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.
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, kind of chewy, meaty texture that makes it a perfect protein-packed ingredient.
Most recipes for halloumi fries I think are needlessly complicated or messy. They’ll include a messy 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 addictive halloumi fries. I really 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 well 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 we 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.
There are only FOUR easy-to-find ingredients that go into this recipe.
- 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 supermarket.
- Polenta. Polenta is very finely ground corn 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. We’ll 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. We’ll use a little drizzle of olive oil to help the polenta crisp up in the oven.
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 180C 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.
Got a question?
You can slice and coat the fries in the polenta mix a day in advance, but don’t cook them until you’re wanting to serve them. That’s because halloumi starts to harden and toughen up once it’s cooked so you really 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 as little croutons for soups.
You could just use regular flour!
Yes! They should take around 8 minutes on each side in an air fryer.
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.
Like this recipe? Here are some more halloumi ideas you might enjoy
- Honey and Harissa Glazed Halloumi
- Peach and Halloumi Salad with Chilli Jam
- Baked Whole Halloumi with Apricots and Honey
If you make this recipe, I’d love you to let me know in the comments below!Print