This traditional Welsh Rarebit (also know as Welsh Rabbit) is total easy comfort food and just what you need on a cold day. A thick slice of bread topped with a cheesy egg mix with a few special ingredients - you probably already have everything you need to make this. It's cheese on toast that has been seriously upgraded.
When you are in a rush at lunch time, but still want something a little bit special, then Welsh Rarebit is perfect. A thick slice of your favourite bread, loaded up with a cheesy topping and grilled the perfection. What's even better, is the kids love it so it's something the whole family can enjoy together.
Ready in just 10 minutes and just 6 ingredients, it is quick and easy comfort food at its finest. If you are looking for other ways to make toast more exciting, why not try our Pizza Toasts or Avocado on Toast 5 Ways?
What is Welsh Rarebit?
It is often likened to cheese on toast, but it is so much more than that! Instead of just layering some cheese on top of toast and popping it under the grill, the cheese is grated and mixed with egg and some mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
The cheese mixture is really creamy and the mustard and Worcester sauce give it a real kick of flavour. Traditionally it would have some kind of ale or stout, but we left that out as we were making it for the kids, so we added milk instead.
Why you will love it
- Quick - This is ready in just 10 minutes. A delicious lunch doesn't have to take a long time.
- Easy - Welsh Rarebit is as easy as toasting bread, mixing egg and cheese in a bowl and then grilling it. Perfect for if you aren't
- Adaptable - There are a few different ways to adapt this. You can change the bread and cheese that is used, and even add some vegetables.
- Total comfort food - I mean, it doesn't get much more comforting than cheese on bread. But this is so much more than a cheese toastie. Seriously, you need to taste just how good it is.
- Bread - We used some very fresh tiger loaf, as we love the extra buttery flavour. However any sliced bread will work. You want something sturdy, as the topping is quite heavy.
- Cheese - The star of the dish. We love a strong mature cheddar, as it has such a strong flavour that you can get away with using less of it. You could use Caerphilly to keep with the Welsh theme.
- Milk - A little splash of milk helps to loosen the mixture up - you only need a little bit though. We used whole milk.
- Egg - This is what helps to give the cheese mixture a lovely creamy consistency. We used a medium egg, and try to use the best quality you can.
- Worcestershire sauce - A little splash adds SO much flavour. This is a must on any kind of cheese on toast for us anyway.
- Mustard - This adds a nice kick of heat to the Welsh rarebit. We used Dijon, but you could swap it for wholegrain or even English.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: In a bowl add the cheese, egg, milk, mustard and Worcestershire sauce (a). Mix well to combine (b).
Two: Toast the bread on both sides. Divide the cheese mixture between the slices and spread over.
Three: Put under the grill until the cheese has melted and is browned.
Where does the name Welsh Rarebit come from?
It is said that it first appeared in Hannah Glasse’s book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy in 1747 as Welsh ‘rabbit’. Glasse's recipe was just cheese on toast with mustard added, so it's a little different from the version we know now. However, a dish like this has been eaten amongst working class Welsh families since the 1500s.
Where does the ‘rabbit’ come from? It is rumoured that because this was a cheap dish to make, that people would say it was ‘as good as any rabbit.’ The term ‘rarebit‘ came along much later, and it was most likely used to stop anyone getting confused that cheese on toast actually contained rabbit, but it doesn't actually exist in the English dictionary.
This is quite the traditional recipe, so any variation would take away from that. As mentioned above, traditionally it would have a splash of ale or stout in it, which adds a lot of flavour. However, we were making it for young kids, so we replaced it for milk to still keep the same consistency in the cheese mixture.
Although this Welsh Rarebit really isn't missing meat, if you wanted to add some meat them some grilled and chopped bacon or cooked chorizo would make a delicious addition.
Looking to add some vegetables? Keep it traditionally Welsh and add some sautéed leeks. To give it a green vegetable boost with some chopped spinach mixed in to the cheese mixture. We also like to slice up some beef tomatoes and put them on top before it goes under the grill.
What to serve it with
This is quite the indulgent recipe, so it really doesn't need anything with it. However, if you were serving this up as lunch for a few people, then we have some side dishes that would go perfectly with it:
- Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli
- Easy Hasselback Potatoes
- Grilled Little Gem Salad
- Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- Parmesan Truffle Fries
- Oven Baked Onion Rings
- The BEST Air Fryer Chips
We wouldn't recommend storing this after it is made, as it doesn't reheat well and it's not great eaten cold. It only takes 10 minutes to make though, so make it from fresh each time.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, this isn't a vegetarian dish because of the Worcestershire sauce. This is needed because the vinegar in it (and the mustard) act as an emulsifying agent which stops the cheese from splitting into oil and solids once grilled. You can add a tiny splash of vinegar or lemon juice if you are leaving out the Worcestershire sauce
Is you use a gluten free alternative to Worcestershire sauce (or leave it out) and make sure the mustard and bread you are using is gluten free, then this can be adapted to be gluten free.
You can make up the cheese and egg mixture and keep it in the fridge. We wouldn't recommend keeping it in the fridge for any longer than a couple of hours though.
• If you like a little spice to your food, then add a pinch of smoked paprika or cayenne to the cheese mixture before putting it on the toast. A splash of hot sauce works too - we love Sriracha.
• Fresh herbs are optional, but they add a lovely fresh flavour to these. We like some chopped fresh chives on this.
• Add a green vegetable boost to these with some chopped spinach and grated courgette. Just make sure to squeeze any excess liquid out of the courgette, otherwise it will make the toast soggy.
More cheese recipes
If you’ve tried this Welsh rarebit recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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The Best Welsh Rarebit
- 8 slice Bread
- 1 Egg
- 200 g (1.75 cups) Cheddar cheese - grated
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon Whole milk
- In a bowl combine 200 g Cheddar cheese, 1 Egg, 2 tablespoon Whole milk, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.
- Toast 8 slice Bread on both sides.
- Divide the cheese mixture between the slices and spread over.
- Put under the grill until the cheese has melted and is browned.
- If you like a little spice to your food, then add a pinch of smoked paprika or cayenne to the cheese mixture before putting it on the toast. A splash of hot sauce works too - we love Sriracha.
- Fresh herbs are optional, but they add a lovely fresh flavour to these. We like some chopped fresh chives on this.
- Add a green vegetable boost to these with some chopped spinach and grated courgette. Just make sure to squeeze any excess liquid out of the courgette, otherwise it will make the toast soggy.
This sounds really delicious, all my favorite things in one meal! Perfect for breakfast!
This is such a great late-night easy dinner idea. My boys will love this. Grat, thanks for the recipe! I'm making this for sure.
What a delicious treat! I had it a couple of days ago and made it again today for lunch, I added some sautéed mushrooms on top this time, and it was also super yummy!
This is a deliciously grown-up take on a grilled cheese. The spices with the cheese and crisp bread go so well together.
This is perfectly cheesy and something I will make again!
Oh wow! This is such an amazing comfort food! Everyone loved it!
Not gonna lie, as an American, I always thought there was actual rabbit in this recipe, haha! Now that I'm brushed up on the history and facts, this will be on the menu soon as it's so easy to make!
This was my first time making this and it won't be my last. So deliciously cheesy! Loved it!
The perfect lunch to me! It was rich! I didn't know about this dish but found it very interesting and had everything in my pantry to make it. Delicious!
This recipe was so delicious and educational! I always though this recipe was made with actual rabbit.
Very good recipe but just remember worcestershire sauce isn't typically vegetarian as it has anchovies in so make sure you use a Vege friendly one!
In our FAQ section at the bottom of this recipe, there is a question about whether it is vegetarian or not and it says that this recipe isn't vegetarian because of the Worcestershire sauce and to use a veggie version if you need to :)