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Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame (Classic and Modern styles)

Croque Monsieur is a very popular sandwich from France and sounds really fancy but is in reality just a basic ham and cheese with bechamel sauce toasted on top. Croque Madame is the same sandwich but with a lightly fried egg on top. But traditionally these sandwiches are just the toasted ham and cheese that are grilled or toasted. Madame is the same but with chicken and cheese.


Béchamel sauce:

¼ cup unsalted butter (½ stick)

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1½ cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper

dash of freshly grated nutmeg


8 slices white bread

5 ounces good quality ham about 8 slices

6 ounces Gruyere cheese ,or Emmental cheese, grated (about 2½ cups)

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

For a Croque Madame, add on fried egg on top of the finished sandwich If you want a traditional Croque, omit the Bechamel Sauce and cut off the crusts.

For a traditional Croque Madame, substitute the ham for chicken or turkey breast.

Bechamel Sauce

  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring well until the mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened.

  • Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard and nutmeg. Set aside while you make the sandwiches, or make the sauce up to 1 week in advance.


  • Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking tray with parchement paper and set aside.

  • Spread each bread slice with a layer of béchamel, spreading it all the way to the edges. Place 4 slices of bread, béchamel side up, on prepared baking sheet.

  • Top each with a piece of ham, a handful of gruyere, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Place remaining slices of bread on top, béchamel side up, then top with remaining gruyere and parmesan cheese.

  • Bake at 425 degrees F for about 5-6 minutes, until cheese is melted, and then turn the oven to broil and broil until the cheese on top is lightly golden, 2-4 minutes.

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