Treat yourself to these scrumptious Halloumi Fries! You won't believe how easy these homemade Cheese Sticks are to make or how delicious they are ... they're the perfect snack or appetizer!
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One thing I love about traveling in the UK, is that they are obsessed with halloumi cheese. You can find it everywhere there, from pubs to fancy restaurants, even McDonald's! I just wish this tasty cheese would catch on a bit more here in the U.S.
Thankfully, it's easy enough to find this unique cheese here, so no crossing the pond necessary to recreate some of my favorite treats ... like these mouthwatering Halloumi Fries!
You are going to love these crispy cheese fries. They're the perfect treat ... crunchy on the outside, but soft in the middle. So delicious and so easy to make, too!
Keep reading to learn how to make this crave-worthy snack for yourself ... you only need 20 minutes and a few simple ingredients!
Apart from the cheese, this quick and easy recipe uses basic ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- Halloumi - This yummy cheese is what takes this recipe from ordinary to extraordinary! If you've never tried halloumi before, this easy recipe is the perfect one to make first.
- Flour - Standard all-purpose flour is used to create a crunchy coating for the cheese fingers.
- Spices - You'll mix smoked paprika with the flour to create the simple coating. The smokey flavor pairs perfectly with the salty cheese. Different spices will work too though, so feel free to experiment. You'll find more ideas below.
- Olive Oil - Extra virgin olive oil is used to shallow fry the cheese. Because you're not using a ton of oil, it's much less messy than deep frying, but the finished fries still have that perfect crispy texture.
- Dipping Sauce - I used homemade Marinara Sauce for dipping here (giving this recipe a mouthwatering Mediterranean Mozzarella Sticks flavor!), but other sauces will work, too. Check out my tips below for more ideas.
This recipe is naturally vegetarian. If you'd like to make it gluten free, substitute your your favorite GF flour.
Where to Buy Halloumi
Look for this unique cheese in the specialty cheese section of your local grocery store (it's often near the feta). If you can't find it locally, check Amazon, which carries multiple brands (including this Kryssos brand cheese which I've used before).
Halloumi tends to be a little pricey here in the U.S. However, if your area has any Mediterranean, Greek, or Middle Eastern markets, you can usually find it there for less. In the DFW area, Sara's Market in Richardson carries multiple brands.
You'll Also Need
To prepare this recipe, you'll need a large, shallow bowl to coat the fries, plus a large skillet (I'd recommend 12-inches) to fry them. I used my go-to nonstick frying pan, and it worked perfectly!
How to Make Halloumi Fries
Frying can sometimes feel intimidating and messy, but this recipe couldn't be easier to make! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps.
- Cut cheese into sticks. Start by cutting the cheese block into four slices. Then, cut each slice into two sticks. You'll should get eight large sticks per block of cheese.
- Dip sticks into coating. Next, stir together the flour and smoked paprika in a large shallow bowl until well mixed (essentially, you are creating a dry batter). Working in batches, add the sticks to the coating and turn them to coat each side.
- Fry cheese sticks. Heat your oil to a large frying. When the oil is hot, add the coated cheese. Cook until golden brown on one side, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side. You'll probably need to do this in batches (add an extra tablespoon or two of oil, if necessary). Remove the fries to a paper towel lined plate.
And that's all there is to it ... your crispy Halloumi Cheese Fries are ready to eat! Wasn't that simple?
Tip: Halloumi is a pressed, layered cheese. Because of this, it has a tendency to break apart when you cut it. For best results, use a sharp knife with a thin blade. And don't fret if your sticks are perfect ... they'll still taste great in the end!
I paired these Halloumi Style Fries with Marinara Sauce for a fun Mediterranean riff on mozzarella sticks. Yum!
Have fun playing with different flavors and pairings though. Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- Sweet Chili - The spicy-sweet flavor of sweet chili sauce pairs so well with salty Halloumi! Serve this sauce on its own, or mix with a little mayo for a creamy treat.
- Ranch - Give these cheese fries an American-style twist by serving them with your fave ranch dressing.
- Honey - A drizzle of honey would also make delicious sweet-salty pairing! For a little heat, try hot honey, too.
- Pesto - The fresh flavors of homemade Pesto are the perfect way to brighten up this pan fried cheese starter. Pesto Mayo would also be a tasty dipping sauce.
- Aioli - Love garlic? Try dipping your chips in this scrumptious Aioli.
- Romesco - The smokey flavor of Romesco Sauce would go great with these fries.
- Lemon - Want to keep things simple? All you really need is a squeeze of fresh lemon juice!
This recipe is fairly basic, making it easy to change up. Try one of these variations, then decide which is your favorite!
- Spicy - Love a little heat? Stir a pinch of cayenne into the flour coating, or drizzle the finished fries with hot sauce, like sriracha, schug, etc.
- Different Seasoning - Swap out the smoked paprika and use garlic powder, cumin, za'atar, or whatever sounds good to you. You could also do a combo of spices.
- Plain - For plain fries, just skip the spices. They'll still be delish, especially if you pair them with a tasty dipping sauce or fresh lemon wedges.
- Gluten Free - For a GF version, simply substitute gluten free flour for the all-purpose.
- Street Style - Give your Halloumi Fries the Oli Baba's treatment! Swap in za'atar for the paprika, then once the fries are cooked, drizzle them with pomegranate molasses and yogurt sauce (yogurt mixed with lemon juice and salt). Finish by sprinkling with fresh mint, pomegranate seeds, and chili flakes.
If it's halloumi ideas you're looking for, you'll love these scrumptious dishes:
- Halloumi Pasta
- Grilled Halloumi Salad
- Halloumi Pesto Sandwich
- Mushroom and Halloumi Burgers
- Halloumi Wrap
- Halloumi Fajitas
- Honey Glazed Halloumi
Can't get enough cheesy recipes? Then you'll love this amazing Fried Feta Saganaki, too!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese that was first produced in Cyprus, a small island country 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 does not melt when heated. Instead, it softens in the middle while getting crisp out the outside, which makes it perfect for recipes like these fried cheese sticks.
- Cut one block of halloumi into 4 slices, then cut each slice into 2 sticks. Repeat with other block of cheese.
- Stir together flour and smoked paprika in a large, shallow bowl until well mixed.
- Working in batches, add cheese sticks to flour, rolling to coat all sides.
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add coated halloumi in a single layer. (Do this in batches.)
- Cook halloumi until it is golden brown on one side, then flip and cook until browned on other side.
- Place fries on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat process with remaining sticks, adding an extra tablespoon or two of oil, if needed.
- Serve Halloumi Fries hot with dipping sauce. Enjoy!