Seared Halloumi and Chicken Pita Recipe

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Seared Halloumi and Chicken Pita Recipe

If you’ve never seared off a piece of cheese, this is your sign. Specifically, Halloumi cheese. Halloumi is a cheese made from goat’s and sheep’s milk (and sometimes cow). The texture of the cheese out of the packaging is quite squeaky and less-desirable.  When seared, however, it transforms into a melty, savory delight. Unlike most all cheeses, Halloumi possesses enough structure to maintain its stature when hit with high heat.

Local white pita and halloumi cheese
Local white pita and halloumi cheese

When you’re cooking the cheese, make sure to keep a close eye on things. When the cheese begins to take on color after a couple of minutes, it will cook rather quick so be careful not to burn or overcook it. I’ve done that plenty of times, which makes for a rather tough and chewy piece of cheese – and no one likes that. I recommend having the pitas mostly assembled before searing the halloumi. The cheese is best when it is served as warm as possible.

Seared halloumi - this is the color that we're shooting for
Seared halloumi – this is the color that we’re shooting for

During the month of April in Florida, there’s an abundance of produce in season. So, we’re packing the seared Halloumi into a local-made pita with chicken and a vibrant vegetable like tomato, cucumber, watermelon radish and onion. To even things out a bit, we’re also adding a rich and flavorful yogurt sauce that is comprised of lots of garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

All of the ingredients to make the pitas - everything can be found at Rollin' Oats
All of the ingredients to make the pitas – everything can be found at Rollin’ Oats

The fresh pitas mentioned above are crafted by Sami’s Bakery, which is located right here in Tampa Bay. You can find these at Rollin’ Oats – along with the rest of the lineup for this pita. The particular pitas by Sami’s that I used for this recipe were the white ones; however, they also make low carb, whole wheat, millet and flax options.

Pita's from Sami's Bakery which is located here in the Tampa Bay
Pita’s from Sami’s Bakery which is located here in Tampa Bay

If you wanted, you could pass on the pita and make this one big and beautiful greek salad situation that I would recommend tossing with a Greek inspired vinaigrette made with balsamic, olive oil, lemon juice and oregano.

Seared Halloumi and Chicken Pitas

Seared Halloumi and Chicken Pita Recipe

Abby Allen
Seared cheese, loads of fresh spring vegetables, chicken, quality pita and a garlic-yogurt sauce - what could be better? Not much at all.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course, Sandwich
Cuisine American, Greek
Servings 4
Calories 593 kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2" pieces
  • 8 oz halloumi sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 4 pitas
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 roma tomatoes sliced into thin half moons
  • 2 watermelon radishes sliced thin (preferably on a mandolin) - if you can't find these, red radishes will work
  • 1 cup romaine chopped and tossed with juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp olive oil and salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup red onion sliced thin
  • 1 lemon juice only, plus more wedges for serving
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 5 oz plain greek yogurt
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided, plus one tsp
  • salt
  • pepper
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Instructions
 

Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  • Combine yogurt, minced garlic, juice of 1/2 lemon and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Season additionally as needed. Place yogurt in the refrigerator until ready to assemble pitas.
    Garlic yogurt sauce

Chicken

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add in chicken and sear until cooked through and beginning to brown on all sides - 8-10 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
    Searing the chicken

Halloumi

  • Carefully wipe out the dutch oven, bring heat back up to medium and pour in another tbsp of olive oil. Add in sliced halloumi and sear for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to take on color. Flip and sear for an additional 1/2 minute.

Pita Assembly

  • To assemble, warm pitas (optional) and spread a couple of spoon-fulls of yogurt sauce on top of them. Layer with seasoned lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, radish, chicken, halloumi, onion, parsley and more yogurt sauce.
  • Serve pitas with additional lemon wedges.
    Pita's from Sami's Bakery which is located here in the Tampa Bay
Nutrition Facts
Seared Halloumi and Chicken Pita Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 593 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 109mg36%
Sodium 1134mg49%
Potassium 827mg24%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 45g90%
Vitamin A 1665IU33%
Vitamin C 39mg47%
Calcium 717mg72%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition

Calories: 593kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 45gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1134mgPotassium: 827mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1665IUVitamin C: 39mgCalcium: 717mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Pita Bread, Seared Halloumi
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