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This Halloumi Salad May Be Meat-Free, But It Doesn’t Skimp on Protein

This salad leans on halloumi, a semi-firm cheese with a high melting point, for a protein-rich bite.

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If you think salads are too light to satisfy your hunger, think again. Salads are so versatile that they can be both full of nutritious plant-based foods and satiating with plenty of protein. You just need a salad recipe with the right ingredients. And this Halloumi Salad with Nutty Tomato Vinaigrette is one such leafy green meal.

Not familiar with halloumi? This semi-firm cheese’s texture makes it perfect for grilling – and you’ll love the salty tang. Made from a blend of both sheep and goat’s milk, this cheese has a high melting point and can handle the stovetop or oven easily. Halloumi hails from Cyprus originally, though it pops up in traditional dishes from both the Middle East and Greece. It’s become more popular in North America, especially as a protein-rich addition to plant-based dishes. And this halloumi-topped salad is the perfect example of how it can be used to add both flavor and texture.

Plus, our vinaigrette gets a boost from magnesium- and iron-rich pine nuts. Paired with protein, these nutritional benefits can keep hunger at bay, fuel you with extra energy and help you feed your muscles. Now that’s a well-rounded meal.

Halloumi Salad with Nutty Tomato Vinaigrette

Prep Time
25 min
25 min



  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 cup unsalted pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • sea salt, to taste


  • 5 oz halloumi cheese, sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
  • 2 cups red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup microgreens


  1. In a medium bowl, soak sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 5 minutes; drain. To a food processor, add sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, oil and vinegar. Process for 30 seconds. With motor running, drizzle in water until smooth. Season with salt. Set aside.
  2. Mist a cast iron skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Add halloumi; cook for 6 minutes, turning halfway, until golden on both sides.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss lettuce with a heavy drizzle of vinaigrette; divide among plates. In same mixing bowl, toss cherry tomatoes, bell pepper and onions; add to lettuce.
  4. Top salads with halloumi, avocado and microgreens.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 415
  • Carbohydrate Content 19 g
  • Cholesterol Content 27 mg
  • Fat Content 34 g
  • Fiber Content 7 g
  • Protein Content 13 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 10 g
  • Sodium Content 407 mg
  • Sugar Content 9 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 17 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 5 g