Ploughman’s Toasties

Ploughman's Toastie Recipe (2)

Sometimes it’s difficult to describe some dishes as having a particular recipe. As with the Ploughman’s Lunch, a firm British favourite, these toasties are more of an assembly job. Still, I’ve never felt that there’s anything wrong with writing about interesting combinations and slightly more gastro versions of classics. Food is as much about ideas as it is about skill and complexity. So, for simplicity I’ll go on describing this ‘assemblage’ as a ‘recipe’. These Ploughman’s Toasties do, after all, make for a rather wonderful lunch, particularly if you’re in a bit of a pickle.

The key components of the classic British Ploughman’s Lunch are bread, cheese and pickle (or chutney). The ingredients you generally might find added to the Ploughman’s staples include cold meats – particularly ham – apples, pickled onions, tomatoes and a pint of refreshing beer* (though this tends to be served alongside and in a glass).

Ploughman's Toastie Recipe (3)

With this recipe I’ve attempted to channel as much of this as seems reasonably sensible from a culinary perspective. What results are two Ploughman’s Toasties packed with quality, flavourful ingredients that are unlikely to disappoint. The thyme, though not particularly common where Ploughman’s Lunch is concerned, really is the most important part of my recipe. It just gives the whole lunch a huge lift that certainly should not be missed.

* I regret to say that no pints were consumed alongside these particular toasties.

Ploughman’s Toasties

Serves 2


  • 2 slices of good quality cured ham

  • 2 slices of white bread

  • 60g mature cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

  • 1 small apple, finely sliced

  • A few sprigs of thyme

  • 2 tbsp vegetable pickle


  1. Toast both slices of bread on one side, under a grill. Fold each slice of ham over and place on top of the untoasted side of the bread. Layer the cheese on top of the ham and grill until melted and turning a little golden.

  2. Layer the apple on top of the melted cheese before scattering with the fresh thyme and finishing with a healthy dollop of the finest pickle you can lay your hands on. Serve immediately.

Ploughman's Toasties Ploughman's Toasties Recipe (1)

Cost: Despite using a number of good-quality ingredients, these Ploughman’s Toasties can be made for relatively little money. A bit of locally sourced cheese and ham goes a long way, and two toasties should set you back no more than £1.80.

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26 comments on “Ploughman’s Toasties

  1. cookinginsens
    February 21, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Love this. It’s like a French tartine.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Let’s dub it a British tartine, Rosemary.

  2. Arthur in the Garden!
    February 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm


  3. lorrielorrieb
    February 21, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    It has all of my favorite elements! How can you go wrong with that?

  4. Mollie Walker Freeman
    February 22, 2014 at 1:25 am

    It looks delish! I don’t eat pork, but I’d do something similar with beef, perhaps.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Yes, beef would work, or perhaps lamb or chicken.

  5. Leah
    February 22, 2014 at 1:35 am

    yum! I love chutney with cheese, its such a simple combo that when done right is absolutely magic.

  6. Eha
    February 22, 2014 at 1:37 am

    [big smile!] Well this must be the ‘politest’ and most elegant ploughman’s lunch I have ever witnessed in some three decades of visits Down Under > UK!! Usually surely just a chunk of bread, a hearty cheese, a pickle AND the beer does come first :) ! A strong dark beer methinks!!!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Very polite indeed, but also indulgent and delicious! I would have enjoyed a beer with it…

  7. Camilla
    February 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    They look soo good. You can’t beat classic flavours:-)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      After all, there’s a reason why they’re classic.

  8. musingmar
    February 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    I read many books by British authors and of course the Ploughman’s Lunch comes up frequently. I have an idea of what it is, but it’s great to have your recipe to go by. Thanks!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 22, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      My pleasure – it really is a great lunch.

  9. chloeanneride
    February 22, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Wow! that looks amazing. You can never get bored of the apple and cheese combo! Too good.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 22, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you – I know, it’s a great combo.

  10. Michelle
    February 23, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    What a lovely lunch. Though a pint might have been a nice addition. :)

  11. Felisa (Fi Fi's Bakery)
    February 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Ham? Cheese? Pickle? I’m sold! Looks seriously yum.

  12. Jenny @ BAKE
    March 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Oh my goodness this looks incredible!

  13. Franny
    March 12, 2014 at 7:02 am

    These recipes intrigue me and I’ve already chosen 3 to try out. Thank you!

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