Warm Halloumi, Lentil & Tomato Salad

by Jacqueline on June 20, 2012

Thinking of Cyprus?

Warm Halloumi, Lentil & Tomato Salad

As much as possible, I challenge myself to use different ingredients with my recipes. A cheese I have often heard much about but never actually tasted or cooked with before has it’s origins in Cyprus. It’s called Halloumi (or is it Haloumi ? Apologies to my Cypriot readers!) and quite like any other cheese, it has a high melting point which means you can either grill it or fry it and it will maintain it’s shape. So given I wanted to participate in Jac’s NCR Challenge over on the Tinned Tomatoes Blog, I thought I would whip this recipe up before tomorrow’s deadline. The challenge involves making a “Leafless Salad” and I had toyed with putting in my Morrocan Salad but I had a few hours to kill and thought this would be equally suitable! If you are not familiar with Jac’s recipes from Tinned Tomatoes, you should pop on over and take a look. As well as some lip smackin’ recipes, she also has some nifty Blogging Tips.

I followed this recipe from BBC Olive Magazine and because I couldn’t find the correct ingredients at the time, I used a type of Green Lentil instead of Puy and Plum instead of Cherry Tomatoes.

I think if I were to try the recipe again I would replace the raw red onion with caramelised red onion and add a balsamic reduction to replace the lemon juice in the salad dressing.

So what did I think of the Halloumi cheese? For me it wasn’t as salty as Feta and the texture is completely different. I loved the crispy coating on the outside which gave way to a firm morsel of unripened cheese. I think to really benefit from it’s taste, it has to be served warm.

What you'll need for Warm Lentil, Halloumi & Tomato Salad

Ingredients for Warm Lentil, Halloumi & Tomato Salad

Have a try for yourself and see what you think. The lentils provide a hearty sustenance to the dish but try to use Puy Lentils as they are renowned for keeping their shape.

Warm Halloumi, Lentil & Tomato Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 2 for Lunch or Dinner

A hearty salad that can satisfy a healthy appetite and can be assembled very quickly. Times may vary according to cooking times for lentils.


  • 150g of Green Lentils
  • 250g of Plum Tomatoes, halved
  • 180g pack of Halloumi Cheese, cut into chunks and dusted with a sprinkle of plain flour
  • 1/4 of red onion, finely sliced
  • A small bunch of Coriander/Cilantro, leaves and stem roughly chopped
  • Dressing
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • The juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Salt for extra seasoning (optional)


  1. Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions and drain. Cover them to retain the heat.
  2. In a bowl, place the lemon juice, crushed garlic, olive oil and salt and mix well together.
  3. Add the tomatoes, red onion and chopped coriander stem to the bowl and toss together.
  4. Add the warm lentils and toss again ensuring that the dressing is coating all the lentils.
  5. Sprinkle the coriander leaves on the mixture.
  6. Place your chunks of Halloumi cheese on a hot, well oiled pan. The cheese cooks really quickly so pay close attention to flipping over the cheese when an even brown colour is achieved on one side.
  7. Place the cheese on top of the salad and serve immediately with crusty bread

What dishes would you use with Halloumi? I’m keen to try others, so do let me know in the comments below!

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Camilla June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I have to put this recipe on my to do list as I think Halloumi was the first cheese my husband ate when he spent a year in Cyprus as a teenager. I don’t think I have ever tried it so you’ve given me a good excuse and we both love lentils, red onions, cilantro etc. Best of all this recipe is quick and easy so ticks all the boxes!


2 Jacqueline June 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Thanks Camilla. The warm crispy coating of this cheese makes this salad a winner! I am all for easy recipes :-) A year in Cyprus eh? That must have been fun! Maybe you can get him to take you there one day :-)


3 Purabi Naha June 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Loved this recipe. This looks so healthy and colourful! Had Halloumi only once many years back and loved it. Your recipe is a must-try!


4 Jacqueline June 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Thanks PN for your lovely comment! As a first attempt at Halloumi, it was quite nice. Works well with the warm lentils!


5 Chris June 21, 2012 at 3:40 am

It looks truely great and delicious! I like halloumi cheese as well. I have used it in a salad, too. Lovely recipe!


6 Jacqueline June 21, 2012 at 9:31 am

Thanks Chris for dropping by. If you try it, let me know how you get on :-)


7 rita cooks italian June 21, 2012 at 6:04 am

I like feta cheese and I add it to most of my salads/boiled vegetables. I have tried Halloumi only once and I found that, for me, it was mild compared to the intense salty flavour of feta cheese. This recipe inspires me to try it again combined with lentils. The perfect summer dinner!


8 Jacqueline June 21, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thanks Rita. I completely agree with you. I think in terms of flavour I prefer feta because of the saltiness. I think the halloumi addition gives a different texture dimension to the dish but I did want to add salt to the salad dressing :-)


9 Jacqueline June 22, 2012 at 4:45 am

Love halloumi, love lentils, really love this salad and your ideas for tweaking it next time. I am so glad you posted it and submitted it to No Croutons Required. I wouldn’t have thought of mixing lentils and halloumi.

Try halloumi with a baked mushroom and chilli jam on a toasted burger roll or on pita with salad. It is also good in a panini. Mmmmmm!


10 Jacqueline June 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

Hi Jac, you are welcome! It was a good excuse to try out the Halloumi! Loving the sound of your recommendation of chilli jam with Halloumi.


11 Alida June 22, 2012 at 6:22 am

Thank you so much for your kind words on my blog.
This dish is so colourful and delicious. Great recipe. I eat feta all the time especially aged one! So good!


12 Jacqueline June 22, 2012 at 10:03 am

It’s a pleasure Alida! Thanks for taking the time to read and make a comment :-)


13 Chris June 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Hello Jacqueline! You are really having a great blog.
I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award.


14 Jacqueline June 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Wow! Thanks Chris – that’s really kind of you. I am truly honoured :-)


15 All That I'm Eating June 22, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I love halloumi! This salad looks great, I would definitely use caramelised onions rather than raw too. I do have a good joke for you though… what did the Cyrpriot cheese say to himself in the mirror? Halloooomi!


16 Jacqueline June 23, 2012 at 11:52 am

Ba – Boom! Thanks Caroline :-)


17 Monet June 24, 2012 at 1:22 am

I’ve also heard so much about this cheese. I need to make something with it as well. Your salad looks lovely! Thank you so much for sharing it with me.


18 Jacqueline June 24, 2012 at 9:21 am

Thanks Monet – if you try it do let me know what you make with it. I’m keen to find out how others use it :-)


19 Camilla June 24, 2012 at 1:37 am

We (my husband, son & I) have just tucked into a plate the above and in my husband’s words it was stupendous and we were all in food heaven whilst eating it. I am now a houlomi fan and this dish is going in my file for regular use!


20 Jacqueline June 24, 2012 at 9:22 am

Why thank you Camilla! So glad it went down well with the family :-)


21 rita cooks italian June 26, 2012 at 1:05 am

Great recipe! We had a lovely dinner last night. The Halloumi cheese was very good, I cooked like you suggested. I did not have fresh tomatoes, so I used sundried tomatoes instead. Grazie!


22 Jacqueline June 26, 2012 at 9:24 am

Fabulous Rita – love how the sun dried tomatoes work well in this recipe too. Thanks for letting me know :-)


23 lisaiscooking June 26, 2012 at 5:25 am

What a great-looking salad! I love, love halloumi, so this sounds completely delicious.


24 Jacqueline June 26, 2012 at 9:24 am

Thanks for your lovely comment Lisa.


25 Johanna GGG June 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm

this salad looks lovely – I never know how to spell halloumi either but I love it – and it goes really well with lemon so I think I would love it with this dressing


26 Jacqueline June 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm


Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment :-)


27 Lisa@FacelessFood June 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Mmm, that salad looks delicious…I love the combination of halloumi and lemon. It works well with roasted vegetables and a similar dressing too.


28 Jacqueline June 27, 2012 at 8:08 am

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for your comment. Great tip about using roasted vegetables. I’ll need to try that sometime!


29 kankana June 27, 2012 at 5:26 am

Yeah, the husband would ask me to caramelize the onions. I however like it raw :)
This sounds like a lovely healthy meal.


30 Jacqueline June 27, 2012 at 8:12 am

Thanks Kankana for dropping by. If I’m using red onions sometimes I put them in iced water before serving – just to take the edge off a bit!


31 Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche July 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm

This looks GORGEOUS! I looove halloumi, and I loove lentils – will definitely be trying this next time I have halloumi! :)


32 Jacqueline July 2, 2012 at 8:01 am

Thanks Becca. Do let me know if you try it :-)


33 Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche July 17, 2012 at 1:27 am

I tried it! It was delish :D I blogged about it here if you’re interested: http://www.amuse-your-bouche.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/warm-lentil-and-halloumi-salad.html


34 Jacqueline July 17, 2012 at 10:40 am

Becca, thanks so much for coming back and letting me know. Really glad you like it :-)


35 Deena Kakaya March 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm

This is exactly my kind of thing, I make a lot of salads a bit like this and they are always a crowd pleaser. I love that you’ve used halloumi and lentils together xx


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