Grilled Lemon Halloumi

January 18, 2012
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

An impressive looking vegetarian dish that needs no special skills, equipment and does not take ages to make. Originally from Laura Santtini’s book 'Flash Cooking' which was sent to me to review, I have changed the cooking method and flavors to suit my own store cupboard. —Amee

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Amee is an illustrator and designer living in Ireland.
WHAT: A delicious first course, lunch, or snack -- made in ten minutes, flat.
HOW: Whisk together a dressing, rub it into your lemon slices and halloumi, and broil.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love the sweet-sour-herby-cheesiness going on in this dish; you'd never know how simple it is. We'd love this over a salad, or as an hors d'oeuvre, or served simply as a first course. Feel free to swap in fresh herbs -- or, when it's warm out, throwit on the grill. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 pinch sea salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon crushed peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 unwaxed lemons, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 block of halloumi cheese cut into slices about 1 1/2 centimeters thick
  1. You will need a hot oven. Preheat the oven to about 200°C (or 400°F). Slice one lemon thinly. Using a pestle and mortar pound the garlic, pinch of salt, herbs, and the peppercorns -- add olive oil, honey and lemon juice from the other lemon. Rub the cheese and lemon slices with the mixture.
  2. Place it in an ovenproof dish, and let it color and caramelize uncovered for about 10 minutes. Remove and turn over to color the other side. Serve lemon side up, sprinkled with the remaining dressing and pan juices drizzled over.
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16 Reviews

Shortrib October 30, 2020
Good inspiration here, but needs some tweaking. To make this a rub, it needs much less oil/lemon juice. Otherwise it just pools around the cheese. Ten mins at 200 c. is not enough to brown the cheese. I finally broiled it. Instructions for layering (and then turning) cheese and lemons are missing. I started with lemons on top, broiled, and then flipped so lemons were on the bottom, and broiled the second side. Personally I found the lemons a bit stewed bc of the liquid in the pan, and the result a bit bitter. I respect the idea here and the flavours, but the method didn't work for me.
Jessica July 10, 2019
Why is this called grilled halloumi, its not grilled? Misleading recipe name.
[email protected] April 10, 2018
[email protected] April 10, 2018
I made this with Meyer lemons, so reduced the honey a bit. And used fresh herbs. It was soupy and didn't brown at all after the first 10 minutes, so I broiled it for 2 minutes on each side. It browned beautifully and the sauce reduced to a thick dressing. Recipe didn't specify although it seems to imply that the cheese and lemons are layered on top of one another. I cooked a half recipe in a single layer in a 9" Pyrex pie plate and it was just right. The lemons were fantastic - DO NOT discard. I used sweeter Meyers, but have had regular lemons roasted until caramelized and they're also wonderful.
Maureen July 10, 2017
Sad to say this just did not work for me. Way too much liquid (and I only used 1/4 of a lemon for juice). The liquid did not evaporate in oven so cheese did not brown. Tried to eat it anyway but after a few bites decided to drain the liquid out of baking pan and put cheese back in and reheat. The cheese finally did brown but was tough by then. I obviously messed up! The dressing alone was delicious. YMMV.
Donna H. September 23, 2016
So, you eat the lemon slices? Like peel and all? Or just the cheese, I'm confused. Forgive my ignorance...
Jeff P. September 29, 2016
Hi Donna,

The lemon slices are mostly for during cooking -- they will add flavor and keep the surface from drying out. They also look pretty, so are nice to serve on the plate. But no, they would not be directly edible.
LULULAND May 29, 2016
Is there a substitution for the halloumi cheese? thanks
tamater S. May 23, 2017
I have the same question as LULULAND, (which I'm just noticing was a year ago). I have never seen it in my province. I could try a net-search, but I'm a bit wary of netter-nutters. I need a 52er!
Kaite February 14, 2020
I use what's called Bread Cheese/juustoleipä when I can't find halloumi. Holds up the same just made from cow's milk vs sheep.
Kim O. May 18, 2016
Made this dish this evening and it's phenomenal! Thank you!
Caroline B. August 5, 2014
This was a spectacular version of saganaki!!! I was worried because it was so much lemon juice, but the honey and olive oil really balanced it out with the cheese flavor. I've never had saganaki with anything other than oil, and this was much better. Perfection!
KellyDC July 5, 2014
Had this the other night at a Greek restaurant, where it's known as saganaki, and it was amazing.
Ricco D. January 15, 2014
I will try this one looks amazing.
pow November 2, 2013
aargersi January 18, 2012
Yum, big ole yum, honey, cheese, lemon, herbs - what could be better?