Welsh Cheese Rarebit

Dad’s Traditional Welsh Cheese Rarebit

Let’s talk about Welsh Cheese Rarebit. On a rare occasion, when we were children, my Dad would cook for us. It was a big deal! It was a novelty, but most of all, he made it fun. Like an adventure. We’d all be right on top of him, waiting in anticipation. My favorite was Dad’s Welsh Cheese Rarebit.

Welsh Cheese Rarebit

Welsh Cheese Rarebit

So the subject of Welsh Cheese Rarebit has come up a few times in discussions about childhood food. It turns out the recipe was one my Grandma made often (my Dad grew up in the Depression so I wonder if this was one of their ration stretching recipes) and Dad just picked it up.

good to know about welsh cheese rarebit

Dad always used beer (if memory serves) in his Welsh Cheese Rarebit, but I’m betting Grandma Carmel didn’t! Either way, it’s wonderful, but the milk makes it a little creamier while the beer just adds such an “oomph” and intensifies that sharp cheese flavor.

This recipe is very simple and very straightforward, but there are tons of variations on Cheese Rarebit (which is pronounced “rabbit”) so I thought The Origin of Welsh Rarebit was a fun read.

Welsh Cheese Rarebit

Welsh Cheese Rarebit – you’re really supposed to use silverware, lol!

saving money on welsh cheese rarebit

Good cheese can be pricey and sometimes hard to find, and a good, dry Cheddar is important in this recipe. Dad used Cracker Barrel, probably the best cheese available in our small Iowa town in the 60’s. You can pick it up at most groceries and there might be coupons. It will do.

I’ve found some decent budget cheddars at Aldi (yes, really) and Costco, but selections are sporadic. Then, of course, there is Trader Joes. Just go for the best sharp Cheddar your budget allows and you can’t go wrong.

Serve this over any hearty, toasted bread, maybe my No-Knead Overnight Bread? When we were kids, we always had it over crackers. This recipe as is is fine for two adults and smaller children, but increase it if serving anyone with a heartier appetite.


Dad’s Welsh Cheese Rarebit

Welsh Cheese Rarebit

A very traditional, cheesy Welsh Rarebit, made with beer or milk.

  • Author: Chuck Barlow
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 - 4 servings 1x


  • 8 ounces grated, strong Cheddar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/2 cup (or more if needed) of beer or milk
  • 4 slices bread toasted on 1 side only


Add the cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, cayenne, and flour to a medium-sized saucepan. Mix well. Add 1/2 cup beer (or milk) and mix together.

Stir over a very low heat until just melted. Add more beer or milk if desired. Remove from heat and continue to stir for a minute. Let cool slightly (mixture will thicken) and pour over the toasted bread.

If desired, place the Rarebit covered toast under a broiler until bubbly and browned.


Don’t overthink or overheat the Welsh Cheese Rarebit. As soon as it’s melty take it off the heat. It will seize up and get grainy if overheated.

Welsh Rarebit is best used at once and is tricky to reheat. Reheat on the stove, very slowly, and as the mixture gets a little liquidy around the edges, remove the pan from the heat and whisk it. You might need more liquid.


I’ll be bringing this recipe to Fiesta Friday #216, The cohosts this week are Petra @ Love Food Eat and Zeba @ Food For The Soul.

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27 thoughts on “Dad’s Traditional Welsh Cheese Rarebit

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Thanks much! It was the perfect thing for a cold March day! Sorry to reply so late, I’ve been missing the comments on my blog.

  1. We grew up eating Cracker Barrel cheese too but never had this dish. The only thing my father ever cooked was French fries, very thin and crispy ones.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Thanks much, Jhuls!! It was fun to make it again. It’s been a long time since I’ve had it! πŸ™‚

  2. Gloria w

    I like this recipe. It looks simple. And who doesn’t like beer in cheese. When my dad cooked it was never good. He would open a can of squash or make a pot of grits for dinner. He was a terrible cook and we dreaded the few times he had to make dinner.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Oh my gosh…I would have been horrified!! I did’t even know there was such a thing as canned squash! And I don’t know about your family but we were expected to eat, if not all, at least the majority of the food on our plates and there was no such thing as complaining!! Ever!

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