This Crispy Halloumi Salad is So Delish, I Make It Every Week

My summertime MVP.

By Suruchi Avasthi
best summer salads

For me, the return of warm weather equals the return of my favorite Chicago farmer’s market. Tents and booths lining the park filled with all the most beautiful produce of the season is my happy place after months of overcast weather. And there is no better way to celebrate the season’s bounty than in its simplest form. I’m not usually much of a salad girl, so when I bring you a salad recipe, you know it’s a good one. Think fresh spring vegetables, a tangy vinaigrette, and crispy halloumi. This halloumi salad is the ultimate celebration of the season and packed with flavor.

Halloumi salad ingredients.

Halloumi Salad Ingredients

The best way to approach a salad is to celebrate the simplicity of the ingredients and choose flavors and textures that complement one another. Use these ingredients as your foundation and adjust based on what you have on hand and what you love.

  • Spring greens. Butter lettuce is best for this recipe. Note: Given how delicate these greens are, this means that the salad won’t keep as long as one that utilizes a hardier green like kale. You’re also welcome to use any greens of your choice.
  • Cucumbers. Crunchy and fresh, they’re the perfect addition to the salad.
  • Radishes. Watermelon radishes or the classic, the peppery bite adds an ideal crunch.
  • Avocado. The perfect creamy texture and buttery flavor. Avocado offers a nice contrast to this salad’s other ingredients.
  • Fresh herbs. I love herbs in salads. They add a ton of freshness and flavor and make everything extra pretty. I use mint, chives, and dill in this salad.
  • Halloumi. The star of this salad. Salty and crunchy thanks to a good roast in the oven, and the perfect way to add some heft to this salad. You could use goat cheese, feta, or whatever cheese you prefer.
  • Shallot. Used in the vinaigrette, this adds a bit of bite to the plate.
  • Vinegar. I love champagne vinegar. It has less bite than apple cider or red wine vinegar, and its flavor is perfectly nuanced. But use what you have on hand.
Radishes, cucumbers, and avocados.

How to Make the Perfect Shallot Vinaigrette

I love a simple vinaigrette. And honestly, this isn’t really a recipe. Instead, it’s a template that ebbs and flows with your flavor preferences. Some days, I prefer more zing—others, I want the flavor to lean a little sweeter.

Some days I prefer more zing, others I want the flavor to be a bit sweeter. Here’s what I use in my version. Start with this and adjust based on taste.

  • Champagne vinegar. Just a few tablespoons will do.
  • Lemon juice. I like to use two different forms of acid. I find that the flavors hit different parts of the tongue and work well together.
  • Honey. More or less depending on how sweet you like your dressing. For this version, I’m a little more liberal with my sweetener given that halloumi leans salty.
  • Olive oil. Just a little bit of oil to help mellow out the flavors.
  • Tahini or mustard. This is optional, but it helps emulsify the dressing. I add just a teaspoon or so to the dressing to help bring everything together.
  • Shallot. A small, finely chopped shallot is the perfect bite and adds great flavor.
  • Salt and pepper. Fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt round everything out.
Halloumi salad recipe.

Tips to Prepare Halloumi Cheese

If you’ve never used halloumi before, welcome—and be prepared to use this ingredient on repeat.

The magic of halloumi is that it doesn’t melt like other cheeses. It can be fried or grilled while still retaining its shape. And when roasted or pan-fried, it takes on an incredibly crunchy texture. You can also prep it ahead of time and it will still retain its chewiness. Flavor-wise, halloumi leans a bit salty, so I like to balance it out with a little acidity and sweetness. Halloumi is also a good source of protein, making it a nice vegetarian option for meal planning.

To prep the halloumi for this salad, I like to tear it into chunks. The craggily nooks and crannies yield crispy bits that only make it an even better textural addition to this salad. Once torn, I toss the halloumi onto a lined sheet pan with just the smallest amount of olive oil. Bake on one side until golden brown, then flip and bake until the other side is golden. Let the cheese cool, then toss in the salad. You’ll absolutely love it.

Summer halloumi salad.

How to Assemble This Halloumi Salad

This salad comes together pretty quickly. But if you’re in a pinch and need some prep-ahead tips, don’t worry: I’ve got you.

  • Make the vinaigrette ahead of time. Add everything to a mason jar in the fridge and shake when you’re ready to serve. Because of the delicate greens, it’s best to dress the salad right before serving.
  • Wash and dry your greens in advance. I can’t emphasize this enough: butter lettuce is a delicate green. To prep, I wash the leaves and add them to a salad spinner. Then I stack each leaf onto a kitchen towel, roll the towel up, and keep it in the fridge while I prep the other ingredients. This ensures the leaves are completely dry and ready to go.
  • Assemble the salad in layers. For the prettiest plate and an even distribution, I like to layer all of the ingredients. Add a bed of leaves, then the veggies and herbs, then another layer. That way, everyone gets a little bit of everything when you serve this salad.
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Spring halloumi salad

Crispy Torn Halloumi Salad

  • Author: Suruchi Avasthi
  • Total Time: 30 minutes


An easy summer salad with crunchy halloumi and a tangy shallot vinaigrette.


Units Scale

For the vinaigrette:

  • Champagne vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Tahini or mustard
  • Shallot, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For the salad:

  • 1 pack halloumi
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large head of butter lettuce
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced
  • 5 radishes, sliced
  • Fresh herbs: chives, mint, and dill
  • 1/2 cup vinaigrette of choice (*see recipe above)
  • Salt and pepper


For the vinaigrette:

  1. Mix all ingredients with desired amounts together in a small bowl or mason jar. Taste and adjust ratios as desired. (See tips above.)

For the salad:

  1. Prepare the halloumi. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and preheat oven to 450 F. Tear halloumi into large chunks, drizzle with olive oil, and arrange in an even layer on a tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes until halloumi is golden brown on top. Flip to the other side carefully, and bake for another 1o minutes until the second side is golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Prepare the salad. On a large serving platter, arrange the lettuce, avocado, cucumbers, radishes, and herbs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add the halloumi.
  3. When ready to serve, dress with vinaigrette. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20

Keywords: halloumi, vegetarian, salad

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