Welsh rarebit

Welsh rarebit

So often the recipes I share with you are not about originality but more about rustling up good old classics that I just fancy eating. But it’s funny, how sometimes you forget about things you’ve enjoyed in the past. Welsh rarebit is one of the many delicious things that had slipped my mind, until recently that is, when I delighted in it all over again and wondered why the heck, I’d left it out of my life for so long.  

Years ago, when me and my friends went into Chester to do a spot of shopping, we’d make a point of stopping off for lunch at a great cafe/bakery called Wienholt’s, as they served up the most fabulous Welsh rarebit that we all just loved. Unfortunately, this café closed some time ago, but we still reminisce about their terrific Welsh rarebit that punctuated our day so deliciously. 

Welsh rarebit is such a lovely simple thing to prepare. It tastes incredible and will have your taste buds dancing for joy! Use the best, most tastiest, cheddar cheese you can lay your hands on. It will make all the difference to the flavour of this wonderful dish.  

Ingredients (serves 3)

3 thick slices of gluten free bread – ideally cut from a bloomer or cob. I used Warburtons gluten free white cob with sourdough which I just love. 
200g (7oz) good mature cheddar cheese, grated (Tesco Finest coastal bite vintage cheddar is magnificent) 
1 large beaten egg
2 tablespoons milk (optional – you could also use gluten free beer instead)
1 dessertspoon gluten free Worcester sauce or Henderson’s Relish
1 heaped teaspoon *mustard (I used wholegrain for this recipe, but I love to add *English mustard. All mustards need to be checked to ensure no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ warnings on the jar.)
Freshly ground *pepper
*Balsamic glaze – optional but makes the finished rarebit look pretty special and it’s tasty too. This is a trick that I picked up whilst working at Off The Wheaten Track.

ingredients for Welsh rarebit


Place the sliced bread onto a clean grill pan (to prevent cross contamination, I lay a piece of fresh foil over the trivet of the grill pan when toasting my gf bread) and toast on one side. 

Gluten free toasted bread

Pop the grated cheese in a large mixing bowl. Beat together the egg and milk before adding to the grated cheese, add the mustard and gf Worcester sauce and a good twist of pepper…

Grated cheese in a bowl for Welsh rarebit

…and give everything a good stir until well combined. 

Mixture for welsh rarebit

Divide the mixture over the untoasted side of the bread slices and spread out evenly.

welsh rarebit on gluten free toast

Drizzle with balsamic glaze, if using.

Gluten free Welsh rarebit drizzled with balsamic glaze

Toast under a grill set to medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until you can see the cheese has completely melted and the mixture is piping hot throughout. You will need to drop your grill pan for the cooking process, as if it’s too close to the heat source the rarebit will brown before it’s had chance to fully cook.

Gluten free Welsh rarebit drizzled with balsamic glaze

For the ultimate enjoyment tuck into your Welsh rarebit freshly toasted. 

Serving suggestions:

A delicious fresh salad works so well with the richness of Welsh rarebit. Add a spoonful of your favourite *chutney to compliment the flavours. 

It sort of feels wrong, and I wouldn’t suggest you serve this up for a fancy lunch, but baked beans are SO nice with Welsh rarebit. 

Pan fried sliced mushrooms with a few *chilli flakes will compliment this tasty dish so well.

Make mini ‘rarebits’ to serve up as tasty canapés or slip them onto a buffet table with lots of other tasty goodies. 

Recipe notes:

Whist the rarebit mixture is really quick and easy to prepare, you could also make it in advance and it will keep fine in the fridge for up to 48hrs providing all the ingredients you use are well dated.

If you don’t have a grill pan (or if you prefer) you can cook your Welsh rarebit in the oven. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6/180C Fan and bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown and nice and hot.

Finding a gluten free English mustard can be a little tricky. M&S English mustard is currently gluten free and very good. Whilst most Dijon and wholegrain mustard is generally gluten free you do aways need to double check to be sure.

Some recipes suggest that you toast both sides of the bread. I don’t like to do this as I find the crusts can burn. But of course if you prefer to toast both sides first, then go for it!

If serving the rarebit to vulnerable groups; elderly people, toddlers, pregnant women, ensure the egg within the rarebit is fully cooked.

Thanks for checking out this recipe for Welsh rarebit. I’ve posted a quick video over on YouTube too. Click here if you’d like to watch it.

For now,
Liz x

*Double check this ingredient to ensure it has no gluten containing ingredients, ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable warnings’. If in doubt leave it out.

The original Welsh rarebit recipe I’ve used came from Tesco Real Food website. I’ve slightly adapted the quantities and ingredients to make it gluten free.

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