Halloumi is one of my favourite types of cheese. A traditional cheese from Cypress, it is brined after pressing, similar to feta. It is a firm, low-acid cheese, which means it won’t melt when grilled or fried.
Looking for some ways to serve this unique cheese? See the section below for my favourite ways to enjoy halloumi cheese.
Why Make fresh cheese?
While I occasionally dabble in the world of hard cheese, I usually prefer making fresh cheese.
- I can be a bit more relaxed about sterilization. Though clean is always best for every ferment, hard cheeses require a bit more attention to sanitation.
- The pay off is great! A gallon of milk turns into about 4 cups of cheese.
- You get to eat the cheese right away! Or at least you don’t have to wait 6 months for it to finish.
How to Serve Halloumi Cheese
Halloumi is quite different from typical cheeses. Like feta, it won’t melt. However, it’s also not crumbly. Here are a few of our favourite ways to serve halloumi.
- Barbecue: It holds up to grilling, so spread it with a bit of olive oil and grill for a vegetarian meat alternative.
- Salads: Sauteed halloumi is delicious in salads. Try this recipe for a hearty lentil and broccoli salad.
- Pan-Fried: Pan-fried halloumi is delicious with sauteed vegetables. I especially enjoy this recipe with zaalouk.
Learn how to make halloumi cheese at home! It’s an easy fresh cheese that is perfect for salads, frying and grilling. See the section above for some serving suggestions.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
- Yield: 1.5 lbs of cheese 1x
- Category: Cheese
- Cuisine: Cyprus
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 gallon (4L) whole milk (goat and sheep are traditional, but you can use cow dairy)
- 1/4 tsp calcium chloride in 1/4 cup of water
- Rennet (enough to set 1 gallon, follow the instructions on the packaging) in 1/4 cup of water
- 1 tbsp salt for poaching the curds
- 1/3 cup salt for brining the cheese
- Heat the milk up to 86F.
- Stir in calcium chloride, fully mixing in.
- Add the rennet, fully mixing in with up and down strokes for 2 minutes.
- Keep the mixture at 86F until the curd has formed (30-45 minutes).
- Cut the curd into roughly 1in cubes.
- Allow the curds to settle for 5 minutes. Then slowly raise the temperature to 104F, raising it 2F and gently stirring every 5 minutes. Heat the curds for a total of 1 hour (including the time to raise the temperature.)
- Drain the curds into a cheesecloth-lined strainer with a bowl underneath to catch the whey. Save the whey for poaching.
- Leave the curds to drain for about 30 min, then either hang the cheese to further drain or press it in a mold for 1 hour.
- After an hour heat the whey to 195F. At this point, you will get a bit of fresh ricotta floating on the top of the pot. Scoop it out with a slotted spoon, and save for future use. (Bonus!)
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt into the pot of whey, Remove the halloumi cheese from the press and slice into 4-5 large slices. Put the cheese into the salted whey and keep it at around 180F for 1 hour of poaching.
- After poaching, make a brine of 1/3 cup salt and 2 cups of water. Put the cheese into the brine and top with whey to cover (you will need at least 2 cups of whey). Allow to brine for at least 2 days or up to 2 months.
- Halloumi is traditionally made just with rennet; however, raw milk would already have a bacterial culture to provide some flavour. If you’re using store-bought milk, then I recommend kefir culturing the milk for about 6 hours prior to making the cheese. You don’t want the milk to be very acidic because this is not an acid cheese, but using slightly cultured milk will improve the flavour.
- Please read up on the detailed processes involved with cheesemaking if you are uncertain about any of the steps in this recipe.
- Halloumi can be brined in a cool room (18C) or in the fridge.
Keywords: grilling, frying, salad, homemade, cheesemaking, diy, gluten-free, keto, traditional, beginner, summer, fall