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Welsh Rarebit Ultimate Cheese on Toast

Welsh Rarebit is the ultimate cheese on toast, a rich cheese sauce with English mustard & Worcestershire sauce grilled until golden & bubbly.

My rarebit sauce omits beer, mainly because this is my favourite indulgent breakfast, but the liberal sprinkling of Worcestershire sauce and mustard means it lacks for nothing in the flavour department!

Welsh rarebit or British cheese on toast with a fried egg.

Welsh Rabbit

Welsh rarebit is a strange old beast of a recipe. For years I thought it was cheese on toast with a bit of Worcestershire sauce, which it was back in the 18th century.

It evolved over time to become a “spiced” cheese sauce that was slid under the grill.

As a dish it so often gets called Welsh rabbit, for good reason, that name predates the rarebit version by about half of a century.

It is thought that the “Welsh” part of the name was used in a pejorative sense, how true that is who knows. The implication was that only the Welsh would call cheese on toast “rabbit”, odd really when you consider that we are a nation that loves toad in the hole and spotted dick!

But enough history, it is glorious! The cheese sauce is not dissimilar to the one used in the outrageously indulgent chicken parmo from Middlesborough.

The cheese sauce starts life as a classic bechamel, much like the French classic cod mornay, and my smoked haddock gratin.

But it gets a healthy dash of flavour thanks to English mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

Two ingredients that form the base of many British “devilled” recipes, I have both in my devilled mackerel fillets and devilled mushrooms on toast recipes.

I usually round mine out with a fried egg and turn it into buck or golden rarebit.

Close-up overhead Welsh rarebit or British cheese on toast with a fried egg.

Frequently Asked Questions

What cheese should I use?

As far as I am concerned there is only one cheese for this recipe and that is a really good sharp properly matured British cheddar cheese.

Feel free to play around with additions and blend in cheese like Cheshire or Lancashire for acidity. Wensleydale mixes a little sweetness with the acidity, but stick with cheddar as the base flavour.

Is this vegetarian?

Worcestershire sauce is made in anchovies, so out of the box no it is not.

You could replace the Worcestershire sauce with Henderson’s relish, which is a similar condiment with a vociferous following. I use it in place of Worcestershire sauce in my vegan and vegetarian dishes where I would typically use Worcestershire sauce.

Do I have to use English mustard?

We so often fall into absolutes, I prefer really pokey English Mustard in my rarebit. But you should absolutely use what you like!

Dijon is the least pokey of mustards, but you could use German mustard or even whole-grain mustard in this recipe.

Why is there no beer in this recipe?

Many traditional Welsh rarebit recipes call for beer and it is a lovely addition.

However, as I have alluded to above, this recipe for me is usually a late-morning indulgent breakfast/brunch… and my days of beer for breakfast are a long way behind me!

I do use beer in the topping for my smoked haddock rarebit recipe, so if you are curious you could take a look there!

What does the egg yolk do in the sauce?

The egg yolk adds a wonderful sweetness and glaze to the cheese sauce when you slide it under the grill.

Overhead Welsh rarebit or British cheese on toast with a fried egg.

Serving Suggestions

As I have mentioned above I like to serve my Welsh rarebit with a fried egg, it turns it into a buck rarebit.

It is fantastic for a late breakfast and it is a cracking hangover remedy, but it works well as a light but calorific meal any time of the day.

It’s not a dish that I serve with a side, you could of course add a side salad and it is great with some slices of good fresh tomato.

I am however rather fond of adding some chutney or pickle on the side.

I’ve used everything from my red cabbage chutney and apple chutney to piccalilli and even a big dollop of Branston pickle.

Fried egg served on top of Welsh rarebit or British cheese on toast aka buck rarebit.

Equipment Used

I only mention specific brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Grill or broiler.
  • Small 12-15cm or 4-6″ milk pan.
  • 18cm or 7″ saucepan.
  • Small frying pan large enough to fry 2 eggs if you are making buck rarebit.
  • Butter knife.
  • Grater.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Buck rarebit, a variant of Welsh rarebit on toast with a fried egg.
Yield: 2 Servings

Welsh Rarebit Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Welsh Rarebit is gloriously rich and indulgent, it essentially consists of a cheese sauce that starts off life as a classic bechamel, then loads of sharp cheddar, Worcestershire sauce and mustard are added before it is grilled on top of some well-buttered toast!


  • 300ml (1¼ Cup) Milk
  • 30g (2 Tbsp) Butter plus extra for buttering toast
  • 30g (¼ Cup) Plain Flour
  • ½-1 Tbsp English Mustard
  • 1-2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce or Henderson's Relish (The latter is vegetarian)
  • 75g (¾ Cup) Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 4 Slices Bread
  • Eggs for Frying if you are making Buck Rarebit
  • Oil for Frying Eggs if Needed


  1. Heat the milk in a small pan until just before boiling point.
  2. Melt the butter over a medium heat without foaming and then add the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.
  3. Add the milk a little at a time stirring constantly until a smooth white sauce is created.
  4. Throw in the cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and cheese and keep stirring until melted and smooth.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk.
  6. Lightly toast both sides of the bread, I like to butter my toast, in for a penny in for a pound 😉
  7. Then spread on the cheese sauce topping and return to the grill until nicely caramalised.


Serve with a fried egg if you like, apparently this is called a Buck Rarebit!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 950Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 233mgSodium: 1392mgCarbohydrates: 83gFiber: 4gSugar: 17gProtein: 28g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Carol Ryan

Sunday 22nd of August 2021

Where I come from the depths of rural kent, my mum and Nanny used to mix egg yolk cheddar chives and whatever they had in the pantry and toast it to. Nanny always put a dash of sauce in here sometimes a bit of home made beer to. God knows what you would call it but by God did it taste wonderful. So many happy memories of cheese on toast xx

Brian Jones

Friday 27th of August 2021

Beer is a relatively common ingredient in variants of Welsh rarebit, but I typically have this as an indulgent breakfast and my days of mixing beer and breakfast are long behind me :)


Monday 15th of March 2021

I have welsh rarebit every day for breakfast.. I add crumpled bacon and musrooms.... love it..Silver Grill, Higbee's was the best. I like to try different recipes of this

Brian Jones

Saturday 20th of March 2021

Yowsers, every day, now them's some goals! Enjoy :)


Saturday 30th of January 2021

Totally forgot the mustard because you don't mention where to add it in the recipe. :( Still yummy, but mustard would've made it pop.

Brian Jones

Friday 26th of February 2021

So sorry about that, I tidied up the methodology not so long ago and it would seem it went a little too far. I've added it back in, hopefully you went back for another remake with mustard. Thanks for the heads up.

aly nicholls

Thursday 27th of September 2018

you are wrong about Worcestershire sauce, while i agree about other versions and copycats of that sauce there is a sauce like it that is to yorkshire tastes better, hendersons relish made in sheffield can be substituted for it and works great. its sometimes just called yorksire relish, but hendersons is the name on the bottle most yorkshire supermarkets stock it but Morrisons stock it country wide, its worth a try james martin uses it, if its good enough for him its good enough for us.

barb huntrods alta canada

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

@Brian Jones, how about h.p. sauce. house of parliament, or in the states a1 sauce.

Brian Jones

Sunday 30th of September 2018

lol, I do hope that is written with a sense of sarcasm and mirth ;) I know Henderson's relish and as with all things there will be likers and detractors, I very much prefer Worcestershire sauce and even more so in Rarebit, for me it just is not right without it. That does not mean that is the only way to cook it, just the way I prefer and advocate. Whilst James Martin may like Hendersons, chefs as varied as Fergus Henderson and Gordon Ramsay prefer Worcestershire sauce in theirs ;)

On a practical note, my site reached people in 87 different countries over the last 30 days, Hendersons being available in Morrisons in the UK does not make it a particularly viable ingredient recommendation for a global readership whereas L&P has Global Distribution.

Cindy Patterson

Monday 23rd of July 2018

Can't believe that for my whole life i always thought this was a rabbit stew :)

Brian Jones

Tuesday 24th of July 2018

lol, yes the name is very deceptive.

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