Home » Baked Halloumi Makes Super Crispy Keto Fries!

Baked Halloumi Makes Super Crispy Keto Fries!

Omega-Rich Keto Seed Crackers Recipe
Omega-Rich Keto Seed Crackers Recipe

Seasoned pork cracklings make these baked halloumi fries extra crispy without the added oil from a deep-fryer! The result is a crispy coating on the outside, and firm and tender cheese on the inside. Plus, this recipe is entirely keto with zero net carbs per serving!

crispy baked halloumi fries

I love cheese of all kinds, however, I was not familiar with this Mediterranean cheese until I met my husband (who is Assyrian) when he introduced me to grilled halloumi while barbequing while we were dating. It went well with the grilled meats and vegetables dipped in a lemon tahini sauce!

I immediately fell in love with the taste, texture, and versatility of halloumi. The fact that it doesn’t melt at high temperatures lends itself to “more creative” preparations, like these baked halloumi fries!

Years later, one of my favorite ways to eat halloumi is by cutting it into strips and baking them in the oven like fries with a seasoned crunchy coating (think Rally’s and Checker’s -style fries)!

Needless to say, these – along with these zucchini fries – are a huge family favorite!

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What Is Halloumi?

Halloumi is a semi-hard, brined goat and sheep’s milk blended cheese from the Greek island of Cyprus. Although it is lactose-free cheese, it may occasionally contain cow’s milk. It is a popular cheese in the Mediterranean region, especially in other cuisines such as Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. It is often baked in a recipe, fried, or grilled, and served as a side dish or mezze. The name “Halloumi” is trademarked by the government of Cyprus in The United States. At the same time, The United Kingdom and the European Union have their own protections of the name under similar conditions in regard to the geographic origins of the cheese. For example, the EU uses what is known as the protected designation of origin (PDO), a geographic indicator of where a good is produced, meaning that only products coming from a specific region are allowed to be called by a particular name. For example, suppose a cheese similar to halloumi is produced outside Cyprus’s designated region. In that case, it must be referred to by a different name like “halloumi-style” cheese in The United States or “grill cheese” in Sweden, as some examples.

What Does Halloumi Taste Like?

baked halloumi texture

The flavor of halloumi can best be described as a mix of mozzarella and feta: mildly tangy and slightly salty. And like most other fresh cheese varieties, such as mozzarella, it has a very light flavor – almost – compared to aged cheeses like cheddar or swiss for example. The texture is also firm, only to be sliced as it is impossible to shred with a grater as it will break apart and crumble if attempted. It also has a rubbery and “squeaky” quality when eaten raw, however, halloumi becomes soft and tender when heated or cooked.

Can Halloumi Be Baked In The Oven?

Yes, halloumi can be baked in the oven. It also maintains its firm texture due to the high melting point of this cheese due to its long and tightly knit protein strands formed during the cheese-making process. As a result, this cheese can be cooked at extremely high temperatures for much longer than other semi-hard cheeses without melting.

Is Halloumi Keto?

Yes, halloumi is keto and a good source of nutrients that support a keto diet! Here is a breakdown of the nutritional values in one 28-gram serving of halloumi and the key elements to look for:

Calories90 moderate calories = help to speed up the weight loss process
Fat7 ghigh fat = fuel for weight loss
Cholesterol20 mghigh cholesterol cheese = high is saturated fat – enjoy halloumi in moderation to keep LDL levels in check
Sodium0.62 ghigher sodium foods on keto = aid in reaching a state of ketosis
Carbohydrate1 glow carb = helps maintain a state of ketosis
Sugars1 glow sugar = fewer carbohydrates to burn instead of fat
Protein6 g high protein = preservation of muscle mass
Calcium20%*a good source of calcium = aids in meeting dietary requirements that many people lack on a keto diet
(*daily percent based on a 2,000-calorie diet

What Makes Baked Halloumi Fries So Crispy?

The secret to crispy halloumi made in the oven is crushed pork rinds! The pork rinds become small, crispy, and breadcrumb-like, ready to be sprinkled or used as a dredge for keto foods to be fried or baked. And because pork rinds are made from the skin of the pig only (unlike cracklings) it is relatively low fat and free from carbohydrates, but become brown and crispy when cooked at a high temperature without being overly greasy and extra added fats or oils.

When choosing pork rinds on a ketogenic diet, make sure the ingredients are high-quality and don't contain any low-quality, inflammatory oils like corn, sunflower, and soybean oils.  Instead, look for a brand with few ingredients and cooked in pork fat,  or lard, which is rendered pork fat like this brand.

What You Need To Make Baked Halloumi In The Oven

baked halloumi ingredients

Equipment

  • Bowl – for the egg wash
  • Whisk – to beat the eggs
  • Plate – for dredging the halloumi
  • Baking/crisping rack – helps to make the baked halloumi crispy

Ingredients

  • Halloumi – or another semi-hard fresh cheese (see below in “halloumi substitutions”)
  • Pork rinds, plain – to coat the halloumi for the ultimate crunch
  • Egg – helps to adhere the coating
  • Seasoning – herbs, and spices can be customized to your liking

How To Make Crispy Oven Baked Halloumi (With Slideshows)

slicing halloumi gif

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 350F/175 C. Pat the halloumi dry before slicing into 1/2″ wide strips.

  • slicing halloumi
  • sliced halloumi fries to be baked

Step 2:

Prepare the dredging stations first by crushing the pork rinds into fine pieces using a plastic bag then season with herbs and spices of your choice before pouring on onto a plate. Next whisk an egg with two tablespoons of water in a bowl.

  • crushing pork rinds for baked halloumi
  • seasoning pork rinds
  • adding water to eggs
  • whisking eggs for baked halloumi

Step 3:

Take a strip of halloumi and dip it into the egg mixture, then into the seasoned and crushed pork rinds. Repeat if desired. Place the coated pieces onto a crisping rack.

  • coating the halloumi in pork rinds
  • preparing to bake halloumi

Step 4:

Place the crisping tray over a baking sheet into the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until browned and crispy.

  • baked halloumi on a crisping rack
  • baked halloumi fries close up on rack

Can You Make Baked Halloumi In The Air Fryer?

Yes, you can make these crispy halloumi fries in the air fryer! However, cooking temperature and time should be adjusted when adapting an oven recipe:

Cooking MethodTemperature (reduce by 25 degrees F)Time (reduce by 20%)
Conventional Oven350 F/175 C10 min
Air Fryer325 F/160 C8 min

What To Serve With Baked Halloumi Fries

baked halloumi fries with marinarabaked halloumi fries with marinara

These baked halloumi fries don’t need much else – they are scrumptious on their own! However, if you want to “guild the lily,” then I would keep the embellishments simple like one or two of these:

  • side of marinara sauce
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • fresh herbs sprinkled on top
  • a splash of Tobasco or your favorite hot sauce

Can I Substitute Halloumi With Another Cheese To Bake?

Yes, you can substitute halloumi with string mozzarella cheese! It has a similar texture and holds up well to higher temperatures when prepared properly:

Step 1:

Follow the directions for coating with the egg and seasoned and crushed pork rinds.

Step 2:

Freeze the coated string cheese for 30 minutes.

Step 3:

Bake the string cheese on a crisping rack on 350 F/175 C for 10 minutes or until crispy and golden.

The Recipe:

crispy baked halloumi fries

Crispy Baked Halloumi Fries, Keto Style

FamilyandGlamour
These baked halloumi fries are so crispy on the outside, and soft and tender on the inside! These are a perfect keto snack or appetizer with only 2 grams of net carbs per serving!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine International, Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 280 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 8.8 ounces halloumi (250 grams, can substitute with string mozzarella)
  • 1.5 ounces whole unseasoned pork rinds (45 grams)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • ½ tbsp spicy paprika (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder (or to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Pat the halloumi dry if needed with a paper towel. Slice the halloumi into ½ – inch strips.
  • Whisk the egg with thewater in a bowl and set aside.
  • Crush the pork rinds in a storage bag or in a food processor. Pour the crushed pork rinds onto a plate and season with the paprika powder, black pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
  • Coat each halloumi strip in the egg, then roll into the seasoned pork rinds. Place the strips onto a crisping rack that is placed over a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy and golden. Allow the halloumi fries to cool before removing from the rack. Serve warm.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 4gSodium: 1606mgCalcium: 457mgSugar: 2.3gFiber: 0gPotassium: 32mgCholesterol: 102mgCalories: 280kcalSaturated Fat: 12gFat: 23gProtein: 22gCarbohydrates: 2.3gIron: 0.3mg
Keyword baked halloumi, halloum fries, halloumi, halloumi cheese, keto fries, pork rinds
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Have you ever had halloumi cheese before? If so, what is your favorite way to prepare it?

Will you be trying this crispy baked halloumi? Let me know in the comments!

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