Get your skillet tonight and pan-sear slabs of firm cheese

This undated photo provided by America’s Test Kitchenshows Pan-Fried Halloumi. The recipe appears in “The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook.”

Named for the small frying pan traditionally used to prepare this dish, Greek saganaki is an appetizer made by pan-searing slabs of firm cheese. We chose to create a version using halloumi.

To achieve the classic crisp, browned exterior that would offer a satisfying contrast to the chewy interior, we tried pan frying the halloumi plain and dusted with flour, bread crumbs and cornmeal.

A combination of stone-ground cornmeal and a little all-purpose flour provided just the right golden-brown, textured crust. A squeeze of bright lemon juice offered welcome tang.

To make a slightly more dressed-up version, we made a quick sauce with thinly sliced garlic, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes to drizzle over the top. The pan-fried halloumi also tastes great with a drizzle of honey.

2 tablespoons cornmeal

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 (8 ounce) block halloumi cheese, sliced into 1/2 inch-thick slabs

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Lemon wedges

Combine cornmeal and flour in shallow dish. Working with 1 piece of cheese at a time, coat both wide sides with cornmeal mixture, pressing to help coating adhere; transfer to plate.

Heat oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Arrange halloumi in single layer in skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to platter and serve with lemon wedges.


After frying halloumi, discard oil left in skillet and wipe out skillet with paper towels. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to now-empty skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1 thinly sliced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is golden brown and fragrant, about 1 minute. Drizzle oil mixture over pan-fried halloumi and serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition information per serving: 135 calories; 100 calories from fat; 11 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 21 mg cholesterol; 301 mg sodium; 2 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 6 g protein.

For more recipes, cooking tips and ingredient and product reviews, visit Find more recipes like Pan-Fried Halloumi in “The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook.”

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