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My wife and I are big fans of halloumi cheese. Our air fryer provides the perfect appliance in which to get creative with delicious cheese sticks.

These Halloumi sticks combine flavor with a perfect panko crunch on the outside and need little to no oversight yet taste and look like a restaurant entree.

Panko Halloumi Final
Image Source: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

Halloumi is a firmer cheese from Cyprus, which is generally a mix of goat and sheep’ milk. Halloumi is particularly tasty when grilled or fried to a golden crunch, and is versatile for all manner of dishes or by itself.

Halloumi maintains saltiness, has a good consistency and high-temperature melting point and takes on complementary flavors. I like to add fresh lemon juice and rock salt when cooking it simply.

Image by Анастасия Белоусова from Pixabay

Golden fried, halloumi sticks taste just as yummy as Mozarella sticks. They are considerably less gooey and melty, which is not bad, just different. Halloumi doesn’t need breading to be tasty, but when properly crumbed the layer of crunch takes them to a delicious new level.

The honey mustard mayo recipe below is our current favorite for enjoying Halloumi sticks, but you can go many different ways to suit your palate. I like a habanero hot chilli sauce, however, my wife prefers a simpler, more sensible salt and pepper option to enjoy with aioli and lime.

Air Fried Crunchy Halloumi Sticks

Panko Halloumi Ingredients
Image Source: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes


  • 1 pound halloumi cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 half cup plain flour
  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 1-2 cups of panko breadcrumbs

Honey Mustard Mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (for color and flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt to taste
Prep Mayo
Image Source: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes


1. To make the honey mustard mayo, place mayonnaise, cream, honey, mustard powder, onion powder, and paprika in a bowl, and stir until combined.

2. Place in the fridge for resting. You can use a store-bought mustard mayo (or similar), but that would be cheating!

Honey Mustard Mayo
Image Source: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

2. Cut halloumi into fingers. Make sure they can fit comfortably into the tray of your air fryer, so no more than three inches long. Some halloumi is almost square in shape, so feel free to keep it simple.

Cut Halloumi
Image Source: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

3. Combine flour, mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Take two shallow mixing bowls and place eggs in one, panko in the other. Dip each halloumi finger into the flour mix individually, remove excess, then in the egg, and then in panko mix to coat thoroughly.

Pre-Coating Halloumi
Image Source: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

4. Place halloumi in a single layer in the basket of an air fryer, then add a rack (if it has that function), and repeat until your drawer is full.

5. Lightly spray with oil, and then air fry at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden and crunchy.

6. Season with kosher salt to taste, and serve immediately. Drizzle with honey mustard mayo, or dip the halloumi sticks.

Pre Frying Halloumi
Image Source: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

Recipe adapted from: Taste.com.au

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