Skip to Content

Exploring 5 Delicious Substitutes for Halloumi Cheese

When it comes to adding some cheesy goodness to your meals, halloumi cheese is often the go-to choice. This salty, tangy and versatile cheese has gained popularity in recent years, not just among vegetarians but also among meat-eaters.

However, for those who are lactose intolerant or simply trying to cut back on dairy, finding a substitute for halloumi cheese can be a challenge. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

In this article, we will explore 5 delicious substitutes for halloumi cheese that are equally tasty and healthy. We’ll also discuss the benefits of incorporating more plant-based options into your diet.

substitutes for Halloumi

Why Consider Substitutes for Halloumi Cheese?

While halloumi cheese is undeniably delicious, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider alternatives:

  • Lactose intolerance: Halloumi cheese is made from cow, goat or sheep milk and contains lactose. For those who are lactose intolerant, this can cause digestive discomfort.
  • High in saturated fat: Like most dairy products, halloumi cheese is high in saturated fat which can increase cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease if consumed in excess.
  • Not suitable for vegans: Halloumi cheese is not a vegan-friendly option as it is made from animal milk.
  • Processed food: While halloumi cheese is a real cheese, it is often heavily processed with added preservatives and salt. Opting for less processed options can be beneficial for overall health.

With these reasons in mind, let’s take a look at some delicious substitutes for halloumi cheese that can satisfy your cheesy cravings without compromising your health goals.

5 Delicious Substitutes for Halloumi Cheese

1 – Feta Cheese

Feta, the crumbly Greek delight, is no stranger to the spotlight, often taking center stage in Mediterranean mezzes or as a poised tomato’s confidante.

Its rich, tangy flavor profile and crumbly texture make it an ideal alternative to Halloumi. In terms of taste, feta is saltier and tangier than halloumi, adding a burst of flavor to any dish. Its texture is less rubbery but still holds its shape when cooked.

Feta can be grilled or pan-fried just like halloumi, making it a perfect substitute for dishes such as Greek salads, sandwiches, or even as a topping for burgers.

Substitute Ratio: You can use an equal amount of feta cheese as you would halloumi.

Pro Tips

  • Marinate feta in olive oil and herbs to enhance its flavor and grill it briefly on each side.
  • Use it in dishes like salads, omelets, and pasta as a topping or crumbled over the top for a burst of tangy saltiness.

2 – Grilled Paneer

Paneer, originating from the Indian subcontinent, is a non-melting cheese with a wonderfully firm texture that softens but doesn’t dissolve when grilled. Its mild, milk-infused flavor offers a canvas for your culinary creativity to shine. While it doesn’t have the same salty flavor as halloumi, it still adds a satisfying chewiness and smoothness to any dish.

Paneer can be grilled or used in dishes like curries, wraps, and sandwiches, making it a versatile substitute for halloumi.

Substitute Ratio: Use an equal amount of paneer as you would halloumi.

Pro Tips

  • Lightly season Paneer slices before grilling to add depth to its flavor.
  • Add grilled Paneer to curries, wraps, or sandwiches for a protein-rich enhancement.

3 – Provolone Cheese

Hailing from the Mediterranean, Provolone is semi-hard with a flavor that becomes sharper with age, offering a subtle hint of piquancy. Its high-fat content lends it a creamy mouthfeel when grilled, an excellent stand-in for Halloumi’s textural charm. Its mild, savory flavor makes it a versatile substitute that pairs well with various dishes.

When grilled, provolone becomes soft and melty, making it a fantastic option for dishes like paninis, sandwiches, or as a topping for pizzas.

Substitute Ratio: Use an equal amount of provolone as you would halloumi.

Pro Tips

  • Use aged provolone for a more intense flavor profile.
  • Melt provolone over grilled vegetables or add it to sandwiches and pizzas for a delicious twist.
  • Apply a light, flavorful oil to Provolone slices before grilling to add a contrasting crispness.

4 – Queso Fresco

A staple in Mexican cuisine, Queso Fresco offers a mildly salty taste with a crumbly texture that becomes a creamy delight when heated. Its fresh, milky undertones provide a sense of cleanliness to your dishes, making it a compelling substitution for Halloumi in a variety of cuisines.

Approach Queso Fresco as a Halloumi replacement by crumbling it over dishes, or slicing it into shapes that complement your culinary creation. Keep it refrigerated until ready to serve for that beautiful crumbling quality to remain intact.

Substitute Ratio: You can use an equal amount of queso fresco as you would halloumi.

Pro Tips

  • Balance the salinity of Queso Fresco with the dish appropriately, especially when serving with flavorful salsas or rich stews.
  • Use Queso Fresco in place of Halloumi in tacos, tostadas, or as a topping for soups and stews.

5 – Queso Blanco

Similar to Queso Fresco, Queso Blanco is a staple in Latin American cuisine, offering a mild, salted taste that softens without melting when heated. It’s a versatile and milder alternative to Halloumi that can complement a myriad of dishes.

When substituting Queso Blanco, the high moisture content needs to be considered. Opt for grilling or pan-frying methods that minimize moisture release. Keep slices or crumbles relatively larger to mimic Halloumi’s presence in your culinary concoction.

Substitute Ratio: You can use an equal amount of queso blanco as you would halloumi.

Pro Tips

  • Add a squeeze of lime or other citrus to Queso Blanco before grilling for a zesty undertone.
  • Utilize Queso Blanco in enchiladas, salads, and grain bowls for a touch of creaminess without the melt.


I hope this guide has given you some helpful alternatives for halloumi cheese. While it may be a delicious and versatile option, it’s essential to consider potential health concerns and dietary restrictions when making food choices.

With these substitutes, you can still enjoy the salty, savory goodness of halloumi without compromising your health goals or values. It’s important to remember that moderation is key, and incorporating a variety of options into your diet can lead to a well-rounded and satisfying culinary experience.

So next time you’re craving some halloumi cheese, give one of these substitutes a try.