This easy halloumi salad is a great low carb vegetarian meal! I love the cold, crunchy vegetables mixed with the crispy halloumi!

Halloumi Salad

After Alex and I got hooked on these easy halloumi sandwiches, I wanted to make a slightly healthier option for our dinner rotation. I’m obsessed with this salty cheese and it’s perfect on top of a bed of vegetables! This salad is big enough to serve as a main dish for two people or a side dish for four!

halloumi on a cutting board

What is halloumi cheese?

Halloumi originated in Cyprus, in the middle east. It is traditionally made with goat and sheep’s milk, but a lot of the halloumi you’ll find in the United States is made with cow’s milk. Try to grab authentic halloumi if you can find it!

Where to buy halloumi cheese

You can usually find halloumi cheese in the specialty cheese section of the grocery store. Sometimes it will be called “grilling” cheese. I’ve gotten it at Kroger, Wegmans, Publix, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and even Aldi! It’s typically sold near the feta and fresh mozzarella. Halloumi can be a bit expensive, so keep an eye out for sales. Trader Joe’s and Aldi are typically the cheapest places to get it, but it’s hit or miss on whether or not it will be available.

halloumi cheese in a pan

What does halloumi cheese taste like?

Halloumi has a “squeakiness” that you’ll only understand if you’ve eaten a cheese curd. (If you’re unfamiliar with the “squeakiness” of cheese then you’re clearly not from the midwest.) It’s very salty, like feta but the texture is very firm and not crumbly. And like feta, Halloumi cheese doesn’t really melt, but when heated in a pan or a grill, it gets a gorgeous, crispy brown crust.

Is halloumi healthy?

Halloumi is pretty high in sodium and saturated fat, so I wouldn’t necessarily call it healthy. But it adds a lot of flavor and protein to this salad, so I think this is a good example of how halloumi can be part of a healthy meal. It’s also a good idea to be mindful of serving sizes. Halloumi reheats well, so it’s ok to have leftovers!

Halloumi Salad Ingredients

  • Olive oil- This is the base of the dressing. I hightly recommend using a flavorful olive oil like California Olive Ranch.
  • Red wine vinegar– You can substitute with white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, if necessary.
  • Lemon juice– Adds a fresh flavor to the dressing.
  • Za’atar seasoning– I love the flavor of this seasoning blend but don’t stress if you don’t have it. You can leave it out if needed.
  • Salt– A little salt enhances the dressing.
  • Garlic– Fresh garlic adds a lot of flavor but feel free to use garlic powder for a more mild flavor.
  • Halloumi– Obviously, we need halloumi to make halloumi salad! There really isn’t a substitute for this unique cheese.
  • Romaine– I love crunchy romaine but you can use any sort of leaf lettuce you like.
  • Cucumber– Chopped cucumber adds a fresh crunch.
  • Red onion– I love the bite of a raw red onion but you can use shallots for a more mild flavor.
  • Bell pepper– I like a red or orange bell pepper which are sweeter and add a nice pop of color to the salad.

What is za’atar seasoning

Za’atar seasoning is typically a blend of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds, and salt. You can find it at most major grocery stores, near the other spice blends. You can also find it at spice stores like Penzys or you can even get it on Amazon, although I can’t say I’ve tried that!

How to Make Halloumi Salad

  1. Start by making the dressing. Combine the olive oil with the vinegar, lemon juice, za’atar, salt, and garlic in a small bowl.
  2. Fry the cheese in a non-stick skillet in a small amount of olive oil. Cook until browned, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
  3. Toss the romaine, cucumber, onion, and bell pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Drizzle with dressing and toss until coated. Top with cheese and serve immediately.

Tips for the perfect halloumi salad

  • When “grilling” halloumi on the stove, I find it easiest to do it in a non-stick pan. The halloumi will get a crispy brown crust without the need for a lot of oil.
  • If you have an air fryer, be sure to check out my air fryer halloumi recipe! It’s quick and easy and you get perfectly crispy halloumi, every time!
  • You can also make crispy halloumi in the air fryer, no oil required!
  • This homemade dressing is simple and light. Feel free to substitute a store-bought dressing, if you prefer.
easy halloumi salad

Substitution Ideas

  • If you don’t have romaine, you can use kale instead. Just be sure to massage the kale with the dressing before serving. You could also serve this with spring mix or spinach.
  • If you don’t like the taste of red onion, substitute it with a small shallot for a more mild flavor.
  • No za’atar seasoning? Don’t stress! You can use a blend of Italian seasoning instead.

How to Store Leftover Halloumi

The halloumi is best served hot, but if you have leftovers, you can keep the salad and halloumi stored separately in the refrigerator. Wait to add the salad dressing until you’re ready to serve. For the halloumi, simply reheat it in a pan or in an air fryer before serving.

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Easy Halloumi Salad

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Salad

Description

This easy halloumi salad is a great low carb vegetarian meal! I love the cold, crunchy vegetables mixed with the crispy halloumi!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon divided
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon za’atar seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 6 oz halloumi cheese, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 heart romaine lettuce (about 3 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeds removed, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced

Instructions

  1. Whisk two tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar, lemon juice, za’atar, salt, and garlic in a small bowl.
  2. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, swirl the remaining teaspoon of olive oil.
  3. Add the cheese in a single layer and cook until browned, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
  4. Toss the romaine, cucumber, onion, and bell pepper in a large bowl.
  5. Drizzle with dressing and toss until coated. Top with cheese and serve immediately.

Notes

This salad could serve two people as a main dish or four people as a side dish. The nutrition information below is for 1/4 of the salad.

Keywords: easy halloumi salad

If you have friends or family members that are skeptical of vegetarian food, I highly recommend introducing them to halloumi. This cheese is so hearty and satisfying, and it makes an excellent substitute for meat! I also really like this simple salad dressing. I’ve eaten this salad as a side dish without the halloumi, and it’s still delicious!

If you have leftover cheese, give these easy halloumi sandwiches a try!

Grilled halloumi on bread

Have you ever tried halloumi cheese?