Survive Britain's Great Halloumi Shortage With These Delicious Veggie BBQ Alternatives

Get those coals lit 🔥

The heatwave we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived, England are winning World Cup football matches, which means there could not be a better time in history for lighting up a BBQ.

But just as we’re getting ready to dust off the grill, we’ve been hit by the news that a halloumi shortage could be impending.

For many vegetarians who rely on the Cypriot cheese as a BBQ alternative to burgers and sausages, they could be facing empty supermarket shelves.

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This is after John Pittas, company director of halloumi manufacturer Pittas, told The Mail On Sunday that they are having to send emergency supplies of cheese across Europe by road because they are not reaching UK shops fast enough.

“It costs more money to send it that way,” he says, “but Brits love halloumi.”

The reason behind this potential shortage has not been confirmed. However given EU rules dictate halloumi must be made in Cyprus, with at least 20% sheep and goat’s milk, the short-term answer isn’t as simple as diversifying production.

While we wait to see how our worst cheesy nightmares might unfold, we’ve asked chefs and food bloggers for their best vegetarian BBQ alternatives.

Courgette With Sumac, Mint And Capers


Chef Phoebe Lapine recommends this recipe which makes a courgette into an item that is perfect for grilling. You will need:

  • 1 large courgette

  • ½ teaspoon sumac

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

  • 1 tablespoon capers roughly chopped

  • ½ teaspoon salt

Cauliflower And Chickpea Veggie Burgers

She Likes Food

Food blogger, She Likes Food, recommends trying a barbecue cauliflower and chickpea burgers as an alternative to meaty burgers.

They start with cauliflower roasted with BBQ spices, and then mixed with quinoa, chickpeas and breadcrumbs. You can also make a creamy lime coleslaw. Here is the recipe. You will need:

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, gluten free or regular

  • 1 teaspoon ketchup

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut sugar, or brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika – optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Phoebe Lapine

We know all vegetarians are probably bored stiff of portobello mushrooms, but Phoebe Lapine’s recipe for portobello burgers incorporates romesco sauce, cheese and grilled onions too. You will need:

  • 4 portobello mushroom caps stems removed

  • Olive oil

  • Sea salt

  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced

  • 4 slices manchego or mild cheddar cheese

  • 4 burger buns

  • 1/2 cup romesco sauce

  • 1 handful of rocket

Naked Samosas

Ross Dobson

Author, food writer and chef Ross Dobson recommends making naked samosas as a side dish for your BBQ. Get the recipe here. You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil

  • 4 medium-sized King Edward potatoes

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 75 g (21⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) frozen peas thawed

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon chilli powder

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1⁄2 cup finely chopped coriander