Bacon wrapped halloumi cheese is an easy to make keto and carnivore friendly appetizer or snack that tastes beyond awesome with only two ingredients! It’s crunchy and cheesy, salty and smoky… Each bite is an epic explosion of flavor!
With these halloumi cheese bacon bites it’s simple to create a beautiful appetizer plate that your guests are sure to love, ideal to take on potlucks and games!
By the way, how cute are these? As it cooks, the bacon shrinks and squeezes the halloumi cheese out through the ends. It’s like a bacon and cheese cannoli!
I love how easy it is to make this keto appetizer in the air fryer, but if you don’t have one don’t worry: I will give you instructions on how to make the bacon wrapped halloumi rolls in the oven and also in a frying pan.
You only need 2 ingredients for this delicious keto and carnivore appetizer:
Halloumi cheese: This delicious Cypriot cheese is made from sheep and goat milk, and sold in packets with brine. Halloumi is perfect for grilling and frying, because it doesn’t melt!
Halloumi cheese has a higher melting point than your typical cheese, so retains its shape when it’s heated. It can be cooked until brown without melting, and it gets crisp on the outside and soft and chewy inside.
Bacon: Any kind of bacon you like! It can be regular bacon strips, double or extra thick, or back bacon (this is the Irish/English style) as I used here.
If you have been avoiding bacon because of added sugars, just get some keto friendly, sugar-free bacon!
Do you need to soak halloumi
I don’t usually soak the halloumi cheese, but it is an option if you want it to be less salty. You just need to place the block of halloumi in a bowl with water for about 20 minutes. The excess salt will be transferred into the water.
If you need it to be even less salty, you can change up the water from the bowl, soaking it again in another round of clean water. The longer the halloumi is soaked, the less salty it will be.
How to make
Start by patting dry the block of halloumi with paper towels. This ensures that the cheese crisps up when air frying or baking in the oven. It also helps avoiding smoke and splatter when frying in a pan with oil.
Choose the shape you want to serve the bacon wrapped halloumi before cutting the cheese.
If cutting the halloumi cheese into squares, the bacon strips should be cut in half lengthwise. The recipe will make about 20-24 appetizers or snacks.
Cutting the halloumi in finger size, rectangular pieces, the recipe makes about 10-12 appetizers. Keep the bacon strips whole and and wrap them around the cheese in a spiral. Try to cover as much of the halloumi as possible.
As you can see, back bacon slices are wider, so if using this type of bacon you can just wrap the cheese straight as I did.
Stretch the bacon tightly as you wrap. If you are going to fry in a pan, add one or two toothpicks to each wrapped halloumi so that the bacon doesn’t unwrap as you flip them.
For cooking in the air fryer or in the oven, there’s no need to add a toothpick to hold the bacon in place – but you can still do it for the looks!
How to cook
Air fryer instructions
Carefully arrange the halloumi wrapped in bacon inside the air fryer basket with the ends of the bacon strips facing down (if you didn’t skewer them with toothpicks). Make sure they are not touching, so the hot air will circulate properly.
Time in the air fryer varies with how crisp you want your bacon, and what type of bacon you’re using.
For regular streaky bacon, the halloumi appetizers will get ready in the air fryer in just 10-12 minutes.
If using thick cut strips or back bacon (which I used) it takes a little longer to crisp. The pictures that illustrate the recipe here I air fried for 15 minutes at 180°C (360°F)
Remember, you can always add more minutes in the cooking time but not take them away.
In the oven
Use a baking pan with sides (not a baking sheet), so that the grease of the bacon won’t drip off into the bottom of the oven. Or, use a roasting rack instead.
Arrange the wrapped halloumi on the pan or rack, with the end of the bacon strips facing down. Take it into the preheated oven at 220°C (425°F) and bake for 13–18 minutes until golden brown. Flip the rolls halfway through.
In the frying pan
When making these keto snacks in the frying pan, it’s best to skewer the bacon halloumi rolls with a toothpick to keep them together.
Add about 2 tablespoons of your preferred cooking oil, lard or ghee to the frying pan and when it gets hot, gently place the halloumi wraps in the pan.
Flip them around, to fry the bacon evenly on all sides. When ready to your liking, transfer them to a plate with some paper towels to absorb the oil. Serve hot!
Preparing in advance
These are very practical appetizers, because you can plan ahead and prepare them up to a couple of days in advance. Wrapping the bacon and cheese rolls is the most time consuming part of the recipe.
Prepare the bacon wraps as per instructions. If you want to skewer them with toothpicks, it can be done now or just before cooking.
Place it in the fridge, in an airtight container or arranged in a plate covered with plastic wrap. When it’s time to serve, they can go straight into the air fryer/oven/frying pan.
The cooking time might increase in a couple of minutes as the bacon rollups will be colder.
These irresistible keto bacon and halloumi appetizer bites are just great by themselves… after all, it’s bacon and cheese. I can hardly imagine a better combination!
But, what’s so good that can’t be improved by dipping in sauce?
I recommend a keto friendly, sugar-free marinara sauce or some creamy ranch for extra pleasure!
How to store leftovers and reheat
If you are lucky enough to have any left overs, you can store them in the fridge for up to 3 days, covered.
To reheat the bacon wrapped halloumi, just pop the rolls in the oven or air fryer until they are warmed through. You can even use the microwave, it’s quicker!
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