This comforting halloumi pasta with basil, tomatoes and red onion is a fantastic vegetarian lunch or dinner that you can prepare in 10 just minutes.
Why you'll love it
- This is a very quick dinner recipe, made in only 10 minutes.
- A filling and hearty vegetarian meal for meatless Monday.
- Fantastic Mediterranean flavors from the warm cheese, tomatoes and basil.
- A great way to use seasonal produce!
- Family friendly recipe, and kids love it.
- Perfect for busy weekdays, lazy summer meals or even in the lunchbox.
- Leftovers are great served cold or warm.
Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese, traditionally made from goat's milk, sheep's milk, or a combination of both.
It is a semi hard, layered white cheese, similar to Mozzarella only much more firm and with a spongy texture.
Halloumi has a really high melting point, which makes it perfect for cooking and grilling. When it's warm, the cheese will become soft and warm, but will keep its shape rather than melt. When it's grilled or pan fried, the surface of the cheese can become nice and crispy, with a softer middle.
If you love halloumi, you might also like my Halloumi Stir Fry, Air Fryer Halloumi Fries or Chickpea and Halloumi Curry.
Halloumi: Halloumi cheese is the main event in this pasta. As halloumi acts very different to most other cheeses, it can't be substituted.
Pasta: Use your favorite short pasta, like fusilli, rotini, penne, or bowtie.
Lemon: This dish is extra nice if you serve it with a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice on top. Optional.
Onion: I like to use red onion for this dish, but any onion will work fine.
Canned diced tomatoes: This is the main component of the sauce. Use a good quality brand to ensure that it tastes great.
Basil: We use fresh basil as the primary herb. Basil is great in Mediterranean food. You can use dried basil instead if you don't have fresh herbs available.
Sun dried tomatoes + garlic: Adds extra flavor to the dish. Optional.
Cherry tomatoes: I love to add some whole cherry tomatoes for texture. It makes the dish a little extra chunky, and is a great way to add more veggies to the meal.
💡 TIP! You can also make this recipe using your favorite jarred pasta sauce, or homemade healthy spaghetti sauce.
- Boil the pasta: Boil your pasta according to the instructions on the package. This typically takes 10 minutes depending on which type of pasta you use.
- Sauté the tomatoes: Add a little olive oil to a skillet or frying pan, and cook the cherry tomatoes for a few minutes until they are soft and warm. Remove them from the pan, and set them to the side.
- Cook the cheese: Add sliced halloumi and thinly sliced onions to the skillet. Pan fry on medium to high heat for a few minutes, until the halloumi is soft with a golden surface. Add finely grated garlic, and sauté for another minute.
- Make the sauce: Add the cherry tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, and sun dried tomatoes to the pan. Allow the sauce to cook on medium heat while you wait for the pasta to finish, typically 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the ingredients from burning.
- Combine the ingredients: Drain the boiled pasta, and add it to the sauce, along with chopped fresh basil. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Serve immediately.
- Keep an eye on the cheese and tomatoes, and make sure that they don't burn. You might have to turn them a few times while they cook.
- Feel free to serve this sauce with leftover pasta from last night's dinner!
This recipe is a complete meal in itself. If you prefer to serve it with a side dish, here are some of my favorite options:
- Olive Salad - This flavorful olive salad is the perfect accompaniment to halloumi pasta.
- Bread - Serve it with your favorite bread. Garlic bread, crusty bread or a slice of sourdough are all excellent options.
- Mediterranean Roast Vegetables - Roasted mixed vegetables is the perfect side dish for any meal.
- Authentic Tzatziki Sauce - Use this easy tzatziki as a dressing or chilled sauce with your pasta.
Added protein: Add some shredded chicken or white beans for extra protein. This will also make the dish more filling. You can also find high protein pasta in many large supermarkets.
Gluten free: Make sure to use gluten free pasta if needed.
Extra veggies: Feel free to add any additional vegetables that you like. Asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, artichoke hearts, and olives are all excellent options.
Store leftover halloumi pasta in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can enjoy the leftovers cold, or reheat them in a microwave for a few minutes.
I love to serve the leftovers as a halloumi pasta salad the next day. It's a great option for a quick chilled meal, and perfect for the lunchbox.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can absolutely eat halloumi raw, but it is much more delicious when cooked!
The fact that halloumi keeps its texture and flavor when cooked makes it perfect as a meat substitute. As meatless meals have become increasingly popular, so has halloumi.
You might also like these recipes
- Baked Halloumi
- Halloumi Stir Fry
- Asparagus Pasta Salad
- Healthy Tuna Pasta Bake
- Chicken Curry Pasta
- Garlic Basil Pasta
- Arrabbiata Spaghetti
- Healthy Bolognese
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
- 8 ounces penne
- 1 red onion
- 8 ounces halloumi
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1 small bunch basil
- ½ lemon (juice only)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 sun dried tomatoes (finely diced)
- Boil your pasta according to the instructions on the package. This typically takes 10 minutes depending on which type of pasta you use.
- Add a little olive oil to a skillet or frying pan, and cook the cherry tomatoes for a few minutes until they are soft and warm. Remove them from the pan, and set them to the side.
- Add sliced halloumi and thinly sliced onions to the skillet. Pan fry on medium to high heat for a few minutes, until the halloumi is soft with a golden surface. Add finely grated garlic, and sauté for another minute.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, and sun dried tomatoes to the pan. Allow the sauce to cook on medium heat while you wait for the pasta to finish, typically 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the ingredients from burning.
- Drain the boiled pasta, and add it to the sauce, along with chopped fresh basil. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Serve immediately, optionally with a drizzle of lemon juice on top.
- Store leftovers in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat before serving, or enjoy them cold as a pasta salad.
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