Watermelon Basil Halloumi Bites
Watermelon Basil Halloumi Bites- juicy sweet watermelon served with fresh basil and grilled halloumi cheese. A quick and easy summer appetizer that will knock everyone’s socks off!
Yesterday I told you how much I love cheese while sharing a vegan recipe…makes sense, right?
I know it doesn’t, but it’s true. Cheese is hard for me to give up. It is the only dairy we eat at home these days and it’s usually not more than twice per week. Not because of health issues; it’s more of an ethical decision than anything else.
One cheese that I like to treat myself to in the summertime is halloumi (pronounced hal-umi) which originates from Cyprus and is typically made from sheep and/or goat milk. It’s texture is similar to mozzarella but because it is heated before being placed in it’s brine, it has a higher melting point that makes it ideal for grilling or frying.
It has a rich salty flavor with a hint of mint that makes it perfect for summer. I usually like to use it to make Veggie Kebabs but more recently, I had an appetizer at a local wine bar that served it in a sandwich with watermelon and basil.
You guys, the flavor of the sweet watermelon paired with fragrant fresh basil and salty cheese was MIND BLOWING. I couldn’t get enough and knew I had to recreate for you!
The watermelon slices took place of the bread which I thought was a cool idea but it made it somewhat difficult to eat. So instead I decided to create a “bite” rather than a sandwich. That way you can pick them up with a toothpick and shove it into your mouth like a lady…or a gentlemen. ;)
They are perfect to serve for friends at a summer gathering and they only take 20 minutes to make. You can slice the watermelon and the cheese ahead of time that way all you have to do is grill and assemble them when you’re ready to serve.
Cheers to summertime!
Watermelon Basil Halloumi Bites
Yield: 20 bites
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 10
Total Time: 20
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese
- 1 tablespoon high heat oil
- 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 2-inch triangles (approx. 6 pounds)
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 20 picks for serving
Preheat a grill pan or a grill over medium heat. If using a grill pan, cut the cheese into 1-inch cubes (if using a grill, cut lengthwise into 1-inch slices and cube after grilling). Lightly brush the halloumi with oil then cook for 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, arrange the watermelon slices on a serving dish with one basil leaf on top of each. Place one grilled halloumi piece on top and secure with a pick. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts are for one bite
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by rating the recipe, leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
I love halloumi, but I’ve never been able to find it in grocery stores in the states- where do you get yours? And these bites are super classy and delicious :)
My local Whole Foods sells it. :)
This looks amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever tried halloumi, but any cheese you can throw on a grill sounds pretty awesome to me!
Not only do these have to taste amazing but they sure look like the prettiest Summer appetizers too!
I’ve never tried halloumi but dang! Those look so tasty. I’m sure I could eat 10 of them. ;)
They’re easy to stuff with your face with but also surprisingly filling. So you can’t do too much damage. ;)
I don’t think I’ve ever tried halloumi, but now you’ve got me super curious of what it would taste like paired with watermelon. Also, these pics are gorgeous. I feel like I could just grab one right off the screen and eat it up.
You have to try it! It’s so good. Thanks lady! <3
I’m with you – I no longer have any dairy … except cheese! haha I just can’t give it up completely! (although I’m proud at how much I’ve cut back on it – although in my case my hand was forced – silly dairy makes my skin break out these days!)
ANYWAY! These bites sound delicious! I love that they include watermelon!
Cheese is so tough! It’s definitely a love hate relationship. :)
I love cheese, and have yet to try halloumi — I have no idea why! Grilled cheese sounds AMAZING, too! While I don’t like watermelon much on it’s own, I like it with savory foods to cut the sweetness. These bites sound perfect and look so elegant!
What?! You don’t like watermelon?? That’s just crazy talk. ;)
These bites look pretty as well as yummy. :) By the way, some Trader Joe’s stores carry Halloumi cheese, but I’ve noticed it seems to be more of a seasonal item there.
I thought I remember seeing at Trader Joe’s too. Thanks for letting us know, Jerliyn!
Aaaagh I absolutely LOVE halloumi! Whole Foods is the only grocery store in this area I’ve seen it at, which is like a 20 minute drive, so if it weren’t for that fact, I’d be plowing through it on the daily. Next time I’m at WF, I’ll pick some up for these bites – they’re making my mouth water, indeed!
I absolutely ADORE halloumi! We’ve seriously been averaging about a block a week lately. It’s one of the few ways I can get John to eat vegetarian without him complaining haha. I love pairing watermelon with feta but I’ve never tried it with halloumi – definitely going to try this!
I hear you, Sarah… although my and Rob’s dairy consumption has decreased a great deal, he still has milk in his coffee, I bake with buttermilk and of course occassionally butter in pastry and cakes. I think doing what you feel you can manage is important. Thing is, this path could eventually lead to fewer and fewer bites of cheese, ya know? Like once I discovered homemade cashew milk, cow milk is rare for me. I’ll only eat farm eggs, the kind I can go visit the free roaming chicks… I know this isn’t an option for everyone, sadly. I get it though. These little bites? Addictive? Of course! I’d shove them ALL in my mouth! Can you imagine a room full of bloggers with these in the middle? It would not be pretty! Beautiful work my dear! xo
I would LOVE to have a potluck with you and our other blogger friends. That would be a foodie heaven! :)
Are they OK served cold? I want to make them to take to a picnic.
Yes that’s fine! I prefer the cheese to be warm but they will still taste good chilled.