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.

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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.

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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? ›

How can you melt a block of cheddar so that it is creamy instead of stringy or rubbery? Use a chemical agent called sodium citrate. It acts as a stabilizer, preventing the fats splitting from the milk solids. You can by food grade sodium citrate easily online.

What cheese is not aged? ›

Why isn't all cheese aged? Some cheeses like burrata, mascarpone, feta, and mozzarella aren't meant to be aged long at all.

Do you add milk when melting cheese? ›

Whisk in 4 cups of hot milk and continue stirring until melted.

Does plant-based cheese taste like regular 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. Vegan cheese is expensive — those made from nuts, peas or other nutrient-dense foods can run as much as $10 for a small cube.

What is the white stuff on extra mature 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 is the best melting cheese? ›

8 Best Cheeses for Melting in Pastas, Paninis, Omelets, Casseroles, and More
  1. Fontina. Fontina can be buttery and a bit fruity; Fontina Val d'Aosta, from Italy's Aosta Valley, is firmer, more pungent, and nuttier (and always made of raw milk). ...
  2. Gouda. ...
  3. Asiago. ...
  4. Taleggio. ...
  5. Reblochon. ...
  6. Provolone. ...
  7. Mozzarella. ...
  8. Gruyère.
Oct 18, 2023

What additive makes cheese creamy? ›

Sodium citrate is a common processed cheese additive, a near-magical ingredient that can turn any cheese, no matter how hard or sharp, into a creamy sauce that won't grease out or turn grainy.

What is the best melting cheese for mac and cheese? ›

Gruyere is a classic addition because it melts much like Cheddar, but has a lovely nutty flavor. Other classics include Gouda, Muenster, Parmesan, fontina, Havarti and Monterey Jack. Brie works well too, just make sure you remove the rind before mixing it in.

What is the oldest cheese to eat? ›

It may not be an ancient cheese like the others on this list, but bitto storico is promoted as being the world's oldest edible cheese. These cheese from the Valtellina Valley in Italy can be aged for up to 18 years, which is significantly longer than any other cheese on the market.

Is brie considered a fresh cheese? ›

In 1987, the FDA passed a law requiring pasteurization of all milk products, with the requirement of raw-milk cheese to be aged for a minimum of 60 days and clearly marked “unpasteurized." Brie and Camembert are typically only aged for 4 to 5 weeks.

What is aged mozzarella called? ›

Whereas fresh mozzarella is packaged as balls in liquid for near-term consumption, traditional mozzarella (also known as aged, block or processed mozzarella) is packaged dry in blocks—or in cubes, chunks, sticks, slices or shreds that have been cut from blocks—for less immediate consumption.

Can you eat cheese that's gone hard? ›

Cheese that's hard around the edges is simply losing water to the atmosphere and drying up. If the edges are very hard, I like to slice them and drop them into hot soup. Unless your hard chees is starting to grow a mold that is not edible, it is safe to eat.

What Mexican cheese melts? ›

Queso asadero is Mexican cheese that's great for melting. It is soft, white and creamy with a mild taste, and is often used to make pizzas, quesadillas and queso fundido.

Why won't my shredded cheese melt? ›

A big reason why your cheese isn't melting is the moisture content. The moisture content of the cheese has a great effect on the melting process. A cheese that contains higher amounts of fat will melt better than one that doesn't.

What are the ingredients in plant-based cheese? ›

What Ingredients Are in Vegan Cheese? Vegan cheeses are 100% animal-free and made using vegetable proteins. Usually, they're made from soy; nuts, such as cashews and macadamias; and vegetable oils, such as coconut oil. You can also find cheeses that derive from agar, tapioca, peas and arrowroot.

What is the liquid inside hard cheese? ›

The liquid is just a bit of extra moisture or liquid whey.

What is canned cheese made of? ›


What is Pizza Hut cheese made out of? ›

What cheese is in a Stuffed Crust Pizza at Pizza Hut? Pizza Hut's stuffed crust is 100% real cheese made from whole milk mozzarella.


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