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Garlic & Lemon Orzo with Grilled Halloumi

I have FOMO. So, of course, the recent stay at home order has got me dreaming of traveling to Italy, Greece, and the Mediterranean. Go figure.

I mean who wouldn’t want to eat dinner with this view right?

Photo by Hello Lightbulb on Unsplash

Instead, I’m making do with this Garlic and Lemon Orzo topped with grilled Halloumi.

Halloumi is one of my favorite grilling cheeses (aside from paneer). It’s slightly salty and grills perfectly with a crispy exterior and a soft and delicious center. Halloumi’s roots lie in Cyprus, and island in the middle east, off the Mediterranean Sea. That’s why I love crusting this delicious cheese with Za’tar, a delicious middle eastern spice made of herbs like dried sumac, marjoram, and thyme.

I used this lovely Lemon Garlic Orzo from Pappardelle’s Pasta for an extra flavor punch, but you can use regular orzo in a pinch.

Pair with with a lovely Sauvignon Blanc on a warm spring day or summer day and enjoy al fresco! Without further ado, the recipe is below. Let me know what you think!


Garlic & Lemon Orzo with Grilled Halloumi

  • Author: Anuja
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 2 cup Lemon and Garlic Orzo (Papparedelle’s, or plain orzo is fine)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz. halloumi cheese
  • 1 tbsp za’tar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1015 grape tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • Cook orzo according to package instructions.
  • Slice the halloumi into 1 cm thick slices.
  • Crust with za’tar.
  • In a pan over medium heat, add olive oil. 
  • Add halloumi to the oil and grill each side for 2-3 minutes until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add butter to the pan and allow to melt.
  • Add garlic and shallots and sautée for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and allow to blister.
  • Finally, add orzo.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Finish with lemon juice.
  • Top with halloumi and serve!

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