Easy halloumi pasta salad with pesto
This delicious halloumi pasta salad is one of my favorite ways to make a pasta salad. It’s easy, perfect for lunch and not too complicated to make.
Halloumi pasta salad
I have this thing for halloumi cheese. When fried golden brown I find it very hard to resist. Making this halloumi pasta salad seemed like the perfect combination of flavors and it definitely did not disappoint! I’ve added some broccoli and some fennel into the pasta salad with halloumi so it is also packed with veggies.
What do you need for the salad?
For making this haloumi pasta salad you need the following:
- halloumi (cut into halloumi cubes)
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- pine nuts
- spring onions
- roasted bell peppers
I like to use any short pasta for this easy recipe but use your favorite pasta shapes. Keeping the pasta short (so no tagliatelle or spaghetti) is the best option. Penne, fussili or the like will do well. You start by taking a large pot of salted water and put it on medium heat to cook the pasta al dente. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water and leave to drain on the side.
Now you want to quickly cook the broccoli florets for a few minutes also while the pasta is cooking. The fennel is eaten raw so just needs to be sliced as thinly as possible. That easiest to do with a mandolin but can be done with a sharp knife as well.
Once the pasta is cooled down take a large bowl and add the drained pasta, cooked broccoli and the fennel.
I like to serve this pasta salad with warm halloumi so I leave the cooking of the halloumi till the last minute. In order to do that I take a frying pan and place it on medium-high heat. I carefully add the halloumi cubes in a single layer into the pan and using thongs turn them once golden.
Keep in mind that halloumi has the tendency to spatter oil so keeping a lid for the pan handy is a good idea.
The dressing for this halloumi pasta salad is super simple. It’s basically just the basil pesto and no other dressing ingredients are needed. That said you can add a bit of lemon juice if you want and make a different dressing for the salad. I sometimes use mayonnaise as a base and add pesto and something like a bit of harissa to it. Also delicious!
Now I have used summer vegetables in this pasta salad and you can easily vary with the vegetables you’ve used. Think about adding for instance some zucchini or go for a combination with roasted pumpkin. Cherry tomatoes will also work really well here.
Halloumi pasta salad
- 300 gr pasta of your choice
- 3 tbsp pesto either pesto genovese or pesto rosso
- 300 g broccoli in small florets
- 200 gr halloumi in cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil for frying
- 1 fennel thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olives in rings
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika in strips
- 2 tbsp pine nuts roasted
- 2 spring onions cut into rings
- fresh basil to serve
- Start cooking the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain.
- While you are cooking the pasta cook the broccoli briefly for about 5 minutes. Drain and cool this too.
- Slice the fennel as thinly as possible (a mandolin is ideal but a sharp knife will do) and fry the halloumi in some oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain the halloumi on kitchen paper. Toast the pine nuts.
- Take a large bowl and put in the pasta, broccoli florets, sliced fennel, olives, bell pepper strips and 3-4 tablespoons of the pesto. Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve the pasta salad with the spring onions, halloumi and pine nuts on top. Sprinkle some more basil leaves on top.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.