Traditional Welsh Rarebit Recipe

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By Ollie Cartwright

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Light and savory, this traditional Welsh Rarebit recipe is poured over toasted bread – and sometimes other delicious foods like vine-ripe tomato, bacon, or ham.

Welsh Rarebit Freeze It

Welsh “rabbit” was first made in 1725, but the word “rabbit” slowly evolved into “rarebit”, likely to avoid any confusion about the dish containing rabbit meat….or someone’s husband didn’t nab a rabbit one day, and they slyly swapped out rabbit for rarebit 😉

How to Make Welsh Rarebit

A detailed recipe with full quantities can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.

Step 1: Prep your ingredients by grating the cheese and measuring out all other ingredients.

Step 2: In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and then stir in the flour. This will take about 1-2 minutes. Don’t skip this or you’ll find the flour taste unbearable. Next add the Worcestershire Sauce and English mustard. Stir it frequently until smooth and bubbly. This will take about 2 minutes and resemble a loose paste.

What’s “English Mustard”?

English Mustard is similar in flavour to a combination of 50% yellow mustard and 50% dijon mustard. If the country you’re in doesn’t have English mustard try the above mix as a substitute.

Step 3: Slowly add the milk, stirring continuously. Once fully incorporated, bring the sauce to a low boil and then gradually add the beer. (The beer will thicken the paste.) Stir for at least 2 minutes.

Step 4: Add small portions of your shredded cheese into the mixture, being sure to stir it continuously until all the cheese is incorporated and your sauce is creamy smooth. Reduce heat to low.

Step 5: Toast your 6 slices of bread. When done, make sure you move oven (or toaster oven) rack 15cm (or 6″) from the heat source and then preheat the broiler.

Step 6: Lay a piece of foil on your baking sheet and then arrange the toasted bread on it. Spoon or ladle the cheese sauce onto your toast, going right up to the edge of each piece.

Step 7: Place the baking sheet into the preheated broiler and cook until the cheese sauce is just starting to bubble and brown. This will take about 2-3 minutes.

Step 8: Serve and enjoy!


As always, we’ve got a list of tweaks that you’re bound to enjoy!

  • Different Cheeses: Try experimenting with different cheeses, or a combination of cheeses for added depth and flavor. Gruyère, smoked cheddar, or a bit of blue cheese will add a unique twist.
  • Go Spicy! So, you like it hot? Add a pinch of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chipotle, Tabasco, or freshly ground black pepper for a bit of heat.
  • Customize Your Mustard: Instead of using English mustard (which is essentially a mix of yellow and Dijon mustard), try using whole-grain mustard or spicy mustard for a different flavor profile.
  • Add Some Herbs: Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs like thyme, chives, or parsley for added freshness and flavor.
  • Beer Varieties: Experiment with different types of beer in the sauce. A stout or ale can add malty flavors, while a lager will provide a lighter touch.
  • Make It Creamier: Heavy cream (instead of milk) will give you a richer and creamier sauce.
  • Add Umami: Not savory enough yet? Enhance the depth of umami (savory flavour) by adding another splash of soy sauce or a dash of anchovy paste to the cheese sauce.
  • Serve on Different Bases: Instead of traditional toast, consider serving the cheese sauce over roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, or even grilled meat.
  • Ham, Bacon, Tomato: Instead of plain traditional toast, consider serving the cheese sauce over a layer of toast, bacon/ham, and vine-ripe tomato slices. Mmmmmmmm!
  • Non-Alcoholic Beer: You don’t have to use alcoholic beer. Go for the non-alcoholic if that’s what suits you.


Pro Tip

Whisk the cheese sauce as you reheat it! The ice crystals that formed during freezing will cause the sauce to be grainy and it will have separated. Whisking (or blending) while reheating will bring it back together.

Refrigerate: Your cheese sauce topping will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days but a cooked Welsh rarebit will only last for 24 hours in the fridge before it goes soggy.

Freeze: You can freeze cheese sauces for up to three months…and Welsh rarebit is no exception.

Reheat: Take your frozen Welsh rarebit (cheese sauce) out of the freezer and put it into the fridge to thaw overnight – don’t try and speed up this process. Once thawed, you can reheat the sauce on the stovetop.

Welsh Rarebit Recipe

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Course: SnacksCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy


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  • 225 g 1/2 lb – Sharp/Mature Cheddar (grated)

  • 25 g 1 oz – Butter (unsalted, softened)

  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp – Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1 tbsp 1 – English Mustard (50% yellow, 50% dijon)

  • 85 g 2/3 cup – Plain Flour (All-Purpose Flour)

  • 100 ml 1/2 cup – Porter Beer

  • 75 ml 1/3 cup – Whole Milk

  • 6 slices 6 – Toasted Bread


  • Prep and Measure
    Grate the cheese and measure out all other ingredients.
  • Start the Sauce
    In saucepan over low heat, melt butter and then stir in the flour, Worcestershire Sauce, and English mustard until sauce is smooth and bubbly. This will take about 5 minutes.
  • Add Milk & Beer
    Add the milk, stirring continuously. Bring sauce to a low boil then gradually add the beer. Stir for one minute.
  • Cheese Time!
    Add small portions of shredded cheese into the sauce. Stir continuously until all cheese is incorporated. Sauce will be creamy smooth. Reduce heat to low.
  • Toast Bread
    Toast your 6 slices of bread. Move oven (or toaster oven) rack 15cm (or 6″) from heat source and preheat the broiler.
  • Broil It
    Lay foil on your baking sheet. Arrange the toasted bread on it. Spoon or ladle cheese sauce onto your toast (to edges of toast). Place baking sheet in preheated broiler. Cook until cheese sauce starts to bubble and brown. Takes about 2-3 minutes.
  • Enjoy Hot!
    Remove from broiler, plate, enjoy!

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