The Great British Cheese Toastie

The Great British cheese toastie recipe

​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 11 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Servings: 2 servings
  • Yields: 2 sandwiches
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
246 Calories
17g Fat
14g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 246
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 493mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 10g
Calcium 238mg 18%
*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.)

There are some British foods which ooze comfort at the mere mention of their name, and none more so than the cheese toastie. Alongside a bacon butty (bacon sandwich), the toastie is the one that makes everyone drool. Cheese toasties are basically the same thing as American grilled cheese, and just as delicious.

The popularity of the toastie comes from the ease and speed of making one–this has to be one of the simplest recipes ever–and the creativity of an endless choice of bread, cheeses, and assorted fillings.

There are toastie machines or toasted sandwich makers, but there is no need to go to the expense of buying one. All that is needed is a nonstick frying pan or a grill pan if you want the ridge pattern on the bread. This will not alter the taste but it certainly looks pretty. 

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The Great British Cheese Toastie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bread (good quality)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (salted)
  • 2 ounces Cheddar cheese
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Great British cheese toastie recipe
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Begin with buttering one side of each slice of bread. We don't recommend buttering both sides of the bread for a cheese toastie since it can make the sandwich a bit soggy.

    Butter slices of bread
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Grate the Cheddar cheese using a large hole grater―if you use a small hole, the cheese will melt too quickly before the bread has toasted. Divide the cheese between two slices of bread, placing it on the unbuttered side.

    Two slices of bread topped with shredded cheese
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste. 

    Two slices of bread topped with cheese and salt and pepper
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Cover with the second slice of bread, unbuttered side down. 

    Buttered slices of bread
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Heat your griddle or frying pan to hot but not smoking. Using a flat spatula, lay the two sandwiches into the hot pan (they should sizzle a little as they hit the pan, if not the pan is not hot enough). Gently press the sandwich with the spatula and do not worry if the cheese leaks a little. Cook for a few minutes on one side pressing from time to time, then flip it over and repeat on the other side.  

    Cheese toasties on a grill pan
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Remove from the pan once the cheese is starting to melt and the bread has turned a golden brown. 

    Grilled cheese toasties on a cutting board
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Cut diagonally into two and serve immediately piping hot. 

    Cheese toasties cut diagonally
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Enjoy!

    British cheese toastie on a plate
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 

Tips

  • The Cheese: You can vary the cheese in a cheese toastie but keep it British. Use only strong, semi-hard or crumbly cheese like Cheddar, Wensleydale, Red Leicester, or Cheshire. Soft cheeses can be used, but handle carefully as it will melt quickly. Blue cheeses also work well but do make sure it is mature and semi-hard.
  • The Bread: Use a good quality bread as this will hold together better when cooking and creates a stronger case for the melted cheese. The bread can be white, wholegrain, or granary bread. Thinly sliced sourdough also works very well!

Recipe Variations

There are endless filling options in addition to the cheese:

  • Thick-cut ham
  • Strips of cooked bacon
  • Thinly sliced mushrooms, onions, or tomatoes (or be decadent and try all three) 
  • A thick smear of chutney or a spicy relish on the unbuttered side
  • Thinly sliced pickled onions sprinkled over the cheese