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Halloumi Burger Perfection

A halloumi burger makes for a perfect vegetarian patty, this version features the classic North African flavours of sumac, harissa & zaatar.

Portrait image of a halloumi burger with lettuce tomato and onions cooked in harissa served on a white platter with potato wedges

The Perfect Vegetarian Burger.

This recipe is a bit of a revelation recipe as it is one that made my wife smile greatly!

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

I personally love it and this recipe leans on similar flavours to my zaatar halloumi cheese recipe. 

Like many fresh cheeses like mozzarella or paneer, it is not blessed with huge amounts of flavour.

But it does deliver flavour so well and this burger goes big with Berber inspired flavours!

We slowly cook onions in harissa paste which adds a sweet spicy complexity.

I love harissa, it is one of my favourite store cupboard ingredients. Of course it gets used in stuff like this mixed vegetable tagine, but it also makes a great glaze as these harissa chicken thighs demonstrate.

The halloumi itself gets a little lemon juice and liberal sprinkling of sumac. This gives us a tart note to the burger itself.

We round it out with a little bitter frisee lettuce and some seared tomato which gets a sprinkle of zaatar to complete the North African flavour trifecta.

Portrait close up of a halloumi burger with lettuce tomato and onions cooked in harissa

Advance Preparation & Alternative Cooking Methods.

This recipe lends itself perfectly to scaling up and down and one that can be prepared days in advance.

The onions take time, but they are well worth it and can be made up to a week in advance.

In fact, I often scale up the recipe and just have a jar of them in the fridge. I spread them on everything from ham and cheese sandwiches through to adding them to my very British Welsh rarebit.

I will reheat the onions if I am adding them to a burger or warm sandwich, but they are great straight from the fridge.

You can also prepare the halloumi cheese in advance, although I tend to keep that to a maximum of 24 hours.

As for alternative cooking methods, I have two for you!

The first is in the air fryer, just spray the basket and drip them in for 3-4 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.

The second is on the BBQ or grill, these burgers are the perfect veggie alternative at a BBQ get together!

Just grill over direct heat for 90 seconds to two minutes a side!

Portrait image of a halloumi burger with lettuce tomato and onions cooked in harissa

Serving Suggestions.

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

Everything from duck 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 but of zaatar.

Square image of a halloumi burger with lettuce tomato and onions cooked in harissa served on a white platter with potato wedges
Yield: 2 Servings

Halloumi Burger Recipe with Harissa Onions

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

These Halloumi Burgers feature 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
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sumac
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 200 g (7 oz) Onions
  • 25g (0.9 oz) Harissa Paste
  • 1 Large Tomato
  • Frisee Lettuce
  • 2 Burger Buns
  • 1/2 Tsp Zaatar


  1. Cut the halloumi cheese into slices that are good to fit on a bun.
  2. Pour the olive oil and lemon over these slices and then sprinkle over the sumac.
  3. Place in the fridge and allow to sit whilst we make the onions.
  4. Peel and cut the onions into 7-10mm thick half-moon shapes.
  5. Heat the oil for the onions over a medium high heat.
  6. Drop the onions into to pan with the oil and allow to cook for 10 mins.
  7. Add in the Harissa paste and a pinch of salt, then stir to combine.
  8. Reduce the heat to low-medium and then cook for a further 50 mins stirring occasionally.
  9. When the onions are almost done slice your tomatoes into thick 1cm slices.
  10. Chop the frisee lettuce and refresh in iced water.
  11. Heat a frying pan over a very high heat and sear the tomatoes on both sides for 60 seconds.
  12. Dry the frisee lettuce and set aside.
  13. Add the marinated halloumi to the pan over a high heat and cook for two minutes a side.
  14. Add the sliced burger buns to the pan for the final 60 seconds.
  15. Finally, build the burger.
  16. On with the frisee lettuce, then tomato slices with a pinch of sea salt and zaatar, followed by the halloumi.
  17. 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!

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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