Treat yourself to this scrumptious Honey Halloumi! You are going to fall in love with this amazing fried cheese glazed with a luscious honey, lemon, and thyme sauce that will have you licking your lips. It's so delicious + so easy to make!
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If you're looking for an appetizer that's a snap to make, yet tastes out of this world amazing, this mouthwatering Honey Halloumi is it!
This easy recipe is simply irresistible! It features slices of fried cheese coated in the most delectable honey-lemon glaze. Crushed red pepper flakes and fresh thyme add even more flavor.
You are going to crave this Honey Glazed Halloumi's wonderful sweet and salty taste, and the fact that it's ready in minutes is a major bonus!
The recipe is so versatile, too. Serve it as an appetizer like I did, or dish it up as part of a main course, salad, or sandwich ... you'll love it every which way!
Ready to try yummy fried cheese for yourself? Keep scrolling for all the delicious details!
This easy recipe uses minimal ingredients that deliver big flavors! Here's what you'll need:
- Halloumi - The star of this recipe is the halloumi, of course! If you've never tried halloumi before, this quick recipe is a great one to try first.
- Olive Oil - You'll cook the cheese in a little olive oil before adding the sauce.
- Honey - The sweet flavor of honey pairs so well with the salty cheese. I used clover honey, but you can choose your favorite kind.
- Lemon - Fresh lemon balances the sweet-salty flavors and brightens up the whole dish.
- Thyme - A bit of fresh thyme pairs so well with the honey-lemon glaze.
- Chili - Crushed red pepper flakes give the finished cheese a wonderful hot and spicy flavor that's so delish.
This Spicy Halloumi recipe is vegetarian and gluten free, and it's one of those recipes that no one at your table will be able to resist!
Where to Buy Halloumi
Look for this unique cheese in the specialty cheese section of your local grocery store (it's usually near the feta). If you can't source it locally, Amazon carries multiple brands (including Kryssos, which I've used before).
Halloumi tends to be a little pricey here in the U.S. If your area has any Mediterranean, Greek, or Middle Eastern markets though, you can usually find it there for less. Here in the DFW area, Sara's Market in Richardson carries multiple brands.
You'll Also Need
You'll need a large frying pan to cook the cheese (this nonstick skillet is my fave!), as well as a small bowl to mix together the honey and lemon juice.
How to Make Honey Halloumi
This recipe couldn't be easier to prepare! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Make sauce. Start by mixing together the honey and lemon juice in a small bowl. Then set it aside for later.
- Prep cheese. Next, blot the outside of the halloumi dry with a paper towel, then cut it into eight slices.
- Cook halloumi. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet, then add the halloumi. Cook it until it's lightly browned on one side, then flip it and brown on the other side. Make sure to watch it closely ... it should only take about one to two minutes per side. You're aiming for a light brown color.
- Add sauce. Next, add the honey-lemon sauce and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for a couple minutes longer, or until the sauce has thickened and is glazing the cheese. As the sauce cooks, spoon it over the cheese ... that way, the slices will get coated evenly.
- Serve. Finish by sprinkling the cheese with fresh thyme. Then serve the cheese right away while it's hot, so it stays tender.
Time to eat your glorious Honey Glazed Halloumi! Doesn't it look so delicious ... and trust me, it tastes even better than it looks!
Tip: I've seen a few recipes that call for marinating the cheese in the sauce, but it's really not necessary. You'll save lots of time, and still get all the flavor, by just glazing it with the sauce in the pan.
This easy appetizer is pretty perfect as-is. But if you feel like experimenting, here are some simple ideas for customizing it:
- Milder / Spicier - To adjust the spiciness, simply add more or less red pepper flakes. You could also use different peppers, like Aleppo pepper.
- Orange - Swap in orange juice instead of lemon for a flavor twist.
- Garlic - Are you a garlic lover? Add a clove of minced garlic along with the sauce.
- Sesame - Sprinkle the finished dish with toasted sesame seeds to add a nutty flavor.
The beauty of this Honey Halloumi recipe is that you can serve it as a stand alone dish. It makes an irresistible appetizer, and you can eat it on its own or with some Crostini or crusty bread. Perfect for no fuss entertaining!
You can turn it into a meal, too! Try one of these delicious ideas:
- Main Dish - Serve this Halloumi with Honey over couscous, quinoa, or rice with a side of sautéed or Roasted Vegetables. If you do this, consider doubling the sauce. That way, you'll have extra to drizzle over the top.
- Salad - Add the fried cheese to your favorite salad. It would be delicious on this Chickpea Salad, Pomegranate Couscous Salad, Roasted Pumpkin Salad (skip the feta), or even a simple Green Salad.
- Sandwich or Wrap - Tuck the hot cheese into your next sandwich. It's sure to add tons of flavor, whether you use a wrap, traditional bread, or a flatbread.
- Fries - Cut the cheese into logs instead of slices, then prepare as directed.
Pan Fried Halloumi has a tendency to toughen up as it cools, so it's always best eaten shortly after cooking when it's still hot. If you do have a little leftover, store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to three days. Then reheat gently in your microwave before eating.
Or maybe it's a different kind of cheese you're craving? If so, you'll love these cheesy appetizer ideas, too:
- Baked Ricotta Dip
- Fried Feta Saganaki
- Herb Cream Cheese Dip
- Baked Brie
- Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates
- Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
- Cheese Truffles
- Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Olives
- Cheese Board for Two
If you like the hot honey + thyme flavor combo in this recipe, don't miss my easy Peach Toast recipe ... it has similar flavors you'll love!
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.
Honey Glazed Halloumi
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (cut remaining lemon into wedges for serving)
- 1 (8.8 ounce / 250 gram) block halloumi cheese,
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Mix honey and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Blot outside of halloumi dry with a paper towel. Cut into 8 slices.
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Carefully add halloumi slices to hot pan, then cook until golden brown on bottom. Flip, then cook until light golden brown on other side. (It should only take about 1 to 2 minutes per side.)
- Add honey-lemon sauce to pan and sprinkle cheese with crushed red pepper flakes. Continue cooking until sauce thickens and glazes cheese (about 2 minutes), spooning sauce over cheese as it cooks.
- Remove pan from heat, then sprinkle cheese with thyme.
- Transfer cheese and sauce to a plate. Serve hot with reserved lemon wedges. Enjoy!