Finding a good substitute for your halloumi cheese might seem difficult. However, don’t worry because we’re here to help!
Halloumi cheese is special thanks to its high heat resistance. In other words, it will melt a lot harder than other types of cheese, making it perfect for both fried and baked dishes.
This type of cheese is also very tasty plain. So, not having halloumi cheese in your kitchen might seem like you have to skip making the recipe that calls for it. This cheese is made of sheep’s milk and it is unripened and firm yet soft in texture.
Let’s take a closer look at each substitute and learn more details.
Best Substitutes for Halloumi Cheese
The following halloumi cheese substitutes will save many of your recipes. Some of them might have a different texture and flavor but you can definitely use them with no concerns.
1. Queso panela
Queso panela is a cow’s milk cheese, so you can use it successfully instead of halloumi. It is a lot softer in texture but it has a similar high melting point with the halloumi cheese.
You can use this alternative in fried or baked dishes but also in your favorite sandwiches. It might not get the brownish crust when you fry it. But you will still obtain the gummy texture and the delicious taste you are looking for.
2. Queso Para Freir
Another great alternative for halloumi cheese is Queso Para Freir.
This option is great for all fried dishes as well as for grilled cheese recipes. When you cook it, this cheese will get a golden crust that will look beautiful in your final dish.
The taste of Queso Para Freir is similar to the taste of halloumi and they resemble even in texture. So, unless you are an expert in different types of cheese, you might not even be able to tell the difference between these two kinds.
Kefalotyri can be also used instead of halloumi cheese but you should know that it is saltier than you might expect. Kefalotyri cheese is made of goat’s milk or sheep’s milk depending to the region of origin and the recipe followed.
This cheese has a firm and a bit flaky texture and a high melting point as well. It is perfect for frying it or grilling it and it reaches a creamier texture once it starts to cook.
Due to its strong taste, you want to use this cheese in small quantities as it might overwhelm the rest of the ingredients in your dish.
Saganaki will not disappoint you if you use it instead of halloumi cheese. This is a tasty cheese from Greece and it is known for its tasty flavor when it is fried.
It copies the flavor of halloumi cheese very well. But it will not get the brown crust or the chewy texture of it when it is fried. Even so, Saganaki has a high melting point, so you can use it in all the recipes that call for halloumi cheese.
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Paneer is a popular type of cheese that can substitute halloumi or even other types of cheese in almost any recipe. Paneer is a fresh type of cheese made of curdled milk and lemon juice as well as other seasonings that give it its delicious taste.
The creamy taste of this cheese goes great with spicy dishes like those from Indian cuisine. When you use this cheese in fried dishes it will look and taste very similar to halloumi so you can definitely count on it.
6. Queso Blanco
If you choose Queso Blanco as a halloumi cheese substitute you will love its soft texture and mildly salty taste. It is a non-aged, versatile cheese that works in different recipes.
You will not have to worry about melting as you grill or fry this cheese but it will not look quite like the halloumi cheese either. Queso Blanco is white in color and it maintains this shade even when it is cooked so your final dish will not look quite the same.
Tofu is a great vegan alternative to almost any kind of regular cheese. Halloumi makes no exception. Its texture is similar to the halloumi cheese but in terms of flavor, you will notice that there are significant differences.
With seasonings like salt, pepper, and other spices of your choice, you can give tofu a nice taste. Tofu has a reduced amount of salt and it combines great with other ingredients in recipes.
You can also use provolone cheese instead of halloumi cheese, especially if you are looking for a substitute with a lower melting point. It has a mild flavor and it will melt beautifully.
The way it melts into a gooey texture makes this cheese great for sandwiches and toppings that require cheese. It is commonly used worldwide in dishes and it tastes great when you combine it with both veggies and meat.
Feta is a more popular and less expensive alternative to halloumi cheese.
It is saltier than halloumi and many other kinds of cheese. It will also crumble a lot easier. So, you might notice that it will not resemble the texture and taste of halloumi. However, it will still make your food taste delicious.
Feta cheese might even taste better than halloumi in some dishes. It is definitely a perfect choice for different salads. However, remember to reduce the amount of added salt since this cheese is salty enough by itself.
10. Cheese curds
Cheese curds can substitute halloumi cheese just as well as the other alternatives.
You can easily find them and enjoy that gooey texture you like. This substitute is not too salty, so you will not have to worry about ending up with a dish that is saltier than usual.
Use cheese curds in any type of dish that asks for halloumi cheese or enjoy them plain a snack and you will not regret it.
Another cheese made of sheep’s milk is Vlahotiri. It resembles halloumi cheese in some aspects. The taste and texture are similar, so this alternative is great for all types of recipes.
This cheese is less salty than other options. Therefore, you might want to add some extra salt to your dish to get the flavor you want. It goes great in grilled and fried dishes as well as salads and sandwiches.
Last but not least, you can use kasseri cheese instead of halloumi cheese as well.
This cheese is also made of sheep’s milk so the flavor will be fairly similar. Some recipes of this cheese include goat’s milk as well which will alter the flavor a bit. You can use kasseri cheese in cooked and cold dishes just as well and you will love the final result.
It has a chewy texture when cooked and a firm texture when you enjoy it plain.
What is Similar to Halloumi Cheese?
All the substitutes above are fairly similar to halloumi cheese.
However, as a general rule, you can use most cheese types made of sheep’s milk instead of halloumi if you want to maintain a similar flavor.
If you prefer types of cheeses with a high melting point, you will have to do research as many of them will come apart when they are cooked to high temperatures.
Is Halloumi Cheese Similar to Mozzarella?
Mozzarella can replace halloumi in cold dishes like salads but it will be quite different in cooked dishes. However, we wouldn’t recommend mozzarella as a substitute for halloumi because it has significantly more moisture and a much lower melting point.
Halloumi cheese might be difficult to find a type of cheese but the substitutes in this guide will definitely save your recipe.
Make sure to taste the substitute you are considering to use because some might be saltier than others and you will have to adjust the rest of the seasoning in your recipe.