Traditional English Pub Style Ploughman's Lunch

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 0 mins

Just the words Ploughman's Lunch, conjures up images of lazy lunches sat outside with friends, in the Beer Garden of an old Country Pub! This is one of the most famous of pub lunches - so simple and yet so satisfying, especially if taken with a pint of real ale or cider! Although the term "Ploughman’s Lunch" was first coined in the 1930’s, as part of a very successful marketing campaign, the concept behind it goes back much further. Throughout the centuries, agricultural workers would take their lunch out to the fields with them; this usually consisted of bread and cheese with ale or cider - a perfect combination! It's easy to prepare and should consist of at least the following: crusty bread and butter; a selection of English cheeses; pickled onions; chutney and pickles. This also makes excellent picnic food, and is easy to pack and transport. I have two pickle recipes on Recipezaar that would be wonderful with this lunch: A British Classic - Pan Yan Pickle and The Almost Original Branston Pickle Recipe!.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Arrange the buttered bread on a large platter or plate; you can also leave the bread unbuttered, and place a pat of butter on the side instead.
  2. Cut 4 ozs of cheese per person, it is nice to have a choice of two cheese, such as 2 ozs Cheddar and 2 ozs Stilton - arrange these on the same platter/plate.
  3. Put the pickled onions and chutney or pickles on the side of the plate, along with a fresh tomato left whole and the spring onions.
  4. Make sure there is salt and pepper available, as well as some good real ale or cider!
  5. Enjoy!


Most Helpful

What a great, memorable lunch! I used a hard cheddar and a stilton, crusty buttered rolls and of course lots of branston pickle, I also threw in some sausage for my husband. I put it all on a large wooden serving board and served cider along with it, it looked terrific and tasted even better. This brought back memories of my Grandpa, having lunch by the lake, thanks so much :)

~Leslie~ March 25, 2008

Fabulous! I love ploughman's lunch. I made this with crusty baguette rolls (mini baguettes), a couple of locally-produced cheeses (Appel's gouda and Beecher's flagship), pickled onions, sweet gherkins, garlic & dill gherkins, plus recipe #245742 and recipe #322018 and PG Tips tea (chamomile tea with milk for DS). We all loved it--it was a wonderful light summer supper. Thanks so much for sharing, FT! Made for Everyday is a Holiday tag game.

Halcyon Eve July 23, 2009

Thanks to this recipe, I was able to put together a wonderful gift basket for my English neighbors-they were thrilled! I was so lucky to find many authentic English items at a specialty store! Thank you for sharing, French Tart!

Mrs.Jack October 29, 2008

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