Delicious Welsh Rarebit Recipe for Cheese Lovers!

Welcome to my traditional Welsh Rarebit recipe! As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I must say that Welsh Rarebit is one of the greatest dishes to come out of the Welsh food scene. This dish is essentially cheese on toast, but with a posh twist.

Welsh Rarebit has been a staple for hundreds of years in Welsh cuisine and has since become popular throughout the United Kingdom. This classic dish is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and I highly recommend you add it to your repertoire!

I’m excited about sharing my recipe for traditional Welsh Rarebit with you. It’s easy to make and ready in less than 20 minutes. This dish is made with sharp cheddar cheese, English mustard, and ale blended into a delicious cheesy sauce poured over slices of toasted bread.

Whether you’re preparing a fancy dinner party, looking for a quick snack or need to whip up something comforting at home, this traditional Welsh Rarebit Recipe is the perfect option! Let’s jump right in!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Traditional Welsh Rarebit
Traditional Welsh Rarebit

Attention cheese lovers! I have a recipe that will blow your mind and leave you craving for more. This traditional Welsh Rarebit recipe is a game-changer when it comes to cheese dishes. If you love grilled cheese, you will adore this dish as it takes the concept of melted cheese on toast to the next level.

The combination of sharp cheddar cheese and aromatic ale creates an unbeatable flavor profile. The addition of fresh thyme, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of cayenne creates a complex taste that will delight your taste buds. Trust me; this dish packs a massive punch of flavor that will leave you wanting more.

Furthermore, this Welsh Rarebit recipe offers an impressive range of textures. You get the creamy, gooey cheese sauce flavoured with beer and spices up against the crispy bite of toasted bread. It’s a contrast that’ll make this dish irresistible.

This recipe is easy to make and will take less than 30 minutes of your time. Plus, you can adjust the recipe to suit your preferences easily. Whether you prefer a simple cheddar-based sauce or want to go all out by using posh cheeses – this recipe caters to all your needs.

So if you’re looking to indulge in some authentic Welsh food without ever leaving your kitchen, then try our traditional Welsh Rarebit recipe today! Trust us; once you try it, it’ll be hard to resist making it again and again.

Ingredient List

 Get ready to indulge in a traditional Welsh Rarebit, a classic and comforting British dish that is sure to satisfy any cravings.
Get ready to indulge in a traditional Welsh Rarebit, a classic and comforting British dish that is sure to satisfy any cravings.

Let’s talk about the fresh and flavorful ingredients that will make up this classic Welsh Rarebit recipe. Make sure to get your hands on:

Cheese sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp of sauce
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp of beer, preferably stout
  • 1 tsp of milk
  • Grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1 ½ cups


  • White bread (enough for your desired number of servings)

Optional toppings:

  • Fresh thyme leaves
  • Additional shredded cheddar cheese

For this recipe, I recommend using high-quality cheese to get the best taste. You can play around with the cheese types and combinations to find what you like best!

The Recipe How-To

 This Welsh Rarebit is oozing with melted cheese spread over buttery toasted bread, perfect for a cozy night in.
This Welsh Rarebit is oozing with melted cheese spread over buttery toasted bread, perfect for a cozy night in.

Step 1: Starting the Cheese Sauce

  • In a medium pot, add 1 tablespoon of butter and heat it over medium heat until melted.

Tip: Make sure you use a pot large enough to eventually hold all of the cheese sauce!

  • Add 2 teaspoons of dry mustard and stir it in.

  • When the mustard is combined with the butter, add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme.

Tip: Fresh thyme will take this recipe to the next level, but if you don’t have any you can substitute dry thyme or omit it altogether.

  • Give everything a good stir, then pour in 2 tablespoons of beer, preferably stout, and stir again.

Tip: The beer should be at room temperature – not cold from the fridge!

  • Once all these ingredients are well combined and starting to bubble, lower the heat to low.

Step 2: Adding Cheese to The Sauce

  • Add the grated cheese to your pot with the beer mixture. You can use a combination of sharp cheddar cheese and grated strong cheddar cheese for best results.

  • Stir continuously with a whisk until all cheese has melted and mixed properly with the other ingredients.

  • Whisk in a pinch of cayenne pepper, also known as red pepper powder.

Step 3: Making the Toast

  • Place slices of white bread onto a baking tray and toast them in the oven until they are crispy golden brown.

  • Once toasted remove them from oven, butter each slice and pile on generous amount of cheese sauce.

Step 4: Topping the Welsh Rarebit off

  • To top off your delicious Welsh Rarebit, crack an egg into a small bowl and beat it lightly.

  • Spoon some of your cheesy mixture onto each piece of toast

  • Pour your lightly beaten egg over your Welsh Rarebit.

  • Pop your cheesy creations back into the oven for 2 to 3 minutes or until the egg is set and cheese mixture bubbling.

Step 5: Finished!

  • Remove from oven and serve hot. You can add a touch of fresh thyme, hot sauce or other toppings based on preference.

Enjoy your homemade Welsh Rarebit!

Substitutions and Variations

 Take a bite and savor the explosion of flavors from the tangy Worcestershire sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, and savory mustard.
Take a bite and savor the explosion of flavors from the tangy Worcestershire sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, and savory mustard.

Making a recipe your own often means making substitutions and variations to suit your taste preferences or the ingredients you have on hand. The Welsh rarebit recipe is no exception, and there are plenty of ways to switch up this traditional dish.

Let’s start with the cheese. While sharp cheddar cheese is the classic choice for Welsh rarebit, you can experiment with different types of cheese to add your own flair. Try using grated strong or posh cheese, or a combination of cheeses for added depth of flavor.

When it comes to beer, traditional recipes call for ale or stout, but you can use any type of beer you like. Just keep in mind that using a lighter beer will result in a milder flavor than a darker beer.

For those who like a little more spice in their food, try adding more English mustard, Worcestershire sauce, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper to the cheese sauce.

Finally, instead of traditional white bread, try using whole wheat or sourdough bread for added texture and flavor.

By putting your own spin on this iconic Welsh dish, you’ll create something uniquely yours while still honoring the rich heritage of Welsh cuisine.

Serving and Pairing

 A perfect main dish or appetizer for any occasion, this Welsh Rarebit is easy and quick to make with minimal ingredients.
A perfect main dish or appetizer for any occasion, this Welsh Rarebit is easy and quick to make with minimal ingredients.

While Welsh rarebit is a mouthwatering dish on its own, it can be jazzed up with some recommended pairings to elevate its flavors even more. To begin with, I personally like to serve my traditional Welsh rarebit hot off the stove, spread generously over a slice of freshly toasted white bread.

For an extra crunch, you can sprinkle some fresh thyme or cayenne pepper on top for a pop of color and heat. Additionally, you can also opt for different types of bread, such as rye or sourdough, to switch up the texture and flavor.

In terms of pairing with a drink, nothing quite complements Welsh rarebit like a cold ale or beer. The bitterness of ale cuts through the richness of the cheese sauce beautifully, leaving your taste buds wanting more. A stout beer or milk would work well too if you prefer something less bitter.

If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, I recommend pairing your Welsh rarebit with a crisp green salad or some pickles for a refreshing twist. For those who want to indulge in something sweet, serving some fresh grapes or apples would add a touch of sweetness that balances out the savory notes.

Finally, Welsh rarebit is versatile enough to be served as an appetizer, snack or even as an entrée. If you’re having guests over for dinner, try pairing it with some roasted veggies like mushrooms or asparagus for a complete meal.

All in all, there’s no wrong way to serve your Welsh rarebit – it’s simply all about choosing flavors that complement and enhance the rich cheese sauce.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This dish is perfect for cheese lovers who enjoy a break from the traditional grilled cheese sandwich.
This dish is perfect for cheese lovers who enjoy a break from the traditional grilled cheese sandwich.

Now you have mastered the art of making traditional Welsh Rarebit, let’s talk about how to prepare it in advance and keep it fresh for future meals. Welsh Rarebit is best served hot and fresh, but sometimes you need to prepare it in advance to save time or serve it later. It is important to properly store it and reheat it to avoid any unpleasant taste or texture changes.

If you plan to make the Welsh Rarebit ahead of time, you can prepare the cheese sauce mixture up to 2-3 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before reheating or serving, warm up the cheese sauce on low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching until heated through.

You can also prepare the Welsh Rarebit entirely and refrigerate it for up to 1-2 days before reheating properly. To do so, let the dish cool down to room temperature before covering it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and placing it in the refrigerator. When ready to reheat, remove the plastic wrap or aluminum foil and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until heated through (stirring halfway through). Alternatively, you can reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

It is important not to over-reheat already cooked Welsh Rarebit as this will cause the cheese sauce to become gummy and stringy. Therefore, if you are serving leftovers, reheat only what you need at a time for each meal.

Whether enjoying your Welsh Rarebit as a quick snack or as part of a comforting meal, knowing how to store and reheat correctly will ensure that it maintains its delicious flavor and texture even after being reheated!

Tips for Perfect Results

As someone who takes pride in the Welsh cuisine, I want to ensure that you’ll have a great experience making and enjoying traditional Welsh Rarebit. Here are some tips to ensure that your rarebit turns out perfectly every time.

One of the key ingredients that sets rarebit apart is the cheese sauce made from sharp cheddar cheese and beer. It’s important to use a good quality cheddar cheese, which has a stronger flavor that can stand up to the other ingredients. I recommend using a combination of grated strong cheddar cheese and English mustard for an authentic taste.

When making the cheese sauce, it’s important to add the beer gradually, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth. If you add too much beer all at once, it will cause the cheese sauce to become lumpy and unappetizing. Additionally, be careful not to let the sauce boil as this can cause it to split and ruin your dish.

For best results, use freshly grated cheese instead of pre-shredded cheese from packages. Pre-shredded cheese has added stabilizers which can affect the texture of the final dish.

When assembling your rarebit, I recommend using thick slices of white bread or sourdough instead of thin sandwich bread. This will help keep the bread from getting soggy under the weight of the cheese sauce. Toast the bread before applying the cheese sauce and broil until golden brown and bubbling.

If you want to add some additional flavor, try sprinkling fresh thyme over your finished rarebit for a fragrant finish.

Following these tips will give you a delicious Welsh Rarebit every time – whether you’re serving it for dinner or enjoying it as a grilled cheese sandwich.


Now that you know how to make this delicious traditional Welsh Rarebit recipe, you may have some questions about the ingredients or the cooking process. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions to help you out. So let’s dive right into it!

What cheese is in a traditional Welsh rarebit?

When it comes to making a scrumptious Welsh rarebit, a sharp cheddar cheese is the most commonly used ingredient. However, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Double Gloucester are also suitable options. For my version of this dish, I like to incorporate my Welsh heritage by using a mild, creamy Caerphilly or Hafod cheese instead.

How do you make James Martin Welsh rarebit?

Let’s get started by heating up the grill to a high temperature. Now, it’s time to create the delicious rarebit dish. Take a pan and gently melt the cheese until it’s nice and smooth. Add all the other ingredients and stir it up, being careful not to let it become too clumpy or thick. Take white bread and toast it to perfection. Add chutney to the toast to give it a sweet and tangy twist. Spread some bacon over the top of the toast, and then add the rarebit mix. Pop it under the grill for a minute or two until it’s bubbling and golden.

How to make Welsh rarebit cheese sauce?

To begin with, gather all the required ingredients for making a savory and cheesy sauce. Among the components are cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, flour and pepper. These are all important to achieve that desired taste and texture.

Next, grab a saucepan and put all the aforementioned ingredients in it. Make sure to mix them well until they blend together. Once that is done, pour beer, Guiness or milk into the mixture to give it the right amount of moisture.

Place the saucepan on a stove with low heat and continue to stir the mixture. Keep stirring until all the components are melted and form a uniform thick paste. Once it reaches that point, stop stirring and swivel the saucepan. The paste will easily follow your swivel movements.

Congratulations! Your cheesy sauce is now ready to be served. You can now use it to top off anything you like, from steaks to vegetables.

Do you put egg in Welsh rarebit?

For this recipe, you will need 350g of mature cheddar cheese, grated finely. You’ll also need a large egg, beaten lightly, 2 tablespoons of either stout beer or milk, whichever you prefer. To add some depth of flavor, we’ll be using Worcestershire sauce, English mustard, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. All of this will be used to make twelve delicious sandwiches with thick slices of white bread, ideally from a bloomer loaf. So let’s get started!

Bottom Line

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I cannot recommend enough the traditional Welsh Rarebit recipe. This authentic recipe is packed with flavor and is versatile in terms of variations and substitutions. With fresh thyme, English mustard, ale, sharp cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce to name a few, this dish is not only delicious but also packs health benefits.

This dish is perfect for a quick weeknight meal or even a posh dinner party. The cheese sauce made from the grated strong cheddar cheese and beer melts beautifully on toast creating an essentially grilled cheese elevated to a whole new level. This Welsh food staple is hearty and satisfying without being too heavy.

For those who are looking for vegetarian options or want to try something different, you can substitute the cheddar cheese with other cheeses like goat’s cheese or blue cheese. You can add veggies like spinach or caramelized onions to make it more interesting or even use pita bread instead of white bread for an unusual twist.

In conclusion, this traditional Welsh Rarebit recipe is a must-try for everyone who wants to explore authentic Welsh cuisine. With its rich history and flavorful components, this dish is not only delicious but also showcases the importance of tradition in cooking. So go ahead, grab your ingredients and whisk up this delightful dish that will leave you wanting more!

Traditional Welsh Rarebit

Traditional Welsh Rarebit Recipe

Real Welsh rarebit has a real bite to it, which means you need a strong cheddar, sharp cheddar or mature cheddar. You can serve it by itself on white toast or add toppings to it. My personal favourite is poached egg or fresh ripe summer tomato slices. Yum!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Welsh
Keyword < 15 Mins, Easy, European, Welsh
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Calories 376.8kcal


  • 225 g grated sharp cheddar cheese or 225 g grated mature cheddar cheese
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons of good ale (don't put in here something you wouldn't drink!)
  • 2 tablespoons English mustard, not powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices bread


  • Preheat the oven grill.
  • Combine cheese, ale, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper in a pot over very low heat or in a double boiler.
  • Melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth and well mixed.
  • Spread mixture on bread, and heat under the grill for about 1 minute and serve, or spread on toasted bread and eat immediately.


Serving: 240g | Calories: 376.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.9g | Protein: 17.5g | Fat: 20.6g | Saturated Fat: 12.1g | Cholesterol: 59.1mg | Sodium: 483.8mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 1.6g

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