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Easy Crispy Baked Halloumi Fries (4 Ingredients)

Oct 4, 2022 | 4 comments

These super crispy halloumi fries are baked for a quick, mess-free, egg-free result. No deep-frying, no sticky coating and you’ll have gorgeously gooey fries in just 25 minutes. Plus, you only need four ingredients. Serve with a creamy tahini dipping sauce for a Middle Eastern-inspired party snack.

Pile of halloumi fries on a white plate with pomegranate seeds, spring onion and tahini sauce drizzled on top.

Controversial opinion time: I MUCH prefer halloumi fries to mozzarella sticks. For me, mozzarella, while it has the ooze factor, just can’t compete on flavour. Halloumi is gloriously salty, packed with umami and has a unique, chewy, meaty texture that makes it a perfect protein-packed ingredient.

In the UK and New Zealand, halloumi fries are a fairly common appetizer (and McDonald’s even does them!) but I know they’re not quite as common (yet!) in the US. Most recipes for halloumi fries I think are needlessly complicated or messy. They’ll include an egg/flour/breadcrumb dunking situation and then more than likely, you’ll need to deep fry the halloumi. And while yes, that is delicious, you don’t HAVE to do all of that to get perfectly crispy, gooey and glorious halloumi fries. I wanted to create a halloumi fries recipe that was SUPER easy, hands-off, mess-free and didn’t require deep frying. This is that recipe!

There are a couple of tricks that come into play here:

  • I find you don’t need the traditional egg/flour/breadcrumb coating. All you need to do is roll your sliced halloumi in polenta. Halloumi is wet enough that it doesn’t need a dunking of egg to help the polenta stick and I’ve found it works perfectly this way. The polenta forms a crispy coating by itself!
  • Make sure the halloumi is on a single layer, with a little space in between each piece on your oven tray. That’s because you want the hot air to be able to properly circulate and cook the halloumi evenly to allow it to get crispy. If the halloumi is too close together, the moisture coming off the cheese when it cooks will steam the other pieces and you’ll end up with soggy fries.

What is halloumi?

If you’ve not tried halloumi before, you are in for a serious treat. Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese, traditionally made with sheep’s milk. It has a high melting point, which means it holds its shape while being cooked. That makes it PERFECT for these fries.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • There’s no deep-frying involved.
  • No messy egg, flour and breadcrumb coating.
  • You only need 4 ingredients.
  • It takes just 25 minutes from start to finish, including a quick tahini sauce.


Ingredients for halloumi fries laid out and labelled.
  • Halloumi. Try to go for a Cypriot halloumi if you can find it. You’ll need two blocks for the recipe – but you can easily halve the recipe and just use one block if you’d like. You should be able to find halloumi easily in the cheese section of your grocery store.
  • Polenta. Polenta is very finely ground corn (also called cornmeal) and it’s what forms the crispy crust in the oven. I love using polenta in this way – it’s what I use in my crispy skin-on potatoes recipe and it works just as well here. It also keeps the recipe gluten-free. If you can’t find polenta, you can just use regular flour, or almond flour to keep it gluten-free.
  • Smoked paprika. I like to add a little bit to the polenta to bring a hint of smokiness to the fries. You can leave it out if you can’t find it, or replace it with ground cumin, coriander or chilli flakes.
  • Olive oil. A little drizzle of olive oil helps the polenta crisp up in the oven.

I’m serving these fries with a super quick tahini sauce, but you can use whatever dipping sauce you like for these. I love them with sweet chilli jam, aioli, spicy gochujang aioli, a smoky tomato sauce or marinara too.

How to make them

Cut your halloumi into thick fries. I like to follow the natural fold of the halloumi block to cut it in half, then slice each half. Get your polenta in a bowl and mix with the smoked paprika, then dunk the halloumi in the polenta mix, turning to coat each side. Lay the fries out on a single layer in a lined oven-proof dish or tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes at 400F/200C fan.

PRO TIP: You want them on a single layer with a good amount of space between them so that they’ll bake and crisp up in the oven. If they’re too close, the hot air won’t be able to circulate as well and you’ll end up with soggy fries (though they’ll still taste delicious!)

After 20 minutes they should be looking golden and if you give them a little tap with a fork, they should sound crispy. Remove them from the oven at this point, then plate up and serve right away with your favourite dipping sauce. PRO TIP: They may still feel a little soft as they come out of the oven, but they’ll firm up quite quickly.

Got a question?

Can I prepare these in advance?

You can slice and coat the fries in the polenta mix a day in advance but don’t cook them until you want to serve them. That’s because halloumi starts to harden and toughen up once it’s cooked so you ideally want to enjoy them straight away if you’re after the warm, gooey inside and crispy outside. They will still taste great after cooling – I’ll often chop up any leftovers and add them to salads or use them as little croutons for soups.

I can’t find polenta – what else can I use?

You could just use regular flour or almond flour.

What sauce can I serve with the fries?

Go for your favourite – I’m using a quick tahini sauce (you could also use tahini yogurt sauce or green tahini sauce) in the recipe below but also love using aioli, spicy aioli or sweet chilli jam. A smoky tomato sauce would also be lovely, as would marinara.

Can I cook these in the air fryer?

Yes! They should take around 8 minutes on each side in an air fryer at 400F/200C.

Can I cook these in a pan?

You can! You’ll want a decent amount of oil, about 2cm or 1 inch up the side of your pan. You can shallow fry for a couple of minutes on each side.

Watch how to make them

Like this recipe? Here are some more halloumi ideas you might enjoy

If you make this recipe, I’d love you to let me know in the comments below!

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Crispy halloumi fries piled onto a small white plate and drizzled with tahini sauce, spring onion and pomegranate seeds.

Easy Crispy Baked Halloumi Fries (4 Ingredients)

  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 24 fries 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These super crispy halloumi fries are baked for a quick, mess-free, egg-free result. No deep-frying, no sticky coating and you’ll have gorgeously gooey fries in just 25 minutes. Serve with a creamy tahini dipping sauce for a Middle Eastern-inspired party snack.


Units Scale

For the halloumi fries – 

  • 2 blocks of halloumi (generally it will come in 8oz/225g blocks)
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the tahini sauce – 

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water

To serve (optional) – 

  • 1 scallion, sliced into long thin strips lengthways and popped into a glass of cold water (this will make it curl up)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds


  1. Slice your halloumi into thin fries. Start by heating your oven to 400F/200C fan and lining a large oven tray or oven-proof dish with baking paper. To slice the halloumi into fries, I like to use the natural fold of the cheese to cut it in half, then cut each half into thin strips.
  2. Coat and bake the halloumi fries. Add the ½ cup of polenta and ½ teaspoon of paprika into a large bowl or plate that will fit the halloumi fries in. Toss the halloumi in the polenta mix, coating all sides. Transfer to the lined oven tray, and repeat with the remaining halloumi fries. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then bake for 20 minutes, until they’re looking golden and crispy.
  3. Make the tahini sauce. While the halloumi is baking, add the 1/2 cup of tahini, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a small bowl, then drizzle in the1/3 cup of water, mixing vigorously with a fork as you do. It’ll feel like it won’t come together – it’ll kind of seize up, then become smooth and creamy as you keep mixing. If it’s still a little thick, just drizzle in more water and stir again.
  4. Garnish and serve. Once the halloumi is looking golden and sounds crispy if you tap it with a fork or knife, remove the tray from the oven and arrange the fries on a serving plate. The halloumi may still feel a little soft when you remove it from the oven, but it will quickly firm up. Top with the curly scallions and pomegranate seeds if you’re using them, and serve with the tahini sauce on the side.


STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Halloumi is always best eaten right after cooking as the texture will start getting hard and rubbery as it cools. It’ll still taste great, but it won’t have the soft texture you may be after. The tahini sauce will last for 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge and is wonderful in a whole host of dishes. Try it with grilled meat (these lamb koftas and sticky gochujang chicken skewers are ideal), drizzled on toast or tossed through veggies or slaw as a delicious dressing.

SUBSTITUTIONS: If you don’t have polenta, you can just use plain flour or almond flour.

MAKE AHEAD: You can prepare the halloumi fries up to 2 days in advance, then bake them when you’re ready. Just store the polenta-coated fries in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: snacks
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: mediterranean


  • Serving Size: 3 fries
  • Calories: 283
  • Sugar: 0.4g
  • Fat: 21.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Cholesterol: 38mg

Keywords: halloumi fries, crispy halloumi fries


I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.





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  1. Magda

    This has literally made my day! On to try crispy roast potatoes next

  2. Chef Mimi

    These are fabulous! I usually just pan fry halloumi but I love your recipe. And I love smoked paprika. Thanks!

    • Kate Alexandra

      SO pleased you enjoyed them Mimi!! They’re such a fun one x


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