If you’re looking for a creamy, savory, incredibly delicious main dish, try this halloumi stroganoff ASAP! I promise your family (kids included!) will love it. Honestly, what’s not to like about comforting bites of tangy cheese coated in a thick, rich brown sauce, all spooned over a pile of fresh, steaming white rice?
This vegetarian stroganoff recipe cooks up in just 25 minutes, and requires only a handful of simple, inexpensive ingredients. You’ll be sitting down to this hot meal in no time!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Halloumi stroganoff is a wonderful comfort food. The tangy sour cream flavors coupled with the briny halloumi cheese makes it completely irresistible. Serve this vegetarian stroganoff along with a fresh, green veggie side for the perfect contrast with the richness of this dish. Some great options would be a simple side salad, cherry tomatoes, or lightly steamed green beans.
What is Halloumi?
Halloumi is a delicious type of cheese that is traditionally made from goat and sheep’s milk, and occasionally from cow’s milk. A unique property of this cheese is that it has a high melting point, which means that it can sustain longer exposure to a heat source, without melting. The texture stays firm despite the application of heat – for example grilling, or pan frying. For this reason, vegetarians often use halloumi as a meat replacement because it works perfectly in a variety of meat-free recipes.
Visually, halloumi resembles mozzarella cheese. It is white in color but is harder in texture; you will likely notice a squeaky texture when you bite into it. The flavor of this cheese is briny and salty. If pregnant, confirm that the cheese is marked as pasteurized before consuming.
What is Halloumi Stroganoff?
Halloumi stroganoff is a vegetarian stroganoff (lacto-vegetarian) involving halloumi cheese prepared in a stroganoff fashion. Stroganoff is a traditional Russian dish prepared with meat such as poultry or beef, and is cooked in a sauce composed of a flavorful meat broth, onions, sour cream, and spices. In this recipe, halloumi replaces the meat component. The sauce is thickened using flour. Often, stroganoff recipes incorporate sliced mushrooms, but this halloumi stroganoff recipe does not.
Is Halloumi Stroganoff Healthy?
When consumed as part of a balanced diet, halloumi cheese does indeed possess some healthy properties. Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional highlights of the main ingredient used in this pregnancy recipe: halloumi!
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese that is a good source of protein and calcium. Specifically, a 28g serving of halloumi contains 90 calories, 6g of protein, 7g of fat, as well as 200mg of calcium.
The calcium present in halloumi is directly beneficial to pregnant woman for many reasons. Calcium builds baby’s healthy bones and teeth, and keeps mama’s bones strong. Adequate calcium intake keeps mama from losing bone density (because baby is using the calcium for her own growth).
In addition to calcium, halloumi has solid protein content and so is a great replacement for those adhering to a lacto-vegetarian diet (be sure to check the label to confirm that animal rennet is not used in production). The protein found in halloumi supports the exponential growth of the fetal and maternal tissues as well as the substantial increase in blood volume. Adequate dietary protein intake is absolutely imperative during pregnancy because all of the rapid growth and development that begins at the moment of conception is aided by this macronutrient.
Be aware that a 28g serving of halloumi does have higher sodium content (669 mg). The FDA recommends consuming less than 2,300mg of sodium per day.
Pasteurized halloumi, ½ pound (200g)
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp
Vegetable broth, 1 cup (2.4 dl)
Flour, 1.5 tbsp
Soy sauce, 1 tbsp
Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp
Fat-free sour cream, 2 tbsp
Heavy cream, 2 tbsp
How to Make Halloumi Stroganoff
Step 1: Prepare the stroganoff sauce base
In a medium skillet, warm the olive oil. Once warm, add the chopped onions, minced garlic clove, and ground black pepper, and sauté over medium heat, until browned, about 1-2 minutes time.
Step 2: Add in the sliced halloumi
Slide in the sliced halloumi and give a stir so that it mixes with the onions and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds.
Step 3: Brown the flour
Make a little well in the onion/garlic/halloumi mixture, and add in the 1 1/2 tablespoons flour. Using a small whisk, gently stir the flour, until it is incorporated. These small whisks are indispensable in my kitchen!
Step 4: Add flavorings and broth
Add in the 1 tablespoon each of lemon juice and soy sauce, and then pour in the vegetable broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon so that you loosen all of the crispy bits adhering to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil while stirring gently (to ensure that the halloumi doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan).
Step 5: Add the cream and serve
Once the sauce has reached a boil, immediately turn off the heat. Add in the 2 tablespoons each of sour cream and heavy cream, and stir well, using a wooden spoon. Serve a heaping spoonful of this creamy halloumi stroganoff over freshly steamed white rice and sprinkle some chopped parsley on top. SO easy, and tasty!
Halloumi stroganoff so delicious on its own, but is especially good with:
- A starchy carb such as egg noodles, white rice, brown rice, or cooked penne pasta
- Mashed potatoes
- Crusty toasted baguette slices
- Green side salad with a light vinaigrette
- Plain, steamed carrots
- A handful of cherry tomatoes
Some variations on halloumi stroganoff could include:
Instead of rice, why not try serving halloumi stroganoff with pasta noodles? Pasta noodles are actually the most traditional starch to accompany a stroganoff dish. Often, I will serve stroganoff with egg noodles. Egg noodles are broader, flat noodles that are comprised of egg and flour.
You have different choices when it comes to the sour cream. There are three primary types of sour cream: nonfat, light, and full-fat. Because nonfat sour cream contains no saturated fat, it is certainly a healthier option. A nonfat or “fat-free” sour cream contains 60% less calories than a whole-fat sour cream.
USA sour cream composition requirements can be found in this specifications document. A “light” sour cream will contain about 38% less fat than whole-fat sour cream. For a richer flavor, choose light sour cream or full-fat sour cream instead of the fat-free option but be aware of the saturated fat content.
A healthier alternative would be to replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt. Although both sour cream and Greek yogurt are fermented dairy products, sour cream is fermented cream and Greek yogurt is fermented milk. Thus, you get less saturated fat content and calories by replacing the sour cream with Greek yogurt. Beneficially, Greek yogurt contains more protein than sour cream! 100g of Greek yogurt offers 10g of protein, whereas 100g of full-fat sour cream only offers 2-3g of protein. However, because milk is less rich than cream, you will notice a reduction in creamy flavor.
I am one of those people that LOVES fresh herbs sprinkled on top of my food. I truly think it that the aroma and taste of fresh herbs enhances almost any dish. For halloumi stroganoff I like to sprinkle fresh parsley on top, but other great options could include fresh cilantro (coriander), chives, or scallions.
Traditional stroganoff uses sliced mushrooms in the preparation. In this halloumi stroganoff recipe I have omitted mushrooms, however if you are a mushroom aficionado, different mushrooms could be used, such as shiitake, white button, or Portobello.
Make Ahead and Storage
Store halloumi stroganoff in the fridge for up to three days, in an airtight container.
- To reheat: Pour the refrigerated contents into a small saucepan and warm until the sauce has loosened up. If the stroganoff is too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin it out.
Store halloumi stroganoff in the freezer for up to three months, in reusable Ziploc bags like these or airtight storage containers.
- To reheat: Thaw the halloumi stroganoff in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Pour the contents into a small saucepan and warm until the sauce has loosened up. Again, if the stroganoff needs thinning out, add a bit of water until it has reached your desired consistency.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a halloumi cheese substitute?
A great vegetarian substitute for halloumi cheese would be firm tofu. The texture and color closely resemble halloumi cheese, however tofu has a neutral flavor which would absorb all of the stroganoff flavors. Bear in mind that tofu is not brined, so it will not contribute salty flavor to this vegetarian stroganoff.
Halloumi cheese is a preferred option for many vegetarians because of its robust texture which is similar to meat. If you are vegetarian, be sure to check the brand label to confirm that animal rennet is not used in production. Ideal non-vegetarian halloumi cheese substitutes would be sliced chicken breast, or even ground turkey.
Can you use mayo instead of sour cream in stroganoff?
No, do not use mayonnaise instead of sour cream. Mayo is not a dairy product; it is an emulsion of egg yolk, oil and vinegar that would not be a suitable substitute for sour cream in halloumi stroganoff.
Where does stroganoff come from?
Stroganoff is a type of preparation named after the Russian Stroganov family in the nineteenth century. Typically stroganoff involves cooking beef in roux with added beef broth, and added sour cream (and occasionally mustard).
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- 8 oz pasteurized halloumi
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp fat-free sour cream
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- In a medium skillet, warm the olive oil for 1 minute.
- Once warm, add the chopped onions, minced garlic clove, ground black pepper, and sauté over medium heat, until browned, about 1-2 minutes.
- Slide in the sliced halloumi and give a stir so that it mixes with the onions and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds.
- Make a little well in the onion/garlic/halloumi mixture, and add in the flour. Using a small whisk, gently stir the flour, until it is incorporated.
- Add in the lemon juice and soy sauce, and then pour in the vegetable broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon so that the crispy bits are loosened from the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil while stirring gently.
- Once the sauce has reached a boil, immediately turn off the heat. Add in the 2 tablespoons each of sour cream and heavy cream, and stir well, using a wooden spoon.
- Serve a heaping spoonful of this creamy halloumi stroganoff over freshly steamed white rice and sprinkle some chopped parsley on top.