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Grilled Halloumi Salad with Chickpeas and Couscous

Halloumi salad featuring grilled cheese marinated pomegranate molasses and zaatar with couscous, chickpeas and chargrilled sweet peppers.

Taking around half an hour to make, this meal is light but still filling making it the perfect vegetarian meal.

Overhead grilled and marinated halloumi salad with peppers, couscous and chickpeas.

Pomegranate Molasses Halloumi with Couscous and Chickpeas

I love halloumi cheese but apparently, its squeaky texture ain’t for everyone, however, it is definitely my mojo!

It’s not its first time out here on my site, I use it in everything from this wonderful halloumi pasta recipe with red pesto and harissa halloumi kebabs to some glorious halloumi burgers. I’ve even got an Indian-inspired halloumi cheese curry.

Hre halloumi cheese is marinated in olive oil, zaatar and pomegranate molasses before being grilled or griddled and becoming the star of a salad.

The salad is a combination of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and couscous with jarred chargrilled peppers, red onion and cucumber.

It is gloriously quick and easy to make, it will go from your fridge to your table in well under 30 minutes.

It is also great to throw into a lunch box and take to work or school!

Close-up grilled and marinated halloumi salad with peppers, couscous and chickpeas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fry the halloumi in a regular frying pan?

Yes, but be sure to use a nonstick pan because the pomegranate molasses will stick if you do not.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, but the texture of cold halloumi cheese is not for everyone, but if you like it (I do), then knock yourself out, this recipe makes for a great lunch box meal.

What are black chickpeas?

They are like regular chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), but they are a little smaller and range in colour from dark brown to almost black. Sometimes they are known as black chana or Bengal gram.

They are higher in fibre than regular chickpeas and have a nuttier taste as well as being a little firmer in texture.

What is pomegranate molasses?

Pomegranate molasses is a reduction of pomegranate juice. It will be carried by many high street supermarkets and if you are struggling any Arabic or North African store should have some.

I love this stuff and it is often used as part of a dressing. But I love using it as a glaze just as I do on these pomegranate chicken thighs.

It also forms the base for the sauce of a stunning Iranian chicken stew called fesenjan, so don’t worry about having it hanging around in the cupboard.

Fear not if you cannot find it though as you can make homemade pomegranate molasses.

What is zaatar?

Here I am referring to zaatar or za’atar as it is often written as a herb/spice blend. It typically contains oregano, thyme and savoury along with salt, sesame seeds and sumac.

Every single Zaatar you buy will taste slightly different, but everyone you buy will taste wonderful. It makes a great paste when mixed with olive oil and cooked in the same way we do in this halloumi salad recipe. It should be readily available in most large supermarkets.

Close-up grilled and marinated halloumi salad with peppers, couscous and chickpeas.

Serving Suggestions

I love serving this delicious halloumi salad with pita bread, simply split them down the middle pile in some of the salad and Bob’s yer uncle!

I often also add an extra drizzle of either pomegranate molasses or tahini.

This recipe also works really well as a lunch box meal if you like cold halloumi cheese, which isn’t for everyone.

This salad also works really well as a side dish for 3-4. It is particularly good with my harissa pork chops and harissa lamb chops!

Overhead close-up grilled and marinated halloumi salad with peppers, couscous and chickpeas.

Equipment Used

I only mention 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.
  • Grill or griddle pan.
  • Kitchen tongs and or a spatula.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Mixing bowls and a large salad bowl.
  • Kettle to boil the water for the couscous.
  • Sieve or colander to drain the chickpeas.
  • Teaspoon to scrape the seeds from the cucumber.
Grilled halloumi cheese salad with pomegranate molasses, couscous and chickpeas.
Yield: 2 Servings

Grilled Halloumi Salad Recipe with Couscous and Chickpeas

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Halloumi cheese salad that's marinated in olive oil, pomegranate molasses and zaatar before being grilled and then served with chickpeas, couscous and chargrilled peppers.

Ingredients

  • 225g (8oz) Halloumi Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil (plus extra to brush the grill/griddle pan)
  • 1 Tbsp Zaatar
  • 285g (170g Net Weight of Pepper) Jar of Chargrilled Peppers in Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil from the Pepper Jar
  • 50g (¼ Cup) Couscous
  • 75ml (⅓ Cup) Boiling Water
  • 400g (14oz) Tin Chickpeas, I used mixed black and white ones but use anything you like.
  • 75g (1 Small) Red Onion
  • ¼ Cucumber (Around 100g)
  • 30-35g (2-3 Cups) Rocket or Arugula

Instructions

  1. Mix the pomegranate molasses in a bowl with the olive oil and zaatar.
  2. Remove the halloumi cheese from the packet and break it in half along the fold line, then cut each half into 3 evenly sized strips, then roll the strips around in the pomegranate molasses mix and allow them to sit whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  3. Tear the peppers into strips between ½-1cm thick (¼-½"), they will naturally tear into different shapes, it's all good, then place them in a large salad bowl.
  4. Take 1 tablespoon of oil from the pepper jar and stir it through the couscous.
  5. Pour the boiling water over the couscous, cover it with cling film.
  6. Drain the tin of chickpeas, place them in a colander and rinse under cold water, then add them to the salad bowl with the peppers.
  7. Cut the red onion in half, peel it then slice it into half-moon shapes as finely as you can and add it to the salad bowl.
  8. Cut the quarter of the cucumber in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon, then slice it into half-moon shapes and toss it in the salad bowl.
  9. Pick any tough stems from the rocket and set it aside.
  10. You should now be about 10 minutes deep into preparation which means the couscous should be cooked, fork it through and add it to the salad bowl.
  11. Heat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat and whilst it is heating up wipe any excess marinade from the halloumi cheese.
  12. Brush the grill pan with a little oil then cook the halloumi for 1-2 minutes on each side and get some nice griddle marks.
  13. Whilst the halloumi is grilling scrape any remaining marinade into the salad, give it a mix and as as much salt as you think is necessary. I used around ¼ teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
  14. When the halloumi cheese is grilled chop each "stick" into 3 cubes.
  15. Just before serving toss the rocket through the salad, serve and top with the halloumi cubes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 846Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 727mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 14gSugar: 15gProtein: 41g

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!

Andy

Thursday 15th of April 2021

This was absolutely delicious. We couldn't get pomegranate molasses or pomegranate juice so made molasses using cranberry juice by. It worked perfectly. Couldn't get zaatar either but its pretty easy to make a batch and hugely aromatic when doing so. Thank you for this recipe.

Brian Jones

Friday 16th of April 2021

So glad that you liked it Andy, now I am a little obsessed with trying to make cranberry molasses and it is shopping day :D

Becky

Sunday 15th of July 2018

Hi, I made this the other day and it was delicious but there is no mention of when to add the lemon juice or when to add the reserved asparagus spears.

Brian Jones

Monday 16th of July 2018

Thanks for bringing that to my attention Becky, I've updated my recipe, so glad you enjoyed it!

Dawn - Girl Heart Food

Monday 28th of May 2018

This looks like one flavour packed recipe! I tried halloumi cheese a few years back and have been hooked ever since! That stuff is delicious!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 29th of May 2018

It certainly is!

Chris Collins

Monday 28th of May 2018

Zaatar and halloumi is such a gorgeous combo already, chuck in some couscous, pomegranate and asparagus and it's a food coma ready and waiting. Can't get over how gorgeous this dish looks!!!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 29th of May 2018

Thanks Chris!

Jacqueline Meldrum

Monday 28th of May 2018

I love halloumi and could eat this all day long. Such great flavours. Sharing this one!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 29th of May 2018

Ta Muchly :D

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