< 30 minutes, Greek Cypriot dishes, Lunch, Sides & Snacks

Dairy-free Halloumi

Vegan halloumi! Homemade dairy free halloumi cheese. Recipe by itsaplantbasedlife.com

Although i am predominantly plant-based, im not 100% Vegan since once in a while, only when dining out, i may have a bit of cheese or yoghurt, and about once a month i have local fish. Due to the fact that i’m living in Cyprus, very often there is zero vegetarian options, never mind Vegan! (Little note here that the restaurant scene IS improving in terms of V-options..!) There have been times when the only Vegetarian option on the menu is Halloumi, a cypriot sheep’s-milk cheese. Since i’ve gone plant-based (about 1.5years now) I’ve only had halloumi twice and its something that i did really love in the past. So the cogs on ma widdle bwaiiiin started going round and round and i thought, hey, surely i can plant-base dat s**t up! And yes, voila! Call it Halloufu or Tofumi, but its basically the dairy-free baby of Halloumi.

Vegan halloumi! Home-made dairy free halloumi cheese. Recipe by itsaplantbasedlife.com

Tofu. We’ve said it before, and il say it again. Start eating it people! In China they have one of the highest consumption of tofu/soy, and they have the lowest rates of hormonal cancers. Tofu is jam packed with alll those nutrients that lay people think us vegans don’t get; yes you guessed it, PROTEIN, IRON, CALCIUM; and in this recipe B12 too! 😮  So make this recipe and fool your mouth and eyes that you’re enjoying halloumi, but dairy-free, which means cruelty-free. We love sheep guys, lets not steal their milk 🙂

What makes this dish resemble the original halloumi is the griddle marks, so I would make sure you cook it on a griddle pan or sandwhich maker e.g. a George Foreman. (If you don’t own one, then you can make it under a hot grill, but it wont quite be the same without the griddle lines). Of course the texture is never going to be the same as the actual halloumi, but i’ll take this if it means eating without any suffering on the plate and without the harmful effects of dairy in the body.

When you make it, celebrate by serving with a cypriot brandy or Ouzo –  come on, its on me 😀
Its a plant-based life   … and its wonderful!

Vegan halloumi! Home-made dairy free halloumi cheese. Recipe by itsaplantbasedlife.com

Dairy-free Halloumi

Vegan halloumi! Homemade dairy free halloumi cheese. Recipe by itsaplantbasedlife.com If you’re going for aesthetics, like i did in the photo, cut a small orthogonal shape out of the tofu half way up each slice to give the “authentic” halloumi look! Serving suggestions:  Stuff inside a pitta with fresh tomato and cucumber (ma fave), place on top of your veggie burger, have as part of […]

  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 5m
  • Yield: 4 big pieces or 6 small


  • 5 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. of dried or chopped fresh mint *
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 250gr block extra-firm Tofu (GMO-free & Organic preferrably)
  • To serve: fresh mint sprigs

* I find a mixture of both dried and fresh is the tastiest!


    1. Drain & Press tofu: Wrap tofu in a kitchen cloth, place in between two cutting boards, and place something heavy on the top cutting board. This presses down the tofu and squeezes out liquid (I usually place my heaviest pan over it!). Leave for a minim. of 20 minutes, replacing the kitchen towel with a new dry one half way through.
    2. Mix all your ingredients together in a shallow bowl (apart from the Tofu). Add 3 tbsp of warm water (it should be quite thick, like a paste)
    3. When time is up, slice your Tofu lengthwise into Halloumi-slices, about 2cm thickness (I made 4 slices out of 1 block because i like my halloums thick!).
    4. Now, Dab both sides of each slice with kitchen paper once more to ensure more moisture leaves the tofu. The drier you get your tofu, the "squidgier" your halloumi will be. Optional: Pierce each slice with a fork three times (allows more marinade to enter the tofu)
    5. With a cooking brush (or your fingers) brush the marinade on both sides of each halloumi slice (see photo above). Pour any remaining marinade on the Tofu. Allow this to sit for a minimum of 15 minutes (the longer you leave it to marinade, the more the taste! I left it for 25 mins)
    6. While waiting for Tofu to marinade, heat your griddle pan to medium/high. Make sure its hot before you put the tofu on to guarantee the griddle marks!
    7. Place halloumi slices on griddle pan for about 2 minutes on each side without moving the slices. When the "halloumi" turns golden and crispy on the edges, its ready
    8. Serve with fresh mint and a drizzle of olive oil!

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