Where to Buy Halloumi Cheese
Look for halloumi in the specialty cheese section of your grocery store (probably near the feta). Amazon carries it, too, if you can't find it locally. Can't find halloumi? This salad would also be delicious sprinkled with crumbled feta, or even goat cheese.
How to Make Halloumi Salad
Ready to get started? You're going to begin with the simple halloumi salad dressing. This vinaigrette is so quick and easy to make.
Making the Dressing
Start by zesting the orange and lemon. You'll need one teaspoon of zest from each. I like to use a microplane zester ... it removes only the flavorful zest (no bitter pith). Tip: while zesting, hold the microplane upside down over the fruit, and it will catch the zest.
Juice the orange and lemon next. Then, combine the juice and zest with extra virgin olive oil and a little maple syrup. Whisk well, then season your dressing generously (to taste) with salt and pepper.
Set this vinaigrette aside while you grill the vegetables and halloumi.
Grilling the Vegetables
You can prepare this recipe using a grill pan or an outdoor grill ... either way works great. Just be aware that a grill pan will take a little longer since you'll be cooking the veggies in batches.
Heat your grill pan over medium heat. If you're using an outdoor grill, preheat it to medium-high (about 400 to 450 degrees).
While your pan (or grill) is preheating, lightly brush the veggies with oil. If you're cooking indoors, use an oil with a higher smoke point (like light olive oil).
Tip: the zucchini and onions should be cut about ¼-inch thick. Slice your zucchini on an angle so there's more surface area touching the grill.
Once your pan (or grill) is hot, add the vegetables. If you're using an outdoor grill, I highly recommend using a grill basket for the tomatoes. It will keep them from falling through the grates, and you'll still get that delicious, smokey flavor.
Cook the veggies on one side at a time. You'll know they're ready to turn when you get grill marks. Some of mine are a bit light below. Don't worry if yours are darker ... that's what you want.
Flip the veggies and cook them on the other side. The zucchini and onions should be crisp-tender when they're done, and the tomatoes should be starting to pop. If you're using an outdoor grill, and the veggies are still raw but getting charred, move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking.
When the vegetables have finished cooking, transfer them to large plate or platter, then season them with salt to taste.
Grilling the Halloumi
You are going to cook the halloumi on the grill, too. If your grill is large, you can cook it at the same time as the veggies, otherwise do it last.
Brush the cheese with the leftover oil from the veggies, then add it to your pan (or grill).
Grill the halloumi until you get marks, then flip it and cook on the other side. When it's done, remove the grilled halloumi and aside it while you assemble the salad.
Tip: I recommend using a grill basket when cooking the halloumi on an outdoor grill. It will keep the cheese from falling apart and going the grates while cooking.
Assembling the Salad
Time to assemble your beautiful Grilled Halloumi Salad!
There are two ways to assemble this salad. You can create a composed salad like I did ... this really shows off the beautiful veggies and cheese! Or you can toss everything together for a more casual presentation.
To create a composed salad, assemble everything in this order:
- Toss the greens with just enough dressing to coat them. (You'll probably have leftovers.)
- Top the salad with the grilled vegetables, starting with the largest veggies first and ending with the smallest.
- Drizzle the veggies with extra dressing.
- Add olives, if using.
- Finish by adding the grilled halloumi cheese.
For a tossed salad, simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. You may want to cut the cheese (and any large veggies) into smaller, more bite sized pieces first. Then, add just enough dressing to coat the salad and toss gently.
Tip: if your veggies are super hot, let them cool a bit before adding them to the salad. Otherwise your lettuce will wilt.
Isn't this salad simply stunning? I absolutely love the vibrant colors ... it pretty much screams summer. And needless to say, it tastes amazing!
Serve this 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.
Once you try it, you'll want to serve this yummy Grilled Halloumi Salad all summer long ... and maybe in spring, fall, and winter, too. It's that good!
- 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
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
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (see notes below)
- 1 large zucchini, sliced on an angle
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced into 8 pieces
- 4 cups baby lettuce
- ¼ cup halved kalamata olives, optional
- 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 lettuce with just enough of the dressing to 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!
Have you ever tried Halloumi cheese?