These ultra-crispy halloumi fries are oven-baked, not fried, and coated in seasoned breadcrumbs. Served with a zingy harissa yogurt sauce, they are the perfect appetizer or snack.
It’s officially summer. And we all know summer means barbecue – and barbecue means finger foods and finger food MOSTLY just means chips or poppers and fries and maybe, mozzarella sticks?
But there’s just something about cheesy finger food that I can’t help but gravitate toward. So, enter these easy-peasy, moderately healthy halloumi fries.
Who doesn’t love some good fries with a dip? And these halloumi fries are the perfect easy appetizer for entertaining. The harissa yogurt dip is the perfect partner for them and, believe me, you won’t stop at just one!
What is Halloumi?
Halloumi is a semi-hard, brined cheese that originated in Cyprus. It is made from sheep’s or goat’s milk, and has a unique salty, tangy flavor. It is known for its high melting point, which makes it perfect for grilling, frying, or baking.
While I have a few halloumi recipes, most recently this Halloumi Pasta, and less recently this summer fave Grilled Halloumi and Strawberry Salad, I really wanted to see how this amazing cheese holds up in fry form.
Good news, it’s absolutely delicious! Hot out of the oven halloumi cheese is soft and gooey, if not as stringy as mozzarella – the more common cheese stick choice.
Halloumi does tend to harden back up as it sits, so these fries are best consumed as fresh as possible.
Why This is The Best Halloumi Fries Recipe
You just need 6 things to make it. And you may already have all but the halloumi cheese.
It takes very little time to make. You only need 30 minutes to make these halloumi fries.
No frying involved! Light and crispy panko breadcrumbs, along with a liberal spray of olive oil makes these fries super crispy with no frying.
It comes with the best, easy dip. You can munch on these cheesy fries just on their own but the yogurt harissa dip really sets them off perfectly!
We have already talked about this in detail. You can easily find halloumi in the cheese section of your grocery store or in a Mediterranean deli.
Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese variety of breadcrumbs known for their light and crispy texture. They work wonderfully in this recipe to create a crunchy coating for the halloumi fries.
But if you don’t have panko breadcrumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs as well.
Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that adds a delightful herbal and slightly tangy flavor to the halloumi fries. It typically consists of dried thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and other herbs.
If you don’t have za’atar, then you can substitute it with a combination of dried thyme, sesame seeds, and a pinch of sumac.
How to Make Halloumi Fries – Step by Step
1. Preheat your oven to 375F and generously coat a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
2. Slice the halloumi into 18-20 sticks, each approximately ½ inch thick.
3. In a shallow bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs and za’atar, mixing them well.
4. In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg. In the third bowl, add the flour.
5. Take one halloumi stick at a time and lightly coat it in flour, shaking off any excess.
6. Similarly, dip the floured stick into the beaten egg, ensuring it is fully coated.
7. Lastly, dredge the stick in the breadcrumb mixture, gently pressing to help the coating adhere.
8. Transfer the coated halloumi sticks to a prepared baking sheet, leaving about an inch of space between each stick. Before baking it, liberally spray the halloumi fries with olive oil spray.
9. Bake the fries in the preheated oven at 375F for 20-25 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remember to flip them halfway through the cooking time.
Serve with harissa yogurt dip.
How to Make Harissa Yogurt Dip
Combine yogurt, harissa, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, garlic powder, salt & pepper in a bowl and serve with the hot halloumi fries. That’s it!
For other serving suggestions for this sauce, which goes with all kinds of things, I have a whole post dedicated to this harissa yogurt dip.
Tips for Making the Best Halloumi Fries
1. To prevent the halloumi from sticking to your hands while dredging, keep one hand wet (for the egg dip) and one hand dry (for the flour and breadcrumb coating).
2. Dont overcrowd your halloumi fries on the baking sheet! Make sure they don’t touch each other so there is better airflow for a crispier texture.
3. While the recipe calls for za’atar, feel free to experiment with other seasonings or spices that suit your taste preferences. Consider trying paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, or herbs like rosemary or oregano to add an extra layer of flavor to your halloumi fries.
4. If you’re unable to find halloumi, or prefer an alternative, paneer or other firm white cheeses can be used as substitutes.
5. While I love this harissa yogurt dip, I have also served these fries with hot honey or marinara, and both are delicious!
It has a mildly salty and tangy flavor with a hint of sweetness. The cheese has a rich and creamy undertone that is balanced by a slight acidity.
This recipe makes ten servings, and each serving of 2 halloumi fries is about 119kcal. This is only an estimate and may differ with the brands used.
Halloumi fries are best enjoyed straight out of the oven for the perfect texture! You can save some time by preparing the sticks ahead of time and putting them in the fridge – and just pop them in the oven when you are ready to serve.
Yes, you can cook halloumi fries in an air fryer. To do this, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the halloumi fries in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
- 8 oz halloumi
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon za’atar
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg
- Olive oil spray
Harissa Yogurt Dip
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
- Slice the halloumi into 18-20 ½ inch sticks.
- In a shallow bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs and za’atar.
- In an other shallow bowl, whisk the egg.
- In a third bowl, add the flour.
- Dredge each halloumi stick in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in egg, making sure it’s thoroughly coated. Dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, at least an inch apart. Spray the fries liberally with olive oil spray.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, flipping halfway through.
- To make the harissa yogurt dip, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and serve with the hot fries.