Delicious Smokey Halloumi Pasta Bake Recipe (2024)

Table of Contents
Ingredients Equipment Instructions Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect Halloumi pasta bake What is halloumi? Is Halloumi pasta bake easy to make? Will I need any special equipment to make Halloumi pasta bake? What kind of pasta should I use? How can I tell if halloumi has gone off? How can I tell if cheddar cheese has gone off? Is Halloumi pasta bake suitable for vegetarians? Is Halloumi pasta bake suitable for vegans? Is Halloumi pasta bake gluten-free? Is Halloumi pasta bake keto-friendly? Is Halloumi pasta bake suitable for those on a FODMAP diet? Is Halloumi pasta bake healthy? Is Halloumi pasta bake safe to eat while pregnant? Is Halloumi pasta bake suitable for babies and toddlers? Can I use a different kind of cheese instead of halloumi? What goes well with Halloumi pasta bake? How should I store Halloumi pasta bake? How long will Halloumi pasta bake keep? Can I leave the Halloumi pasta bake out on the counter? Can I make Halloumi pasta bake ahead? Can I keep my Halloumi pasta bake in the refrigerator? Can I freeze this Halloumi pasta bake? What is the best way to defrost the Halloumi pasta bake? Can I make these Halloumi pasta bake in a different quantity? Can I make this recipe in a different tin/tray? Can I make Halloumi pasta bake in a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid or Kenwood Mixer? Can I make Halloumi pasta bake with a food processor? How can I make sure my Halloumi pasta bake turns out perfectly? Why did my Halloumi pasta bake turn out dry/burnt? Why did my Halloumi pasta bake turn out wet/soft/dense? How can I add/change the flavours in this Halloumi pasta bake? Where is the origin of the pasta bake? Print this halloumi pasta bake recipe Smokey Halloumi Pasta Bake Recipe Ingredients Equipment Instructions Video Notes Nutrition Pin this smokey halloumi pasta recipe More fantastic pasta recipes to try Have you got my book?

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This Halloumi Pasta Bake is utterly incredible. It's filling, full of a perfect blend of firm and gooey textures, and it's busting with tomatoey tang.

Delicious Smokey Halloumi Pasta Bake Recipe (1)

Best of all, the whole dish is given an earthy flavour with the smoked paprika-based spicy tomato sauce.

Delicious Smokey Halloumi Pasta Bake Recipe (2)

The bittersweet smoked paprika adds a gorgeously warm and smokey dimension to the pasta. It smells divine and tastes wonderful.

Delicious Smokey Halloumi Pasta Bake Recipe (3)

Here's how to make my smokey halloumi pasta bake - it feeds 4-6, depending on how hungry you are.

Delicious Smokey Halloumi Pasta Bake Recipe (4)

Ingredients

  • 300 g (11 oz) dried pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus a little to grease
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) halloumi cheese vegetarian if required, cubed
  • 1 large courgette (zucchini) cubed
  • 160 g (1⅓ cup) mature cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar) grated, vegetarian if required
  • 800 g (28 oz) canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan).

Put the pasta on to cook in plenty of boiling, salted water. Cook for 4-5 minutes then drain. It will seem under-cooked but don't worry, it will finish cooking in the oven. So it shouldn't be al dente or soft.

Warm the olive oil over a medium heat.

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Add the onion, garlic and 1 tsp of smoked paprika.

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Fry for 1-2 minutes.

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Turn the heat up high and add the courgettes and halloumi.

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Fry for a further 3-5 minutes until starting to colour.

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Add the tomatoes and a good pinch of black pepper.

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Continue to heat on high until bubbling.

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Add the pasta.

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Stir through, then turn off the heat.

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Grease a medium roasting tray or baking dish and tip the pasta mixture into it. Level off.

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Top with the grated cheese. Make sure the halloumi is cubed. It can't be added in large pieces as it has a high melting point.

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Sprinkle the final 1 tsp of smoked paprika all over the top of the bake.

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Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese just starts to bubble.

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Serve and enjoy!

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You get deliciousness in every bite!

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What did you think of this smokey halloumi pasta bake? Will you be giving it a try?

Delicious Smokey Halloumi Pasta Bake Recipe (20)

Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect Halloumi pasta bake

What is halloumi?

Halloumi is a type of cheese that originates from Cyprus. It is made from a mixture of sheep's milk or goat's milk and sometimes cow's milk.

The cheese has a high-fat content, which gives it a unique texture that allows it to be grilled or fried without melting. This texture also makes halloumi a 'squeaky cheese', as it can sometimes feel squeaky when you chew it.

It’s a staple in Mediterranean food and is often used as a vegetarian alternative to meat. You can find halloumi in many supermarkets and speciality food stores.

Is Halloumi pasta bake easy to make?

This Halloumi pasta recipe is one of the most simple and delicious recipes on the site! For such a hearty and beautifully flavoured dish, the process is surprisingly simple!

You'll simply par-cook the pasta and drain it off. Then you mix in the cheese and sauce ingredients and then pour the pasta mixture into a baking dish, top with more cheese and bake to perfection!

In less than 30 minutes, you can feed the whole family, get some veggies on plates. Even better - the leftover halloumi pasta is great the next day!

Will I need any special equipment to make Halloumi pasta bake?

This halloumi pasta is such an easy dish to prepare because it needs minimal equipment! You'll need a knife and chopping board to prepare your veg and cheese, a saucepan to cook your pasta, and a baking dish to cook everything in - simple!

(Remember: You'll also need measuring cups or scales to ensure you have the right ingredients.)

There's always a complete list of suggested equipment on the recipe card below my recipes if you're in doubt.

I also always include links to example products in the recipe card to show exactly what I used to make each recipe. (The links in the recipe card are affiliate links.)

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What kind of pasta should I use?

I used rigatoni for this recipe, but you can use any pasta you prefer. Though I don't think a noodle (i.e. spaghetti) would work well in a pasta bake.

In terms of quality, using an Italian brand is usually better than a supermarket's own brand. So look for brands like Garofalo, De Cecco or Rummo in the pasta aisle of your local grocery store.

How can I tell if halloumi has gone off?

Halloumi usually comes in a brine-filled packet, so your halloumi might look good, but it could be another story once you open the packet.

If the halloumi has a sour smell, or if it has changed in colour from white to yellow or brown, it has gone bad and should be thrown out.

You can also tell if halloumi has gone bad if it is slimy or sticky to the touch (rather than wet from the brine). If any of these signs are present, do not use the halloumi. Discard the packet and anything it may have come into contact (if opened).

How can I tell if cheddar cheese has gone off?

A block of cheddar cheese can last for up to six weeks in the fridge, but it will start to become more crumbly and dry as it ages. You can tell if cheddar cheese has gone bad if it is mouldy, or has a sour smell or any discolouration.

Grated cheddar has a shorter life than a block of cheese, as the gratings are more exposed to air and prone to drying out. So grated cheese will usually dry out or smell sour as it gets older. If it's really spoiled, grated cheese will be very dry and have clumps with blue or orange mould.

So if your cheese has any of these signs, it's best to throw it out. To make sure your cheese lasts as long as possible, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. And when you're grating it, only grate what you need, as exposure to air will cause it to go off quicker.

Is Halloumi pasta bake suitable for vegetarians?

As long as you use vegetarian cheese, this dish should be perfect for veggies! Some cheese is made using an animal-derived ingredient called rennet. So make sure your halloumi and cheddar are rennet free and you’re good to go!

Animal-derived products can be used to thicken, colour or flavour sweet and savoury food, so it sneaks into the most surprising ingredients! So always make sure that you double-check all of your ingredient labels to ensure that they are vegetarian. Also, don't forget to check anything extra you intend to serve with your Halloumi pasta bake.

Is Halloumi pasta bake suitable for vegans?

Unfortunately, this recipe is not suitable for vegans, as it is Halloumi and cheddar cheese based. You could try making this recipe vegan by swapping the Halloumi and cheddar for vegan alternatives (Violife makes vegan versions of both Halloumi and cheddar).

However, vegan cheese has a different melting point and behaviour than dairy cheeses, so you may need to adjust or experiment with the cooking time and method.

Is Halloumi pasta bake gluten-free?

This recipe isn’t gluten-free as is, but if you use gluten-free pasta, it will be! Gluten-free pasta is available in most supermarkets but is usually more limited in shape. So feel free to use any gluten-free pasta shape. For some reason, most gluten-free pasta is fusilli or penne; both would work well.

It should cook in the same amount of time as wheat pasta, but check your packet instructions just in case. Remember, you only want to part cook the pasta as it will soak up lots of deliciousness in the oven.

Double-check all of your ingredient labels to make sure that they are gluten-free. Don't forget to check anything extra you intend to serve with your Halloumi pasta bake.

Delicious Smokey Halloumi Pasta Bake Recipe (22)

Is Halloumi pasta bake keto-friendly?

This recipe isn’t keto-friendly as it contains wheat pasta and some non-keto vegetables. However, cheese is keto-friendly, so you could make a cheese and vegetable-baked dish if you swap out the veg for keto-approved vegetables.

Is Halloumi pasta bake suitable for those on a FODMAP diet?

This recipe isn’t suitable for a low FODMAP diet as it contains lots of dairy and wheat flour, which are both limited on a low FODMAP diet.

Is Halloumi pasta bake healthy?

In some ways, yes, this pasta bake is healthy. It’s full of vegetables and calcium. Though it does contain a lot of fat.

Is Halloumi pasta bake safe to eat while pregnant?

Yes, as long as this Halloumi pasta bake is cooked properly and

Make sure that all of your ingredients are in good condition and that you prepare this meal safely and hygienically.

A Mummy Too does not offer medical advice. Please seek help from a medical professional if you need further information or have any concerns.

Is Halloumi pasta bake suitable for babies and toddlers?

This dish is suitable for some children and not for others. If you are making this for young children or babies, this dish is unsuitable as it contains too much salt. The NHS explains why here.

If your child is a little older (4+) and can eat dairy products, then this meal should be suitable - and tasty!

Always give food in an appropriate size and shape for your child. Cut small, round foods, like grapes and cherry tomatoes, into small pieces.

A Mummy Too does not give medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to a health professional.

The NHS has some fantastic resources on their website on what to feed babies and young children.

Can I use a different kind of cheese instead of halloumi?

I love using halloumi chunks in this recipe because it gives you the perfect blend of firm halloumi contrasting with the melty cheddar.

But if you can't find any halloumi, you can substitute it with any other type of cheese that you like. Just keep in mind that the taste will be different depending on the cheese you use.

So if you want to stay true to the dish, then we recommend using halloumi. But if you're looking for a change, then feel free to experiment.

As long as you get the gooey textures from cheese contrasting with the fresh veg and pasta, any combination should work!

What goes well with Halloumi pasta bake?

A big green salad and some garlic bread would be a great accompaniment to this dish. I find a fresh salad with cherry tomatoes and lemon juice helps cut through rich cheese dishes like this. Or a salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing would work too!

How should I store Halloumi pasta bake?

The best place to keep your Halloumi pasta bake is in the fridge. Make sure you let it cool completely before refrigeration. You can store the whole dish covered in cling film (saran wrap), or you can store individual portions in covered plates or lunchboxes.

How long will Halloumi pasta bake keep?

Halloumi pasta bake will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. The reheated leftovers will be just as tasty, though as with all homecooked food, it's always better as fresh as possible.

You could also eat the leftovers cold in a lunchbox or another night of the week. Simply some salad leaves and fresh herbs - sort of like a halloumi pasta salad.

Can I leave the Halloumi pasta bake out on the counter?

No, this dish needs to be kept in the fridge at all times. The cheese will go bad if left out at room temperature.

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Can I make Halloumi pasta bake ahead?

The answer is yes! You can easily make this dish ahead of time and then simply reheat it when you're ready to eat.

The pasta may become a little soggier than if you had made the dish fresh, but it will still taste just as delicious!

Can I keep my Halloumi pasta bake in the refrigerator?

Yes, the best place for your pasta bake is in the fridge or freezer.

If you're going to eat it within a few days, then the fridge is fine. But if you want to keep it for longer, then the freezer is your best bet.

This dish will last in the fridge for up to 3 days if you store it in an airtight container free from contaminants.

Can I freeze this Halloumi pasta bake?

Yes, you can easily freeze this dish. Simply place it in a freezer-safe container, and it will last for up to 3 months.

When you're ready to eat it, simply thaw it overnight in the fridge and then reheat it in the oven until piping hot!

What is the best way to defrost the Halloumi pasta bake?

There are a few ways you can safely defrost your Halloumi pasta bake. One method is to place the dish in the refrigerator overnight. Another is to defrost it in the microwave on the 'defrost' setting. If you choose to reheat the pasta bake, do so thoroughly, but be careful to avoid overcooking.

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Can I make these Halloumi pasta bake in a different quantity?

If you want to make more or less of this recipe, then it’s best to use an online recipe calculator. It works the ingredient quantities automatically for you so that everything is in the right ratios.

Can I make this recipe in a different tin/tray?

You can make this pasta bake in any kind of oven dish, as long as it allows for the pasta to soak up the sauce and cook through.

I wouldn’t recommend cooking this dish in individual portions (i.e. in ramekins), as the pasta needs to soak up all the extra liquid it can get from the sauce and vegetables.

Can I make Halloumi pasta bake in a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid or Kenwood Mixer?

There’s no need to use a stand mixer in this recipe, it’s all chopped and mixed by hand.

Can I make Halloumi pasta bake with a food processor?

And there’s no use for a food processor in this recipe either, it’s all chopped and mixed by hand.

How can I make sure my Halloumi pasta bake turns out perfectly?

  • First, make sure to cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water so that you can get it par-cooked evenly, without the pasta at the bottom being overcooked.
  • Then, make sure to drain the pasta thoroughly - if you add very wet pasta to the baking dish it adds extra liquid to the sauce.
  • When you add the other ingredients, make sure to coat the pasta thoroughly with cheese so that it bakes up nice and golden brown.
  • If you find that your pasta isn't crisping up on top, you could pop it under the grill (medium-high) for 2-3 minutes or until you get a lovely crispy top.

Why did my Halloumi pasta bake turn out dry/burnt?

There are a couple of things that can cause this.

  • Firstly, make sure you don't undercook the pasta - it should be par-cooked before going into the oven, so not al dente. But it should still be soft enough that it only needs 10 minutes in the oven. If you're keeping your dish in the oven for longer because the pasta isn't cooked, then it's at risk of burning.
  • If you find that your bake is drying out/getting too brown on top, you could take it out and try covering it with some aluminium foil. This will help to create a humid environment and prevent the dish from drying out. You could also try reducing the oven temperature slightly.

Why did my Halloumi pasta bake turn out wet/soft/dense?

This is usually caused by not draining the pasta properly or by adding wet ingredients to the dish.

Make sure to drain your pasta thoroughly, and if you're using fresh vegetables, cook them until they're soft before adding them to the bake

You could also try using less liquid in the sauce or increasing the amount of time the bake spends in the oven.

Your dish might be wet or soft if you overcooked the pasta before adding it to the baking dish. The pasta should be par-cooked, not even al dente. So if your pasta was fully cooked before it went in the oven, it won't absorb any excess liquid from the sauce or vegetables.

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How can I add/change the flavours in this Halloumi pasta bake?

If you're looking for some ways to add a twist to this recipe, here are a few flavour combinations or ingredients which might work for you:

  • You could cook your pasta in chicken stock or another kind of stock (beef, vegetable). However, some people may find this too much salt due to the saltiness of the halloumi.
  • Or you could add some white wine to the sauce instead of some of the canned tomato. You may want to add some tomato puree to compensate for the loss of tomato if you use wine.
  • You could add some double cream or creme fraiche to the filling mix for a creamy sauce.
  • Chopped herbs like fresh basil, rosemary or sage would make a great addition to the filling.
  • Swapping out the halloumi for another cheese like feta, goat's cheese or mozzarella.
  • You could use vegetables like red onion, bell pepper (green or yellow peppers would work best), squashes or add some beans.
  • Mix in some diced sun-dried tomatoes, olives, artichokes or peppers to the filling.
  • If you want a bit more of a spice kick, try adding some hot red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper.
  • Add some cooked bacon, sausage or shrimp to the filling.

Where is the origin of the pasta bake?

There is no definitive answer to this question. The dish likely originated in Italy, as pasta is a staple food there. However, it is also possible that the dish was created in other parts of the world, as similar recipes can be found in many different cultures. Whatever its origins, the pasta bake has become a popular dish in many countries and is often made with various ingredients.

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4.5 from 41 votes

Smokey Halloumi Pasta Bake Recipe

This Halloumi Pasta Bake is utterly incredible. It's filling, full of a perfect blend of firm and gooey textures, and it's busting with tomatoey tang.

Prep Time10 minutes mins

Cook Time20 minutes mins

Total Time30 minutes mins

Course: Pasta meals

Cuisine: Cypriot

Diet: Vegetarian

Servings: 6 portions

Author: Emily Leary

Ingredients

  • 300 g (11 oz) dried pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus a little to grease
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) halloumi cheese vegetarian if required, cubed
  • 1 large courgette (zucchini) cubed
  • 160 g (1⅓ cup) mature cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar) grated, vegetarian if required
  • 800 g (28 oz) canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan, 390F).

  • Put the pasta on to cook in plenty of boiling, salted water. Cook for 5 minutes then drain. It will seem under-cooked but don’t worry, it will finish cooking in the oven.

  • Warm the olive oil over a medium heat.

  • Add the onion, garlic and 1 tsp of smoked paprika and fry for 1 minute.

  • Turn the heat up high and add the courgettes and halloumi.

  • Fry for a further 3-5 minutes until starting to colour.

  • Add the tomatoes and a good pinch of pepper. Continue to heat on high until bubbling.

  • Add the pasta, stir through, then turn off the heat.

  • Grease a medium roasting tray and tip the pasta mixture into it. Level off.

  • Top with the grated cheese.

  • Sprinkle the final 1 tsp of smoked paprika all over the top of the bake.

  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese just starts to bubble.

  • Serve and enjoy!

Video

Notes

This pasta dish freezes really well. Pop it in a sealed container as soon as it's cold and it will keep for three months. You might prefer to freeze in individual portions to make it easier to reheat just what you need.

Nutrition

Calories: 504.39kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.76g | Protein: 24.12g | Fat: 24.9g | Saturated Fat: 13.57g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 869.79mg | Potassium: 515.53mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 6.53g | Vitamin A: 816.89IU | Vitamin C: 19.92mg | Calcium: 672.02mg | Iron: 2.43mg

* Note: nutritional information is estimated, based on publicly available data. Nutrient values may vary from those published. Information on this website should not be taken as medical advice. Cuisines identify the primary region of inspiration for a dish.

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