Oven baked halloumi gets beautifully browned and crispy when roasted with fresh seasonal vegetables.
This quick & easy Halloumi Tray Bake recipe is perfect for busy households looking to inject a bit of healthy nutrition into the midweek dinner rush.
Our irresistible roasted veg and halloumi recipe features flavourful olive oil, garlic, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes and salty melted cheese.
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What Is Halloumi?
Halloumi, also known as haloum, is a semi-hard, unripened cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk, and sometimes also cow milk.
It has a high melting point so it is most often fried or grilled, a property that makes it a popular meat substitute for vegetarians.
Halloumi is often associated with the island of Cyprus, where it has been produced for many centuries. It is also popular throughout the Eastern Mediterranean in countries like Greece and Turkey.
Culinary historians believe the process of making halloumi likely originated sometime in the Medieval Byzantine period (AD 395–1191). A recipe for enhancing ḥalūm (‘cheese’) by brining is found in a 14th-century Egyptian cookbook. The earliest known descriptions of Cypriot halloumi were recorded in the mid-16th century by Italian visitors to Cyprus.
By 2013, demand in the United Kingdom for halloumi cheese had surpassed that in every other European country except Cyprus. A halloumi-style sheep’s milk cheese is produced by Cypriots in England under the name Anglum as the protected name halloumi cannot be used.
Traditional halloumi is sold in a semicircular shape, about the size of a wallet, weighing 220–270 grams. Its firm texture when cooked causes it to squeak on the teeth when being chewed.
Travel to Greece by Eating Oven Baked Halloumi at Home
I love traveling to Europe.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Europe, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best baked halloumi recipe. In Greece, I enjoyed roasted veg and halloumi at restaurants in Meteora, Tzitzikas Kai in Athens, Kokkalo The Bone in Santorini and Kiki’s Taverna in Mykonos.
After you’ve enjoyed your first few bites, you’ll realize why a oven baked halloumi feast is a must-try when visiting Greece!
Where To Eat Baked Halloumi
If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Greek restaurant that serves traditional baked halloumi.
Haven’t traveled to the Greece before? It may be helpful to first sample a halloumi tray bake at a local restaurant to better understand how the Mediterranean cheese is served. You’ll get an idea for what size to chop your vegetables, how thin to slice the cheese and what spices to flavour the dish with.
In Toronto, popular Greek restaurants that may serve a Oven Baked Halloumi include Mamakas Taverna, Mezes Greek Restaurant, Estiatorio Volos and Messini.
My Family Loves Roasted Veg and Halloumi
My father and sister are obsessed with halloumi cheese.
My sister discovered the salty and chewy Greek cheese at a restaurant in Vancouver on a fresh salad and later introduced my dad to the crispy baked cheese. Now he’s officially addicted!
We often serve halloumi cheese grilled on the barbecue in the summer at our cottage in Muskoka. My father’s favourite way to prepare the chewy cheese is by tossing it with summer sweet Niagara peaches and Ontario tomatoes as a juicy salad.
During Autumn in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.
This Oven Baked Halloumi recipe is a perfect side dish to prepare during the Fall as it features potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and sweet bell peppers.
These healthy vegetables are available in abundance year round in Canada, but we especially love to serve them around Thanksgiving and the chilly winter season.
Our easy Vegetarian Halloumi Tray Bake is a tasty way to incorporate healthy vegetables into your diet during the colder months of the year.
Oven Baked Halloumi Health Benefits
Our roasted veg and halloumi recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of leeks can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Bell Peppers are an incredible source of vitamins C and A, which support your skin and immune system. They also provide beneficial carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Studies have linked potatoes to a variety of impressive health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, reduced heart disease risk and higher immunity.
An excellent source of vitamins A and C, sweet potatoes boost your immune system and help keep your skin healthy. They also have a very low glycemic index, providing a steady supply of energy to your body.
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Halloumi Tray Bake Cooking Tips
This healthy vegetarian tray bake is quick and easy to make at home. Here are some tips for those cooking halloumi for the first time.
- Spread out the chopped vegetables and halloumi cheese onto two large baking sheets. Ensure the vegetable are spaced out as much as possible as this will encourage them to get crispy in the oven rather than soggy.
- Ensure the vegetables are all cut into similar sized pieces so they finish cooking at the same time. This helps avoid burning or undercooking your meal.
- Rotate the baking sheets halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning.
- We prepare this dish most often in the Fall and Winter so feel free to add additional seasonal veggies like carrot, parsnip and pumpkin.
- Once you are comfortable cooking this easy baked halloumi recipe feel free to make it in the Spring or Summer with seasonal vegetables like tomato, eggplant, zucchini and corn.
What To Serve with Baked Halloumi
Our Oven Baked Halloumi recipe is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed any time of day.
We love serving this tray bake for breakfast or brunch topped with a few poached eggs. Let the runny yolk ooze over your plate. Heaven!
You can eat the dish all on its own for a light and healthy vegetarian lunch. We often double the recipe when preparing it at dinner so we can enjoy leftovers for lunch the rest of the week!
If you’re looking to impress guests at a Mediterranean themed dinner party we suggest serving this delicious baked halloumi recipe with Melitzanosalata, Fakes Soupa, Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs, Vegan Spicy Turkish Salsa Ezme Salata Salad, Kisir Turkish Bulgur Salad, Mutabbal Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip, Vegetarian Middle Eastern Spiced Pea Fritters, Chicken Shawarma Plate, Palestinian Chicken Musakhan, Lebanese Toum, Za’atar Butter Bean Dip, Beef Kafta Afghan Kebab, Lebanese Kibbeh Fried Beef Croquette, Lebanese Eggplant Fatteh, Lebanese Lamb Dumplings Shish Barak and Adas Bil Hamod.
After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe, Cinnamon Babka, Maple Black Walnut Ice Cream, Sweet Lebanese Sesame Tahini Rolls, Baileys Banoffee Cake, and Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies.
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How To Make Healthy Oven Baked Halloumi
Vegetarian Oven Baked Halloumi
- Large Mixing Bowl
- French knife
- measuring spoons
- Baking sheets
- Plastic Flipper
- 1 Large Sweet Potato
- 1 Large Red Skinned Potato
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- 125 g Halloumi Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Cut the sweet potato into 4 cm cubes. Cut the red-skinned potatoes slightly smaller. Halve the red onion, then cut each half into 4-6 segments, discarding tough outer skin.
- De-seed the peppers and cut into 2 cm squares. Remove skins from the garlic cloves.
- Put everything into a oven-proof roasting dish and toss in olive oil. Season with pepper.
- Roast for 45 minutes until vegetables have browned. Remove dish from the oven and using a rubber spatula flip the vegetables. Top with sliced halloumi cheese.
- Turn the ovens broiler on low and broil until cheese has melted and turned brown, approximately 5-10 minutes.
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