Halloumi Tacos with Pineapple Salsa & Aji Verde

Oh boy. I’ve been eager to share this dish with you today for the entire week as we’ve been building up to it.

These tacos are vegetarian and include fried halloumi cheese, fresh pineapple salsa, and aji verde (Peruvian green hot sauce).

The final product is a cultural mash-up of elements, but that is exactly how it was intended. We might refer to them as Mexican (ish).

My favorite vegetarian tacos are being challenged by these sweet-and-spicy ones. Which is okay with me since tacos are infallible.

I suggest you make tacos this weekend and bring some buddies over! The salsa and sauce can be made in advance of your visitors’ arrival. Ready?

Halloumi Cheese: What Is It?

The mystical cheese halloumi can be grilled or fried. In those circumstances, the majority of cheeses would melt into mush, but halloumi has a very high melting point, which works to our advantage.

When halloumi is grilled or fried, it becomes incredibly delicious. It has a creamy, salty flavor that is similar to part-skim mozzarella, and when heated, the outside takes on a more solid texture.

I haven’t had grilled chicken in a very long time, however cooked halloumi does have a comparable soft bite. It’s a great alternative to fish in salads or tacos.

Also read: Mango “Burrito” Bowls with Crispy Tofu and Peanut Sauce


  • 8 small corn or flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced into ¼” wide rounds
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
  • Pineapple Salsa (you’ll have extra)
  • Aji Verde (you’ll have extra)


  1. In a medium skillet (I love to use cast iron) over medium heat, warm each tortilla on both sides until it’s warmed through and developing a few little golden spots. Stack each tortilla together under a clean tea towel to keep them warm.
  2. Warm the olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Using kitchen tongs, carefully place slices of halloumi into the hot oil (be careful, the oil can splatter). Leave a little room around each piece of cheese so they don’t stick together (I usually cook the cheese in two batches). I recommend covering the skillet to contain any splatters.
  3. Cook the cheese until the undersides are golden, about 2 to 4 minutes (if it’s taking forever to brown, raise the heat a bit; if it’s browning very quickly or you catch any whiff of smoke, turn down the heat). Carefully flip each piece of cheese with the tongs, recover the skillet, and cook until the other side is golden, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, place a few paper towels on an empty plate or cutting board to absorb excess oil. Place each piece of cooked cheese onto the plate and let the cheese cool down a bit before handling. Slice each piece of cheese into strips about 1″ wide for more even cheese distribution throughout your taco (hooray).
  5. To assemble the tacos, place a few strips of cheese along half of your tortilla. Using a slotted spoon or serving fork, top the cheese with pineapple salsa. Finish each taco with a drizzle of aji verde. Serve warm!
  6. If you intend to have leftovers, store the individual components separately and combine just before serving. You can gently warm the tortillas and cheese in the microwave. Assemble and enjoy.