If you are a Halloumi cheese lover, we are in the same boat! It is one of the most favorite types of cheese due to its fresh and milky taste.
Not only do children love to have Halloumi in their dishes, but adults also crave some extra cheese when we have a plate of salad or a slice of a burger.
What should you do if the cooking recipe includes this cheese, but you could not find any Halloumi left in the kitchen?
Relax! The great news to all Halloumi cheese lovers is there are a variety of cheeses that can be used to replace it! Let’s dig into today’s article to find out the best substitute for halloumi cheese!
What Is Halloumi Cheese?
Many of you may not have heard of halloumi cheese before or misunderstood it as a substitute for blue cheese. So, let’s start with “What is halloumi cheese like?” to learn more about it.
Halloumi cheese is a traditional cheese from Cyprus, which combines goat’s, cow’s, and sheep’s milk. Its texture is similar to a mozzarella cheese with a pale white color on the outside.
Unlike other rough cheeses, it has a spongy and dense semi-hard structure. Besides, Halloumi is also an unripened and brined cheese with no rind.
Due to these characteristics, the best way to enjoy Halloumi cheese is grilling or frying.
Although you can eat raw Halloumi cheese, the high heat while frying will help increase the natural salty spice of Halloumi while making its texture dense and enjoyable.
Since this special cheese has a high boiling point, you should never worry about Halloumi melting while frying.
About the flavor, Halloumi cheese is salty with a rubbery feeling when raw. However, once you grill it on fire, you will get a crunchy, savory cheese coat on the outside packed with melted cheese inside.
The texture is quite like a grilled marshmallow. Other than that, Halloumi cheese is full of healthy fat, protein, and numerous nutrients like vitamin A, B, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Indeed, the lovely smell and taste of Halloumi cheese have made its popularity rise among US and European markets. You can purchase Halloumi cheese in supermarkets, dairy markets, bakeries, or even online.
However, if you cannot find any pack of halloumi cheese left or simply the cheese has not been well known in your area, we guess that you are asking yourself, “What is halloumi cheese similar to?”
in order to find a suitable substitute. And that’s what we are going to find out in a few moments!
8 Best Cheese Used As A Substitute For Halloumi Cheese
Before looking at some typical Halloumi cheese alternatives, let us clarify a common misperception that people often have when discussing this topic – The taste of bread cheese is similar to Halloumi cheese.
In fact, they are hardly the same. Bread cheese vs Halloumi, the only similarity between them is that they won’t melt.
Feta cheese and Halloumi cheese have a lot of things in common. Specifically, they both come from Greece (Cyprus is a part of Greece), making a certain similarity in taste.
If you are looking for saltiness in a block of cheese to replace Halloumi, Feta is an easy option to go for with its strong and bold saltiness.
Both Feta and Halloumi are made from sheep or goat’s milk, so you will get the same creaminess level when replacing Halloumi with Feta.
The difference between Halloumi and Feta lies in the texture. While Halloumi is unripened with a half-loose texture, Feta is much more crumbly and crunchy, making the squeaky factor in chewing Halloumi disappear.
Also, Feta cheese is saltier than Halloumi, so Feta is usually used as a Roquefort cheese substitute.
For these characteristics, you should use Feta as a halloumi cheese alternative when you want to have a strong salty crunchiness to add in salad or soup.
Feta will shine and bring your dishes to a whole new level with its excellent flavor and texture with these dishes. Yet, avoid healing Feta as its low boiling point will make your effort go to waste.
Moreover, feta cheese can last up to 6 months with proper storage method, so it widely used in every kitchen.
If you want to find cheese like Halloumi, then Kefalotyri cheese is an excellent choice.
With the extremely high boiling point, grilling or frying Kefalotyri cheese won’t be a big deal; the results will satisfy you like what you had with toasted Halloumi cheese as well.
However, this advantage of Kefalotyri cheese comes from its extremely hard texture, so it will cost you time heating this cheese until it reaches a Halloumi-like texture.
If we compare the taste, these two won’t have any major difference, but once again, Kefalotyri cheese’s hard texture makes it saltier than the salty level increases once heated.
To enjoy Kefalotyri cheese as a Halloumi cheese substitute, serve it in small portions to ensure that the saltiness is not too much.
The best way to serve Kefalotyri cheese is to use it as a garnish in appetizers or spray on some lemon juice extract to cut down the saltiness and use it in entrees, salad, or soup.
If you are lucky to find Paneer cheese in your local market, you must purchase it right away as this cheese makes a phenomenal result when substituted for Halloumi cheese.
Paneer cheese has a similar look and texture compared to Halloumi cheese, making it the perfect choice if you want to have the same appearance as Halloumi.
Moreover, its high boiling point makes it available for grilling methods as well. You can fry Paneer cheese and receive a stunning white cheese dish that resembles Halloumi a lot.
Since Paneer is made from milk and lemon juice condensed only, its flavor is very mild and edible. Hence, you can substitute Halloumi if you don’t require much about the saltiness of the dish.
In any dish where you want to add in the creaminess without overpowering the existing flavor, paneer cheese will satisfy your request.
The only disadvantage of Paneer is that it can be hard to find in your market as this cheese is a specialty from India; you may find Paneer in local Asian markets or bakeries only.
Unlike Halloumi cheese with a dense texture after heating, Provolone cheese tends to melt under high heat pressure. This special characteristic makes Provolone cheese a delicious cheese to use in burgers and sandwiches.
Once you put a small piece of Provolone inside the pan, it will melt until you remove it from the high heat. It’s a fun thing to watch your cheese melt to the point you want and then stop.
Hence, think of Provolone cheese or Provolone cheese substitute for an extra cheeseburger. Provolone’s flavor is milder than Halloumi, making it savorily compatible with many dishes other than fast foods.
5. Queso Blanco
If you wonder what Queso Blanco means in English, it means white cheese. Queso Blanco is a lovely white cheese with creamy flavor and high-heat retention.
You can treat Queso Blanco as a Halloumi cheese and take it to the frying pan to have delicious toasted cheese.
The salt level in Queso Blanco is less than Halloumi, so you can add in more Queso Blanco than usual in a salad, a bowl of soup, or any dish that needs cheese flavor.
6. Queso Panela
Another Queso member that comes from Mexico – queso panela. This cheese is surprisingly one of the cheeses resembling Halloumi cheese, from the salty halloumi cheese taste, the half-loose texture, to the high boiling point resistance.
Even under high heat, queso panela won’t shrink or blow up but instead remains its original shape with toasted brine.
For these special features, you can frequently see queso panela in many Mexican dishes. Some queso panela might be wetter than Halloumi, but the extra water does not make a problem when they are grilled.
7. Queso Para Freir
If it is too difficult to search for Halloumi cheese, feel free to take a trip to your local food store and grab the Queso Para Freir cheese.
Like Halloumi cheese, Queso Para Freir does not melt while frying or grilling but keeps the shape perfectly intact.
Particularly, the most popular way to serve this delicious cheese is as garnishes with vegetables or proteins. Its mild flavor with golden-yellow crusts, once grilled, will make your dishes look more beautiful and tasty.
Another Greek cheese that can come to the substituting halloumi cheese rescue is Saganaki.
We assume that you would think Saganaki cheese comes from a Japanese city, but it comes from a small town in Greece. Like Feta, Saganaki also resembles Halloumi cheese in Greek characteristics.
Saganaki has the same flavor as Halloumi cheese – salty and squeaky. However, Saganaki has more moisturized content, which makes its texture remain white even after grilling.
So if you are looking for a simple white cheese that can take after Halloumi but with a neat appearance, Saganaki is the key.
Served Saganaki with a slice of bread, a few drops of lemon extract, and there you have a fancy breakfast with a Halloumi substitute.
Can you pick out the best choice of substitute for Halloumi cheese from this list? After learning about these substitutes for halloumi cheese, we hope you can get yourself a suitable choice and start cooking delicious dishes using these tasty and exotic cheeses.
Thank you for reading this article, and enjoy your halloumi cheese substitute!