How To Make Halloumi Cheese

Halloumi cheese is a delicious vegetarian option for barbecues

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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.


Units Scale
  • 1 gallon (4L) whole milk (goat and sheep are traditional, but you can use cow dairy)
  • 1/4 tsp calcium chloride stirred into 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


  1. Heat the milk to 86F.
  2. Stir in calcium chloride, fully mixing in.
  3. Add the rennet, fully mixing in with up and down strokes for 2 minutes.
  4. Keep the mixture at 86F until the curd has formed (30-45 minutes).
  5. Cut the curd into roughly 1-inch cubes.
  6. Allow the curds to settle for 5 minutes. Then slowly raise the temperature to 104F, raising it to 2F and gently stirring every 5 minutes. Heat the curds for a total of 1 hour (including the time to raise the temperature).
  7. Drain the curds into a cheesecloth-lined strainer with a bowl underneath to catch the whey. Save the whey for poaching.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 it for future use. (Bonus!)
  10. 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.
  11. 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 fully cover the cheese (you will need at least 2 cups of whey). Allow Halloumi to brine in the fridge for at least 2 days or up to 2 months (see notes).


  • Halloumi is traditionally made just with rennet; however, raw milk would already have a bacterial culture to provide some flavor. 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 flavor.
  • 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