This halloumi salad is the perfect balance of sweet, salty, juicy, and hearty. We start with a base of tender baby kale and layer it with crispy pan-fried halloumi, fresh strawberries, buttery avocado chunks, sliced almonds, torn mint, and a tart, fragrant champagne vinaigrette.
This is a beautiful fried halloumi salad, full of pops of color and flavor, and the meaty cheese makes it shockingly filling! Who said meatless salads can't be a full on dinner?
I'm especially obsessed with the juicy, creamy, crispy textures and fresh flavors. Don't underestimate those sliced almonds, the fresh mint, the berries. You'll also want to save this dressing and pour it on all of your weeknight salads. It's so elegant, perfectly sweet-tart, and just a little bit punchy.
I love to serve this salad for Spring brunch, outside summer dinners, and anywhere, really, where the fresh flavors and gorgeous colors will bring a smile to your friends and family!
If you’ve never cooked with halloumi, I share a ton of details in the post below. It’s a salty, meaty cheese that is just so fun to bring into the kitchen.
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halloumi salad ingredients:
- halloumi cheese
- baby kale
- fresh mint
- sliced almonds
- champagne vinegar
- olive oil
- lime juice
- dijon mustard
- dried tarragon
how to make this halloumi salad:
- Make champagne vinaigrette.
- Pan-fry halloumi in a hot skillet.
- Toss kale with a few tablespoons of dressing.
- Assemble salad: kale, fried halloumi, strawberries, avocado, almonds and torn mint.
- Drizzle with more dressing and serve, passing extra dressing on the side.
what is halloumi cheese?
Halloumi is a firm, salt-brined cheese from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. It has a salty flavor similar to feta, but the texture is springy and meaty.
It’s a non-melting cheese, thanks to the way it’s made (quickly pressed and then cooked in a hot whey bath), and it has that same squeaky texture you find in fresh cheese curds.
It can be eaten cold, but it truly shines when it’s quickly cooked over high heat.
Whether you pan-fry or grill the halloumi, it will get a gorgeous golden brown crust and delicious toasty flavor!
what does halloumi cheese taste like?
Halloumi is a salty, briny-flavored cheese that tastes similar to feta. It’s often made with a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk, which adds to the strong flavor similarities.
The texture, though, is completely different. It’s firm and a little squeaky, it holds its shape when heated and it doesn’t melt. It’s the perfect grilling cheese!
how to use halloumi in a salad:
Halloumi really shines when it’s grilled or pan-fried. It’s quick to cook, it browns up beautifully, and the crisp edges are a wonderful contrast to the creamy, salty, squeaky texture.
- You can cook the halloumi and serve it on the salad at room temperature: it doesn’t need to be warm to be tasty.
- I prefer to slice the slabs into thin bite-sized strips, or even chop them into cubes to make them easier to eat in a salad. This also disperses the halloumi into every bite!
- If you prefer, you can grill the halloumi. Brush it with olive oil and cook it over medium-high heat, flipping every few minutes, until you have good grill marks and spots of char.
- You can also cook the halloumi on a grill pan on your stove. Brush it with olive oil and cook it over medium-high heat until it has crispy grill marks.
more recipe tips:
- Use a non-stick skillet! I think it’s easier to pan-fry halloumi on a non-stick skillet than grilling it, or using a grill pan. Sticking can happen, which is frustrating!
- Use an immersion blender to blitz up the dressing for a super creamy consistency that stays emulsified for a long time.
- Make the dressing ahead and this salad is super quick to toss together. This halloumi salad also makes great leftovers: the kale is sturdy enough to stand up to the dressing for a day in the fridge.
- Don’t worry about soaking or seasoning the halloumi. It’s brined, so it’s perfectly salty, and soaking is unnecessary.
more fancy salad recipes to try:
summer panzanella salad with peaches, cucumber and burrata
roasted beet salad with goat cheese, strawberries and preserved lemon vinaigrette
raw beet salad with citrus vinaigrette
sugar snap pea salad with radishes, feta and arugulaPrint
fried halloumi salad
This halloumi salad is made with baby kale, juicy strawberries, buttery avocado chunks, almonds, mint and a sweet-tart champagne vinaigrette!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 6 minutes
- Total Time: 16 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: Salad
- Method: Pan Fry
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- ¼ tsp dried tarragon
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 9 oz baby kale (can substitute chopped flat-leaf kale)
- 1-pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz halloumi cheese, cut into ½-inch thick slices
- 2 avocados, sliced
- ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- ¼ cup fresh mint, torn
- Combine vinegar, lime juice, mustard, honey, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper in a jar. Stir together with a spoon or small whisk until combined.
- Add olive oil and shake the jar until thick and emulsified. Taste and adjust with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Toss kale and strawberries with a few tablespoons of champagne vinaigrette; transfer to a serving dish.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add cheese in a single layer and cook, flipping often, until crispy and browned on both sides, about 5- 6 minutes total. If desired, transfer cheese to a cutting board and slice into strips or bite-sized cubes.
- Arrange warm halloumi on top of kale, along with sliced avocado, almonds and torn mint.
- Spoon more dressing over top. Serve immediately, passing extra dressing on the side.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 457
- Sugar: 4.5g
- Sodium: 253mg
- Fat: 41g
- Saturated Fat: 9.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 29.4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Fiber: 7.2g
- Protein: 12g
- Cholesterol: 30mg
Keywords: halloumi salad
This salad was sooo tasty. Amazing how meaty the cheese is!
Indi Hampton says
Yes!!! It's so good!