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    Croque Monsieur Recipe

    Published May 6, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This delicious French classic for a Croque Monsieur Recipe is a pan-cooked sandwich stacked high with ham, bechamel, and shredded cheese!

    I don’t know about you, but I grew up eating sandwiches.  It doesn’t matter if it was a grilled cheese or a steak sandwich, chances are that was my lunch most of my youth and it’s still going down today.

    stacked ham and cheese croque monsieur sandwich on a cutting board

    Croque Monsieur

    This classic French sandwich started to pop up on menus at cafés all across Paris in the early 20th century.  It’s known as the gentleman’s sandwich loaded up with toasted bread, cheese, bechamel, and ham, and you can still find it today on menus all across Europe and the United States.

    Ingredients

    These are the simple ingredients needed to make a Croque monsieur.

    • Bechamel – One of the 5 mother sauces, this delicious creamy sauce really makes this sandwich.
    • Bread – I prefer to use an artisan-style loaf as it adds more texture and flavor to the recipe but you can also use 2 slices of wonder bread, although I don’t recommend that.
    • Cheese – Traditionally shredded comet cheese is used but you can also use gruyere, swiss, or parmesan.
    • Ham – Black forest ham works really well for this recipe but also any country style roasted ham is fantastic as well.

    How to Make It

    Follow these quick instructions to make a Croque monsieur:

    Toast two slices of bread in a large pan or on a griddle with melted unsalted butter over medium-low heat or until toasted and then flip them over to toast the other side.

    toasted sliced of bread in a pan

    On one slice of the toasted bread, spread the Dijon mustard all over the top.

    spreading dijon mustard on a toasted slice of bread in a pan

    Add several slices of the ham over the top of the mustard.  Feel free to use as much as you’d like, I prefer 4-6 pieces.

    slices of ham on toast in a pan

    Spread on a few tablespoons of bechamel onto the ham.

    bechamel sauce being poured over ham slices on toast

    Sprinkle on some of the shredded cheese onto the bechamel.

    shredded comte cheese on a ham sandwich with bechamel

    Place the other toasted bread on top, spread on some more bechamel, and then generously sprinkle on some more cheese.

    toast topped off with bechamel and shredded comte cheese

    Cook under the broiler for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.

    croque monsieur melting under the broiler in a pan

    Croque Madame Vs Croque Monsieur

    While both of these sandwiches have a different name, they are incredibly similar to one another.  The only difference is that the Croque madame has a fried or poached egg on top of the Croque monsieur, that’s it.

    How to Eat It

    If the sandwich is right out of the broiler, it’s pretty hot so it’s best to use a knife and a fork.  Once it cools down a touch it’s good to simply eat it with your hands.

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: This sandwich is meant to be eaten as soon as it comes out of the broiler, but it can be reheated very easily.

    How to Reheat: Place the sandwich on a cookie sheet tray and bake in the oven at 350° for 5-7 minutes or until hot and the cheese is melted.

    How to Store: Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  This will not freeze well.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    croque monsieur next to pickles, mustard and champagne

    More French Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Croque Monsieur Recipe

    5 from 1 vote
    This delicious French classic for a Croque Monsieur Recipe is a pan-cooked sandwich stacked high with ham, bechamel, and shredded cheese!
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 8 slices of artisan bread
    • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 16-24 slices of country ham
    • 1 bechamel recipe
    • 2 cups shredded comte cheese

    Instructions

    • Preheat the broiler to high heat.
    • Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a very large pan over medium-low heat until melted.
    • Add 4 slices of bread to the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted and lightly browned.
    • Flip the bread over to cook on the other side.
    • On two of the pieces of toasted bread add 1 tablespoon of mustard to each spreading it around to cover.
    • Add 4-6 slices of ham to the top of the toast with mustard and then evenly spread/layer on as follows: 2 to 3 tablespoons of bechamel, ¼ cup shredded cheese, a slice of toasted bread, 3-4 tablespoons of bechamel and ¼ cup of shredded cheese.
    • Place under the broiler on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browned.
    • Slice the sandwich and garnish optionally with chopped parsley.
    • Repeat the process to make the other 2 sandwiches.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: This sandwich is meant to be eaten as soon as it comes out of the broiler, but it can be reheated very easily.
     
    • How to Reheat: Place the sandwich on a cookie sheet tray and bake in the oven at 350° for 5-7 minutes or until hot and the cheese is melted.
     
    • How to Store: Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This will not freeze well.
     
    • With the leftover bechamel sauce, you can make potatoes au gratin, chicken nachos, biscuits, and gravy, or lasagna Bolognese.
     
    • Since artisan bread has large slices you will most likely have to cook this in batches.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 954kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 58gFat: 62gSaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 196mgSodium: 2116mgPotassium: 819mgFiber: 3gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 1359IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 1032mgIron: 4mg
    Course: lunch, Main
    Cuisine: French