Orecchiette Salad With Halloumi Croutons Recipe (2024)

By Yossy Arefi

Updated Oct. 12, 2023

Orecchiette Salad With Halloumi Croutons Recipe (1)

Total Time
45 minutes
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
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Crispy, salty, chewy cubes of sautéed halloumi add great texture and heartiness to this bright pasta salad filled with veggies, herbs and tomatoes. The tomatoes are marinated with red wine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper, which infuses them with flavor and helps them release their juices for the punchy dressing. Crunchy cucumbers, lots of fresh herbs and some optional arugula round out this hearty salad. When seasoning the pasta and vegetables, keep in mind that the halloumi is quite salty. This salad is best enjoyed the day it’s made, while the halloumi cubes are still warm.

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Yield:8 servings

  • 1pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8ounces orecchiette or other small pasta
  • 8ounces halloumi cheese, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 3Persian cucumbers, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 2cups baby arugula (optional)
  • ½cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½cup chopped fresh mint
  • ¼cup finely chopped red onion

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

260 calories; 13 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 27 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 9 grams protein; 369 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Orecchiette Salad With Halloumi Croutons Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

  2. Step


    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta well and add it to the tomato mixture while still warm. Stir gently to combine, then let the mixture cool slightly.

  3. Step


    While the mixture cools, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Pat the halloumi dry with paper towels, then cook it until golden-brown, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Step


    Add the cucumbers, arugula (if using), cilantro, mint and red onion to the pasta; stir to combine. Top with the halloumi, then add more salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar to taste. Serve immediately.



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Cooking Notes


NYTimes recipe increasingly call for halloumi, which I can't find in my Manhattan neighborhood and which is not listed in the substitutions guide either. What do you suggest?


Trader Joe's has it now. It's a seasonal item

Kelly B

To those asking for subs for Halloumi- Panela works well- has the same properties of crisping up but not melting plus it’s way cheaper


I agree with using Queso fresco as a substitute. It's easier to find, reasonably priced and is delicious when browned.

MG Lane

This was excellent! Highly recommend scrunching the tomatoes in the oil & vinegar before adding the pasta, it makes the dressing really pleasantly saucy and marries the flavours so well. Also added basil which was lovely.

Jessica Aulakh

You could try paneer - just heavily salt before searing as it isn't usually salty like halloumi. Paneer similarly doesn't melt and sears beautifully.


Love the Halloumi croutons and am imagining other applications for them. Croutons tasted good even after the prepared salad had sat for 30 minutes or so. Rest of the salad is solid, but definitely needs more acidic punch from additional vinegar, or lemon juice would be nice.


Maybe radishes to get that crunch?


Used paneer


This was delicious, although a bit dangerous, as I can't stop eating it. I've experimented with doubling the halloumi and using red lentil pasta to increase nutrition/fibre-- still delicious.


Love this salad! I make my own orecchiette, which have more "chew". I found I needed more oil and vinegar, but I think that's a personal preference. Interesting how many people struggled to find halloumi, I live in Australia and most supermarkets around here carry it.


Beautiful and refreshing, will be making again


This is a delicious salad! So simple, colorful, crunchy, and perfectly salty with the haloumi (which, I realized, doesn't need oil to brown because it releases its own liquid that cooks off as the cubes crisp up).


I use Wisconsin “bread cheese” in lieu of Halloumi for any NYT recipe. Easier to find.


Halloumi pkg I could find was small and pricy. I grabbed a pkg of queso fresco and fried that in one inch slices on all sides then diced. Worked great and was a revelation for some other recipes.


Very good and lightly dressed pasta salad that tastes good anyway. Love halloumi! Made as directed, with arugula but without cilantro.


I would definitely double the halloumi if I were to make this again. The rest of the salad is good but not inspiring, but the halloumi gives it protein, texture, flavor, & makes it stand out. Definitely way too much salad for how much halloumi is called for.


Added warm pasta and feta to tomatoes and onions with dressing ahead of time. Then added herbs, cucumbers and arugula along with a little more feta right before eating. Added a little more olive oil too.


Doesn’t keep well


This was so delicious. I made it just as written, and it was wonderful. We grilled a couple of steaks and had this as our side dish. YUM.


I prepared exactly as written and the mint overwhelmed the whole dish. My suspicion is that my garden mint is much more potent than mint from the grocery. I will skip the mint next time or reduce by half. I also like the idea of adding fresh basil next time. I pared this with the Cumin Lamb Meatballs by Melissa Clark. They went quite well together.

Donna D.

Adding the onions with the tomatoes, salt and vinegar to start will allow the onion flavor to release.


This was heavenly. I added some grilled zucchini and marinated the tomatoes quite a long time in the dressing, so everything got all juicy. I chopped up the arugula with the herbs. And used apple cider vinegar. Just because I can :)

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Orecchiette Salad With Halloumi Croutons Recipe (2024)
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