Classic Croque Monsieur Recipe

5 of 18 votes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
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Having tried this recipe hundreds of times, I’m giving you all my tips for making a delicious croque monsieur sandwich, just like the one you find in Parisian bistros!

Unbaked croque monsieur

How to make a Croque Monsieur?

Prepare a béchamel sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously until well combined, forming a roux. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Cook the sauce for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens—season with sea salt, black pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Cover with a plastic wrap to prevent drying and set aside.

For more tips about how to make a béchamel sauce, please check my bechamel sauce recipe.

Assemble the sandwich. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C). Toast the white bread slices. Spread on one side with a thin layer of Dijon mustard (optional, but I really recommend it to add a little punch!).

Spread 1/3 of the Bechamel sauce on each slice and place a slice of ham on top. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese over the ham. Close the croque monsieur. Add the remaining Bechamel sauce and finish with the remaining grated cheese. 

Bake the croque monsieur. Bake the sandwiches on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the Croque Monsieur cool for a few minutes before serving.

Top view of a plate with a Croque Monsieur

Tips on ingredients

I’ll give you some tips on choosing the best ingredients for this recipe, as well as some alternatives.

For the Bechamel sauce

List of ingredients to make a béchamel sauce

I highly recommend preparing your own béchamel sauce (have a look at my full recipe here) it’s simple to make and yields a superior flavor. However, if you’re short on time, using a pre-made white sauce is a convenient alternative.

  • Milk: Béchamel sauce, a classic French white sauce, is made using milk as its base. As with most of my recipes, I love to use whole milk. 
  • Butter: It serves as the thickening agent for the béchamel sauce. Béchamel can also be made with plant-based butter or margarine if you prefer.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour is ideal for this hot sandwich.
  • Nutmeg: Adds a warm, nutty flavor and is a classic inclusion in a creamy béchamel sauce. I love this flavor and would never leave it out!

For the Croque Monsieur sandwich

list of ingredients to make a Croque Monsieur
  • Slices of bread: Typically, we use pain de mie (toast bread) but you can use your favorite bread, though. The bread should be able to hold the filling and toast well.
  • Ham: Thinly sliced ham is a key component of the croque monsieur so I recommend to choose a high quality ham if you can.
  • Cheese: I love to use Gruyère cheese as a typical French choice. Emmental cheese or Comté cheese are another popular options. For a classic French croque monsieur, choose a creamy, dreamy, oozy cheese that melts quickly.
  • Dijon mustard: It is optional, but I highly recommend it for those who enjoy a hint of tanginess in their sandwich.

Variations

Feel free to get creative and personalize this croque monsieur recipe to suit your tastes! Here are some ideas to inspire variations.

  • Croque Madame: A classic! Add a fried egg on top to make a Croque Madame, a slightly more decadent option, perfect for brunch.
  • Vegetarian: Replace the ham with tomatoes or sautéed mushrooms for a flavorful vegetarian version.
  • Bread: Swap white bread for wholemeal or sourdough bread, or try brioche for a delicious twist.
  • Mini Croque Monsieur: Cut each slice of bread into four for bite-sized croque monsieurs, perfect for appetizers at parties or brunches.
View of a croque monsieur cut in two

What to serve with a croque monsieur?

  • Classic. The classic French croque monsieur is traditionally served with light and simple side salad. I love to dress my salads with this Dijon mustard vinaigrette.
  • Soup. Another great way in winter is to serve it with a soup, like my healthy tomato basil soup. This is the perfect way to add some vitamins and make it a full meal.
  • Salads. In summer, one of my favorite side is this tomato and cucumber salad. The lightness of the salad cuts through the richness of the grilled cheese.

FAQ: Croque Monsieur

What is a Croque Monsieur?

A Croque Monsieur is a classic French sandwich that originated in Paris in the early 1900s. It debuted on the culinary scene in 1910 at the Bel Age, a Parisian bistro on the Boulevard des Capucins. The exact origin story of the Croque Monsieur remains a mystery, but being as delicious as it is, who cares?!

The classic croque monsieur recipe is made with simple ingredients: white bread, ham, Gruyère cheese, and béchamel sauce. The name Croque Monsieur translates to “Mister Crunch,” referring to the crispy texture of the sandwich when toasted. 

What is the difference between croque monsieur and croque madame?

The croque monsieur features ham and cheese as the hero ingredients. A croque madame, however, includes a fried or poached egg on top. 

Can you reheat a croque monsieur?

Yes, you can reheat a Croque Monsieur. If you have leftovers, place in an airtight container. To reheat it, preheat your oven or your air fryer to around 350°F (175°C). Place the Croque Monsieur on a baking sheet and cover it loosely with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. Reheat it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (5 minutes in the air fryer), or until it is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. You can also use a sandwich press.

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Recipe Card: Croque Monsieur

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Classic Croque Monsieur Recipe

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5 of 18 votes
As a French girl, I can confidently tell you that this is the best Croque Monsieur recipe to try. This Parisian bistro classic is a French culinary staple yet extremely easy to make!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Main course
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 610 kcal

Ingredients
  

Bechamel sauce

  • 1 1/4 cup milk (300 ml)
  • 1 tbsp butter (30 g)
  • 3 tbsp flour (30 g)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Nutmeg

Croque Monsieur

  • 8 white bread slices
  • 4 ham slices
  • 2 1/2 cups of cheese (200 g) – gruyère cheese, emmental cheese, comté cheese
  • 4 tbsp Dijon Mustard optional

Instructions
 

Prepare the Bechamel Sauce

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously until well combined, forming a roux. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Cook the sauce for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Season with sea salt, black pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Cover with a plastic wrap to prevent drying and set aside.

Assemble the Croque Monsieur

  • Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).Toast your white bread slices.Spread on one side with a thin layer of Dijon mustard (if desired) on one side.Spread 1/3 of the Bechamel sauce on each slice and place a slice of ham on top.Sprinkle half of the amount of grated cheese over the ham.Close the Croque Monsieur with a slice of toasted bread. Add the remaining Bechamel sauce and finish with the remaining grated cheese.

Bake the Croque Monsieur

  • Place the assembled Croque Monsieur sandwiches on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.Remove from the oven and let the Croque Monsieur cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Serve the Croque Monsieur with a green salad.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 610kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 32gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 1276mgPotassium: 357mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 930IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 676mgIron: 3mg
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