Jerk Grilled Halloumi Cheese
Crispy, charred grilled halloumi seasoned with jerk spices is the perfect appetizer for parties or a vegetarian protein in wraps, sandwiches or salads. This Grilled Jerk Halloumi Cheese hits all of your tastebuds with it’s signature spicy, savory, salty, tangy and sweet flavor profile.
Jerk Grilled Halloumi Recipe
A few years ago, halloumi cheese was relatively unknown where I live. We could find it at our local farmer’s market cheese booth but never at the grocery store and rarely in restaurants, so when we were road tripping around the UK I took advantage of any opportunity to order it at restaurants. (A contributing factor to the 5lbs I gained during our 6 week European vacation… and I regret not a single bite.)
This grilled jerk halloumi cheese recipe is inspired by the jerk halloumi we indulged in at Turtle Bay, a UK chain of Caribbean-inspired restaurants. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it out with our homemade jerk seasoning and it has since become a favorite party snack around here.
Halloumi cheese is a semi-hard, un-ripened sheep’s milk cheese that can be baked, grilled or pan-fried without melting, creating a firm, chewy, squeaky exterior and a melty, creamy interior similar to the texture of melted mozzarella cheese. The flavor is mellow and slightly tangy and buttery – less salty than feta cheese, but similar in that they are both mild sheep’s milk cheeses.
Seasoning the halloumi in jerk seasoning imparts a delicious savoury, spicy warmth that is also slightly sweet, which plays beautifully with the salty, tangy flavors of the halloumi. It hits all of your tastebuds at once and as a result is not just incredibly delicious – but addictive!
Honestly, just Ella and I could eat a full plate of this grilled jerk halloumi and still be left wanting more. (Her face below as proof of the deliciousness. Ignore the purple hair dye… it was supposed to be a one week, wash-out dye just for her birthday party and it ended up sticking to her hair for almost a year. Oops.)
This grilled jerk halloumi cheese makes for a decadent appetizer and is also perfect for serving at parties. Everyone I’ve ever served it to has asked for the recipe so rather than writing it out every time, now I have a blog post to send them. If you are a true cheese lover this is the perfect late-night snack or appetizer!
While we often enjoy this grilled halloumi recipe on it’s own, it’s also delicious in wraps or sandwiches, or served with slices of tomato as a twist on caprese salad. You can also cut the grilled halloumi into chunks and serve in a Greek salad, or even use it in place of grilled bread for making bruschetta or crostinis.
How healthy is halloumi cheese? Halloumi cheese is rich in calcium and protein, and lower in fat than cheddar cheese, however because it is stored in brine it has a high sodium content. It can definitely have it’s place in a healthy, balanced diet and will keep you fuller longer than cheeses with less protein, but it should still be consumed in moderation.
What can I use in place of halloumi cheese? Honestly, I highly recommend sourcing some halloumi cheese to make this recipe, but if you can’t find it at all, you can use a different grilling cheese. It may lack the tang and saltiness of the halloumi. Some grilling cheeses include bread cheese (a Wisconsin cheese), Juustoleipä (a Scandinavian cheese), paneer (an Indian cheese) or queso fresco (a Mexican cheese).
Is halloumi cheese lactose free? No, but it is very low in lactose. The average halloumi cheese contains about 2 gram lactose per 100 gram. The average lactose-free person can tolerate about 5g of lactose at a time, but be sure to give the nutritional information on your halloumi to any lactose-free guests to allow them to make their own decisions about whether or not to enjoy this appetizer.
More Cheese Appetizer Recipes
- Fontina Fondue
- Raspberry & Almond Baked Brie in Sourdough Bread
- Super Simple Cheese Souffle
- Bacon Ale Cheese Dip
- Cream Cheese-Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers
- Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips
- Jalapeno Popper Wontons
- Bacon-Wrapped Mac and Cheese Bites from In the Kids’ Kitchen
- 50 Cheese Appetizers from The Food Network
Ingredients to make Jerk-Seasoned Halloumi
- Halloumi Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Jerk Seasoning
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: if you’re not a fan of jerk seasoning, use your own favorite seasoning blends – like BBQ or Italian seasoning.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- BBQ or Grill Pan
- Shallow bowl or casserole dish
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
How to Make Grilled Halloumi Cheese
Slice your halloumi cheese into 1/2″ slices.
Place in a casserole dish or shallow bowl and drizzle all over with olive oil.
Season the cheese with jerk seasoning, then flip and re-season the underside.
In a grill pan set to medium-high heat or on a BBQ, place the seasoned halloumi cheese at least 1″ apart.
Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until char marks appear. You can continue cooking until the cheese is well-browned but remove it from heat before it starts to melt.
Best enjoyed within a few minutes of making but still delicious for a few hours.
Pin this Easy Grilled Halloumi Cheese recipe for an indulgent treat:
Grab your free printable recipe card for our grilled halloumi cheese recipe:
Jerk Grilled Halloumi Cheese
- 200g Halloumi Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons Jerk Seasoning
- Slice your halloumi cheese into 1/2" slices.
- Place in a casserole dish or shallow bowl and drizzle all over with olive oil.
- Season the cheese with jerk seasoning, then flip and re-season the underside.
- In a grill pan set to medium-high heat or on a BBQ, place the seasoned halloumi cheese at least 1" apart.
- Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until char marks appear. You can continue cooking until the cheese is well-browned but remove it from heat before it starts to melt.
- Best enjoyed within a few minutes of making but still delicious for a few hours.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
I hope your family loves this grilled halloumi cheese with jerk seasoning as much as mine does!
For more amazing appetizers, check out our full appetizer recipe collection here:
The taste is so strange that my kids keep asking me to make this dish.