Treat yourself to the BEST Halloumi Sandwich for your next lunch or dinner! This warm sandwich is loaded with flavorful ingredients, including creamy pesto mayo and juicy tomatoes. It's delicious, simple to prepare, and ready in minutes.
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Have you fallen in love with halloumi? This unique cheese from the Mediterranean is one of my faves, and I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy it.
This Halloumi Sandwich is a recent favorite. It features a scrumptious pesto mayo spread and fresh veggies, both of which are the perfect counterpoint to the salty cheese.
You are going to love these simple, yet bold flavors! Plus, it's quick and easy enough to whip up for a fast lunch or a busy weeknight dinner.
Ready to try it for yourself? Then, keep reading for all the details!
Apart from the specialty cheese, this yummy sandwich uses really basic ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- Halloumi - Of course, you'll need some halloumi ... if you've never tried halloumi before, this quick recipe is a great one to try first!
- Pesto - You can make this recipe with homemade Pesto or use store bought.
- Mayonnaise - You'll combine the pesto with mayonnaise to make a scrumptious Pesto Mayo.
- Tomatoes - Choose the freshest, most flavorful tomatoes you can find for this sandwich.
- Greens - A handful of baby greens brights up the flavors of this cheese sandwich.
- Bread - Choose a rustic, artisan bread for this recipe, such as Ciabatta or Focaccia.
Where to Buy Halloumi
You can often find this unique cheese in the specialty cheese section of your local grocery store. If you can't find it locally, look online ... Amazon 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 that carry it, you can usually find it for less. In the DFW area, Sara's Market in Richardson sells multiple brands.
You'll Also Need
You'll need a large skillet to prepare to the Halloumi Sandwich, as well as a small bowl to make the pesto mayonnaise.
How to Make a Halloumi Sandwich
This easy sandwich takes minutes to make! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Toast the bread. I used a ciabatta loaf, but focaccia (or even French bread) would work well, too. Divide the loaf into four equal sandwich-size pieces, then split each piece in half horizontally. Brush the insides with olive oil, then cook the bread (oil-side down) in a large skillet, just until it's warm and golden brown. Depending on the size of your frying pan, you may need to do this in batches. Tip: if it's taking a while for your bread to toast, press down on it gently while it cooks.
- Fry the halloumi. Slice the halloumi horizontally into four pieces. Wipe out the skillet, then add some olive oil. Place the cheese slices in the pan and cook until they're golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side. Don't let it get too dark, you just need to warm it. Tip: This recipe would be delish with grilled halloumi, too.
- Make sauce. While the bread and halloumi are cooking, make the sandwich spread. All you need to do is mix together homemade pesto (store bought works, too) and mayonnaise. You are going to want to eat this pesto mayo on all your sandwiches once you try it ... so simple and delightful!
- Assemble sandwiches. Spread pesto mayo on both sandwich halves. Top with a small handful of baby greens. Add a piece of fried halloumi. Layer sliced tomatoes over cheese.
And that's all there is to it ... your Halloumi Pesto Sandwich is ready to eat! Looks pretty mouthwatering, doesn't it?
This simple recipe is easy to change up. Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- Fresh Veggies - I kept this recipe pretty basic, but feel free to add other fresh vegetables like avocado, peppers, or cucumber. Or go the traditional route, and serve it with tomatoes and sliced onions. Herbs, such as basil or mint, would be tasty, too.
- Grilled / Roasted Veggies - Swap out the fresh tomatoes here for grilled vegetables or roasted veggies. Peppers, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini would all work great. Try it with these Roast Grape Tomatoes, too!
- Sauces - Changing up the sandwich spread is an easy way to customize this recipe. Instead of mixing the mayo with pesto, try blending it with sweet chili sauce, garlic and herbs, chipotles, sriracha, or honey mustard. A schmear of Romesco Sauce would be yummy, too.
- Pickled Onions - The bright flavor of pickled onions would be the perfect counterpart to this salty cheese.
- Double Cheese - Can't get enough halloumi? Instead of one slice of cheese, add two.
- Different Cheese - There really is no true substitute for the flavor of this distinctive cheese. However, you could also make this sandwich with Grilling Cheese or Juusto Cheese. Fried Feta would also be delish.
Looking for more halloumi recipes? Try these ideas next:
- Halloumi Fries
- Halloumi Wrap
- Mushroom and Halloumi Burgers
- Honey Halloumi
- Grilled Halloumi Salad
- Halloumi Pasta
- Halloumi Fajitas
If you're looking for more quick and easy vegetarian sandwiches, then don't miss my Pan con Tomate, Sourdough Grilled Cheese, Hummus Sandwich with Pesto, Spicy Chickpea Salad Sandwiches, Tomato Avocado Sandwich, Tomato Toasts, or this Brie and Apple Sandwich. And you'll find many more ways to use pesto here!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese that was first produced in Cyprus, a small Mediterranean island country. It’s made with goat, sheep, or cow's milk, and because it doesn't melt when heated, it's often served fried or grilled.
Halloumi has a mild, but salty flavor and a firm texture. When cooked, it crisps on the outside and becomes soft in the middle (though it doesn't melt). It may even squeak 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 frying, grilling, and more.
- 1 loaf ciabatta or focaccia
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 (8.8 ounce; 250 grams) block halloumi cheese, cut into 4 horizontal slices
- 3 small tomatoes, sliced
- large handful baby greens
For Pesto Mayo:
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Cut bread into four pieces, then split each piece in half. Brush insides of bread with 4 teaspoons olive oil.
- When pan is hot, add bread oil-side down. Cook until bread is warm and golden. Set aside. (You may need to do this in batches, depending on pan size.)
- Wipe out pan, then add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place halloumi slices in pan, then cook over medium heat until light golden brown. Flip, then repeat on other side.
- Spread both sides of bread with pesto mayo, then top with baby greens. Add halloumi, then top with sliced tomato.
- Serve sandwiches immediately, while warm. Enjoy!
Prepare Pesto Mayo:
- While bread and halloumi cook, place mayonnaise in a small bowl. Mix until smooth, then stir in pesto.