Saganaki (Fried Cheese)

Saganaki (Fried Cheese)

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Saganaki is actually the name of the traditional skillet in which you fry the cheese. Wikipedia tells us that fried cheese began in Cairo during the Middle Ages and was popular through the time of the Otttoman occupation. Since then, country after country has put their own spin on this hot melted delight. We have Queso Frito from Spain, fried Mozzarella sticks and Mozzarella en Carozza from Italy,  Malakaff from Switzerland, Gougere (cheese puff), and Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame from France. The latter are not kosher because they are made with ham. Israel and Lebanon make various versions of fried Halloumi cheese and Greece makes fried cheese with  Kasseri cheese-amongst several other Greek cheeses. I particularly love the Greek version of fried cheese-simply served with fresh lemon and pepper. I was able to find vegetarian Kasseri cheese; but was unable to find Kasseri with kosher certification. Halloumi and Feta are good substitutions for Kasseri and all can be found with kosher certification. I found Halloumi the easiest to handle for this recipe. It’s dry, mild and holds its shape. This recipe is so simple to prepare. The only caveat is that you need to eat it right way, still sizzling from the pan. I used a heavy stainless steel small pan and it worked very well.  My own twist is to serve the Saganaki with a little cucumber salad on the side. The pickled cucumbers are a nice counterpoint to the rich fried cheese. Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutes


By Gloria Kobrin Published: March 26, 2017

  • Yield:

  • 6 about 1/2 inch slices (3 Servings)


  • 14 ounces Halloumi cheese
  • small bunch Italian parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 large lemon cut into wedges and seeded


  • small stainless steel frying pan
  • slotted spatula
  • paper towels


  1. Cut block of Halloumi in half-creating 2 rectangles. Cut about three 1/2 inch slices from each block. Dredge each slice in flour. Make sure you turn the slices on all sides including the edges. Tap slices against a board to get rid of any extra flour.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil in pan. Heat until almost spattering. Add cheese to pan-two slice at a time. Fry until you see the edges turn brown and then carefully turn the slices over and fry again until both sides have browned. Drain on paper . Sprinkle with fresh pepper and serve with a lemon wedge. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.