Halloumi salad
A brined cheese, halloumi is a mix of sheep and goat’s milk, however, you’ll now see varieties made with just one type of milk, or even with cow’s milk. (Photo: OLIMPIA DAVIES)

Halloumi Is the Mediterranean Staple You Should Keep In Your Fridge. Here’s a Tasty Salad to Use It.

Sarah Sweeney

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This story was originally published on Clean Eating.

If you haven’t tried this deliciously salty, semi-firm Mediterranean cheese, read on. Originally from Cyprus, halloumi is used in traditional dishes in the Middle East and Greece, and now has made its way into North American supermarkets as a quick and tasty protein addition to your meatless dishes, such as this 15-minute halloumi lentil salad.

A brined cheese, halloumi is a mix of sheep and goat’s milk, however, you’ll now see varieties made with just one type of milk, or even with cow’s milk. One of the unique features of halloumi cheese is its high melting point. Why? Because it translates into being able to deliciously sear or grill halloumi cheese slices without them turning into a melty mess. In our recipe, a quick sear in a hot cast iron pan is all it needs to transform into a warm, satiating protein topper for your salad.

We’ve used arugula to provide a herbaceous base to the salad, while cooked green lentils (canned works just fine) adds more protein and fiber to round out the meal. Oregano-seasoned and seared zucchini add a savory, warming element. A quick Dijon dressing adds big flavor to this 15-minute lunch or dinner. This dressing perfectly balances the salad’s ingredients, but if you wanted to customize it, you can change up the dressing by using different vinegars or herbs (check out 6 Chef’s Secrets to Making the Perfect Salad Dressing).

If you’re prepping the salad in advance, you can prep the greens, grilled zucchini and dressing in advance, then sear the halloumi and assemble before serving.

Halloumi, Zucchini & Lentil Salad

Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
30 min


  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 5 oz. halloumi cheese, sliced
  • 1 13.5-oz. can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts


1. In a mixing bowl, toss together zucchini, one-third of oil and all of oregano. Heat a large, cast iron skillet on medium-high. Add zucchini and cook for 4 minutes, turning once halfway, until golden. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

2. In mixing bowl, gently toss halloumi with another one-third of oil. In same skillet on medium-high, add halloumi and cook for 2 minutes, turning halfway, until golden. Transfer to the serving bowl along with lentils, arugula and cilantro.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, remaining one-third of oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad. Top with pine nuts.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories 648
  • Carbohydrate Content 30 g
  • Fat Content 45 g
  • Fiber Content 15 g
  • Protein Content 30 g
  • Sugar Content 6 g