This delicious Halloumi Pasta is mixed with roasted tomatoes for a fresh and light pasta dish that still tastes super comforting. Perfect for dinner! Halloumi is the squeaky cheese that everybody loves, and it is so versatile. Why not skip the cheddar and Parmesan on your next pasta night and use halloumi instead?
The first time we mixed pasta with halloumi, it was the result of some BBQ leftovers that we didn't want to waste and it was pretty life changing! Halloumi has such a great meaty texture, that it is perfect for a meat free pasta dish that still has plenty of flavour. It quickly became one of our favourite halloumi recipes.
With very little effort, and using ingredients you probably have in your fridge and cupboard anyway, you can make an impressive pasta dish that is a little different from the norm. Roasted tomatoes really lift this halloumi pasta dish and make it a little lighter, and the sweetness of them compliments the saltiness of the halloumi perfectly.
Why you will love it
- An easy pasta dish - Just roast the tomatoes and mix with the cooked halloumi, pasta and seasonings. So simple!
- A delicious way to eat halloumi - If you have not tried halloumi before, then this is a great place to start.
- Great for using up leftovers - Don't let leftover roasted tomatoes or halloumi go to waste.
- Less than 30 minutes to cook - Halloumi pasta is a quick and easy week night meal.
- Great for feeding a crowd at a BBQ - Skip the usual pasta salads and give this halloumi recipe a try instead.
- Penne pasta - You don't have to use this type of pasta, as anything will work. As it's a chunky pasta dish, we prefer to use pasta shapes rather than spaghetti. Also don't use something small like macaroni, as it will get lost in the halloumi pasta.
- Halloumi - The star of the dish, we have used cubes of it but you could add slices instead. If you don't have halloumi, then paneer would work instead.
- Cherry tomatoes - Roasting the cherry tomatoes really brings out the flavour. You could keep them raw or use sun-dried tomatoes instead. Use a mixture of yellow and red heritage tomatoes for a nice colour contrast.
- Cream cheese - This is what forms the sauce for the pasta dish. You could swap it for a tomato based sauce, but we like to keep it creamy and who doesn't love double cheese?
- Pasta water - Adding a little pasta water helps to loosen the sauce up a little.
- Lemon juice - This adds a nice freshness to to the dish and loosens up the sauce. Add some lemon zest for extra lemony flavour.
- Fresh basil - you could swap this for dill, chives or fresh parsley.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Halloumi Pasta - Step by step
One: Put the tomatoes in a roasting tin with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season. Put in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 25 minutes, until the tomatoes start to blister.
Two: Add the pasta to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes.
Three: Heat a frying pan and add the halloumi and dry fry for around 4 minutes, stirring regularly.
Four: Drain the pasta and put it back in the pan. Stir in the cream cheese, lemon juice, fresh basil and salt pepper.
Five: Add the cooked tomatoes and halloumi to the pasta and stir, then serve.
What is halloumi?
If you haven’t had halloumi before, then you are seriously missing out and this is one of our favourite halloumi recipes. You are in for a treat! The semi-hard cheese originated from Cyprus and although it doesn’t taste like much straight from the packet, it tastes amazing once cooked and has a whole different texture.
It can be made from cow, sheep or goat’s cheese, and has quite a salty flavour – which is what we love about it. Because of its high melting point, it’s great for grilling and frying and it keeps its shape meaning you get nice chunky bits in this pasta.
How to cook halloumi
We find dry frying the best way to cook halloumi because it is quick and doesn't require any oil for cooking. Simply add it to a hot frying pan in cubes and cook for around 3-4 minutes, turning so all sides are cooked.
The pasta sauce
Just because you can never have enough cheese in your life, we added a couple of spoonfuls of cream cheese to the pasta to form the base of the sauce, and then just a squeeze of lemon. Add in some fresh chopped basil and some salt and pepper and you have a really simple pasta sauce that lets the flavour of the halloumi shine through.
If you prefer a tomato based sauce, then why not try our Easy Pasta Sauce recipe? You could also just add a good glug of olive oil with the lemon juice with lots of fresh herbs.
Once you have the base of halloumi with pasta and the sauce, you can use pretty much any vegetables. We kept it simple by roasting some tomatoes, as the juices really add to the sauce. But you could roast any other vegetables like courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant) or peppers, or even stir in some raw spinach and let the hot pasta wilt it.
Another way we like to change this recipe up is by adding a squeeze of honey to it. The sweetness it lovely with the saltiness of the halloumi.
If you are looking for some meat to add to it, then fry some chorizo at the same time as the cheese.
What to serve with Halloumi Pasta
This is a pretty filling meal by itself and it has all the vegetables already in it. However, if we are trying to make it go a little further, then we love serving up some garlic bread with it.
Either buy some ready made, or make your own easy garlic bread by cutting up some French stick and spreading it with a mix of butter, crushed garlic and dried herbs. Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. Why not try our Cheesy Garlic Bread recipe?
As well as garlic bread, you can bulk the meal out with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too. Then you need the perfect dressing. Why not try our Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey and Mustard Dressing or Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette. You could also try our Grilled Little Gem Salad.
Halloumi is high in protein and calcium, but it is also high in fat and salt, so keep and eye on portion size. It's a great addition to a pasta dish because you can use it for little bursts of flavour rather than it being overpowering and too high in calories.
Halloumi isn't low in calories by any means, but once it is cooked it has so much flavour which means a little goes a long way. 50g of halloumi has about 160 calories, but you can get lighter halloumi that is about 120 calories for a 50g serving.
You can eat raw halloumi, however we wouldn't recommend it. Cooking halloumi vastly improves the taste and texture, and it is less salty after cooking.
Halloumi is known as the squeaky cheese, but do you know why it makes that noise? The protein clumps created by the rennet in Halloumi are what give it its famous squeak. The sound comes from the long protein strands rubbing against the enamel of your teeth.
Yes, this freezes really well and it's a great dish to batch cook. Make sure it has fully cooled and then put it in a freezer container and it will store for up to 3 months.
You can easily turn this in to a pasta bake, although it might be a little dry as it isn't the sauciest dish. Pour everything in to an ovenproof dish and then cover with grated cheese and put in the oven for 20 minutes.
• You can dry fry the halloumi, without using any oil. But you could cook it under the grill too.
• Give the dish a veggie boost by roasting some peppers, courgette and aubergine at the same time. Or mixing some spinach in just before serving.
• If your lemon is not very juicy, you might need to use a whole one.
• Make sure your pan is nice and hot before adding the halloumi, as it will give it nice crispy edges.
• You won't need to use a lot of salt in this dish, as the halloumi is quite salty anyway.
• Add a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts when serving. It's a great way to add some extra crunch.
• Leftovers of this halloumi pasta are delicious when cold.
• Add some extra protein with some chickpeas.
• Make this even faster by using fresh pasta and a tomato based pasta sauce.
More halloumi recipes
Halloumi Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes
- 250 g (1.5 cups) Cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 140 g (5 oz) Penne pasta
- 100 g (3.5 oz) Halloumi - cubed
- 3 tablespoon Cream cheese
- 0.5 Lemon - juice only
- 25 g (1 cups) Fresh basil - finely chopped
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
- Put 250 g Cherry tomatoes into a roasting tin with 1 tablespoon Olive oil and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper. Put into the oven for 25 minutes, until the tomatoes start to blister.250 g Cherry tomatoes, 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- Add 140 g Penne pasta to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes.140 g Penne pasta
- Heat a frying pan and add 100 g Halloumi and dry fry for around 4 minutes, stirring regularly.100 g Halloumi
- Drain the pasta and put it back into the pan. Stir in 3 tablespoon Cream cheese, juice of 0.5 Lemon, 25 g Fresh basil and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper.3 tablespoon Cream cheese, 0.5 Lemon, 25 g Fresh basil, 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- Add the cooked tomatoes and halloumi to the pasta and stir, then serve.
- You can dry fry the halloumi, without using any oil. But you could cook it under the grill too.
- Give the dish a veggie boost by roasting some peppers, courgette and aubergine at the same time. Or mixing some spinach in just before serving.
- If your lemon is not very juicy, you might need to use a whole one.
- Make sure your pan is nice and hot before adding the halloumi, as it will give it nice crispy edges.
- You won't need to use a lot of salt in this dish, as the halloumi is quite salty anyway.
- Add a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts when serving. It's a great way to add some extra crunch.
- Leftovers of this halloumi pasta are delicious when cold.
- Add some extra protein with some chickpeas.
- Make this even faster by using fresh pasta and a tomato based pasta sauce.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.