British Cheese and Pickle Tea Sandwiches

5 from 1 vote

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A classic, British cheese and pickle tea sandwiches can be made in minutes using just 3 ingredients. These 2-bite sandwiches are perfectly sweet, tangy, and salty.

Trio of Cheese and Pickle Tea Sandwiches stacked on top of one another.

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Cheese and Pickle Tea Sandwiches

A cheese and pickle sandwich is a British classic and this mini version is perfect for tea time. It’s one of the easiest afternoon tea recipes to make at home. It only takes 3 ingredients and there’s no cooking involved, just some prep and assembly.

When the British refer to a classic cheese and pickle sandwich, they usually mean Branston Pickle and not the typical sliced dill sandwich pickles. The cheese is usually a sharp cheddar.

Branston pickle is a British relish spread that’s made with diced vegetables like carrot, onion, and rutabaga. It has a chunky, chutney-like texture.

The spread has a sweet-spicy flavor and it’s paired with cheddar cheese, which is sharp and salty. Since both are vegetarian, this is a wonderful meat-free option to serve at afternoon tea.

RELATED: 24 Best Tea Sandwiches

Recipe Highlights

  • These tasty 3-ingredient tea sandwiches with a pot of tea adds a British touch to tea time.
  • Bread and cheese are cut into small circles using a cookie cutter to make delicate bite-sized sandwiches.
  • This recipe makes 4 tea sandwiches (serves 2 people), but you can increase it to make a bigger batch.

RELATED: Ham & Cheese Tea Sandwiches

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients for Cheese and Pickle Tea Sandwiches.
  • White bread: It’s best to use a soft sandwich bread that isn’t too thick.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: Use any pre-sliced packaged sharp cheddar.
  • Branston pickle: This chunky pickle is a classic British condiment. Get the small chunk pickle to make it easier to spread.

For full ingredients and detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Step-by-Step Instructions

White bread being cut into circles using a cookie cutter.

Step 1: Cut circles out of the bread using a round cookie cutter.

Cheddar cheese being cut into circles with a cookie cutter.

Step 2: Cut circles out of the cheese using the same cookie cutter.

3 steps to make a cheese and pickle tea sandwich.

Step 3: Assemble the sandwich.

Spread Branston pickle on the top side of a bread circle. Place a cheese circle on top. Spread Branston pickle on another bread circle and place pickle-side down on top of the cheese.

Recipe Notes

Don’t spread on too much of the Branston pickle.

Adding on too much of the pickle spread can make it too messy to eat. Plus, both the Branston pickle and cheddar cheese are salty and flavorful, so use it in moderation.

Serve these at room temperature.

Since tea sandwiches are traditionally enjoyed at room temperature and not cold, it’s recommended to make these just ahead of serving. If preparing in advance, take them out of the fridge 15 minutes ahead of time to warm them up.

Make them ahead of time.

When making these tea sandwiches in advance, spread a thin layer of butter on the sides of the bread that touches the Branston pickle to prevent the bread from getting soggy.

You can also cut out the cheese and bread ahead of time, but assemble the sandwiches just before serving.

To store the tea sandwiches overnight in the refrigerator, loosely cover the prepared sandwiches with wax paper and a damp paper towel in an airtight container. Don’t let the damp paper towel touch the sandwiches.

RELATED: Blue Cheese and Pear Tea Sandwiches

Expert Tips

  • A cookie cutter that’s about 2″ works the best.
  • Freeze bread to get the cleanest cuts.
  • You can use cookie cutters in other shapes, but it’s best to go with simple ones.
  • If you have the regular Branston pickle, not small chunk, you can chop it with a knife to get smaller pieces, which will make it easier to spread.
  • It’s best to enjoy these tea sandwiches with black tea. English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey are both great options as part of an afternoon tea spread.

Questions You May Have

What does Branston pickle taste like?

In addition to vegetables, Branston pickle is made with vinegar, tomato, and apple, giving it a tangy, sweet, and savory flavor. It also has a bit of a kick from spices.

Where can I buy Branston pickle?

Branston pickle can be found at some specialty food stores, especially ones that sell British products or on Amazon.

Do you need to refrigerate Branston pickle?

Once opened, Branston recommends placing the jar in the refrigerator and using within 6 weeks.

Closeup shot of a Cheese and Pickle Tea Sandwich fully assembled.

If you tried this Cheese and Pickle Tea Sandwiches recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ star rating and let me know how you like it in the comments below.

5 from 1 vote

British Cheese and Pickle Tea Sandwiches

By: Jee Choe
A mini version of the classic British cheese and pickle sandwiches to serve at tea time.
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 4 tea sandwiches

Ingredients 

  • 4 slices white bread
  • 2 slices sharp cheddar
  • 3 tablespoons Branston pickle

Instructions 

  • Cut circles out of the bread using a cookie cutter.
    Avoid the cutting the crust. Cut 8 circles out of the bread.
  • Cut 4 circles out of the cheese.
    Use the same cookie size to cut circles out of the cheese.
  • Assemble the tea sandwich.
    Spread Branston pickle on each circle of bread. Place a piece of cheese on top of one bread circle with the Branston pickle facing up. Top with another circle of bread, this time with the Branston pickle facing down.
  • Repeat until you make 4 tea sandwiches.

Notes

  • It’s best to use a sandwich bread that isn’t too thick.
  • A round cookie cutter around 2 inches work the best.
  • Freeze bread to get the cleanest cuts.
  • Get the small chunk Branston pickle to make it easier to spread.
  • Use any pre-sliced packaged sharp cheddar.
  • Since tea sandwiches are traditionally enjoyed at room temperature and not cold, it’s recommended to make these just ahead of serving. If preparing ahead of time, take them out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving to let them warm up.
  • When making these tea sandwiches in advance, spread a thin layer of butter on the sides of the bread that touches the Branston pickle to prevent the bread from getting soggy.
  • You can also cut out the cheese and bread ahead of time, but assemble the sandwiches just before serving.
  • To store the tea sandwiches overnight in the refrigerator, loosely cover the prepared sandwiches with wax paper and a damp paper towel in an airtight container. Don’t let the damp paper towel touch the sandwiches.

Nutrition

Calories: 135Carbohydrates: 15gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 334mgPotassium: 49mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 159IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 152mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized or tag #ohhowcivilized!

About Jee Choe

Welcome! I'm a certified Tea Sommelier and a self-proclaimed bubble tea and iced tea master. I'm all about making tea EASY and DELICIOUS.

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