Pesto & Haloumi Veggie Burgers

A vegetarian burger filled with perfectly cooked haloumi, roasted capsicum, zucchini, rocket and topped with homemade basil pesto. An incredible Mediterranean-flavoured veggie burger.

Pesto & Haloumi Veggie Burger | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Halluuuuuuuu Me! If you don’t say the word haloumi like this every time, then you’re doing it all wrong. Haloumi is one of the greatest things on this entire planet. If it doesn’t excite you and make you want to scream it’s name at the top of your lungs, then you’ve got some issues. I don’t know how vegans live without it.

Pesto & Haloumi Veggie Burger | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

I love meat, but I love haloumi THAT much that I’m willing to get rid of all the meat in my burger to make this Pesto & Haloumi Veggie Burger. It’s the mother of all veggie burgers. Forget quinoa or chickpea patties or other shiz like that. Give haloumi a shot and you’ll be converted.

Pesto & Haloumi Veggie Burger | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

A burger can’t have just haloumi on it though, can it? It needs to have some fillings and substance. And of course, we can’t forget a condiment or two. This halloumi burger is full of delicious, Mediterranean veggies and it’s topped off with my luscious homemade basil pesto. Perfect for meatless Mondays or if you feel like a change from your usual meat-filled burger. This would also make a great salad for anyone who prefers that kind of thing.

Pesto & Haloumi Veggie Burger | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

A quick note on spelling. In Australia, haloumi is spelt with one L. In the UK and I presume much of the rest of the world, it’s spelt halloumi with two. I don’t know why we decided to mix it up down under, but I’m sticking to the Aussie spelling. Don’t yell at me for being different!

Pesto & Haloumi Veggie Burger | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Pesto & Haloumi Veggie Burger

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes


1 red capsicum (bell pepper), halved with stem and seeds removed (or substitute with slices of store-bought roasted red peppers)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced lengthways
Approx. 225g haloumi, sliced into 1cm thick slices
2 bread rolls, sliced in half
2 tbsp aïoli or mayonnaise
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
Handful of rocket (arugula)
1 portion of homemade basil pesto (or ⅓ cup store-bought)


  1. Preheat your grill (broiler) to medium. Place capsicum skin side up on a baking tray and grill for about 10 minutes, until blackened. Remove from grill, place in a freezer or ziploc bag and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Alternatively, cover tray with aluminium foil and set aside. When cool enough to handle, remove from bag and peel off skin.
  2. While capsicum is cooling, cook zucchini. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add zucchini slices and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, until browned. Remove from frying pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan over medium heat, add haloumi slices. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until browned, softened and cooked through. Be careful not to overcook them.
  4. Assemble burgers: spread 1 tbsp of aïoli/mayonnaise on the base of each bread roll. Sprinkle with chilli flakes, if using. Top each roll with rocket, followed by roasted capsicum, cooked zucchini and haloumi. Spread half the basil pesto onto each burger, then replace the top of the bread roll. Serve immediately with chips or wedges.




  1. Omg this looks sooo good! I’m definitely going to try this!

    1. Thanks Diana! I hope you enjoy them! They’re definitely going to be a regular in my house!

  2. LOVE halloumi – definitely one of my favourite foods! Loving these burgers with the pesto. So good. I’m heading to Cyprus soon and this has got me super excited to eat lots of halloumi cheese!

    1. I’m so jealous that you’re going to Cyprus! I would totally eat all the haloumi there too. Best trip ever!

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