Welsh rarebit is a type of open-faced grilled cheese sandwich with so much flavor, and it comes together in minutes for a quick lunch anytime.
Have you ever heard of Welsh rarebit? I remember eating it as a little girl growing up in Scotland, and loving it, but I don’t think it’s a very well-known dish in the US.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
So allow me to introduce you to this delicious dish you can easily prepare for a quick lunch, dinner or even a snack.
What is Welsh Rarebit?
Welsh rarebit is simply a lightly toasted piece of bread with a melted cheese concoction poured on top and then broiled/grilled until golden brown. As the name denotes, it was created in Wales and is known as a “poor man’s dish” rather like Italian cucina povera. It usually contains a type of melty cheese, like Cheddar, a liquid and few other ingredients to flavor the mixture. Years ago, I shared my recipe for Irish rarebit which includes bits of cornichons.
How do you Pronounce Rarebit?
There are now two ways to pronounce the word “rarebit”. I grew up saying “rabbit”, but now I have read (and heard) that pronouncing it as it is written, as in “rare bit” is acceptable. I heard it pronounced this way recently by Ryan Reynolds (who happens to co-own a Welsh football team).
Why was he talking about Welsh rarebit? Because Wrexham AFC has published its own official cookbook! I thought I was prolific with two rarebit recipes, but clearly I’m a loser because this cookbook is called 20 Ways to Make Rarebit by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
Hopefully these two don’t put out a recipe book for Welsh cakes next!
Note: read carefully before purchasing the rarebit cookbook because every recipe is exactly the same except for the garnish 🤣. All proceeds go to Wrexham Foodbank.
While Welsh rarebit is basically a glorified cheese on toast, it’s a great option for St. David’s Day (March 1st) and obviously anytime you want a quick and unique cheesy meal! Make it authentically Welsh by using a Welsh cheese. Once you make it a few times, you can tweak it to your liking and you won’t even need to refer to a recipe–it’s that easy!
Can I make Welsh Rarebit without Guinness or Beer?
Of course, you can omit the Guinness or beer and use water, milk or even hard cider when making Welsh rarebit.
Note: you can use any type of savory bread you choose. I used a country loaf from Tartine.
Welsh Rarebit Recipe
adapted from Great British Cookery cookbook by Lucy Knox, et al. Serves 1 (or 2 smaller portions)
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
- strong/mature Cheddar cheese or another similar cheese
- Worcestershire sauce
- English mustard
- white pepper
- Guinness (or another stout or ale)
Toast the bread on one side only (use a broiler/grill if your toaster doesn’t have this function).
Put all of the ingredients, except for the toast and Guinness, into a pan, with the butter at the bottom, and place over a low heat.
Add the Guinness, then stir to combine the ingredients. Don’t worry if you think it’s too dry, the cheese mixture won’t be very wet.
Preheat the broiler/grill at this time.
Continue to stir the cheese mixture until a smooth paste forms, then pour over the untoasted side of the slices of bread. It turns into a rather fun consistency!
Place on a baking tray and put under a preheated broiler/grill for a minute or so or until golden brown.
If you love cheese check out all my other cheese-y recipes!
Don’t miss another recipe, sign up for my free subscription (only 1 email a week after my intro email)!
Welsh Rarebit (Classic Cheese on Toast)
A classic recipe from Wales consisting of a melted cheese mixture put on top of toast and grilled until brown and bubbly: a glorified cheese on toast.
- 4 oz strong/mature Cheddar cheese
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp English mustard (French or a mild German works too)
- 1 tsp flour
- 3 Tbsp Guinness
- 2 slices of bread
- Toast the bread on one side only (use a broiler/grill if your toaster doesn't have this function).
- Put all of the ingredients, except for the toast and Guinness, into a pan, with the butter at the bottom, and place over a low heat.
- Add the Guinness, then stir to combine the ingredients. Don't worry if you think it's too dry, the cheese mixture won't be very wet.
- Preheat the broiler/grill at this time.
- Continue to stir the cheese mixture until a smooth paste forms, then pour over the untoasted side of the slices of bread.
- Place on a baking tray and put under a preheated broiler/grill for a minute or so or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
This can serve 2 smaller appetites.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 708Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 1217mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 32g
Nutrition information is only estimated.
Christina’s Cucina is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
[…] Welsh Rarebit (Classic Cheese on Toast Recipe) […]
My parents pronounced it rabbit too as we were growing up, causing us to absolutely refuse to eat it because we thought it had rabbit in it 😂, right up until I saw how it was spelled and read the recipe!
I suspect it was deliberate on Dad’s part though…
My kids have since seen an old Gomer Pyle re-run where Gomer has Welsh Rarebit, and deals with the side effects of disturbed sleep: I might just have to make this one for them!
That’s hilarious! Yes, I think your kids would love it after seeing it on Gomer Pyle!
It’s a grilled cheese! Every time I see this name I have to rediscover what the heck it is. Such a strange name!!! It looks good.
Haha! Yes, it is! :)
Is the mustard a spicy mustard or plain yellow?
Hi Margaret, I wouldn’t use the plain yellow. English, French or even a mild German mustard will be best. You can also use mustard powder.