People go crazy over this Chicken and Halloumi Salad! Grilling halloumi renders the outside crispy while the inside softens lusciously. Warm salty cheese pairs perfectly with tender grilled chicken, peppery arugula, and sweet tomatoes. Top it off with Balsamic Vinaigrette and you’ve got the yummiest of meals. You will be blown away by this simply delicious salad!
Chicken and Halloumi Salad Backstory
Every year for the last decade or more, I say that this is "the year" that I finally make myself a priority and take control of my health. I typically go through phases where I do ok, but then I get off track and ultimately fall short of my intentions.
I know many Mom's can relate.
With so much to do, it can be challenging to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Especially when you tend to focus on your kids health over your own.
This year, however, has been different. While I'm not where I want to be, I am moving in the right direction.
I've been working out fairly consistently.
I'm meditating on a regular basis, which has done wonders for my stress levels.
And my diet has been clean too.
Although I've always considered myself a "carb girl," I can feel the difference when I get more protein and fewer carbs in my diet.
Recipes like this Chicken and Halloumi Salad are perfect to me!
If you haven't given halloumi a try, I can't recommend it enough. It is a tad expensive, and not always the easiest ingredient to find but it is so worth it!
Can't find it? No worries - I've got some other options below.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Halloumi is a goat and sheep milk cheese from Cyprus. It is unique because it has a high melting temperature, which makes it perfect for grilling or pan searing. The taste is similar to mozzarella, but a touch saltier and much firmer. Halloumi is lower in fat than many cheeses. You can find it at cheese shops and stores like Whole Foods.
Yes! Like other cheeses, it is perfectly safe to eat raw. However, both the taste and texture improves with cooking.
Variations for Chicken and Halloumi Salad:
- Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of garlic, and ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper to the marinade. (Limit marinading time to 2 hours to avoid the chicken getting tough.)
- Substitute 1 diced red bell pepper for the tomato in the salad.
- Add 1 medium head of radicchio, cut through the core into wedges to the salad.
- Add 1 teaspoon oregano or za’atar to the marinade.
- Add 1 eggplant or onion grilled and cut into 1" cubes.
Tips for Making This Recipe
- Make sure that your chicken is cooked through and has reached 165 degrees. I recommend using an instant read thermometer. You can read more about safe internal temperatures for meat here.
- If you can't find halloumi, feta may be used. I do not recommend attempting to grill feta, but you can warm if under the broiler if you like. Another option would be torn salted mozzarella, which I don't recommend heating for this salad.
- If the weather is not conducive to grilling and you don't have a grill pan, both the cheese and chicken can be cooked on the stove top.
Tools Need to Make This Chicken Halloumi Salad:
- Grill or Grill Pan
- Shallow Dish for Marinating
- Mixing Bowl
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Chicken and Halloumi Salad
Chicken and Halloumi Salad
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- ½ cup grape tomatoes sliced
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar dressing more or less to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, parsley, and crushed red pepper.
- Place cheese in a shallow dish and cover with 3 tablespoons of marinade. Place the chicken in a separate dish and pour the remaining marinade over it.
- Marinade for at least 30 minutes or over night.
- Heat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat.
- Grill chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until the center, is no longer pink. Remove from heat and tent with foil.
- Add cheese slices to the grill and cook for 2 minutes per side.
- In a large bowl, toss together arugula, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar dressing.
- Divide salad between plates. Top with chicken and cheese slices and serve warm.