Bring your BBQ to the next level with this Grilled Halloumi recipe! Serve on its own, or add a bright, sweet, and savory upgrade with charred cherry tomatoes and a sweet, savory, and aromatic Honey-Rosemary Glaze. 

An overhead photo of grilled halloumi with blistered cherry tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary and a small spoon on a serving platter.
Photo Credits: Ali Redmond

Are you curious how to grill cheese without it melting through the grill grates? Let me introduce you to halloumi! Halloumi does not melt, and has a sturdy, chewy texture with a mild salty flavor. Cooking this Cypriot cheese—whether you’re making grilled halloumi or pan-fried halloumi—makes it crispy on the outside and deliciously gooey on the inside. 

This grilled halloumi recipe is delicious on its own, but adding rosemary-infused honey and an acidic bite from blistered tomatoes perfectly balances the saltiness with a sweet and savory note to make it even more scrumptious. 

Serve at your next dinner or outdoor grilling party, or enjoy with your family as a midweek pick-me-up along with a summer salad. It's a crowd-pleaser, so double the recipe because it will disappear in no time!

Table of Contents
  1. Grilled Halloumi Ingredients
  2. Ingredient Spotlight
  3. Is Halloumi Healthy? Cheese with Benefits
  4. How is Halloumi Cheese Made?
  5. How to Make this Grilled Halloumi Recipe
  6. Tips for Grilling Halloumi 
  7. Ways to Mix it Up
  8. What to Serve with Grilled Halloumi
  9. You'll Also Like: Crispy-Melty Cheese Recipes!
  10. Grilled Halloumi with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and Honey-Rosemary Glaze Recipe
  11. Greek Honey - Thyme, Forest & Wild Herbs
The ingredients for grilled halloumi including halloumi cheese, olive oil, oregano, cherry tomatoes, salt, rosemary, honey, lemon, chili flakes, and some crusty bread.

Grilled Halloumi Ingredients

To make grilled halloumi cheese, you only need the cheese, oil, and a hot grill. But I like to balance the flavor with spice, aromatics, and sweetness. You’ll need:

  • Halloumi cheese: You can purchase Halloumi in most grocery stores; however, a Mediterranean deli or Middle Eastern market almost always stocks it. Look for halloumi cheese from sheep and goat milk if you want the real deal. Keep the cheese refrigerated in its original wrapper, which contains some brine. Once you have opened the cheese, tightly wrap it, and use it within 5-7 days. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Flavors the cheese and tomatoes and prevents them from sticking to the grill. I always opt for an excellent extra virgin olive oil that is robust and peppery in flavor, like our Spanish Hojiblanca.
  • Cherry tomatoes: The perfect sweet and bright complement to salty halloumi cheese. They blister and char on a grill, releasing a candied sweetness. You could use green or yellow cherry tomatoes if you prefer. 
  • Oregano: I always like to add dried oregano for its unique flavor, which combines subtle notes of sweetness, pepperiness, and bitterness. Stock up on high-quality Greek oregano at our shop.
  • Honey creates the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Runny honeys with a delicate sweetness works best (our Greek Alfa Honey is a special treat.)
  • Rosemary adds a slightly minty, earthy, savory note that compliments the honey.
  • Chili flakes (optional): If you like sweet and spicy food, add chili flakes for a well-rounded flavor.
  • Salt enhances the flavor.
  • Lemon adds freshness and brightness, balancing the overall dish. It is the perfect touch that brings all the flavors together.

Ingredient Spotlight

Halloumi cheese is a semi-hard, unripened brined cheese that is salty and has a unique texture often described as “rubbery,” though fried or grilled halloumi is pleasantly tender. It’s often confused for the Greek cheese used to make Saganaki, but its origins are actually rooted across the Mediterranean Sea in Cyprus.

Halloumi is typically made from a blend of goat's and sheep's milk. The texture is due to the protein in the cheese, which creates long strands that rub against our teeth, producing a squeaky sound. When you grill Halloumi cheese it doesn't melt, although it changes consistency, acquires a golden color, and retains its firmness and bite.

An overhead photo of grilled halloumi with blistered cherry tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary and a small spoon on a serving platter. Next to this is a bowl of the honey-rosemary glaze and a plate with crusty bread.

Is Halloumi Healthy? Cheese with Benefits

As someone with Mediterranean roots, I am intrigued by the health benefits of the food I consume. I am excited to note that not only is halloumi delicious both raw and cooked, but it is also nutritious—a win-win situation!

This cheese is an excellent source of protein, which is crucial for maintaining good health. One ounce of halloumi has about 5 grams of protein, which is the same amount as an egg. It is also rich in calcium, a mineral required for strong bones and nerve function. Its high protein content makes it a satisfying alternative to meat or seafood and helps keep you fuller for longer.

How is Halloumi Cheese Made?

Another thing that makes halloumi unique is that no acid or acid-producing bacteria is used in its preparation. Hence, the lower the acid content, the harder it is for the cheese to melt. To make it:

Fresh milk is left to curdle with rennet, a substance used to coagulate the milk. This separates the curds and whey. It can be made with either plant or animal-based rennet so it's important to read the label if vegetarian cheese is important to you.

  • The curds are then stirred, drained and pressed into a mold. 
  • Once the curds become firm, they are poached in salted whey, cut into small pieces, and left in the whey for an hour. 
  • The Halloumi is cured in brine, adding small pieces of dried mint, which not only flavor but also help preserve the cheese.
  • Despite being preserved in brine, Halloumi cheese maintains its fresh, milky flavor, one of the prominent flavor profiles of this cheese.  
An overhead photo of grilled halloumi with blistered cherry tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary and a small spoon on a serving platter.

How to Make this Grilled Halloumi Recipe

To make this recipe, you’ll start grilling the tomatoes first as they take longer to cook than the cheese. Just make sure your grill is very hot to prevent sticking! Here are the steps: 

  • Dry the halloumi. Cut 14 ounces of halloumi into ½-inch slices and pat very dry with paper towels. Set on a paper towel and cover with another paper towel to absorb as much moisture as possible while you prepare the other ingredients. 
  • Prepare the Honey-Rosemary Glaze. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped rosemary, ½ cup honey, and a pinch of salt and chili flakes (if using). An overhead photo of a bowl of the honey-rosemary glaze with a spoon.
  • Prep the tomatoes. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ⅓ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, and a pinch of salt. Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes, then add them to the bowl and toss to coat. Skewer 4-5 whole tomatoes on each skewer. Set aside, reserving any olive oil and oregano left in the bowl. Cherry tomatoes in a bowl with olive oil, oregano and a pinch of salt next to 2 skewers of the tomatoes and two empty skewers sitting on a cutting board.
  • Get ready to grill. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat with the lid off. Remove the paper towels from the halloumi and brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking. Pour over any extra oil that was reserved from the tomato bowl. 
  • Grill the tomatoes. When the grill is hot, place the tomato skewers on one side of the grill, leaving room to add the cheese later. Cook the tomatoes uncovered for 10 minutes, turning until soft (but not quite fully charred yet). 
  • Grill the cheese. Leaving the tomatoes on the grill, add the halloumi cheese. Grill uncovered for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Use a metal spatula to help loosen the cheese from the grill before flipping it. A close up of slices of halloumi cheese and skewers of cherry tomatoes being grilled on an outdoor grill.
  • Glaze. Once the cheese is crispy and the tomatoes are blistered and very soft, remove them from the grill and place them on a platter. You can leave the tomatoes on the skewer or dot them around the halloumi cheese. While still warm, drizzle on the Honey-Rosemary Glaze and squeeze over the juice from the ½ lemon. Serve immediately with crusty bread.An overhead photo of grilled halloumi with blistered cherry tomatoes and sprigs of rosemary on a serving platter next to a plate with crusty bread.

Tips for Grilling Halloumi 

Halloumi can be cooked in several ways: pan-fried in a skillet, roasted in the oven, or grilled outdoors. Grilling halloumi is a simple process. Since it doesn't melt, there's little chance of making any mistakes (unless of course you let it burn). However, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Pat the cheese very dry with paper towels. Removing the brine will help achieve a crispy exterior.
  • Avoid slicing the cheese too thin as they may overcook and become hard.
  • Drizzle the halloumi slabs with olive oil on both sides. This, too, helps the cheese not stick to the grill and adds excellent flavor. 
  • Preheat your outdoor grill so it is hot before adding the cheese which helps to prevent the cheese from sticking. 
  • Don’t overcook the cheese. Once it is added to the grill, it should only take 3-4 minutes on each side. It is easy to tell when it’s ready, as the cheese will develop dark grill marks. 
  • Trust me, you don't want to run out of halloumi cheese! Make sure you have plenty on hand, as it will be a crowd favorite!
Grilled halloumi with blistered cherry tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary and a small spoon on a serving platter next to a plate with crusty bread.

Ways to Mix it Up

I love this recipe with all the fixings, but you can also play around with the grilled halloumi cheese on its own. It’s highly versatile and makes a perfect addition to various dishes. Here are my favorite ways to serve it:

  • Salads: Grilled halloumi is an excellent side to a Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. Add it to a Caprese Salad instead of mozzarella cheese or enjoy as a Cypriot would, alongside fresh watermelon. Or add grilled halloumi to your Griddled Peach Salad.
  • On a sandwich or burger: Grilled halloumi is a delicious alternative or addition to the meat in a beef or chicken burger or sandwich. I enjoy it in a panini or pita wrap paired with pesto or hummus, fresh tomatoes, rocket, roasted pumpkin, and eggplant. It's a flavor explosion!
  • As a party appetizer: This is a great cheese to add to a cheese board, antipasto salad, or platter with jams, chutneys, crackers, or homemade pita bread
An overhead photo of grilled halloumi with blistered cherry tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary and a small spoon on a serving platter next to a plate with crusty bread.

What to Serve with Grilled Halloumi

This is one of those dishes that tastes delicious simply on its own or with a great loaf of crusty bread. It is also a great side dish, appetizer, snack, light lunch, or dinner accompanied by a grain salad, like our Herby Freekeh Salad with Fresh Veggies and Pomegranate Dressing. For a vegetarian Mediterranean BBQ, simply add Grilled Vegetables.

You'll Also Like: Crispy-Melty Cheese Recipes!

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5 from 1 vote

Grilled Halloumi with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and Honey-Rosemary Glaze

photograph of author Ruth Bardis.Ruth Bardis
An overhead photo of grilled halloumi with blistered cherry tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary and a small spoon on a serving platter.
You can serve grilled halloumi on its own in so many ways–as a meat alternative in burgers or sandwiches, salad topping, or on its own, just to name a few. But I love the balance of the juicy burst tomatoes, sweet and savory honey, and salty grilled cheese.
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 16 minutes
Total – 26 minutes
Cuisine:
Meditrranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Appetizer

Ingredients
  

For the Grilled Halloumi and Tomatoes

For the Honey-Rosemary Glaze

  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Chili flakes (optional)

To Serve

  • ½ lemon
  • Crusty bread

Instructions
 

  • Dry the halloumi. Pat the halloumi dry with paper towels. Set on a paper towel and covered with another sheet of paper towel to absorb as much moisture as possible while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Prepare the Honey-Rosemary Glaze. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the rosemary, honey, and a pinch of salt and chili flakes (if using).
  • Prep the tomatoes. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, dried oregano, and a pinch of salt. Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes, then add them to the bowl and toss to coat. Skewer 4-5 whole tomatoes on each skewer. Set aside, reserving any olive oil and oregano left in the bowl.
  • Get ready to grill. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat with the lid off. Remove the paper towels from the halloumi and brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking. Pour over any extra oil that was reserved from the tomato bowl.
  • Grill the tomatoes. When the grill is hot, place the tomato skewers on one side of the grill, leaving room to add the cheese later. Cook the tomatoes for 10 minutes, turning until soft (but not quite fully charred yet).
  • Grill the cheese. Leaving the tomatoes on the grill, add the halloumi cheese. Grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Use a metal spatula to help loosen the cheese from the grill before flipping it.
  • Glaze. Once the cheese is crispy and the tomatoes are blistered and very soft, remove them from the grill and place them on a platter. While still warm, drizzle on the Honey-Rosemary Glaze and squeeze over the juice from the ½ lemon. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Notes

  • Shop this recipe: Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including the olive oil, oregano, and honey used in this recipe.
  • If your cherry tomatoes come with the stem attached, you can leave it on for visual appeal.
  • Don’t be tempted to turn the cheese too quickly. Leave it alone for a few minutes to develop grill marks before moving.

Nutrition

Calories: 404.8kcalCarbohydrates: 24.8gProtein: 14.9gFat: 28.3gSaturated Fat: 12.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 12.7gSodium: 797.9mgPotassium: 68.9mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 24.1gVitamin A: 121.4IUVitamin C: 5.8mgCalcium: 666mgIron: 0.4mg
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Greek Honey - Thyme, Forest & Wild Herbs

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Ruth Bardis is an international award-winning cookbook author, food stylist, publisher, and photographer passionate about all thing’s Greek food.  She was born in Australia to Greek parents. Her strong ethnic heritage and love of nourishing food facilitated her switch from fashion designing to cooking, photography, and writing. 
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5 from 1 vote

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Comments

  1. Amanda D says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! The best halloumi dish we've made! The flavors were perfection! It will definitely be made again this summer!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yesss! We love to hear that! Thanks, Amanda!

  2. Elle Valera says:

    The addition of the Honey-Rosemary Glaze and blistered cherry tomatoes must create a perfect balance of flavours. I can almost taste the savoury-sweet combination through your descriptive post.