A grilled halloumi cheese recipe, marinated in a spiced basil chili oil and finished off with maple syrup to give it an extra layer of flavour that makes that squeaky grilled cheese even more satisfying than before!
Grilled halloumi cheese around here usually means the weather is warm and we're serving these up as appetizers or snacks to our friends and family who are visiting. These are great because they are bite-sized, easy to eat and super addictive.
In the past, I used to grill halloumi straight-up plain but I decided to switch things up this year and was pleasantly surprised by how much more flavourful a marinated halloumi cheese was. Never have plain grilled halloumi again...
INGREDIENTS FOR GRILLED HALLOUMI CHEESE
- Basil - For this recipe, any type of basil works. I have used Italian basil and Thai basil and both equally give the marinade an amazing aroma and flavor.
- Crushed chili flakes - This ingredient is optional, so if you don't want any heat to it - you can just omit the chili flakes or add a little bit.
- Halloumi cheese - You can usually find this at your local grocery store where they store the cheese or specialty cheese section. They come in different sized blocks.
- Soy Sauce - This gives the marinade a bit of saltiness and umami flavor
- Maple Syrup - This is added at the end when you are cooking the marinade to transform it into a dipping sauce and gives it a nice sweetness. You can substitute this with half the amount of honey.
HOW LONG DO I MARINADE THE HALLOUMI CHEESE FOR?
To be honest, I marinated this for 10-15 minutes, and I have marinated this for over 24 hours and I don't really taste a big difference so I say marinate it to however long you like! 🙂
GRILLING THE HALLOUMI CHEESE
These don't take long to make and don't worry they won't melt away into goop as well. I usually like firing up the grill to about 400F - 450F (204C) and cooking it for approximately 2-4 minutes a side or until I see brown grill marks.
To prevent the halloumi cheese from sticking onto the grill grates, make sure you oil and season it very well. I also find that using a metal spatula to gently scrape the grill under the cheese to loosen it before flipping it, helps keep the crispy part intact with the cheese.
Alternatively, you can also brown these on the frying pan over a stove top as well! 🙂
SAVING THE MARINADE AS A DRIZZLE OR DIPPING SAUCE
If you have any leftover marinade in the bowl, save it as a dipping sauce! Using a saucepan, add the leftover marinade, 1 tablespoon of oil to thin it out a bit and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to add a touch of sweetness and cook it on low heat for 3-4 minutes and serve it with the cheese to give it a bit of sweetness.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH GRILLED HALLOUMI
Since the cheese can be quite salty, I like to usually pair it up with something sweet and refreshing or something tart.
Here are a few ideas, that I usually like to pair it with
- Watermelon slices
- Grilled Peaches/Nectarines
- Cucumber slices
- Olives (for when I want something salty and umami along with more salty cheese 😛 )
- Pickled onions (I usually do quick pickles with red onions and fresh lime or lemon juice)
- Grilled pitas slices
- Balsamic vinegar (I like to thicken it by boiling it in a pot for a few minutes so it's slightly thicker and sweeter)
DID YOU MAKE THIS GRILLED HALLOUMI RECIPE?
If you made this grilled halloumi recipe, I want to see! Follow Pups with Chopsticks on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag and hashtag it with @pupswithchopsticks and #pupswithchopsticks. I love to know what you are making!
Grilled Halloumi Cheese
- 1 block of halloumi cheese (approx. 280g)
Spiced Basil Chili Marinade
- Leftover marinade (approximately ½ cup to ¾ cup)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Slices the halloumi cheese 1 cm thick. Put it in a bowl and set aside.
Making the Marinade
- Combine all the ingredients from the Marinade list in a blender or food processor
- Pour the marinade over the sliced cheese and gentle coat so they are all evenly coated.
- Marinade for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Set the grill to 400F-450F and oil the grates well.
- When the grill is hot, add the cheese onto the grates (make sure there isn't too much marinade on the cheese when you put it on the grill)
- Grill them for approximately 2-4 minutes a side or until you see grill marks. (Use a metal spatula and scrape gently below the cheese to loosen it off the grill before flipping it)
- Remove from grill when there are grill marks on both sides and the cheese is slightly melted
- Set on serving plate
Making the Dipping Sauce
- In a small sauce pan, add the leftover marinade, 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes until it is hot.
- Pour into a small bowl and serve it with the grilled halloumi! 🙂 Enjoy
- Be careful with the grilling fumes, the chili flakes over a hot grill makes for a very hard to breathe smoke! 🙂
- It's important to oil the grate well before adding the cheese
- The cheese may stick to the BBQ grate. I find it was easiest using a metal spatula to gently scrape below the cheese to loose it up gently before flipping it.
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