Wartime Recipes ~ Cheese

These recipes are taken from the Ministry of Food leaflets issued in the United Kingdom during the Second World War.

Further details can be found in the Rationing Section.

Picture of cheese leaflet22th April, 1940

Cheese is an A.1 food source because: -

It is an excellent body-builder, better than meat for building firm muscles. It builds strong bones and teeth too. Therefore it is invaluable for growing children. Plenty of cheese in childhood means less dental troubles in later life.

It is a concentrated energy-giving food, especially suitable for heavy workers, as it gives a large amount of energy in small bulk. It contains a high proportion of fat and so gives a feeling of satisfaction after a meal.

It is also a valuable protective food, guarding against infection and helping us to see in the dark.
Cheese is such an important food it deserves a place of its own at mealtimes. Use it as a main dish and not as an afterthought to a meal already containing meat and fish. Used in this way cheese can be made to help out the meat ration.

Cheese is not indigestible, even for children of 18 months, if eaten uncooked and grated.

How to keep Cheese: - Wrap in margarine or butter paper, hang in a piece of muslin in a cool, airy place. This hardens the cheese and makes it more economical in use. Use the rind for flavouring sauces, etc., but remember to remove it before serving the dish.

One of the easiest and pleasantest ways of serving cheese is with a green salad – this with national bread is a perfect meal.

All recipes below are for 4 people unless stated otherwise.


Tomato Cheese Savoury

  • 4 Slices bread toasted on one side.
  • 4 Tomatoes.
  • 3 oz. Grated cheese.
  • Salt and pepper.

Method, Cut tomatoes into slices, lay these on untoasted sides of the bread. Sprinkle with grated cheese, salt and pepper. Put under grill until cheese has melted and browned. Serve hot or cold.

Oatmeal Cheese Rarebit (for one person)

  • 1 oz. Grated cheese.
  • ½ oz. Toasted oatmeal.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 1 Teaspoonful coarsely chopped parsley.
  • 1 oz. flour.
  • ¼ Pint water.
  • Toast.

Method, Make a sauce with the flour and water. Add the cheese oatmeal and seasonings, stir well and cook for a minute or two. Pour on to toast. Place under the grill until brown. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.


Vegetable Pie with Cheese and Oatmeal Crust

  • 1½ lbs. Cooked mixed vegetables.
  • ½ Pint stock or water
  • 2 oz. Oatmeal
  • 6 oz. Flour
  • 1 oz. Fat
  • 2 oz. Cheese Pastry
  • Salt
  • Water to mix

Method, Place cooked vegetables in a pie-dish with a little vegetable water. Season, rub fat into the flour then add the grated cheese, oatmeal and salt. Mix to a stiff dough with water. Roll out the pastry then cover the pie and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.

Cheese Savoury

  • 1 egg. Made from 1 level tablespoon egg powder and 2 tablespoons water.
  • ½ Pint milk.
  • 1 Teacup of breadcrumbs.
  • 4 oz. Grated cheese.
  • Seasoning.

Method, Reconstitute the egg, then beat with the milk. Add the other ingredients and pour into a greased dish, bake for 20 minutes in a moderate oven until brown and set.

Potato Jane

  • 1½ lbs. Potatoes.
  • 3 oz. Grated cheese.
  • 2 oz. Breadcrumbs.
  • ½ Chopped leek.
  • 1 Sliced carrot.
  • ½ - ¾ Pint milk or water.
  • Salt and pepper.

Method, Put a layer of sliced potatoes in a fireproof dish. Sprinkle with some of the leek, carrot, crumbs, cheese and seasoning. Fill the dish with alternate layers, finishing with a layer of mixed cheese and crumbs. Pour over the milk and bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes or steam for 1 hour.

Cheese Omelette

  • 4 dried eggs. Made from 4 level tablespoons dried egg and 8 tablespoons water.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 2 oz. Grated cheese.
  • ½ oz. Fat.

Method, Reconstitute the egg and add seasoning. Heat the fat in a pan and pour in the egg and work the mixture with a fork in the usual manner. When set sprinkle in the grated cheese and cook for one minute longer. Fold, and serve hot with a garnish of watercress or other raw green vegetable.


Cheese Pancake

  • 4 oz. Flour.
  • 2 oz. Grated cheese.
  • 1 ½ Gills milk and water
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder.
  • Salt and pepper.

Method, Mix the flour and liquid into a batter then add baking powder and cheese. Melt fat in a frying pan, and when smoking hot pour in sufficient batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Fry pancakes to a golden brown on each side. If liked, this mixture can be made into drop scones, using a girdle, greased hot plate or frying pan.

Vegetable au Gratin

  • 3 Breakfast cups diced cooked vegetables.
  • 1 Breakfast cup cooked white or coloured beans.
  • 1 Small piece chopped leek.
  • 3 Tablespoons browned crumbs.
  • 3 oz. Grated cheese.
  • 4 oz. Flour.)
  • ½ Pint vegetable liquid.  ) Sauce.
  • ½ Pint milk.)

Method, Mix the flour to a smooth paste with some of the liquid. Bring the rest of the liquid to the boil and pour over blended flour. Return quickly to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring all the time then add the cooked vegetables and half the cheese. Pour into a fireproof dish, sprinkle with remainder of the cheese and crumbs. Grill until brown.

Cheese Jacket Potatoes

Scrub 2-4 potatoes and prick with a skewer or fork. Bake on the rack in a moderate oven for about ¾ - 1 hour. Cut down the centre and scoop out the potato inside; mix this with 2-4 oz cheese, seasoning and a little sauce or milk to moisten. Pile back into the potato case and serve hot.

Cheese Frizzles

  • 2 Tablespoons medium or coarse oatmeal.
  • 1 Tablespoon flour.
  • 2 Tablespoons grated cheese.
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • A little water to mix.
  • Fat for frying.

Method, Mix all dry ingredients together with the exception of the baking powder, then add enough cold water to mix into a stiff batter. Just before using add the baking powder. Melt a little fat in a frying pan and when smoking hot drop spoonfuls of the mixture into hot fat. Fry till golden brown on both sides.

Dishes suitable for two children

Vegetables in a cheese sauce

  • ¾ - 1 lb Cooked mixed vegetables.
  • Browned breadcrumbs.
  • ¾ Pint cheese sauce.

Method, Mix the vegetables and cheese sauce together, pour into a pie dish and sprinkle with browned breadcrumbs. Brown in a moderate oven or under the grill.

Cauliflower Cheese

  • 1 Small cauliflower [cooked].
  • 2-4 oz. Cheese.
  • ¾ Pint white sauce.

Method, Put the cauliflower in a greased dish. Mix half the cheese with the sauce and pour over cauliflower. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top, and bake or grill.

Potato Cheese

  • 1 lb Cooked mashed potato.
  • 2-4 oz. Grated cheese.
  • Salt and pepper.

Method, Mash the potatoes and season well then add half the cheese. Arrange in a greased dish and sprinkle with rest of the cheese then brown under the grill.

Other Usages

Cheese with Fish

Sprinkle some grated cheese over fish when baking it in the oven. This lends quite a new and subtle flavour to the fish.

Making Your Own Cream Cheese

Allow sour milk to form a thick clot. Pour into a muslin bag and allow liquid to drip into a basin for 24 hours, [the whey, which is remains, can be used in soups or for mixing cakes.] Remove the cheese from the bag, add seasoning and, if liked, chopped chives for flavouring. Mash up well with a fork. Use as a sandwich spread.