Make halloumi cheese at home in one hour! This recipe is best made with cow's milk but can also be made with goat or sheep milk. If using goat's milk, it is recommended to purchase calcium chloride, as the protein chains in goat milk are a little weaker and may need the additional binding properties of calcium chloride (1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 gallon).
Halloumi or haloumi is a semi-hard, unripened cheese traditionally made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk in Cyprus, Greece. It can sometimes be made with cow's milk, as we'll be doing in our class. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. This property makes it a popular meat substitute and is wonderful served alongside grilled vegetables and meats for your next backyard BBQ.
Want more cheesemaking recipes? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Home Cheesemaking.
Quick Halloumi Cheesemaking Recipe with Cow's Milk
Make halloumi cheese at home in one hour! Halloumi's high melting point makes it a popular meat substitute and is wonderful served alongside grilled vegetables and meats for your next backyard BBQ.
½ Gallon Cow's Milk, NOT ultra-pasteurized (see recipe note)
¼ of a Rennet Tablet
1 tbsp Bottled Water (or, non-chlorinated water: filtered water that has sat out overnight to dechlorinate)
1/2 tbsp Dried Oregano (optional)
1/4 tbsp Chili Flakes or to taste (optional)
1 tbsp, plus 1 teaspoon Cheese Salt or Kosher Salt (salt with no iodine)
1/2 cup of the Leftover Whey
1/2 cup Water
1 tbsp Cheese Salt or Kosher Salt (salt with no iodine)
Large, heavy-bottomed pot (stainless steel or ceramic is preferable)
Thermometer that reads 0 to 200F
Large Bowl (The Colander will be elevated above this large bowl. It is important the Colander is elevated so the cheese does not sit in its own whey liquid while draining)
Cheesecloth or butter muslin (fine-meshed cheesecloth)
Medium-sized mixing bowl
Pitcher or something to strain your whey out into
Slotted Spoon or Solid Stirring Spoon
1 serving bowl
1 small glass
1 plate or cutting board
Glass or plastic container for storing cheese in brine
To make the Halloumi Cheese
Pour milk into heavy-bottomed pot. Dissolve rennet tablet in 1 tablespoon water.
Heat milk over slow heat until it reaches 32°-35°C // 89.5°F - 95°F.
Remove from heat immediately and add dissolved rennet tablet.
Stir for a few seconds then set aside for 15 minutes in a warm place.
The milk should set and become jelly like.
Once the milk has set, cut it up into 1-inch cubes.
Gently stir in chili flakes and oregano until just incorporated and allow to stand for another 10 minutes for full whey separation.
On the stovetop: Heat to 125F and stir for 4 minutes.
Test the curds with your fingers - they should be elastic and slightly firm. If still very soft, stir and heat on high for 1 more minute.
To strain the Halloumi Cheese
Once heated, spread gauze over a large fine sieve set over a large bowl.
Strain the curds and whey, reserving 1/2 cup of whey for the brine.
Sprinkle salt over the curds, mix and start pressing the cheese to remove excess whey.
Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze extra whey.
To make the Brine
Combine all brine ingredients and mix well.
To store the Halloumi Cheese
Press haloumi cheese into a rectangular container and place in the fridge to cool (or into the freezer for 15 minutes if you're more rushed).
Once cooled, transfer haloumi to a larger container and cover with brine
Store in the fridge and consume within a couple of days.
Ultra-pasteurized milk has been aggressively heat treated, thus losing its binding agent (calcium chloride) that is essential for making cheese. Seek out milk labeled as Pasteurized, or source raw milk from a trusted farm source. If you mistakenly purchase Ultra-pasteurized milk, the recipe will still work but the yield will be lower than usual and may take longer to set.
This recipe is best made with cow's milk but can also be made with goat or sheep milk. If using goat's milk, it is recommended to purchase calcium chloride, as the protein chains in goat milk are a little weaker and may need the additional binding properties of calcium chloride (1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 gallon).