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This Halloumi Lentil Salad is made with cooked lentils, roasted tomatoes, cucumber, and pan-fried halloumi, along with a simple zesty dressing. It's a fresh, healthy vegetarian lunch that you'll want to make all summer long!
Halloumi! It's so good, right? Especially in this halloumi lentil salad.
Having lunch already prepped and ready to go is key in order for me to make sure I'm eating healthy throughout the week. I love whipping up my chickpea chicken salad and my mediterranean tuna salad to have on hand. Similar to those recipes, this halloumi salad can easily be made ahead of time and enjoyed for days.
Plus, using lentils in a salad is an easy way to add protein and fiber to a meal (like in my favorite lentil meatballs.
What is halloumi?
If you don't know, halloumi is a type of cheese made from a combination of sheep's milk and goat milk. What makes it unique is that it has a high melting point, meaning you can easily fry it and it won't melt. Yes, FRIED CHEESE. Is there anything better? If you haven't tried it before, I promise you it will be love at first bite.
But don't let me get ahead of myself, because even though halloumi is sort of the star of this recipe, I don't want to neglect the rest of this halloumi salad.
- It's made with fried halloumi, aka the greatest cheese of all time
- It's a protein-packed, vegetarian meal option
- You can easily prep it ahead of time and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week
This list is to provide further clarification on some of the ingredients used; the full ingredient list is below in the recipe card.
Lentils - Preferably brown lentils or green lentils. Red lentils cook differently and therefore will result in a different texture.
Vegetables - A combination of grape tomatoes, cucumber and red onion works wonderfully to achieve the Greek and Mediterranean flavor profile.
Fresh mint - Don't skip the mint -- trust me on this one! It pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.
Halloumi - You can find halloumi cheese at most grocery stores in the cheese section.
Olive oil - This is the base of the dressing and I wouldn't suggest substitution any other type of oil.
Vinegar - I used red wine vinegar, but white wine vinegar would work well too.
Lemon juice - Provides a little acidity and zest to the dressing and helps keep it light and fresh.
Garlic - A "must" for most recipes, in my opinion. A little bit goes a long way.
Step 1: Cook the lentils. Start by adding the lentils to a medium saucepan, then add water so it covers them by one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Drain any remaining water, then transfer the lentils to a large bowl.
Step 2: Make the dressing. While the lentils are cooking, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper together. Then, pour ⅓ of the dressing over the cooked lentils and stir to combine.
Step 3: Prep the veggies. While the lentils are marinating in the dressing, chop the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and mint and set aside.
Step 4: Cook the halloumi. Last, heat a medium skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Once warm, add the halloumi slices and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until it's golden brown.
Step 5: Assemble. Finally, add the cooked halloumi to the bowl with the lentils, along with the vegetables and toss to combine. Drizzle the remaining dressing overtop, do a quick taste test and add more salt and black pepper as needed.
Tips and FAQs
- When cooking halloumi, make sure you pat it dry to remove any excess liquid that was inside the packaging; that way, it cooks evenly and prevents any possibility of it softening while it cooks.
- On that same note, cook halloumi in a single layer.
What is the best way to cook halloumi?
Typically, I tend to cook it over the stove in a pan or skillet. But, you can also grill halloumi if you prefer in a grill pan or on the actual grill. If you're going to use a grill, be sure to brush the halloumi with a little oil beforehand to prevent it from sticking.
Is there anything else I could add to this salad?
Always! If you want to bulk this up even more, try adding sliced avocado for healthy fats or drained and rinsed canned chickpeas for added protein. You could also substitute fresh basil for the mint if you prefer.
Refrigerator: Store halloumi salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
More easy lunch recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Fried Halloumi Lentil Salad
- Add lentils to a medium saucepan, then cover them with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer then simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Drain any remaining water, then transfer the lentils to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: whisk olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper together, then pour ⅓ of the dressing over the lentils and stir to combine, allowing the lentils to marinate.
- Next, slice the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and mint and set aside.
- Last, cook the halloumi. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the halloumi slices in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Assemble the salad: add the veggies and halloumi to the bowl with the lentils. Pour the remaining dressing overtop and enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in May 2017. It was updated with new text and photos in June 2023.