Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese and is loved by many. It is hard while chewy at the same time but it’s not best eaten raw. Fry or grill it for the best results. You can serve it with a myriad of flavors.
Serve it as part of a salad such as in Greek salad instead of feta, or a corn, cherry tomato, and basil (see also article on freezing Thai basil) salad. Make avocado and halloumi wraps, a halloumi and tomato bake, or a spicy cauliflower and halloumi rice.
However, can you freeze it so that you can enjoy it whenever you want? Most cheeses don’t freeze well, but surprisingly, halloumi does. In this article, we will tell you how to freeze halloumi and how to defrost it.
How To Freeze Halloumi
It isn’t difficult to freeze halloumi. You can either freeze it as a block or in slices.
How To Freeze Halloumi in a Block
If you plan to eat the whole block you might as well freeze it as it is. This is the way to do it.
1. Wrap the halloumi in cling film.
To make sure that the block is completely airtight, wrap it in two layers of cling film. If air gets in, freezer burn could occur, and the cheese will lose taste and texture.
2. Put the cheese in a freezer bag.
Squeeze the air out of the bag to make it airtight. Put a label on the bag with the date you put it in the freezer. You don’t want to keep it in the freezer for longer than its use-by date.
How To Freeze Sliced Halloumi
Halloumi is often served sliced so to save time when you come to defrost it, you can freeze it in slices. This is the way to do it.
1. Slice the halloumi.
You need to slice the halloumi into equal slices and put a piece of parchment paper in between each slice. The parchment paper pieces need to be slightly bigger than the halloumi slices. Stack the slices.
2. Wrap the halloumi stack with cling film.
Wrap it tightly so that air doesn’t get in. Otherwise, freezer burn could occur.
3. Put the halloumi stack in a freezer bag.
Squeeze out all the air and put a label on the bag with the date written on.
How To Freeze Cooked Halloumi
You can freeze cooked halloumi using the same methods as above but we don’t recommend it. When grilled or fried, the halloumi gets a delicious crunchy outer layer. However, if you put it in the freezer, it becomes rubbery and dry.
Tips For Freezing Halloumi
- If you intend to freeze a whole block of halloumi, you can keep it in its original package. It will be airtight. Don’t forget to put a label on it so that you remember when you put it in the freezer.
- Only freeze uncooked halloumi as cooked halloumi will lose taste and texture.
- Make sure that the freezer bag is airtight so that freezer burn doesn’t occur and changes the flavor and texture of your halloumi. It will still be safe to eat but it simply won’t taste nice.
For How Long Can You Freeze Halloumi?
Halloumi lasts for a long time in the freezer. You can keep it for up to six months, although, as with most foods, the sooner you eat it, the tastier it will be. It won’t be unsafe to eat after six months but it will start to lose taste and texture.
However, if you have some leftover halloumi, it will last for up to two weeks in the fridge so if you plan to eat it by then, don’t bother freezing it.
How Do You Defrost Halloumi?
To retain the taste and texture of halloumi, the best way to defrost it is to do it slowly. If you do it too quickly, ice crystals can form, and the cheese might become soft and mushy.
In addition, if halloumi is thawed too quickly, bacteria can form, and you will be at risk of food poisoning. The ideal way to defrost halloumi is to put it in the fridge a day or two before you intend to use it.
Can You Refreeze Halloumi?
No, it isn’t a good idea to refreeze halloumi. The texture will change, and it will become rubbery.
Also, the more times you freeze, defrost and refreeze, the more moisture is lost and the drier the cheese will become. It is a good idea to freeze the halloumi in slices if you don’t think that you are going to eat the whole block.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Halloumi?
Surprisingly for a cheese, halloumi does freeze well as long as you follow our instructions and don’t freeze cooked halloumi. Remember to make the cling film and freezer bag airtight so that freezer burn doesn’t occur, changing the taste and the texture of the halloumi.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing halloumi, but just in case you feel like knowing a bit more, we have answered a few questions here.
Is it possible to freeze halloumi fries?
Halloumi fries are delicious and easy to make. All you have to do is cut the block of halloumi into even-sized fries, about half an inch thick. Then mix together flour, panko breadcrumbs, egg wash, paprika, and cumin on a plate and roll the fries in this mixture.
So, can you freeze them for use at a later date? The answer is a resounding yes but don’t cook them first as they will lose taste and texture. The best way to freeze them is to flash freeze them first. Get a baking tray and line it with a piece of parchment paper. Lay out the halloumi fries, making sure that they aren’t touching each other.
In this way, they won’t stick together when you put them in a container. Freeze them solid and then put them in either an airtight container or a freezer bag. Make sure that you squeeze all the air out of the freezer bag so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Halloumi fries can be kept in the freezer for up to three months. After this time, the halloumi fries will start to deteriorate.
Is it possible to freeze halloumi kebabs?
Halloumi kebabs are a great addition to a barbecue. If you are catering for vegetarians, they will love the effort you have gone to, but is it possible to freeze halloumi kebabs? The simple answer is yes.
However, you do have to be careful which vegetables you use. Such vegetables as tomatoes and zucchini contain a lot of water so freezing can make them go mushy. Vegetables that freeze well include eggplant, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. When you have assembled your kebabs, flash freeze them and then store them in an airtight container.
What else can I do with my frozen halloumi?
Slices of grilled halloumi make a great addition to an omelet, adding a certain amount of firmness. You can also make halloumi into a pie, using filo pastry. Make a burger with eggplant slices, harissa, red peppers, and hummus.