Grilled Halloumi Salad with Fresh Herbs {Gluten Free}

Most of my recipe creations always have a story or memory behind them.  I remember the first time I had halloumi cheese.  I thought was going to end in a gooey, melted mess, but to my surprise it flipped just like a pancake!  This traditional Greek cheese has since become one of my favorite foods!  One summer, I worked for a family in Los Angeles and the dad was a phenomenal chef who made many Mediterranean recipes.  He was always whipping up fantastic dishes filled with fresh herbs from their garden or local fish, meats, and vegetables from the farmer’s market.  To this day, I still dream about his shrimp scampi!

It was that summer that I first tasted halloumi.  As the cheese was tossed on to the grill, I thought oh dear that’s gonna be a mess! But, halloumi is a traditional Greek cheese, usually made with sheep or goat's milk, and has a high melting point so it can be grilled or fried.  As soon as it came off the grill, he sliced the cheese and garnished with a handful of fresh herbs.  This is a fabulous appetizer to pass and share while waiting for the other foods to finish cooking.  

I recently took a trip to Suzie’s Farm here in Southern California.  We spent a beautiful afternoon picking fresh baby lettuces, tomatoes and herbs.  Farm fresh food truly tastes unbelievable.  You can taste and smell the freshness of these vegetables and herbs.  At the farm I picked everything black tomatoes to edible flowers.  As we headed home with dust on our feet and bags full of heirloom tomatoes and herbs in flavoring the air, I decided I wanted to make a delicious summer salad.  Truth be told, I am not the hugest lettuce fan unless its these adorable and flavorful baby lettuces! (Yes, I do eat all lettuces, but my favorite are the baby leaves!)  You could also use arugula, butter lettuce, spinach or whatever you have on hand. 

This salad jumps off the table full of flavor and color, creating a delightful summer lunch or dinner.  It would be delicious with side or appetizer served with grilled chicken, meat or lamb, my balsamic chicken kabobs or even grilled hamburgers.

Of course, my favorite way to eat salads is with a drizzle of sweet balsamic glaze.  Vegetables dressed up are always the best way to eat your greens.  I assure you that this salad will have you reaching for seconds and desperately searching for more halloumi cheese.  I usually get mine at Trader Joes, and most stores will sell it in their specialty cheese section, which is always my favorite part of any grocery store!  Enjoy this delicious salad and the last remaining warm summer evenings.

Halloumi Salad with Fresh Herbs and Tomatoes {gluten free, grain free}

Grilled halloumi cheese makes this simple salad full of flavor.  A gluten and grain free summer salad or side dish topped with fresh herbs and sweet balsamic glaze.

Salad Ingredients

  • 8 oz halloumi cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 small baby lettuce heads
  • 1/2 pound heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced

Dressing & Marinade Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped & divided
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped & divided
  • 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp balsamic glaze/reduction
  • sprinkle of fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat a skillet or grill to medium heat.  *If using a skillet, grease the skillet with olive oil or butter.
  • Slice halloumi cheese into thin (1/2-1 inch) slices.  Place cheese on a plate. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with half the fresh herbs (oregano & thyme), salt and pepper.  Fry or grill cheese for 2 minutes per side, flip and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes or until the cheese begins to turn golden brown.
  • Arrange salad lettuce leaves, tomatoes and olives, placing warm halloumi on top. Drizzle with remaining olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic glaze.  Garnish with fresh basil slices and remaining oregano and thyme.
  • Serve and enjoy!