« Risotto alla Milanese, stovetop or pressure cooker/Instant Pot method {gluten-free} | Main | Microplane graters: like or dislike? »

Quick and easy ploughman's crisps {vegetarian}

Cheddar and chutney on toasted bread, the best parts of a traditional English pub lunch.

On my very first trip to London, my husband Ted, who had lived there for a time, introduced me to the ploughman's (plow man's) lunch. Every pub serves its own variation. The constants are a few slices of crusty bread, a hunk of good, sharp, English Cheddar cheese, and a bit of tart fruit chutney, to which sausage, ham, apples or other treats might be added. (Don't forget a pint of beer or ale on draught, too.) In the pubs, you're served a plate of individual elements to combine in any way that tempts you. During these next few crazy-busy weeks, with holiday preparations in full swing, these ploughman's crisps make a satisfying lunch or light supper, with very little work on the part of the cook. They're also a great savory appetizer nibble for your cookie exchange party, or football Sunday. Use your favorite homemade or store-bought chutney, or try one of our recipes.

Quick and easy appetizer: ploughman's crisps with melted cheese and chutney. #vegetarian

Quick and easy ploughman's crisps

From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, chutney (homemade or store-bought), fresh black pepper.

Serves 4; can be multiplied.


1 small loaf of French bread (demi-baguette)
Extra virgin olive oil (1-2 tsp)
1/4 lb extra sharp Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of your favorite chutney; I like Green (or red) tomato and apple chutney, Dried cranberry and pear chutney, or Pear and pluot chutney with raisins and ginger
Fresh black pepper


Using a serrated knife, slice the bread on an angle into 1/4-inch thick slices.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. When the oil is hot, add the slices of bread. Toast for 2 minutes, then turn.

Top each slice with cheese. Cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes, until the cheese just begins to soften.

Remove bread from the pan, and top each with a bit of chutney and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More quick and easy appetizer recipes:
Roasted red pepper and garlic hummus crostini, from The Perfect Pantry
Tomato and goat cheese bruschetta, from The Perfect Pantry
Roasted grape, blue cheese, and honey crostini, from Two Peas & Their Pod
Sweet potato tahini crostini, from Love & Lemons
Shaved asparagus and goat cheese crostini, from Naturally Ella

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I am intrigued; never heard of this before!

gosh this sounds good. Perfect for our Thanksgiving leftovers, too. We had 11 people here, and of course I over-bought!

Kalyn, on my first trip to England, I think I had a ploughman's lunch every single day!

Candy, I often overlook the simple dishes. This one is so satisfying, and you can pile on some of those Thanksgiving leftovers, too.

I grew up on a Ploughman's Lunch, but did not know what it was called at the time. These look easy and delicious Lydia.

"The constants are a few slices of crusty bread, a hunk of good, sharp, English Cheddar cheese, and a bit of tart fruit chutney, to which sausage, ham, apples or other treats might be added."

Might? MIGHT? The ploughman's lunch derives from what could be carried out to the fields in the morning for lunch. It absolutely included fruit (like apples and often tomatoes) and certainly dried meats like sausage. Pickles. The recipe here is lovely but it isn't a ploughman's.

Dave, this little dish is inspired by the ploughman's; it's not an attempt to recreate it.

Bellini, you're lucky; I never tasted this combination until I began to travel to the UK.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.