Easy Halloumi Salad With Couscous
This halloumi salad recipe is made with fried halloumi cheese, couscous, tons of veggies, and a delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It's a quick and easy salad idea that can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a yummy lunch! For a gluten-free version, simply swap couscous with quinoa.
- 1/3 cup pearl or Israeli couscous, dry (or 1 cup cooked)
- 1 block halloumi cheese
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 cup cucumber, sliced
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup strawberries, quartered
- 1 cup steamed baby beets, quartered (I purchase these pre-cooked)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1 avocado, cut into chunks
- Salt + pepper, to taste
Cook couscous according to package directions. You can also use pre-cooked couscous if you have some on hand.
While couscous cooks, chop all the veggies and add to a large bowl with arugula.
Make the dressing by adding all dressing ingredients to a small bowl or jar with a lid. Whisk or shake together.
Cut block of halloumi cheese into 1/4-inch thick slices. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium and add slices directly to the pan (there is no need for additional oil). Allow to cook, undisturbed for about 1-2 minutes. Check to see if the underside is starting to brown and crisp. When it does, you can flip each piece over and repeat on the other side. Remove from heat when done.
Add cooked couscous to the bowl with all the veggies. Pour dressing over top and toss everything together.
Plate salad and top each serving with an even amount of avocado chunks and fried halloumi cheese. Enjoy!
*LEFTOVERS: leftovers of this salad will keep for about 1 day after they've been tossed in dressing. Of course, it will be a bit soggier but still edible!
*MAKE AHEAD OPTION: you can make this recipe up to a day in advance if you'd like. Simply,
*TIPS FOR COOKING COUSCOUS:
- cook the couscous and store in an airtight container the fridge.
- chop all the veggies and combine with the arugula. If you'd like, you can toss the veggies with the couscous and store together - just let the couscous cool first so that it doesn't wilt the veg.
- cook the halloumi and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Do NOT reheat the halloumi as it will create a rubbery texture. If you'd prefer to have the halloumi be hot on this salad, simply cook the halloumi right before serving - it only takes a couple minutes.
- pre-make the dressing and store in a separate jar in the fridge. Add to the salad just before serving!
- Follow the package directions for exact fluid to grain ratios as well as cooking time. Each particular brand of couscous may vary in this regard.
- To help prevent the couscous from sticking together, be sure to salt your water and add a splash of oil before cooking.
- If you find that your couscous is still a bit sticky, try stirring in some additional olive oil to the cooked grains (like you would with a pot of pasta). Fluffing the grains with a fork will also help!
- If you need a gluten-free version of this recipe, simply swap the couscous with a gluten-free grain (like quinoa!)
- If you'd like to experiment with other grains (not necessarily gluten-free ones), you can try swapping the couscous with things like farro or even some smaller pasta shapes (for a pasta salad).
- Arugula can be swapped with another leafy green, like baby kale or spinach.
- Feel free to leave out or add additional raw vegetables in this recipes. For instance, if you can't find the pre-packaged baby beets at you're store, just add in a little extra of the other veggies!
- While halloumi is the star ingredient, you can always play around with other cheeses like feta or goat.