Classic Irish Guinness Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit
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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 toasts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
259 Calories
8g Fat
34g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 259
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 645mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 145mg 11%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 107mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rarebit (or Rabbit as sometimes called) is considered a Welsh dish, hence the name Welsh Rarebit. This recipe, however, is in fact, Irish. Confused? No need to be, as a rarebit is nothing more than cheese on toast, so it can legitimately come from anywhere.

This delicious morsel can claim Irish heritage because not only is there cheese and toast; there is the addition of Guinness, the fantastic, famous dark ale brewed in Dublin. Ireland. Guinness is also often referred to as a pint of the 'Black Stuff' and is a descendant of an 18th-century English porter style ale, though today Guinness is one of the most famous drink brands in the world.

So a fabulous drink it may be, Guinness is also a great addition to many recipes and brings a strong flavor so stands up well to a strong cheese plus the Worcestershire sauce, both robust flavors in their own right. 

The Irish Rarebit can be served as a snack, makes a delightful lunch with a green salad, even an easy supper dish. 


  • 2 ounces (110 grams) mature cheddar

  • 2 tablespoons Guinness stout

  • 1/2 large egg yolk

  • 1/2 teaspoon English mustard

  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 4 thick slices sourdough bread

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Grate the mature cheddar into a large bowl. Add to this the Guinness, egg yolk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. 

  3. Cut 4 thick slices of sourdough, then grill the slices of bread on one side.

  4. Sprinkle the cheese mixture between each of the toasts on the untoasted side.

  5. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is melting.

  6. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • There are few alternatives to this recipe as there are not many ingredients that can be changed. One that can be quickly changed is the cheese. As Guinness is a dominant flavor in this recipe the cheese that's chosen must be equally robust. Any strong, robust cheese will stand up to it. Consider using farmhouse cheeses, which tend to be artisan and have strong flavors.
  • Do not use creamy cheeses, they melt too quickly and can also burn easily. The flavors in blue cheeses do not work well with the other ingredients. 
  • Switch out the mustard to a whole-grain version. The seeds add extra texture to the rarebit. 
  • The favorite bread of choice here has to be a good sourdough. Not only does the flavor marry well with sourdough, this bread also tends to be heavier and has a delightfully chewy texture. Rye bread also works well, as does any stone-ground bread.