Skip to Content

Halloumi Burger with Harissa Onions

Halloumi burger featuring classic North African flavours of sumac, harissa & zaatar simple to cook and great from the stove top or BBQ!

Don’t get me started on these harissa onions, they are a stroke of genius and work just as well on a beef burger as they do on this veggie burger.

Halloumi burger with harissa onions served with potato wedges.

Fried Halloumi Sandwich with Zaatar and Sumac

This recipe is a bit of a revelation recipe as it is one that made my wife smile greatly! Not that my recipes usually make my wife grimace… Honest!

You see she is less than enthusiastic about halloumi cheese because that squeaky texture is a bit “wrong” apparently. This may not have converted her completely but she does love these!

I personally love the stuff and this recipe leans on similar flavours to my zaatar halloumi cheese and halloumi cheese wraps recipes.

If you like halloumi you must check out my halloumi pasta with red pesto, halloumi curry, halloumi stuffed peppers and harissa halloumi kebab recipes.

As is often the case with my burger recipes I rely on just a few toppings. Just like my pork and apple burger, Jerk chicken burger or my shredded duck burger, these veggie burgers rely on the principle that less can be more!

These halloumi veggie burgers go big with Berber-inspired flavours. The star of the toppings are some slowly cooked onions in harissa paste which adds a sweet spicy complexity.

The halloumi itself gets a little lemon juice and a liberal sprinkling of sumac to contrast the sweet onions.

Sear off a slice of tomato in the pan you sear the halloumi in and add some zaatar. Finally, add a bit of lettuce and toast yer buns and you are off.

Close up Halloumi burger with harissa onions, tomato & lettuce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make the onions in advance?

Yes, they can be made up to a week in advance, simply store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

What is Harissa?

I love harissa, it is one of my favourite store cupboard ingredients! It is complex paste from Tunisia featuring a host of different peppers, garlic, caraway, cumin and coriander.

I add it to obvious dishes like this mixed vegetable tagine or these harissa chicken thighs but also surprising dishes like my carrot and lentil soup.

So don’t worry just type harissa into my search function at the top of the page and you’ll find plenty to use up and left over.

Can I cook this on the BBQ?

Oh gosh yes! A grilled halloumi burger is superb, simply grill over a direct heat for 90 seconds to two minutes per side.

Make sure you season the grill rack well to prevent sticking.

Can I cook the halloumi patties in the air fryer?

Again yes, they work really well. Spray the basket and drop them in for 4-5 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.

Halloumi burger with harissa onions, tomato & lettuce on a sesame seed bun.

Serving Suggestions

I have a bit of a rep for getting creative with burgers!

Everything from Indian Lamb Burgers to venison burgers make an appearance here, but my choice of sides is usually “less adventurous”.

I almost always have some sort of potato side with my burger, this is no different.

Some potato wedges seasoned with sumac to follow through the North African trend are my usual choice for these.

But they would also work well with these sweet potato fries especially if you added a bit of zaatar.

Halloumi burgers with harissa onions, tomato & lettuce on a sesame seed bun.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan (not nonstick if possible).
  • 30cm or 12″ (nonstick) frying pan.
  • Spatula.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • mixing and marinating bowls.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Halloumi burger with harissa onions, tomato & lettuce on a sesame seed bun with potato wedges.
Yield: 2 Servings

Harissa Halloumi Burger Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This Halloumi Burger features a massive punch of North African flavours and a healthy kick of chilli from harissa paste that helps make the most incredible onions.


  • 225 g (8 oz) Halloumi Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Sumac
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 200 g (1⅓ Cup) Onions
  • 35g (~2 Tbsp) Harissa Paste
  • 1 Beef Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • 2 Burger Buns
  • 1 Tsp Zaatar


  1. Cut the halloumi cheese into slices that are good to fit on a bun. If you are getting "decent" stuff it from a supermarket, the best way to do this is to pull along the fold line and then slide in a knife and cut to get a clean break.
  2. Pour the olive oil and lemon over these slices and then sprinkle over the sumac, then transfer them tp the fridge and allow them to sit whilst we make the onions.
  3. Peel and cut the onions into 7-10mm (¼-½") thick half-moon shapes.
  4. Heat the oil for the onions over a medium high heat in a 28cm or 11" frying pan (not nonstick).
  5. Drop the onions into to pan with the oil and allow to cook for 10 mins.
  6. Add in the Harissa paste and a pinch of salt, stir to combine, then reduce the heat to low-medium and then cook for a further 50 mins stirring occasionally.
  7. When the onions are almost done slice your tomatoes into thick 1cm (½") slices.
  8. Chop the lettuce and refresh it in iced water, then dry the lettuce and set aside.
  9. Heat a 30cm or 12" nonstick frying pan over a very high heat and sear the tomatoes on both sides for 60 seconds and remove.
  10. Add the marinated halloumi to the pan over a high heat and cook for two minutes a side.
  11. Add the sliced burger buns to the pan for the final 60 seconds.
  12. Finally, build the burger. On with the lettuce, then tomato slices with a pinch of sea salt and zaatar, followed by the halloumi sprinkle with more zaatar. Then pile on the onions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 645Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 1223mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 7gSugar: 13gProtein: 34g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Thursday 29th of August 2019

There is nothing better than halloumi and the idea of pairing it with those harissa onions is amazing!

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Thanks Amy, those onions really are a star!


Thursday 29th of August 2019

Halloumi is my absolute favourite! always guaranteed to be a 5 star dish

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Thanks Romina


Thursday 29th of August 2019

Thanks for this recipe! I really like halloumi and this is great opportunity to use all these spices! As I am on keto diet, I will make my keto buns.

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Enjoy :)


Thursday 29th of August 2019

Great hamburger for a cookout! Can't wait to try this!

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Thanks Tisha


Thursday 29th of August 2019

These burgers look amazing! Such a great idea for summer parties ♥

Brian Jones

Thursday 5th of September 2019

Thank you

Skip to Recipe