Looking for a quick and delicious vegetarian appetizer to make for your next game night? Look no further. These halloumi fries are made in 20 minutes, crispy and golden on the outside and soft, cheesy, and chewy on the inside. Flavored with za’atar, they are served with a refreshing yogurt and mint sauce. Just put a bottle of your favorite Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge and get ready to feast!

halloumi fries with a side of yogurt mint sauce and lemon wedges

What is halloumi and how to use it?

Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened cheese that originated in Cyprus. Made with goat and sheep’s milk, Halloumi has a high melting point (meaning it does not melt when heated), making it ideal for grilling or frying. It is often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.

Why you should try this recipe

two halloumi, zaatar, flour and oil on a vintage chopping board

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The ingredients you’ll need

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the end of the post.)

  • Halloumi cheese – is the main ingredient here. Both chewy and firm in texture, with a salty taste, it is the ideal cheese to make fries from.
  • All-purpose flour – I have tested this recipe with and without flour, and the difference it makes is pretty amazing. While both are delicious, coating the fries in flour makes them crispier on the outside while keeping the inside super soft.
  • Za’atar – is the perfect seasoning to complement the saltiness and flavor of halloumi. Its earthiness and nuttiness are the best possible accompaniments to these halloumi fries.
  • Neutral vegetable oil – such as sunflower, avocado, or grapeseed oil, to shallow-fry the halloumi fries.

For the yogurt mint sauce:

  • Greek yogurt – serves as a base for the sauce.
  • Fresh mint leaves (can be replaced with dried mint) – pair so well with za’atar and cut through the fat of the halloumi cheese.
  • Lemon (zest and juice) – balances the saltiness and brings freshness to the sauce.
  • Garlic – for a nice kick and spicy touch.
  • Sumac – its citrus notes and earthy sweetness make for a tangy and complex sauce.
  • Kosher salt – to season.
Greek yogurt, fresh mint, lemon, a garlic clove and sumac on a vintage chopping board

How to make Halloumi Fries?

(Note: please see the recipe card below for the complete written instructions and measurements.)

Start by making the yogurt mint sauce:

Chop fresh mint using the chiffonade technique.

  • Stack the mint leaves and gently roll them together on a chopping board.
  • With a sharp knife, thinly chop the rolled leaves.

Note: The chiffonade technique prevents flavor (mainly located in the watery parts of the leaves) from being transferred to the chopping board. Handling mint leaves gently without bruising or crushing them preserves their beautiful flavor.


  • In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, chopped mint, grated garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, sumac, and kosher salt.
  • Stir until well combined, and set aside.

Prepare the halloumi fries:

  • Using kitchen paper, pat the halloumi dry.
  • Slice the halloumi in half, then cut into four equal pieces.
  • Cut into fries, about ½ inch (1.5 cm) thick.

  • In a bowl large enough to fit all the halloumi, add all-purpose flour and za’atar and mix until well combined.
  • Add the halloumi sticks to the bowl, and using your finger, toss well to coat.

Pan fry the halloumi fries:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of neutral vegetable oil in a non-stick pan, over medium heat.
  • Add the halloumi fries and fry until golden on each side, about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Repeat the process until they are all golden.

Note: It is important not to overcrowd the pan when cooking the fries. I recommend cooking the fries in two separate frying pans simultaneously to reduce the cooking time by half.


  • It’s ready! Serve immediately with the yogurt mint sauce and a chilled glass of your favorite Sauvignon Blanc.
a pile of golden halloumi fries

Nim Keys – Useful Tips

  1. Halloumi is a salty cheese, do not add any salt to the coating mixture (or it will be painfully oversalted).
  2. Chopping fresh mint: the chiffonade technique prevents flavor (mainly located in the watery parts of the leaves) from being transferred to the chopping board. Handling mint leaves gently without bruising or crushing them preserves their beautiful flavor.
  3. Do not overcrowd the fries while frying them, the extra room allows them to get perfectly crispy.
  4. Cooking the halloumi fries in two frying pans simultaneously reduces the cooking time by half.

close-up of halloumi fries in a blue plate

Wine Pairing for Halloumi Fries🍷


SAUVIGNON BLANC

Sauvignon Blanc is a grape variety that produces crisp, aromatic dry white wines with aromas of green apple, citrus, boxwood, and flint.

It will compliment the flavors of za’atar, mint, and sumac thanks to its vegetal, herbal flavors while cutting through the saltiness and cheesiness of the halloumi with its natural acidity and citrus notes.

WINE APPELLATION SUGGESTIONS

  • Sauvignon Blanc from the San Antonio Valley (Chile)
  • Sancerre, Loire Valley (France)
  • Sauvignon Blanc from Trentino (Italy)

close-up of halloumi fries in a basket

FAQ

Can I make these Halloumi fries gluten-free?

Sure! Just replace the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 ratio of cornstarch.

Can this be made in advance?

These fries are at their best just out of the frying pan, when they are super crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. For meal prep: make the yogurt mint sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge. For the fries, cut and store them in the fridge, and prepare the flour-za’atar mixture separately. Just before serving, coat the fries and pan-fry them.

What to serve with Halloumi fries?

I love serving these Halloumi fries with Mutabbal (Middle-Eastern Eggplant Dip) and Muhammara with Fresh Pomegranate for a mezze-style meal.


How long do these fries keep? 

Halloumi fries can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Note that the fries will lose their crispiness and harden by cooling down. To reheat them, place them in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until heated and crispy.

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halloumi fries with a side of yogurt mint sauce and lemon wedges

Halloumi Fries

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cook Time : 10 minutes
Total Time : 20 minutes
Servings : 4
Looking for a quick and delicious vegetarian appetizer to make for your next game night? Look no further. These Halloumi Fries are made in 20 minutes, crispy and golden on the outside and soft, cheesy, and chewy on the inside. Flavored with za'atar, they are served with a refreshing yogurt and mint sauce. Just put a bottle of your favorite Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge and get ready to feast!

INGREDIENTS
 

Halloumi fries

  • 1 pound (450 g) good-quality halloumi cheese
  • 3 tablespoons (20 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (10 g) za'atar
  • neutral vegetable oil such as sunflower avocado, or grapeseed oil, to pan-fry

Yogurt Mint Sauce

  • ¼ cup (5 g) fresh mint (or 1 and ½ tablespoons of dried mint)
  • ½ cup (140 g) Greek yogurt
  • 1 small clove garlic grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest or about the zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • teaspoon kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by making the yogurt mint sauce:

  • Chop the fresh mint using the chiffonade technique (see step-by-step photos above in this post). Stack the mint leaves and gently roll them together. Using a sharp knife, thinly chop the rolled leaves.
  • In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, chopped mint (or dried mint), grated garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, sumac, and kosher salt.
  • Stir until well combined and set aside.

Prepare the halloumi fries:

  • Using kitchen paper, pat the halloumi dry.
  • Slice the halloumi in half, then cut into four equal pieces.
  • Cut into fries, about ½ inch (1.5 cm) thick.
  • In a bowl large enough to fit all the halloumi, add all-purpose flour and za'atar and mix until well combined.
  • Add the halloumi sticks to the bowl, and using your finger, toss well to coat. Set aside. 

Pan-fry the halloumi fries:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of neutral vegetable oil in a non-stick pan, over medium heat.
  • Add the halloumi fries (making sure to remove the excess coating) and fry until golden on each side, about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Repeat the process until they are all golden, and transfer onto kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil.  
  • It's ready! Serve immediately with the yogurt mint sauce and a chilled glass of your favorite Sauvignon Blanc.

NOTES

  1. Halloumi is a salty cheese, do not add any salt to the coating mixture (or it will be painfully oversatlted). 
  2. Chopping fresh mint: the chiffonade technique prevents flavor (mainly located in the watery parts of the leaves) from being transferred to the chopping board. Handling mint leaves gently without bruising or crushing them preserves their beautiful flavor.
  3. Do not overcrowd the fries while frying them, the extra room allows them to get perfectly crispy.
  4. Cooking the halloumi fries in two frying pans simultaneously reduces the cooking time by half.
Calories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 29gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1445mgPotassium: 91mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 236IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 1230mgIron: 4mg
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mediterranean
Diet Vegetarian
Did you make this recipe?Don't forget the last step! Leave a comment below to let me know how it went!
5 from 1 vote

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