This delicious baked halloumi is a quick sheet pan dinner you can make and enjoy on weeknights without spending too much time in the kitchen on prep work. It only takes five minutes to prepare, and then you can relax while it’s in the oven.
The halloumi is baked on a bed of kale, garbanzo beans, and cherry tomatoes in a marinade of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt.
Baked halloumi is a very popular meal in our house as the balance of protein to vegetables makes it quite satisfying but not too heavy. I love tomatoes and vinegar, especially together, so I was really pleased at how this dish turned out. Any Mediterranean cuisine like this that I can make without meat is a winner in my (cook) book. It tastes very fresh and healthy. Feel free to add or swap out ingredients based on what your family likes to eat.
What is halloumi cheese?
Halloumi is a mild, salty white cheese commonly eaten around the Mediterranean and thought to have originated in Cyprus. It holds its shape well, which makes it quite versatile in various dishes, including salads. It is typically brined with or wrapped in mint leaves to help preserve it and to add flavor.
How do I cook halloumi?
Due to its high melting point, many people enjoy grilling or frying halloumi as an alternative to meat. If you have ever had saganaki (fried cheese, sometimes covered in honey and lit on fire after being baptized with alcohol), you may have tried it. Halloumi is one of the varieties of cheese commonly used to make saganaki, although probably not the most common. In the West it has also become popular as halloumi fries.
Are garbanzo beans and chickpeas the same thing?
Yes, as far as I can tell. The majority of people today seem to use the two terms interchangeably. The name garbanzo bean is derived from the Spanish name for this plant, while chickpea is derived from the Latin name. However, chickpea seems to be the more common name.
There are, however, different types of this tasty legume. The beige ones you are probably familiar with are Kabuli chickpeas. There are also Desi chickpeas, which are green when picked, have a thicker skin, and are a bit smaller.
In any case, these legumes are a great vegetarian source of protein and fiber. They also contain iron and folate. Garbanzo beans contain lesser amounts of vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc, too, so feel free to use them liberally in your cooking. They go very well in soups, or of course you can make hummus or falafels.
For more information about the health benefits of chickpeas, you can read this article from healthline.
Baked Halloumi Ingredients
Before you begin, you will need:
One bunch of kale, washed. I usually use either regular green kale or red kale.
One 1 pint package of cherry or grape tomatoes, washed.
One 16 ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas).
One 8 ounce loaf of halloumi cheese.
1/2 of a lemon or some lemon juice, to taste.
Red wine vinegar, to taste (approximately 1/4 cup).
Olive oil, to taste (also approximately 1/4 cup).
Salt, to taste. I often use kosher salt or sea salt, but table salt is fine too.
A cookie sheet baking pan.
Parchment paper (preferred) or foil. Kale will stick more to foil and less to parchment paper.
Cutting board and knife.
Baked Halloumi Instructions
- First, cover your baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350°.
- Chop the kale into bite-size pieces and cover the baking sheet with a layer of kale.
- Next, open, drain, and rinse the garbanzo beans. Layer them over the kale.
- Add your tomatoes as the next layer.
- Slice the halloumi into slabs approximately 1/2″ thick. Then, fold them in half lengthwise until they split into long strips. Halloumi is layered, similar to fresh mozzarella, so I prefer to just follow the natural breaks in the cheese rather than slicing too precisely. Use your strips of halloumi as the top layer of your dish. Note: The kind of halloumi I find in my local grocery stores comes marinated in brine with salt and mint, so I rarely add extra seasoning, but if you would like to, feel free to add a seasoning blend like Greek, Italian, or Herbs de Provence, and/or black pepper.
- Next, squeeze your fresh lemon over the pan, or drizzle lemon juice if that is what you have on hand. You can also bake lemon slices with the dish for more flavor, as pictured above.
- Drizzle red wine vinegar evenly over the pan.
- Next, drizzle your olive oil evenly over the pan.
- Sprinkle your salt evenly over the pan. Now, you’re ready to bake it!
- Bake at 350° for around 30 minutes. Finally, broil your meal on high for about 90 seconds or 2 minutes at the most. Any longer and your kale will burn, so you may want to watch this part with the oven light on. This browns the halloumi and makes the tomatoes pop – unnecessary but rather fun. This also prevents you from popping the tomatoes in your mouth and being scalded with boiling tomato juice.
- Let cool briefly and enjoy!
If you try this recipe at home, I’d love to hear how you liked it and what changes you made in the comments!
Make it vegan
You can marinate and grill tofu to resemble halloumi cheese, or use whatever seasoning you prefer.
Variations on baked halloumi
Swap out the kale for arugula, mustard or collard greens, Swiss chard, or any other leafy green you would like for a different flavor.
Add in toppings you and your family like – pine nuts, pepitas, onions, carrots, corn, etc.
You could swap out the halloumi for feta cheese if you enjoy feta. However this will drastically change the flavor of the dish. Halloumi is very mild in comparison to feta.
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- One bunch of kale, washed.
- One 1 pint package of cherry or grape tomatoes, washed.
- One 16 ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas).
- One 8 ounce loaf of halloumi cheese.
- 1/2 of a lemon or some lemon juice, to taste.
- Red wine vinegar, to taste (approximately 1/4 cup).
- Olive oil, to taste (also approximately 1/4 cup).
- Salt, to taste.
1. First, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350°.
2. Chop the kale into bite-size pieces and cover the baking sheet with a layer of kale.
3. Next, open, drain, and rinse the garbanzo beans. Layer them over the kale.
4. Add your tomatoes as the next layer.
5. Slice the halloumi into slabs approximately 1/2" thick. Then, fold them in half lengthwise until they split into long strips. Use your strips of halloumi as the top layer of your dish.
6. Next, squeeze your fresh lemon over the pan, or drizzle lemon juice if that is what you have on hand. You can also bake lemon slices with the dish for more flavor, as pictured above.
7. Drizzle red wine vinegar evenly over the pan.
8. Next, drizzle your olive oil evenly over the pan.
9. Sprinkle your salt evenly over the pan. Now, you're ready to bake it!
Bake at 350° for around 30 minutes. Finally, broil your meal on high for about 90 seconds or 2 minutes at the most, until cheese is golden or browned, tomatoes have popped, but before the kale burns.
Let cool briefly and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 348mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 8gSugar: 11gProtein: 16g