How to Cook Halloumi Perfectly

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An easy method for how to cook halloumi perfectly every time! For beautifully soft, squidgy, salty halloumi cheese that can be used in many different ways.

Slices of fried halloumi in a frying pan.

If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll probably already know how to cook halloumi – I share halloumi recipes here alllll the time. But if not, read on to find out everything you need to know!

I think halloumi might just be my favourite cheese ever – it truly is the king of cheeses. It’s soft, it’s salty, it’s gooey, it’s crispy, it’s squidgy… all at the same time. If you like the flavour of crispy cheese (and who doesn’t?!), you’ll love fried halloumi.

Halloumi cheese with grill lines in a frying pan.

๐Ÿ›’ Where to buy halloumi cheese

In the UK, halloumi is easy to find in pretty much all supermarkets. It’s often rolled in dried herbs (usually mint) before being sold – which explains the little black dots you can see on the halloumi in some of my photos!

I know it can be a bit trickier to find halloumi in the shops in other countries. Since I have a lot of American readers, I asked in my Facebook group, Easy Vegetarian Dinners, where people had managed to find halloumi in the US, and people suggested Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and a few smaller stores – check out the full post here for more details (you’ll need to join the group first to view the post!).

You can even find it on Amazon! Here’s one I found that looks very similar to the stuff I use.

If you’re in any other country where halloumi is less common, I’d recommend either trying your nearest superstore, where they have the widest range of cheeses, or alternatively, try a smaller specialist store. It might be worth calling around first to see if anyone stocks it near you!

Halloumi cheese sliced with a crinkle cutter, spread out on a chopping board.

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฝโ€๐Ÿณ How to cook halloumi

Here’s how to cook halloumi perfectly, every time!

Halloumi cheese cut with a knife, and with a crinkle cutter.

Step 1: Slice the halloumi.

I personally like to use fairly thick slices of halloumi – I find that if they’re too thin, they dry up and become a bit hard. Thick slices (anything from about half a centimetre, up to about a centimetre thick) go nice and gooey in the middle.

๐Ÿ‘Œ Top tip

You can cook halloumi in a griddle pan, rather than a flat frying pan, to get perfect grill marks across the cheese. Or, if you don’t have a griddle pan, you can cheat by using a crinkle cutter to cut the cheese instead! It makes those beautiful golden stripes across the cheese, which are so eye-catching. Here are a couple of options on Amazon (UK / US).

Slices of uncooked halloumi in a frying pan.

Step 2: Add the halloumi to a non-stick frying pan.

If you’re using a non-stick pan, you don’t need to add any oil. Since the halloumi releases some liquid as it cooks anyway, it doesn’t tend to stick – but it’s worth using a good quality non-stick pan anyway, just in case.

Turn the heat up to medium, and let it do its thing.

๐Ÿ‘Œ Top tip

If you don’t have a non-stick frying pan, you can use stainless steel – but I would always go for the non-stick if you have one.

For the purposes of this post, I tried frying some halloumi in a stainless steel pan using a few different methods – oil vs. no oil; pre-heated pan vs. cold pan.

I found that you need to use a much lower heat when you’re cooking the halloumi in stainless steel, and a dash of oil was helpful to stop the cheese from sticking. But even so, the cheese did cook (and burn!) a lot more quickly in the stainless steel pan, so bear that in mind if you don’t have a non-stick pan.

Liquid being released by halloumi cheese as it cooks in a frying pan.

Step 3: Cook the first side of the halloumi.

After a minute or two, the halloumi will begin to release some liquid. Don’t flip the cheese just yet – wait until the liquid has all been released, and any excess liquid has evaporated.

As you can see, a salty substance will be left in the pan, which will turn golden brown when all the liquid has gone. The colour of the residue in the pan pretty much corresponds to the colour of the underside of the halloumi, so once it’s golden, it’s time to flip!

Notice that the cheese browns more quickly in the centre of the pan (at least it does on my stove!), so you might need to move the cheese around a little to help the edge pieces cook evenly.

Halloumi cheese beginning to crisp up in a frying pan.

Step 4: Flip the halloumi.

When the underside of the halloumi is browned to your liking, flip each slice over, and repeat with the other side.

Beware: this side will brown a lot more quickly, as all the liquid has already been released – it should only take about a minute this time. Don’t overcook the halloumi, or it will end up becoming tough and rubbery.

Crispy slices of halloumi cheese in a frying pan.

Step 5: Enjoy!

You should now have beautifully cooked halloumi, golden brown and crispy on the edges, soft and squidgy in the middle. Delicious!

Halloumi is best eaten straight away – just try to resist eating it straight from the pan, as that will probably be frowned upon by the rest of your family!

๐Ÿง€ Halloumi FAQs

What is halloumi?

Halloumi (sometimes spelled haloumi) is a Cypriot cheese made from sheep’s, goat’s, and / or cow’s milks. It’s pretty unusual as far as cheese goes, because you can fry it up and it won’t melt away into oblivion like a lot of other cheeses would – it keeps its shape, and softens up just enough to become nice and squidgy in the middle.

What does halloumi taste like?

The flavour of halloumi isn’t overly cheesy – it’s more just a super salty flavour, and nice and creamy. In terms of flavour, it’s a little like a saltier version of mozzarella. The texture is fairly firm, more like paneer.

You only need a small amount of halloumi to add a lot of flavour to your food – it’s got such an intense salty flavour that really lifts everything you cook to the next level!

Can you eat halloumi raw?

Yes! You can definitely eat halloumi raw. However, you don’t often see uncooked halloumi served in a meal.

It’s definitely tastier when it’s been cooked, as it’s just irresistible when it’s warm and squidgy – not to mention, you get those lovely crispy bits around the edges. I always cook my halloumi if I’m using it in a meal.

But I’ll admit, I do often nibble a bit of raw halloumi straight from the block while I’m chopping it up, and it’s pretty tasty that way too.

How do you serve halloumi cheese?

Halloumi is understandably used a lot in Cypriot cuisine, as well as Greek, Turkish, etc. – it makes an incredible vegetarian doner kebab, for example.
But it’s also great to use in all sorts of other contexts – dice it up and put it in a halloumi pie, add it to a halloumi curry, or even crumble it into halloumi chilli. I pretty much use it in everything.

The method for cooking halloumi that I detail in this post is for those occasions when you’re cooking up the halloumi on its own, as opposed to cooking it in a sauce – like if you want to add it to a halloumi sandwich, scatter it on top of a halloumi salad, or serve it in your cooked breakfast!

How do you stop halloumi from becoming rubbery?

Halloumi can become a little rubbery and tough if you don’t know how to use it. There are a few things you can do to avoid this:

– cut your slices of halloumi on the thicker side – very thin slices tend to become a little hard, rather than soft and squidgy, like thicker slices do.
– don’t overcook the halloumi – a couple of minutes on each side is all it needs! You still want it to be soft, not totally crispy.
– eat the halloumi within 5 minutes or so of cooking it – if you leave it to cool, it will become a little more rubbery.

Can you reheat fried halloumi?

Meh… not really. Technically, you could pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to try to revive it, but it does tend to become tougher and more rubbery this way. It’s undoubtedly best eaten within a few minutes of being cooked.

Slices of crispy halloumi cheese with golden brown griddle marks.

โž• Halloumi Recipes

If I’ve inspired you to give halloumi a try, I’ve posted a huge round-up of delicious vegetarian halloumi recipes – just click the image below to see them!

Crispy fried halloumi in a frying pan.

How to Cook Halloumi Perfectly

An easy method for how to cook halloumi perfectly every time! For beautifully soft, squidgy, salty halloumi cheese that can be used in many different ways.

If you’ve cooked this recipe, don’t forget to leave a star rating!

4.67 from 15 votes
Print Pin Comment
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 241kcal
Author: Becca Heyes


  • 1 block halloumi cheese (usually around 225g / ~ 8 oz)


  • Cut the block of halloumi into slices. Don't make them too thin – around half a centimetre thick is good. You can use a crinkle cutter to cut the halloumi if you'd like the fake 'grill lines'.
  • Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, and add the slices of cheese in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Allow the cheese to cook for a few minutes without moving it – it will release some liquid, which will then cook off. When the excess liquid has evaporated, the underside of the cheese will turn golden brown fairly quickly. When it’s cooked to your liking, turn each piece over, and repeat with the other side. The second side will brown more quickly, as the liquid has already been released.
  • Fried halloumi is best served immediately.


Halloumi is best eaten straight away, as it can become rubbery if left to cool.


Nutrition Facts
How to Cook Halloumi Perfectly
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 241 Calories from Fat 169
% Daily Value*
Fat 18.8g29%
Saturated Fat 13.4g67%
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 750mg31%
Potassium 0mg0%
Carbohydrates 2.7g1%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 16.1g32%
Calcium 670mg67%
Iron 0mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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4.67 from 15 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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  1. I’d never cooked halloumi before, indeed I only tried it for the first time yesterday at a cafe in town. This was so easy to follow but I did find it saltier than the one I had at the cafe. Do you recommend soaking? If so how and for how long?

    Thanks!4 stars

    1. Hi Marc, I’ve never soaked halloumi, but then I do like the salty flavour. If you find it too salty then you could definitely try rinsing it off briefly before cooking. I probably wouldn’t soak it for a long time though, as it will just end up losing a lot of its flavour. The saltiness is one of my favourite things about halloumi :)

  2. Aldi’s sells Halloumi and Kasseri.
    I grilled my Halloumi in a lightly oiled, hot, 8″ cast iron pan on the barbecue grill where I could infuse Alder wood smoke, with lemon zest and chopped fresh oregano.

  3. Hi Becca…
    I fry my Halloumi using HOT non stick pan.
    With a bit of olive oil.
    I try my best to avoid releasing any liquid liquid.
    The more liquid stays in, the fried Halloumi will be more juicy and not as salty.
    Thick cut as you said.

  4. This looks amazing! I’m going to Cermak tomorrow (a grocery store in MKE that carries a wide variety of different cheeses) and I’m really hoping they have it, so I can try this! I’m delighted that some of the comments say “squeaky” because here in Wisconsin, we have fresh cheese curds that are available often, and the “squeak” is what tells you they’re fresh! Love it.

  5. Hello Queen of Halloumi! Thanks (in part) to you I continue my obsession with this cheese. So. Freakin’. Good. I have made so many of your halloumi recipes and they are all fantastic! Just joined your private group, thanks for mentioning it…I didn’t know it existed. In the states you can now find halloumi at almost any grocery store. It’s catching on. Yay!!!!ย 5 stars

  6. Itโ€™s soft, itโ€™s salty, itโ€™s gooey, itโ€™s crispy, itโ€™s stringyโ€ฆ all at the same time. AND squeaky when chewed. LOVE IT!!!

  7. I tried halloumi for the first time, and it was horrible. Tasteless, hard, chewy, no pleasure at all. I fried it for around 5 minutes and really, it’s not something I’ll ever go back to! Sorry. Can’t see what the attraction is at all.

    1. Interesting, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it! Tasteless is definitely not a word I would use to describe halloumi, it has more flavour than most other cheeses! May I ask where you’re from? I wonder if it differs from place to place. As for it being hard, I’d just make sure you don’t slice it too thinly, otherwise it can crisp up a bit too much – if you use nice thick slices and don’t overcook it, it stays soft and squidgy in the middle :)

  8. I like to put paneer cheese (fried) in chilli – with the mince too. Didn’t have any but my daughter in law said to try this. OMG it was just yum x

  9. Seriously, such an amazing post. I love your tips. This post is really informative and useful. Always, I will try to make the delicious food. I want to become healthy and it only can happen by eating healthy food. Thanks so much for including this post.