Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit

Welsh rarebit is made with bread, melted cheese and other ingredients, and it is served hot. Welsh rarebit, sometimes spelled Welsh rabbit, is similar to grilled cheese sandwiches, and in fact some recipes for it are much simpler than others!

If making this for kids, use milk rather than beer. Either works, along with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, butter, cheddar cheese, and fresh tomato. Start warming the oven up so it’s nice and hot when you’ve made the creamy cheese topping. Although you can put it under the grill (yes, that’s British for under the broiler!) it is perhaps easier just to bake it.

Welsh Rarebit Recipe Variations

Some recipes will use béchamel sauce with some cheese added while others call for more cheese than liquid, along with flour, ale, or various other ingredients.

Mustard usually features, and Worcestershire is also good because it adds a lot of flavor. You only need a few drops of it though. Everyone has their own favorite way of making this Welsh recipe, but it always makes great comfort food however you prepare it.

Welsh Rarebit History

The Welsh have been toasted cheese on toast fans since the 16th century and it’s thought the dish’s original name was Welsh rabbit (not rarebit) because it was a joke that if the hunter in the family had failed to bring home a rabbit for the evening meal, grilled cheese would just have to do instead!

Some people say the word ‘rabbit’ was used because the dish was introduced into Paris at the start of the 20th century and ‘rarebit’ was a confusing word. Actually it was usually referred to as ‘le Welsh’ in Paris, else people would be wondering where the rabbit was in the recipe.


Welsh Rarebit

Toasted bread slices of split buns are topped with a mustard and Worcestershire sauce spiked cheddar cheese mixture, then baked until golden brown. This makes a hearty and satisfying snack.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Cuisine: Welsh


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 60ml (¼ cup) milk or beer
  • 230g (½ lb) grated Welsh extra-mature cheddar cheese
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 thick bread slices or 2 split crusty buns
  • 4 fresh tomato slices


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (325 degrees F).
  2. Now stir the butter with the milk or beer, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, salt, and pepper in a saucepan.
  3. Keep stirring this mixture over a low heat until it is thick, creamy and smooth, and all the cheese has melted.
  4. Toast the bread on both sides and arrange it in a baking dish.
  5. Arrange the tomato slices on top.
  6. Now ladle the hot cheese mixture over the bread.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve hot.


  • This is a dish with a strange name but, regardless of that, what a wonderful snack it makes! If you like cheese on toast, or grilled cheese sandwiches, you are going to love this Welsh take on the dish.
  • Crusty bread is topped with juicy fresh tomatoes and then a wonderfully creamy sauce with cheese, mustard and more.
  • Enjoy Welsh rarebit for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a snack when you want something warming and tasty.
  • I like to make this with extra-mature cheddar cheese from Wales, but you could use another kind of cheddar. Choose a good one though, because that is the main component in this wonderful Welsh dish.

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