An easy vegetarian option for Christmas dinner! Baked with a cranberry, rosemary and garlic topping. It’s simple to prepare, doesn’t require much oven space, and slots into your holiday meal beautifully as a meatless protein centerpiece!
Introducing my best easy vegetarian main dish for Christmas…
If you’re looking for a vegetarian centerpiece for your Christmas table, look no further. Christmas halloumi is a winner! If you’ve already got lots of delicious vegetable side dishes to offer, and just need the perfect protein for your meatless option, you can not go wrong with halloumi. It’s a firm, non melting cheese that can be roasted, sliced and eaten with a knife and fork. No need for faux meat when halloumi is around!
In this recipe we cut a block of halloumi into two large slices, then we cut a criss-cross pattern at the top and stuff them with cranberry sauce, garlic and rosemary. The halloumi turns crispy, with the festive flavors baked in at the top.
This is easy to prepare, it doesn’t take up a lot of space in your oven, but you DO have the option of baking it in a larger dish alongside some roasted mushrooms, stuffing balls, or anything else your vegetarian eaters might enjoy.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips
- Make sure you are using legitimate halloumi. You can’t go wrong with any imported Cypriot halloumi. But if you are using a halloumi style cheese made somewhere else, be sure to test it out before you make this for Christmas dinner. The texture can be quite different with these cheeses and it may not turn out right – sometimes they actually melt. More on this here.
- If you’re making this on Christmas Day and have a really busy oven, it may take longer to cook because the oven temperature may not maintain as easily when full, or the oven might be steamy.
- One block of halloumi will make two large slices, and I would suggest one slice per person. It’s easy to scale this up as needed if you have lots of vegetarians at the table.
This slots easily in to whatever Christmas dinner you’ve got planned as long as you have other veggie side dishes to be enjoyed. A few thoughts:
- I love to add some stuffing balls to the baking tray, this ensures vegetarian eaters get a little stuffing on their plate too!
- If you’re cooking for vegetarians at Christmas, do try to offer some potatoes that are roasted in oil and not duck fat. It’s always sad to miss out on the roasties!
- If you also need an easy meatless gravy, you can’t go wrong with Dreena Burton’s golden gravy recipe.
If you’re looking to mix things up, these non-traditional side dishes would also pair really nicely with the halloumi…
- 225 g (8 oz) block of halloumi, halved widthwise
- 1 Tablespoon cranberry sauce
- 2 cloves garlic , thinly sliced
- 2 small sprigs rosemary
- 1 sliver butter
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F.
- Prepare your halloumi. Slice in half widthways and lay onto a lightly oiled baking tray. Cut a criss-cross pattern through the top, cutting about 1/3rd of the way down, and then brush with a little bit of olive oil.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes, just until the halloumi starts to soften and the cuts open up.
- Add about 3-4 garlic slices per slice, wedging it into the gaps.
- Now spread cranberry sauce over the top, making sure to push some down into the gaps. Add the rosemary sprig on top, then place a little bit of butter directly over the rosemary.
- Bake for a further 10-15 minutes, until the exposed parts of the halloumi are crisp.