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These grilled halloumi cheese and watermelon skewers are the dish of the summer. Caramelized watermelon and crispy halloumi cheese pairs together for the perfect salty and sweet bite!
I grill halloumi all the time, but I’ve never thought of grilling watermelon. It wasn’t until I had grilled watermelon at a small wine bar in Vermont that I started to love it.
Grilling the watermelon gives you a delicious caramelization, and paired with salty halloumi, they make a great match.
What are grilled halloumi cheese and watermelon skewers?
When you layer watermelon and halloumi cheese on bamboo skewers and then grill them, you get the tastiest lunch, snack, or appetizer ever.
The combination of sweet and salty is irresistible. Plus, grilling watermelon gives this sweet fruit a deeper and richer flavor than you ever knew it could have.
If you’ve made my grilled corn and halloumi salad, you know about my love for halloumi cheese!
What is halloumi cheese?
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese made of goat’s and sheep milk. Because of its high melting point, it is amazing when you grill or pan-sear it. Halloumi can be expensive. But during the summer, most Trader Joe’s carry it for half the price of usual supermarkets.
I cut the cheese into cubes for my halloumi cheese and watermelon skewers.
How to choose watermelon
I’m that person at the grocery store picking up all the watermelons, and people for sure stare. When it comes to picking out the juiciest and sweetest melon, look for the weight, color, and sound.
- Watermelon weight – you want to pick a heavy watermelon because that means it’s juicy and full of water.
- Color of watermelon – Another thing you want to look for is a yellow spot. This is where the watermelon was laying on the ground and usually signals that it is ripe.
- Watermelon sound – lastly, slap it. You should hear a deep hollow sound. (Now I won’t be the only one getting stared at in the grocery store.)
How to cut watermelon
Watermelons can be dangerous to cut since they are round. If the watermelon is slippery, you can also use a dish towel to help secure it.
Here’s how to cut a watermelon safely:
- Cut it straight down the middle.
- Put it on the flat side down and slice it.
- Next, grab a slice and trim the rind off.
- Then, you’ll cut it into 2-inch cubes to match the halloumi.
Always make sure you are using a sharp knife. I use my big chef’s knife!
Skewering halloumi cheese and watermelon
Soak the wooden skewers while you prep the watermelon and halloumi so it doesn’t burn while grilling.
When skewering, make sure you have the halloumi on the ends because the watermelon will slip right off the skewers.
The halloumi may crack off when skewering. If it does, you can still grill the cube off the skewer and then attach it after you grill them!
Grilling the skewers
- Heat your grill to 400°F and make sure your grates are clean and oiled prior because the halloumi likes to stick.
- Place the skewers and grill for about 5-8 min each side. You’re looking for golden brown char marks. If the halloumi is sticking, it’s not ready to flip yet.
- Flipping the skewers can get a bit treacherous, so make sure you have tongs to hold the skewer and a spatula to slide under to help flip.
Serve and enjoy!
Once grilled, allow the grilled watermelon and halloumi skewers to cool for 5 minutes before enjoying.
Garnish with fresh mint and basil!
Storing halloumi and watermelon
These little appetizers taste the best when they are hot off the grill. There is nothing quite like the hot and gooey texture of the cheese with the crispy and sweet watermelon.
I do not recommend trying to store watermelon and cheese together after you grill them. It’s better to keep them separated, grill them, and eat them when they are still hot.
I’m a huge fan of halloumi cheese, but there are other types of cheese that taste amazing with watermelon too.
Feta cheese and watermelon is a really popular combination. Use feta cheese with the halloumi or in place of it.
For a little extra fun, drizzle some balsamic glaze on top of the halloumi cheese and watermelon skewers. This brings the taste of the Mediterranean to your dinner table!
Other fruit recipes
- Apple Pie Hand Pies
- Grilled Peach Salad With Basil Vinaigrette
- Fresh Berries French Toast Bake
- Dutch Baby Pancake
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Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Watermelon
- Small watermelon (see note #1, cut into 2-inch pieces, you’ll need 15 pieces)
- 17.6 ounces Halloumi cheese (cut into 2 inch pieces, 16 pieces (2 blocks))
- Fresh mint leaves
- Fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
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- Ensure your grill is cleaned and grates oiled. Preheat grill to 400F.
- If using wooden skewers, soak them prior to assembling so they do not burn on the grill. Starting with the halloumi cheese, gently skewer the watermelon and halloumi. Place halloumi on the outsides, watermelon slips off easily when grilling.
- Place skewers flat on the grill and grill for about 5-8 minutes before flipping to other side. You’re looking for golden brown char marks on the halloumi. If the halloumi is sticking, it’s not ready to flip yet. To assist flipping, use tongs to hold the skewer and a spatula to slide under the watermelon and cheese to help flip.
- Remove from grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and freshly chopped basil.
- Choosing a watermelon: Pick a heavy watermelon because that means it’s juicy and full of water. Look for a yellow spot, this is where the watermelon was laying on the ground and usually signals that it is ripe. Lastly, give it a slap, you should hear a deep hollow sound.
- Cutting watermelon tips: Always make sure you are using a sharp knife, I use a big chefs knife. You can use a dish towel to help secure it if slippery. I cut it straight down the middle, then put it flat side down and slice. Grab a slice and trim the rind off. Then proceed to cube.
- If halloumi breaks while skewering, you can grill that cube separately on the grill.