Shake up your lunch routine with this delicious Halloumi Wrap with fresh veggies and sweet chili sauce ... it's the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors!
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Have you ever tried something so memorable in a restaurant, that you had to recreate it at home? It actually happens to me a lot!
This particular recipe was inspired a wrap I had while visiting London last fall. We were walking around the city and decided to grab a quick bite at Leon (a fast-casual restaurant). And because I was obsessed with eating as much halloumi as possible on that trip (it's very popular in the U.K.), I ordered their Halloumi Wrap.
Everything we tried during that meal was super tasty, but the wrap was my fave. It paired salty halloumi cheese with a sweet chili sauce. The combination of flavors was pretty much perfect.
Of course, I had to recreate it once I returned home. This is my version of that delicious Leon Halloumi Wrap, and it's pretty close to the original (if my memory doesn't fail me).
Thanks to this easy recipe, there's no reason to cross the pond to try that mouthwatering wrap! And I'm breaking it down for you step-by-step ... keep reading for all the details!
Most of the ingredients for this recipe are pretty basic and can be found at your local grocery store. Here's what you'll need:
- Halloumi Cheese
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Plum Tomatoes
- Fresh Parsley and Mint
This easy veggie wrap is a flavorful combo of sweet - salty flavors, paired with fresh herbs and veggies. Learn more about halloumi cheese (and where to find it) below. Look for sweet chili sauce in the international aisle of most stores, near the other Thai ingredients.
What is Halloumi Cheese?
Halloumi is a unique cheese with a mild, but salty flavor and a firm, somewhat rubbery texture. Don’t be surprised if it squeaks when you bite into it, kind of like cheese curds! It's ideal for frying or grilling, because it won’t melt when heated.
Halloumi cheese was first produced on Cyprus, a small, island country located in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s most popular in the Mediterranean and Middle East, and surprisingly, in the UK.
Where to Buy Halloumi
Look for halloumi cheese in the specialty cheese section of your local grocery store. If you can't find it locally, you can find it online. Amazon carries multiple brands (including this Kryssos brand cheese which I've used before), and I've seen it at other online stores, too.
Halloumi was everywhere when we were in London ... and cheap! Unfortunately, here in the U.S it can be expensive. I'm really hoping it becomes more popular and prices drop. In the meantime, look online for the best prices or check to see if your area has any Mediterranean, Greek, or Middle Eastern markets that carry it.
Tip for Dallas / DFW Locals: If you're live in the DFW area, stop by Sara's Market & Bakery, a small Mediterranean grocery store in Richardson. On my visit, they had multiple brands of the cheese, and prices were much better than my local grocery store. They also carry many other delicious foods, so you definitely won't leave empty handed! I've also found it at Tom Thumb, Whole Foods, and Central Market, and apparently, Trader Joe's even carries it occasionally.
Once you master this basic recipe, try changing it up. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:
- Grill - Feel free to grill the cheese instead of frying it, either on a cast iron grill pan or outside grill.
- Cheese - It's difficult to recommend an exact substitute for halloumi, since the flavor and texture is so unique. If you can't find it though, try using another firm, salty cheese, like kefalotyri, feta, or juusto (juustoleipa) cheese instead.
- Tortilla - I used tortillas to make these wraps, but thin flatbreads like lavash would work, too. You could even stuff the ingredients in a pita.
- Herbs - Vary the fresh herbs depending on what you have on hand. Cilantro and basil would both be delish!
- Sauce - The sweet chilli sauce pairs perfectly with the salty halloumi in this recipe, but you could replace it with another sauce or spread, like hummus, if you'd prefer. Avoid anything that's too salty.
- Veggies - I kept things pretty simple for this wrap, but you could easily include other fresh, grilled, or roasted vegetables. Zucchini, peppers, and portobello mushrooms would all taste great.
How to Make a Halloumi Wrap
This recipe is quick and easy to make. Let's get started so you can eat.
This first thing you need to do is heat a large pan over medium heat. As the pan warms up, slice the cheese, then blot it dry with a paper towel (or clean kitchen towel). Don't worry if the cheese falls apart a little bit, that's totally normal as you can see below.
Brush the cheese with olive oil on one side, then add it to the hot pan (oil-side down). Brush the other side with oil, then cook it until it's golden brown.
Flip the halloumi, then cook it until golden on the other side, as well. Remove from heat.
Tip: It can take a little longer to brown the first side of the cheese, because it's going to release some liquid. The second sides goes faster, so keep an eye on it.
While the cheese is frying, prep the other ingredients. Start by combining the sweet chili sauce and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Stir or whisk it together until smooth.
Sweet chili sauce isn't that spicy, especially once it's combined with mayonnaise. If you're concerned about it being too hot, try adding it to the mayo a little at a time.
You'll also want to slice the tomatoes (aim for about 3 slices per wrap) and chop the herbs. If your lettuce leaves are especially large, break them into smaller pieces so they'll fit in the tortilla.
I used bib lettuce for my wraps, but any kind of tender lettuce will work. You could even use a mix of greens.
Once the halloumi has cooked, it's time to assemble the wraps:
- Working with one tortilla at a time, warm the tortilla in a microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds, or heat it in a hot, dry skillet (flipping once). This will make the tortilla more pliable so it won't tear when folding.
- Spread the sweet chili sauce over the center of the tortilla.
- Top the sauce with lettuce and tomatoes.
- Add two slices of cheese.
- Sprinkle the cheese with the fresh herbs.
- Fold up the tortilla like a burrito.
- Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients to make four wraps.
I used 10-inch tortillas to make these wraps, but you could use a slightly smaller ones if you'd prefer. If you do use smaller tortillas, you may need to leave one of the short ends open when you fold it up.
And that's all there is to it ... your delicious Halloumi Cheese Wraps are ready to eat!
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
- While pan heats, blot halloumi slices dry with a paper towel. Then, brush one side with olive oil.
- Add halloumi to hot pan (oil-side down), then brush other side with oil. Cook until golden brown, then flip and cook until browned on other side. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, mix together sweet chili sauce and mayonnaise.
- Working with one tortilla at a time, warm tortilla in microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds, or in a hot frying pan.
- Spread center of tortilla with 2 tablespoons chili sauce mixture, then top with lettuce and tomatoes. Add halloumi, then sprinkle with herbs. Fold tortilla around ingredients. Repeat process with remaining ingredients to make four wraps.
- Serve wraps immediately. Enjoy!