Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (2024)

Potted Cheese is an easy, no-cook, traditional British cheese spread that’s perfect on crackers, biscuits, crusty bread or toast.

Cheese and butter are simply combined with your choice of herbs and spices plus a touch of booze.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (1)

You can make it with a single cheese such as Cheddar, or with a variety. Potted Cheese is especially good for using up those cheeseboard leftovers.

Stored in jars in the fridge, it should keep at least two weeks.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (2)

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Britain’s climate and landscape make it perfect for grazing animals and therefore milk production.

But what to do with excess milk? Preserve it by making into cheese, of course!

According to some, Britain makes around seven hundred types of cheese. That’s three hundred more varieties than France, apparently.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (3)

And we do love our cheeses. Whether it’s buy-it-anywhere, mass-produced Cheddar, or handmade, artisan cheeses like those from my local Staffordshire Cheese Company.

Although cheese is itself a form of preserved food, ingenious Britons developed a way of preserving it a second time. By potting it.


Potted foods such as cheese were usually made by pounding it with various flavourings, then covering with a layer of fat. The purpose of the fat was to keep out the air and so prevent (or slow down, anyway) the food going bad.

In the age of refrigeration, potted foods are no longer a vital form of preserving. But, like the preservative salt originally added to butter, they’re something many of us still have a taste for.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (4)

In fact, Potted Cheese is the third potted recipe I’ve shared.

First off was my hugely popular Homemade Potted Beef. Then, more recently, delicious and super-easy Potted Ham.

While it’s certainly worth buying cheese specially to make Potted Cheese, it’s also a great way of using up leftovers (as is Potted Ham).

As I write, we’re in the run-up to Christmas. No doubt, like many tables over the festive season, mine will be featuring a cheeseboard at least once.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (5)

After the celebrations, you can gather up all those odds and ends of cheese, combine them with some simple flavourings, a splash of booze, and make a wonderful spread for crackers, biscuits or toast.

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For the Potted Cheese in this post, I used a combination of strong and medium mature Cheddars, some Lancashire cheese and sheep’s milk cheese.

You really can use almost any mixture, although soft cheese will make a looser spread than hard or semi-hard cheeses.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (6)

To almost-fill three 125 ml capacity jars, I grated 225 grams of cheese.

I whizzed it in a food processor with 90 grams of butter. Some recipes use a lot less butter, while some combine equal quantities of butter and cheese.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (7)

Play around with proportions and see what you like best.

If you want to make a smaller amount of my Potted Cheese, weigh the amount of cheese you have, then calculate what forty per cent of it is. This is the amount of butter you’ll need to add.


The fun part of making Potted Cheese is deciding what herbs and spices you want to add.

Traditionally, alcohol is also included. Besides adding flavour, this helps to create a spreadable consistency. It may also improve the keeping qualities.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (8)

You’ll perhaps already have noticed that this post has images of two different flavours.

The pinkish one has mildly warm Aleppo pepper and port. The yellowish, green-flecked one has French mustard, chives and single malt whisky. Both pack quite a punch!

Other suitable flavourings include English or wholegrain mustard, black pepper, garlic, tarragon or parsley. If you don’t fancy port or whisky, go for a medium sherry, Madeira, Marsala, beer or brandy.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (9)

It’s really up to you how much of the flavourings to add. Maybe start with the lower amounts I’ve suggested in the detailed recipe. Taste the mixture and add more as needed.


When your Potted Cheese is tasting good, pack it into washed and dried lidded jars.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (10)

I don’t bother with the traditional layer of clarified butter. I’m only going to be storing the Potted Cheese for a couple of weeks at most. And I think it’s rich and tasty enough without it.

But if you do want to add it: melt lots of butter in a saucepan then leave to settle a few minutes. Pour off the top layer of yellow clarified butter and use that to cover the cheese. Discard the white milk solids left at the bottom of the pan.

Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (11)

My favourite way to eat Potted Cheese is spread thickly on homemade biscuits and crackers.

Nutty tasting Scottish Oatcakes or are particularly good. Or try my ultra-simple Easy Homemade Crackers or gluten-free Easy Seed Crackers. Or how about good, old-fashioned semi-sweet Homemade Digestive Biscuits?

A lovely addition to your own cheeseboards, a ribbon-wrapped jar of Potted Cheese and some homemade biscuits would also make a great Christmas gift for foodie friends and family.


Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (12)


Potted Cheese

A traditional British cheese spread that you can flavour with your favourite herbs and spices plus a touch of booze. Make with a single cheese or a mixture.

Serve spread on biscuits, crackers or toast.



Keywordpreserves, no-cook

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 0 minutes

Total Time 15 minutes

Servings 3 medium jars

Author Moorlands Eater


  • 225ggrated cheese
  • 90gdiced butterat room temperature
  • ¼-4tspseasonings of choicee.g. dry or made mustard, Aleppo pepper flakes, hot chilli flakes, black pepper, garlic granules, finely chopped herbs such as chives, parsley or tarragon.
  • 1-3tbspalcohole.g. port, medium sherry, Madeira, Marsala, beer, brandy, whisky,


  1. Wash three small jars (100 - 125ml capacity) and their lids in hot soapy water. Rinse then dry thoroughly.

  2. Put the grated cheese and butter in a food processor along with the lesser amount of your chosen seasonings. Process until evenly combined.

    Add the lower amount of your chosen alcohol. Process again then taste. Add more seasoning or alcohol if needed.

    Process until smooth or your preferred consistency is reached.

  3. Pack into the jars, pressing down to get rid of air pockets, and put on the lids.

    Store in the fridge for up to two weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.


Potted Cheese | Moorlands Eater | Recipes (2024)


What is potted cheese made of? ›

Potted Cheese is an easy, no-cook, traditional British cheese spread that's perfect on crackers, biscuits, crusty bread or toast. Cheese and butter are simply combined with your choice of herbs and spices plus a touch of booze. You can make it with a single cheese such as Cheddar, or with a variety.

How do you melt cheese and keep it creamy? ›

There are several ways to melt cheddar cheese so that it is creamy rather than stringy or rubbery:
  1. Grate the cheddar cheese before melting it. ...
  2. Use a low heat setting and be patient. ...
  3. Add a small amount of milk, cream, or broth to the cheese as it melts. ...
  4. Use a smooth, creamy cheese in addition to or in place of th.
Dec 31, 2022

What makes cheese mature? ›

As cheese ages, it loses moisture while enzymes and microbes continue developing within the cheese. These friendly bacteria help transform lactose into lactic acid and build other amino acids to give aged cheese its unmistakable taste.

Can you melt shredded cheese? ›

Pre-shredded cheese is best for melting on top of things, like nachos and pizza, but if you have the time, freshly grated cheese will melt best in sauces and stovetop dishes. Pre-shredded cheese contains ingredients like potato starch and natamycin to keep the shreds from clumping together in the bag.

Does plant-based cheese taste like cheese? ›

A lot of vegan cheese has little or no protein, just fat and starch. Those that do have protein tend to taste the least like traditional cheeses.

What is the white stuff on extra mature cheese? ›

Calcium lactate is common in aged cheese. It is basically a natural calcium buildup that occurs over time during the aging process, and it sometimes will become visible on the surface of the cheese. Don't worry – it is completely natural and safe to eat!

How do you melt cheese so it doesn't harden? ›

Here's the how to melt cheese the slow and steady way: use low heat—introduce a double-boiler, even—to avoid overcooking. If you want to speed up the melting a little more, try grating the cheese instead of cranking the temperature—the thin and uniform shape will melt faster and more evenly.

Do you add milk when melting cheese? ›

How Do You Make Cheese Sauce From Scratch?
  1. Melt butter: In a medium size sauce pan over medium high heat, then add the butter and melt.
  2. Whisk: Now add in the flour to the butter, then slowly whisk in the milk. Next, add in the cheese. Continue to mix until the cheese is melted.
  3. Serve!
Jul 10, 2020

What is the most expensive cheese in the world? ›

1. Pule Cheese - $600 Per Pound. Pule cheese is the most expensive cheese in the world because it is produced exclusively at Serbia's Zasavica Special Nature Reserve. This rare cheese is made from the milk of Balkan donkeys which are endangered and native to Serbia and Montenegro.

What are these crunchy white specks in my cheese? ›

They're most likely calcium lactate crystals, also known as “cheese crystals.” They are completely safe to eat, and usually signify that a cheese is flavorful and well-aged. Calcium lactate crystals form naturally during the aging process and are most commonly found in aged cheddars, including Smoked Medium Cheddar.

What cheese takes the longest to make? ›

Cheeses – When Waiting is Required
CheeseAging Period
Morlacco, Morlacco di Grappa20 days-3 months
Mozzarella30 Days
Muenster5-7 weeks
Parmesan10-24 months or more
84 more rows
May 17, 2023

Why doesn't bagged shredded cheese melt? ›

Pre-grated cheese contains preservatives like potato starch and natamycin, meant to keep the shreds from clumping together in the bag. That means the cheese won't melt well when used for cooking. Freshly grated cheese does not contain those additives, so your recipes will turn out less clumpy and much smoother.

Which shredded cheese melts best? ›

Cheddar. Shredded cheddar is here for all your oozy dairy needs. Whether you're topping some chorizo chili or making a classic grilled cheese, shredded cheddar melts extremely well. It also brings that slightly sharp quality to the table to keep things interesting.

What kind of cheese doesn't melt? ›

There's one type of cheese that no amount of tweaking will melt: Acid-set cheeses, like fresh goat cheese, quick farmers cheese, paneer, queso fresco, and ricotta, just can't do it.

What are the ingredients in fake cheese? ›

Components of typical imitation cheese include water, vegetable fat, rennet casein, emulsifying salt, sodium chloride, and a preservative (O'Riordan, Duggan, O'Sullivan, & Noronha, 2011). Starch can be used for full or partial replacement of rennet casein.

Are cheese squares real cheese? ›

Processed cheese is not 100% cheese. Most of the time it hovers around 50% cheese, sometimes more and sometimes less, but at a base level, processed cheese is real cheese cut with other, non-cheese ingredients.

Is basket cheese the same as fresh cheese? ›

As its name suggests, the cheese is traditionally formed inside a basket, which leaves a woven imprint on its surface. Fresh basket cheese has no salt taste, while dry basket cheese is mildly salty. Turkish basket cheese, or sepet peyniri, is a fresh-curd cheese that originates from the Aegean Region.

Is cheese seasoning real cheese? ›

Some powders have no real cheese at all. However, a typical cheese powder may be a combination of up to 15% cheese, whey, vegetable oil, maltodextrin, and calcium caseinate.


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