Looking for a Lazy Sunday Dinner for Two that is vegetarian, satisfying and easy-to-make? Look no further. This Sunday Dinner For Two - Crispy Halloumi Burger with sweet chili mayo is sure to please the most die-hard meat lover.
This vegetarian burger is a hearty slice of halloumi cheese shallow fried until golden brown, crunchy on the outside and slightly melty inside. Slather the toasted bun with sweet chili mayonnaise, add the halloumi cheese “steak”, pile on ribbons of carrot and cucumber, avocado slices, and arugula. Delish!
On Thursday, I wrote about grilling halloumi cheese, since then I have tried shallow frying the cheese. The results are a crispy outside with a slightly melty inside, like a Minnesota State Fair Mouth Trap Cheese Curd!
Given it is August and the Minnesota State Fair begins in a couple of weeks – cheese curds are on my mind.
Instead of deep-frying, we heat up a non-stick skillet, with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, gently add the halloumi cheese cut into thick slices and dipped in flour, frying until golden brown and are soft in the middle.
The sweet chili mayo comes together in a snap, using bottled sweet chili sauce and mixing with mayonnaise.
Use a vegetable peeler to make thin ribbons of carrot and cucumber. The ribbons are the right thickness for a fresh vegetable crunch. Mark and I like to add avocado slices, pile on arugula and slather the toasted bun with the sweet chili mayo.
It’s the perfect combination to balance the briny flavor of the halloumi. It’s filling and hearty.
Husk a couple of ears of corn and you have dinner in under 15 minutes! Perfect as a lazy Sunday Dinner for Two.
IN THIS POST, YOU WILL LEARN:
- WHAT IS HALLOUMI CHEESE?
- WHAT DOES HALLOUMI CHEESE TASTE LIKE?
- WHAT'S IN THIS HALLOUMI BURGER?
- HOW TO COOK AND USE HALLOUMI CHEESE
WHAT IS HALLOUMI CHEESE?
I feel like halloumi is having a moment. It seems to be one of those new “it” ingredients that is suddenly popping up everywhere. It’s not like it’s a new food, but it’s finally getting the spotlight it deserves.
I think it’s a fantastic ingredient because it has a heartiness that is hard to beat.
Halloumi is a semi-hard, white, brined cheese typically made from a mixture of of goat and sheep milk and sometimes cows. It’s known for its tangy taste, firm, squeakiness and chewy texture. Biting into the cheese it actually “squeaks” – for those of you familiar with cheese curds – you know what I am talking about.
Thanks to its dense, meaty structure and high melting temperature, halloumi can take over the lead role in dishes that typically star meats, like these Crispy Halloumi Burgers.
WHAT DOES HALLOUMI CHEESE TASTE LIKE?
If you’ve ever had a cheese curd, halloumi also has that squeakiness. It’s slightly salty, holds its shape beautifully, and is high in protein and calcium.
WHAT'S IN THIS SUNDAY DINNER FOR TWO - CRIPSY HALLOUMI BURGER?
These crispy halloumi burgers might possibly be the quickest, easiest and best veggie burgers you’ll ever make. Just coat Halloumi cheese slices in flour, shallow fry and assemble your delicious burger!
The hardest part of making this recipe may be finding halloumi cheese. I have found it in grocery stores who carry specialty cheeses. I have also found it at Trader Joe’s and ALDI.
- Halloumi Cheese – sliced into thick “planks” and dipped into flour. Queso para freir can work as a substitute if you have trouble finding halloumi cheese.
- Sweet Chili Sauce (bottled)
- Carrots and Cucumbers – cut into thin ribbons, using a vegetable peeler
- Hamburger Buns – Pretzel Buns or Brioche Buns are a nice choices.
- Arugula or other greens – to use as a topping
- Avocado (optional)
- Pickled Fennel (optional) – Pickled Fennel would also be great as a topping. Click on this link for the Pickled Fennel recipe.
HOW TO COOK AND USE HALLOUMI CHEESE?
Grill it or pan-fry - you'll love cooking halloumi at home.
When frying or grilling halloumi cheese, make sure the slices are not too thin and do not cook too many at the same time, as the moisture from the cheese is released into the pan initially. Frying in smaller batches results in quickly crisping the outside of the halloumi leaving the slightly melty soft inside. If you crowd your pan they will need to cook longer to crisp up and the middle texture will be warm but tough.
Enjoy it on its own, in a salad with roasted vegetables or as a vegetarian burger.
Be sure to try the Watermelon and Grilled Halloumi Salad
HOW TO FRY HALLOUMI
Cut the halloumi lengthwise into ½ inch slices. You should have about 6 pieces from a 9 oz package (as pictured below). If you want to have a batter-like coating, pat dry the cheese, coat in flour, shaking off any access before adding to the skillet.
Heat olive oil in a non-stick or a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot – it sizzles when you dip the end of a piece of halloumi in it – you can begin frying the cheese. Remember, olive oil has a relatively low smoke point of 320 to 330 degrees. Avoid letting it get above that temperature.
Carefully, add halloumi slices to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side for another 1-2mins (as pictured below). Continue flipping until all edges are golden brown and crunchy.
HOW TO GRILL HALLOUMI
Preheat your BBQ or grill.
Cut the halloumi into ½ inch slices, drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands work the oil into both sides of the cheese slice .
Then cook for 5 minutes, turning regularly, until golden brown on all sides.
CAN YOU EAT HALLOUMI RAW?
Although many people eat halloumi pan-seared or grilled, you can enjoy halloumi cheese fresh or uncooked.
HOW TO STORE HALLOUMI
An open package of halloumi (uncooked) can be stored in in an airtight container or sandwich bag for up to 3 days.
If you need to keep it around longer, make a simple salt brine by combining 2 cups of water with 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix until the salt dissolves, then pour over uncooked halloumi in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I understand you can also freeze halloumi. Simply cut your halloumi into slices, wrap tightly and freeze to use later. Let me know if you try this method!
CAN YOU REHEAT HALLOUMI?
While you can reheat cooked halloumi, halloumi (either fried or grilled) is best when it's served immediately. It tends to become rubbery when cooled after cooking.
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Sunday Dinner For Two - Crispy Halloumi Burgers
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For the burgers
- 9 ounces halloumi cheese sliced into 6 slices lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, roughly
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable, canola or peanut oil, ( ½" oil in a 10" non-stick skillet)
- 2 inches of cucumbers peeled into ribbons
- 2 inches of carrots peeled into ribbons
- 2 burger buns
- 1 handful salad leaves (I used arugula and spinach but any lettuce/greens is fine)
For the mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce bottled
- Heat the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet or cast-iron skillet over high heat until it sizzles when you dip the end of a piece of halloumi in it.
- In a pie plate dip each slice of halloumi in the flour so that it has a thin layer all over. I have also used a zip lock by placing flour and halloumi in the bag, seal, shake to coat the cheese with a thin layer.
- Arrange halloumi in an even layer in skillet and cook, flipping frequently, until deeply browned and crisp on both sides, reducing the heat to medium-high, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, Use a vegetable peeler to peel thin strips of cucumber and carrot. Mix the two together into a small serving dish.
- Transfer the halloumi to a dinner plate covered with paper towels, set aside while you prepare the mayo. Lightly toast the buns. Meanwhile, combine in a small bowl the mayo and sweet chili sauce.
- Assemble the burgers. Spread the bottom part of the bread with a layer of mayonnaise, then top with some salad leaves. Top each burger with 2 slices of crispy halloumi, then pile a handful of cucumber and carrot, and avocado slices on top. Finally, spoon over more mayo to taste and cover with the top part of the burger. Enjoy!
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Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.