This Paprika Honey Halloumi recipe is all about salty, sweet, and heat. This dish brings together the best types of flavors with a cheese that holds up to all the flavor we add to it. If you’re looking for a halloumi recipes, you need to try this one.
Two years ago, I learned about Halloumi for the first time. I was in Ireland, having brunch with friends after a night out on the town (fun fact: I lived in Ireland for 12 years growing up, and visit at least once a year now). We were in a trendy restaurant in Galway, with a contemporary nautical theme, shiny hardwood floors, and light pouring in from an overhead skylight. I had a slight headache while sitting with four friends in a tiny booth, my head drooped over a menu.
My friend recommended the Halloumi sandwich. “Halloumi?”, I asked. “Oh my god have you not had Halloumi? It’s a really nice cheese, it’s kind of the new thing here” she said. “Oh”, I said, curious. Instead, I opted for waffles covered in raspberries and nutella, because that’s what my soul craved, but Halloumi didn’t leave my mind. Intrigued by the mystery cheese, and it seemed to appear everywhere after that. I noticed it on menus, in grocery stores, and on cooking shows.
When I finally tried it, foodie sparks were flying. The halloumi was served on a green salad with olive oil, crunchy snap peas, cherry tomatoes and pickled red onion. The cheese was salty, with a bite to it, with a texture like cooked tofu. It was a cheese that wasn’t spreadable, crumbly or melty, making it perfect as the main event in dishes rather than an afterthought, like so many cheeses. My interest piqued, and I knew I had to make something delicious with it.
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese originating from Cyrus made either with goat’s milk or sheep’s milk, or a mixture of the two. It is similar to mozzarella, with layers, making it easy to slice. You can eat it raw, but it’s best served warm as the texture becomes smoother and the outside will have a nice crisp to it.
It is the perfect cheese for slicing and cooking, serving it warm on salads or by itself with crackers for a quick, easy appetizer. It has a high melting point, so it will keep its shape as long as you keep an eye on the heat. Most halloumi recipes involve grilling it or pan frying it with a little oil.
The Best Halloumi Recipes are Sweet and Salty
This cheese is tangy and salty, making it the perfect cheese with a sweet element. In this recipe, the honey adds a sweetness that makes this dish balanced in flavor. The paprika adds a subtle spice. You’ll love having this in your halloumi recipes repertoire.
Garnish your Halloumi Recipes with Color
Pomegranate seeds will not overpower the flavor of the honey in this dish, but they add color and a little bite to the dish. I like to sprinkle them on, adding a little fresh parsley and pouring the leftover sauce over the top. The result is so pretty, it almost feels wrong to eat.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- Prepare the honey paprika sauce by mixing the honey with the paprika. Set aside in a bowl to let the flavors come together.
- Slice the halloumi, about ¼ to a half inch thick.
- Add the halloumi to the bowl of paprika honey sauce and let marinate for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, and add the olive oil.
- Add the slices of halloumi in a single layer, shaking off the excess honey. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan.
- Let the cheese slices cook for 2-3 mins on each side, and turn to let each side brown. Some of the liquids from the cheese and the sauce will release into the pan. You can carefully swirl the pan so the sauce doesn’t congregate at one side of the pan.
- Once the cheese is browned, add a couple tablespoons of sauce over the cheese. It will start to thicken. After 30 seconds, remove the cheese from the pan.
- Serve on a plate, pouring the reserved honey paprika sauce over the top.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley.
- Best served hot with crackers, toasty bread, or with a green salad.
Like this recipe? Sometimes the best recipes combine flavors at opposite ends of the spectrum. If you’re a fan of sweet and salty, try this Sticky Date Sriracha Tofu recipe.