A super simple vegetarian dinner in just 15 minutes! This halloumi piccata is an irresistible mixture of lemon, butter and capers, served over salty halloumi cheese.
Apologies for the third halloumi recipe in as many weeks! I seem to be going through a halloumi phase at the moment. It’s lasted about 10 years so far. No more halloumi until at least next week, I promise.
I just couldn’t wait to share this halloumi piccata recipe. If you’re a fan of garlic, butter, and cheese, you will love this easy 15 minute dinner.
What is piccata?
I’m sure some of you are already familiar with the word ‘piccata‘, but it isn’t a particularly well-known dish in the UK – I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on a menu anywhere. And we’re really missing out! It’s made with thin slices of protein cooked in a simple sauce of lemon juice and butter with capers and fresh parsley.
Piccata is generally made with veal or chicken, but obviously my vegetarian version is meatless, so I used slices of halloumi cheese instead – my one true love (or maybe second to my husband).
The recipe starts by cutting the halloumi into thick slabs, and cooking it in a dry frying pan. I’ve shared full details about how to cook halloumi previously, so I won’t go into loads of detail here – just make sure it gets nice and golden brown and crispy on both sides.
Even just this first step is enough to make me drool. Try not to nibble at your halloumi just yet – it gets even better, I promise.
Deglaze the pan!
As the halloumi cooks, it releases a salty liquid, which cooks off and leaves a lovely crispy, savoury layer on the bottom of the pan. This gorgeous stuff usually gets left behind, but this time we’re going to make sure we don’t waste a single scrap of that amazing flavour – so next, you need to deglaze the pan with some melted butter.
‘Deglazing’ just means adding some liquid, and using it to scrape up all the crispy bits from the bottom of the pan – sounds fancy, but really it’s easy peasy, and it makes sure you’re not losing any of that flavour.
At this stage, I also added some chopped mushrooms and plenty of garlic. Mushrooms aren’t essential in a piccata recipe, but I can’t resist garlicky mushrooms cooked in butter. Feel free to skip them if you’re not a fan! They do add to the flavour of the dish, but it will still be amazing without them.
Super simple recipe
Just a couple more simple ingredients, and your halloumi piccata is done! The silky sauce really couldn’t be easier to make:
- lemon juice
- fresh parsley
So simple, but these few ingredients have so much impact. This halloumi piccata isn’t just lemony, it’s not just garlicky, it’s not just buttery… it’s lemony and garlicky and buttery and overall just really flipping irresistible. You could add a splash of white wine too, if you want even more flavour (I didn’t, as apparently you’re not meant to drink alcohol while you’re pregnant… don’t know who designed human bodies in such a silly way, but oh well. I suppose it will be worth it eventually).
Serve with pasta or rice
I love serving this halloumi piccata with tagliatelle. It’s not a super saucy dish, but the glossy, buttery sauce is just enough to coat the pasta beautifully.
You can use a different carb if you prefer, though – rice, a different pasta shape, or even just a nice bit of crusty bread to mop up the buttery piccata sauce.
- 225 g (1 small block) halloumi cheese, cut into 4 thick slices
- 2 tbsp butter
- 6 small mushrooms, sliced or diced quite small
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tbsp capers
- Black pepper
- Few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
- Cook the halloumi in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, until crispy and golden brown on both sides (a few minutes per side). You can find more detailed instructions for how to cook halloumi here if you need them.
- Turn the heat down fairly low, and push the halloumi to the edges of the pan. Add the butter, mushrooms and garlic to the centre of the pan, and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
- Add the lemon juice, capers, and plenty of black pepper, and cook for a couple more minutes. Serve topped with plenty of fresh parsley.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 the recipe, not including side dishes.