Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Fried Halloumi

Serves 4

For as long as I live, I will be developing pasta salad recipes. They are just absolutely one of my favorite things to make. This recipe was inspired by my love of two things: 1. Alexis Bledel’s character Lena in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants going to Greece and falling in love and 2. Halloumi. I love frying, grilling and searing halloumi. I decided that it neeeeeded to be put in a pasta salad, as I have never seen it done before. And since halloumi is a Mediterranean girl just like Lena, this salad made sense to me. I hope you fall in love with it, even if you cannot make it to Greece.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Fried Halloumi

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Fried Halloumi

  • Author: Dan Pelosi

What You’ll Need

  • 1 8oz. box Banza gemelli*
  • 1 8oz package of halloumi
  • 1 cup seeded and diced cumber
  • 1 cup halved kalamata olives
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced and diced
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup arugula
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar from onions
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
  • *This recipe was developed for Banza, go-to chickpea pasta. You are welcome to use any brand of gemelli, as well as use any other shape of pasta you like! I love using 8 oz of pasta here, but you can easily use a full pound of pasta, just double everything in the recipe so the ratios stay the same!

What You’ll Do

I am giving this recipe to you step-by-step – it comes together so easily!

  1. Marinate onions: Place red onion in a small bowl and submerge in red wine vinegar. Let sit, uncovered, for the length of the rest of the recipe to allow the onions to marinate.

  2. Fry Halloumi: Place a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Slice halloumi into 1/8 inch thick pieces, lengthwise. Place slices into pan and fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are deeply browned. Place fried slices on to a plate to cool down.

  3. Cook Pasta: Add pasta to pot with boiling water and season generously with kosher salt. Cook according to package directions. Strain pasta and spread it out on a tray to cool down.

  4. Make Dressing: Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and honey to a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Add kosher salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

  5. Assemble Salad: Add cooled pasta, cooled halloumi, cucumber, olives, tomatoes, marinated onions (strained), mint leaves and dressing to bowl and mix to combine.

  6. Refrigerate: Cover bowl and place in fridge for minimum 4 hours. Overnight works well. The longer it sits the more the flavors develop!

  7. Serve: Remove pasta salad from fridge, add in arugula and toss to combine. Enjoy!