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Halloumi cheese comes from the small country of Cyprus in the Mediterranean region of Europe. Traditionally, it comes from goat or sheep milk, giving it a unique flavor from other semi-hard varieties.
Halloumi is unique in that it does not melt, no matter how you want to use it. It is sturdy enough to grill or be a topper, for instance.
Many individuals want to use this cheese in their recipes due to its characteristics. It is more popular in grocery stores in modern times but still sometimes hard to find. Thankfully, there are some Halloumi cheese substitutes, including those below.
Table of Contents
- Halloumi Cheese Substitutes
- Find a Halloumi Cheese Substitute for Your Needs
Halloumi Cheese Substitutes
Paneer cheese is native to India. It comes from curdled cow or buffalo milk and is also semi-hard. It will take very high heat to get this cheese to melt.
Paneer has a milky taste, giving off the same flavors as halloumi cheese. Paneer cheese is delicious in several recipes, and you can fry or grill it. Due to its semi-hard nature, it will not cause a mess all over your pans or racks.
If you want to stick to a Mediterranean cheese, consider feta. This Greek alternative also comes from the milk of a sheep or goat, and it has a white color. Feta has a slightly different texture, as it is crumbly and has no skin.
Though feta is crumbly, it does not melt with ease, meaning it will hold together well for your recipes. It may be best as a topper or an addition to salads due to the grainy texture. Feta has a saltier flavor that is more aggressive than halloumi cheese too.
Mozzarella is one of the most popular cheeses you can get in any grocery store. It has a mild and fresh taste that is similar to halloumi. It will melt quickly, so it is best when cold on top of salads or a sandwich.
There are a couple of different types of mozzarella that you can choose to use as a substitute. Choose mozzarella di bufala if you want to experiment with the taste of buffalo milk. Traditional mozzarella comes from cow’s milk and has the taste you would probably recognize. Many grocery stores sell fresh mozzarella infused with flavors like garlic if you want an added kick.
Mozzarella is famous in America, but it comes from Italy. Provolone cheese is another option that began in this European country. When using provolone as a substitute for halloumi, you will want to choose the provolone dolce variant.
Provolone dolce has a mild and milky flavor similar to halloumi cheese. It does not have a hard texture like the latter, and it will melt quickly. It is best as a substitute on a sandwich or in a casserole dish that requires only the taste.
Kefalotyri is harder than halloumi, but it also comes from sheep or goat milk. It is white, though some variants give the cheese a yellow-like appearance. Kefalotyri requires high heat to start to melt, and it is firm in texture, which is similar to halloumi, making it the perfect substitute.
Due to how hard kefalotyri is, it is best for grilling. It has a more obvious taste than halloumi and is quite salty, meaning you should taste it before using it in any recipe. If you choose to use kefalotyri as an alternative, you will likely want to add less than the recipe calls for or add a small amount of lemon juice to reduce the salty flavor.
Substitute halloumi with anari cheese if you want to use another option coming from Cyprus. It is not as popular as the original, but some supermarkets sell it. It may be best to check an international market first if one is in your town.
Anari has many similar qualities to halloumi as it is a byproduct of the latter. It is not as hard as halloumi, meaning it will fall apart quickly. When considering this quality, anari is best as a topper for salads or on sandwiches.
Graviera is another Mediterranean cheese coming from Greece, and it also has a hard texture. It is white or slightly yellow and primarily comes from sheep’s milk. Sometimes, however, individuals make this cheese from a mixture of sheep and goat milk, and others will only use that of a cow.
If you can get fresh graviera, you can grill it, and it will stay sturdy. When young, it is sweet and creamy, just like halloumi. Some individuals crumble the graviera, using it as a salad topper.
Manouri is semi-soft rather than semi-hard, but it does come from the Mediterranean region of Europe. Families in Greece initially created this cheese that looks very much like halloumi. It also comes from the milk of a sheep or goat, like the original ingredient.
Manouri is versatile, meaning you can crumble it, melt it, grill it, or mix it into casseroles and other recipes. It has a mild taste so that you can experience the milky layers that are in the cheese. You will barely know the differences between the two options after using either in your recipes.
Saganaki is one of the best alternatives you can choose when looking for a substitute for halloumi cheese. Many individuals like to try this option as it has a delicious flavor. Families throughout Greece and the rest of the Mediterranean countries love to snack on this cheese or use it in their recipes.
Saganaki has a high melting point, like halloumi, as it has a semi-hard texture. When you fry the latter, you will get a brown crust that will not exist on saganaki. It does not become as chewy in texture, and the cheese will melt.
Finally, there are vegan alternatives that you can consider in place of halloumi cheese in a recipe. Many individuals on this diet choose to use tofu, a byproduct of soy popular throughout Asia. Manufacturers of this food coagulate soy milk until they achieve the desired texture of their products.
Tofu ranges in texture, and you can purchase the semi-firm or firm variants if you want one similar to halloumi. This ingredient will absorb the flavors of the other foods in your recipe. By itself, however, it is mild and creamy like halloumi.
Find a Halloumi Cheese Substitute for Your Needs
Halloumi cheese is more popular than ever before in America, but at times, it is still difficult to find in supermarkets. You will fall in love with the cheese when you first taste it due to its milky and creamy flavors. It is also a sturdy option that will retain its shape no matter how you cook it.
If you want an alternative with many of these same qualities, some options are available. Choose kefalotyri, for instance, if you desire another Mediterranean option, or mozzarella if you need a popular product. If you are on a vegan diet, consider using tofu instead of halloumi cheese. Any of the alternatives on this list are sure to meet your needs.
Is Halloumi Cheese Similar to Mozzarella?
Halloumi cheese is similar to mozzarella. If you cannot find halloumi anywhere, mozzarella cheese is a likely alternative. Remember that this substitute will melt much faster than halloumi, so it is best to use it when it is still fresh. You can crumble it on top of salads or use fresh mozzarella slices on sandwiches, for instance.
Mozzarella is delicious when fresh, and it has a milky taste that is similar to halloumi cheese. There are a couple of variants you can choose from as your substitute, including one that comes directly from the milk of a buffalo.
Can I Substitute Feta for Halloumi?
Feta cheese has different features than halloumi cheese, but you can use it as a substitute. Many individuals consider this option when they still want to experience the Mediterranean flavors of halloumi. Feta is much more crumbly than the original, so it is best if a recipe only uses the cheese as a topper or add-on.
Feta cheese will remain sturdy for any recipe as it has a high melting point. It has a similar creamy taste to halloumi, but a few differences exist. You will likely immediately notice that this alternative is harsher than halloumi, with a bit of saltiness.
Is Halloumi Cheese Similar to Bread Cheese?
Many individuals think that bread cheese and halloumi cheese are virtually the same products. They will substitute the two ingredients freely without considering their tastes. In reality, the only feature that is the same between the two options is the high melting point that allows the cheeses to stay solid for longer.
As mentioned, halloumi is semi-hard, meaning it will stay sturdy no matter how you cook or prepare it. Bread cheese, on the other hand, is soft and buttery. You can easily mold it, and it is very smooth. Halloumi cheese has a sweet and milky taste, while bread cheese is as salty as feta.