Home Made Halloumi Cheese and Ricotta

I have very little time to write on the blog these days, too busy working on the cookbook... so I would like to re-post this topic, since it it the most read post on this blog, and on my other blog also! According to the 'statistics' it get visits every single day... I cannot believe it! So many people are interested in making Halloumi (and RIcotta) at home? Do you?

It is easy to make Halloumi and ricotta at home, no special equipment required except for a cheese or brewer termomether.
I started with 2l of milk, full-cream and not homogenized (unfortunately not raw...)
In a large stainless steel saucepan heat the milk to 32C (use the termometer) and then add the rennet (animal or vegetable). I used 2ml dissolved in 2ml of cold water, but if you use industrial rennet you may need less. Follow the manufacturers' instructions. Let the milk set for 45-60 minutes, covering the pot with a lid and keeping the temperature constant on 32C (you may like to place the pot into a bigger pot with hot water, or wrap it with a warm towel).
When the milk is set cut into 1 to 2 cm squares. If the pot is deep also cut across with a slotted spoon.
Wait 5 minutes, then take to 35-38C and stir gently with your hand for 30 minutes, keeping the temperature constant.
At this stage the squares will look smooth and lightly elastic. Wait 5 more minutes, then lift the cheese up with a slotted spoon and place into a basket or colander lined with cheese cloth or gauze. I used a steamer, which has holes in the bottom and sides. Cover with more cloth and place a weight on top (I used a pot filled with 2l of water). Let it rest for 30 minutes.
In the meantime make the ricotta, which is a byproduct of Halloumi.
Heat the leftover whey to 90C, then add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of white vinegar. Gently stir and cook for 5 minutes. The foam forming on the top is the ricotta.
Lift the ricotta up with a slotted spoon and place in a small colander lined with gauze. With my leftover whey I could just make enough ricotta for a Barbie doll, but it is fun to make. Refrigerate the ricotta for one night.
Now cut the Halloumi cheese into pieces and cook in the leftover whey (after lifting the ricotta up) at 85-90C for about 20/30 minutes, stirring from time to time. The cheese will rise to the surface.
Take the cheese slices out, add a pinch of salt on each side, and a little dried mint (optional) then fold each slice into two.
Make a brine with 50% leftover whey, 50% boiling water and 10% salt (i.e. 100g of salt for every litre of liquid). Keep the Halloumi in this brine for up to two weeks, in the fridge.
To cook: Halloumi can be cooked under the grill, in a frying pan or on the barbeque. No oil is needed. Lightly rinse from the brine and cook until lightly golden.

Here with bruschetta and rucola (rocket salad).

And if you want to learn how to make mozzarella (and ricotta from the whey) please click here for a step by step easy homemade mozzarella recipe.


  1. I should try with soy milk... And see what happens! Can I find vegetable rennet easily?

  2. Terribly tempting recipe...excellent clicks...Awesome dear...

    Tasty Appetite

  3. Wow'! A great post and very helpful too :-)

  4. Yeri, here many cheeses are made with vegetable rennet, so you can buy it in a cheese making shop or from a casaro. In Italy you can also use the white sticky milk from fig tree or from the cardoons as a vegetarian rennet (I will try one day...)

  5. Dear Alessandra
    This is absolutely new for me. In India, people eat fresh cottage cheese mostly. Processed cheese is coming up slowly in cities.
    I want to try this, let me see where to get vege rennet in India.
    Thanks for your comment at my Himalayan Blog ..
    Driving in Himalayas is not dangerous but sometimes frightening. My wife is a doctor (Gynecologist & Obstetrician) and needs to plan well in advance to take a break. So mostly cant come with us and it is some times boring for the ladies as we drive to the same places year after year. :-)
    Have a nice weekend

  6. Thank you for your answer Ushnish. I don't know where you get veg rennet in India, but to make ricotta is a little like making cottage cheese, usually add vinegar of lemon to make it curdle.


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  8. I love cheese!! I wish I could find rennet.

    Have a great day, and thanks for the great recipe!

  9. I have dried some fresh cardoons, and will try to use their infusion as a vegetable rennet... Let's see what happens...

  10. Yes, let me know... do you think they would work dried? Did you read it somewhere?

  11. The cheese looks amazing. Thanks for stopping by @ my blog. Have added you to my blog roll:)

  12. Thank you Apu, I added your blog link on my blog roll :-)


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