Bacon Wrapped Halloumi Cheese

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!

Crunchy bacon wrapped halloumi cheese rolls piled up in a white plate.

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.

The ingredients

You only need 2 ingredients for this delicious keto and carnivore appetizer:

A piece of halloumi cheese wrapped in bacon getting dipped in ranch sauce.

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!

Halloumi cheese wrapped in bacon appetizers just ready, inside an air fryer basket.

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.

A 3 picture collage showing the halloumi cheese being cut in finger sized pieces, then being tightly rolled in a wide back bacon strip.

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.

Halloumi cheese pieces rolled in bacon inside air fryer basket, before and after cooking.

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.

Bacon wrapped halloumi fried snacks on a large plate, surrounding a smalll bowl of ranch dipping sauce.

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.

A plate of crispy air fried bacon wrapped halloumi cheese on a bed of arugula leaves.

Serving suggestions

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!


Crunchy bacon wrapped halloumi cheese rolls piled up in a white plate.

Bacon Wrapped Halloumi Cheese Bites

Yield: 12 or 24 appetizers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Crispy bacon wrapped in soft, hot and salty cheese! This easy keto and carnivore friendly recipe makes for an epic appetizer or snack!

Ingredients

Instructions

Prepare the bacon wrapped cheese

  1. Pat dry the halloumi cheese with a paper towel. Cut it in 12 rectangular, finger sized pieces, or half the size for 24 smaller square appetizers.
  2. Wrap the bacon tightly around the pieces of cheese. Use whole strips for long pieces of cheese, wrapping around in a spiral if needed to cover the cheese, or half strips for square ones.
  3. Skewer the bacon halloumi rolls with toothpicks if cooking in a frying pan to hold the bacon, this step is optional if air frying or baking in the oven.

Air fryer cooking instructions

  1. Arrange the halloumi and bacon rolls in the air fryer basket with space in between them, and with the ends of the bacon strips facing down (if they're not skewered with toothpicks).
  2. Set the air fryer to 180°C (360°F) and cook until bacon is at desired crispness and halloumi is hot with golden tips - about 10-12 minutes for streaky or thin bacon/half strips and 15 minutes for thick cut bacon or back/Irish bacon.

Oven baking instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
  2. Arrange the bacon halloumi rolls on the pan or roasting rack, with the ends of the bacon strips facing down if not held by toothpicks. Keep some space between the rolls.
  3. Bake for 13–18 minutes until golden brown or bacon is at desired crispness. Flip the halloumi appetizers halfway through.

Pan frying instructions

  1. Skewer the wrapped halloumi bites to secure the bacon with one or two toothpicks, so they don't unwrap as they are flipped around in the pan.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, ghee or lard to a large skillet on medium high heat.
  3. When the oil/fat is hot, gently place the bacon wrapped cheese onto the pan.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and fry until the bacon is crisp as you like and the halloumi is golden, turning the wraps around in the pan to cook evenly.
  5. Transfer the appetizers to a plate lined with paper towels or a metal rack to drip away excess oil. Serve while hot.

Notes

You can soak the block of halloumi in water to make it less salty, if you like. The longer it stays in the water, the less salty it gets. Change the water as it absorbs the salt away.

When cutting the halloumi cheese, you can choose to make square smaller pieces (for 24 appetizers) or rectangular, finger sized pieces (for 12 appetizers). To make the smaller versions, use half strip of bacon for wrapping each square of cheese. For the finger sized cheese piece, roll a full strip of bacon around in a spiral.

Nutrition information below is for a 6 piece serving out of 24 small appetizers (with halved bacon strip), or for a 3 piece serving out of 12 finger sized appetizers.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4th of recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 23.2gTrans Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 0gNet Carbohydrates: 0.7gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 20.8g

Nutrition information is provided as a guideline only. Different brands of ingredients may have different nutrition facts. If tracking macros, remake the calculations using the nutrition facts from the labels of the ingredients you selected. Net carbs calculated exclude carbs from insoluble fiber and sugar alcohols.

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