Pumpkin & Halloumi Salad with Bacon, Avocado & Macadamias

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This flavour-packed halloumi salad with crispy bacon, macadamia nuts, avocado and sweet roast pumpkin tossed with a creamy sesame dressing, will be ready to serve in just 30 minutes!

This BIG, BOLD, and FLAVOURSOME salad puts boring salads to shame!

A plate of halloumi salad with bacon and pumpkin, with the serving bowl of salad just visible behind.A plate of halloumi salad with bacon and pumpkin, with the serving bowl of salad just visible behind.

If you’re looking for easy salad recipes that are most definitely not boring, then this Halloumi salad is for you!

Halloumi cheese is fried until golden, then mixed with crispy bacon, sweet roast pumpkin, crunchy macadamia nuts, creamy avocado and fresh spinach, before being dressed in a creamy sesame dressing. There is SO much flavour in every bite!

Like my roast pumpkin salad with feta, Changs crispy noodle salad, and creamy broccoli bacon salad, this fried halloumi salad makes a delicious lunch, or serve it as a side for an easy family dinner.

A black serving bowl filled with halloumi salad.A black serving bowl filled with halloumi salad.

Why You’re Going To Love This Recipe

  • Easy to make – halloumi cheese salad is SO easy to make: just bake and fry the ingredients, then combine and serve!
  • Versatile – this salad is so versatile, just swap with ingredients you have. Don’t have macadamia nuts? Use cashews instead. No baby spinach? Finely chop regular spinach. Don’t like pumpkin? Use sweet potato instead.
  • Full of flavour – with crispy bacon, crunchy macadamia nuts, creamy avocado, sweet roast pumpkin all coated in a sesame dressing, this halloumi salad is packed with flavour in every mouthful!
  • Perfect for entertaining – this recipe is great for BBQs, celebrations and family get-togethers. Cook the pumpkin, bacon and halloumi in advance and assemble just before serving.
  • Keto friendly/low carb recipe – halloumi salad is perfect for those following a low carb or keto diet.
A close up of halloumi salad.A close up of halloumi salad.

What You Need 

You need just a handful of easy to find ingredients to make this fried halloumi salad.

Note: Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the ingredients quantities and full detailed method.

Ingredients needed placed in individual bowls on a bench top.Ingredients needed placed in individual bowls on a bench top.
  • Pumpkin – you can use any variety of pumpkin you like, I generally use Kent or Butternut pumpkin (this recipe uses approx. ½ butternut pumpkin).
  • Olive oil – regular olive oil, to roast the pumpkin.
  • Salt and pepper – to season the pumpkin.
  • Streaky bacon – I recommend using streaky bacon as it becomes crispy when fried.
  • Halloumi cheese – this Cypriot cheese has a high melting point, making it great for frying or grilling.
  • Macadamia nuts – you can use either roasted and salted macadamia nuts, or raw macadamia nuts and toast them yourself in a dry frying pan.
  • Baby spinach leaves – or substitute with regular spinach, finely chopped, or rocket (arugula).
  • Avocados – use a firm but ripe avocado.
  • Kewpie Roasted Sesame Dressing is a Japanese dressing available at all major supermarkets. It’s a creamy, nutty, sweet dressing (that is also often served with rice paper rolls). Alternatively you can make your own roasted sesame dressing

Equipment Required

  • Baking tray – to roast the pumpkin.
  • Frying pan – to cook the bacon and the halloumi cheese.
  • Small frying pan – to fry the macadamia nuts if they aren’t already roasted.
  • Oven – I specify fan-forced temperatures. If you use a conventional oven, increase the temperature by 10-20 degrees celsius.
Overhead shot of crispy bacon, fried halloumi, avocado, spinach leaves and roast pumpkin in a bowl.Overhead shot of crispy bacon, fried halloumi, avocado, spinach leaves and roast pumpkin in a bowl.

Step By Step Instructions

This bacon and halloumi salad with roast pumpkin takes just 10 minutes of active prep time!

Note: Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the ingredients quantities and full detailed method.

Step 1 – Roast The Pumpkin

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius (fan-forced)

Remove the skin from the pumpkin and chop into 2cm cubes. Drizzle a flat baking tray with the olive oil, add the pumpkin pieces and season well with salt and pepper

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender (but not too soft).

Allow pumpkin pieces to cool

Roasted pumpkin cubes on a baking tray.Roasted pumpkin cubes on a baking tray.

Step 2 – Fry The Bacon

Place the chopped bacon into a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook until the bacon is crispy. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towel to drain any oil off. 

Crispy bacon pieces on kitchen paper towel.Crispy bacon pieces on kitchen paper towel.

Step 3 – Fry The Halloumi And Macadamia Nuts

Wipe any excess oil from the frying pan. Over a medium heat, cook the halloumi slices for 1-2 minutes on each side (or until golden). Chop into smaller pieces and set aside

If your macadamia nuts are not roasted, place them into a small dry frying pan over a low to medium heat. Toast them, while stirring regularly, until lightly golden (keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn!). Set toasted macadamia nuts aside. 

Golden fried halloumi pieces on a plate.Golden fried halloumi pieces on a plate.

Step 4 – Assemble The Salad

Place the baby spinach into a large serving bowl.

Baby spinach placed in a large serving bowl.Baby spinach placed in a large serving bowl.

Add the crispy bacon, fried halloumi, diced avocado and toasted macadamia nuts, reserving a little of each for presentation. 

Crispy bacon, roast pumpkin, fried halloumi and macadamia nuts placed on top of the spinach in the serving bowl.Crispy bacon, roast pumpkin, fried halloumi and macadamia nuts placed on top of the spinach in the serving bowl.

Step 5 – Pour Over The Dressing

Drizzle approximately 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing over the salad just prior to serving.

Kewpie sesame dressing being poured over ingredients in a bowl..Kewpie sesame dressing being poured over ingredients in a bowl..

Toss all together gently to combine

The mixed salad.The mixed salad.

Step 6 – Serve

Add the reserved bacon, halloumi, avocado and macadamia nuts over the top and drizzle with a little extra dressing. Serve halloumi salad immediately.

The salad served with the remaining bacon, halloumi and pumpkin sprinkled over.The salad served with the remaining bacon, halloumi and pumpkin sprinkled over.

Expert Tips

  • Toasting the macadamia nuts – macadamia nuts can easily burn so keep an eye on them when toasting in a dry frying pan.
  • Make ahead – this halloumi salad is best served on the day it is prepared. Store in the fridge until needed and then pour over the dressing just before serving.
  • Storage – store any leftover salad in the fridge for up to 1-2 days. This salad is not suitable for freezing.

FAQs

How do I know if an avocado is ripe?

To test if an avocado is ripe, gently squeeze it. If it gives slightly then it is ripe and ready to use. If it feels hard then it is underripe, and if it feels quite soft then it is overripe.

What does halloumi cheese taste like?

Halloumi is a mild, salty and slightly tangy flavoured cheese. When it is cooked, the salty flavour mellows out and you are left with delicious creamy but firm cheese with a crispy exterior. Delicious!

Can you eat halloumi raw?

Yes, you can eat halloumi cheese raw, however it is quite salty so I recommend you fry it before eating to mellow out the saltiness.

A white plate of halloumi salad with a fork ready to eat.A white plate of halloumi salad with a fork ready to eat.

For more easy and delicious salad ideas that are packed with flavour, check out these other popular recipes:

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A halloumi salad with crispy bacon, macadamia nuts, avocado and sweet roast pumpkin tossed with a creamy sesame dressing.A halloumi salad with crispy bacon, macadamia nuts, avocado and sweet roast pumpkin tossed with a creamy sesame dressing.

Halloumi Salad

A flavour packed halloumi cheese salad with pumpkin, spinach, bacon, avocado and macadamia nuts drizzled with a creamy roasted sesame dressing.

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Course: Dinner, Lunch

Cuisine: Salad, western

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6 serves

Calories: 511kcal

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (fan-forced).

  • Chop the pumpkin into 2cm cubes and remove the skin. Drizzle a flat baking tray with the olive oil, add the pumpkin pieces and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender (but not too soft). Set aside to cool.
  • Place the diced streaky bacon into a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towel.

  • Wipe the excess oil from the frying pan. Over medium heat, cook the halloumi for 1-2 minutes on each side (or until golden). Chop into smaller pieces and set aside.

  • If your macadamia nuts are un-roasted, place them into a small frying pan over low/medium heat. Cook, while stirring regularly, until lightly golden (keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn). Set aside.

  • Place the baby spinach into a large serving bowl.

  • Add the bacon, halloumi, avocado and macadamia nuts.NOTE: *Reserve ¼ cup of crispy bacon, halloumi, avocado and macadamia nuts for presentation.
  • Just before serving, drizzle approximately 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine.
  • Add the reserved bacon, halloumi, avocado and macadamia nuts on top and drizzle with a little extra dressing. Serve immediately.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS
Ingredients Info:

More Recipe Tips:

  • Toasting the macadamia nuts – macadamia nuts cans easily burn so keep an eye on them when toasting in a frying pan.
  • Make ahead – this halloumi salad is best served on the day it is prepared. Store in the fridge until needed and then pour over the dressing just before serving.
  • Storage – store any leftover salad in the fridge for up to 1-2 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 741mg | Potassium: 685mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 9031IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 474mg | Iron: 2mg





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