Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame – How to Make a Croque Monsieur

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Craving an extra cheesy hot ham and cheese sandwich? Try this Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame recipe for a shortcut to the classic sandwich found at French bistros.

Follow these simple instructions for how to make a Croque Monsieur, or add an egg on top for a Croque Madame.

Craving an extra cheesy hot ham and cheese sandwich? Try this Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame recipe for a shortcut to the classic sandwich found at French bistros.

I’m fresh back from a trip of lifetime to France with my husband where we ate and ate and ate. I made a list of all the classic French foods that I wanted to taste, and we worked our way through them over the course of 10 days. Check out my suggestions on how to spend 4 days in Paris and what to eat while in Paris!

One of the quintessential French foods is a Croque Monsieur or a Croque Madame (which is just a Croque Monsieur with a runny egg on top).

What is a Croque Monsieur?

A Croque Monsieur is a French sandwich often found in bistros. Think about it as a hot hand cheese sandwich made on thicker, white bread with the cheese being more of a white sauce called béchamel sauce.

To make it even better, you can order a Croque Madame which is just the same hot ham and cheese sandwich with a runny egg over top.

A Croque Monsieur is a French sandwich often found in bistros. Think about it as a hot hand cheese sandwich made on thicker, white bread with the cheese being more of a white sauce called béchamel sauce.

Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur Recipes

After devouring a Croque Madame while in France, I’m officially hooked. This means I had to conquer the recipe at home so that I can make it all the time. I knew this warm sandwich-like dish would be a hit with my kids as well.

It hit me that I had seen a recipe for Croque Monsieur in a cookbook of mine called The Sunset Cook Book.

I immediately went on a treasure hunt around my house to find this cookbook, but I have tons so this can be challenging. Alas, I found it, and this shortcut croque monsieur recipe was right where I remembered.

Croque Madame is the same hot ham and cheese sandwich with a runny egg over top.

Shortcut Croque Monsieur

Now, I’m not saying this is how they traditionally make Croque Monsiuer and Croque Madame in France. I’m just saying this method is easy, cheesy and downright tasty.

Ask my oldest, she’s now officially obsessed with my shortcut Croque Monsiuer recipe. Although she did have one question. How am I supposed to eat a Croque Monsieur? Do I use my hands to eat croque monsieur?

A Croque Monsieur is a French sandwich often found in bistros. Think about it as a hot hand cheese sandwich made on thicker, white bread with the cheese being more of a white sauce called béchamel sauce.

Do I eat a Croque Madame with my hands?

Croque Madame is a very messy sandwich with a runny egg over top. Between the egg and the extra cheesy béchamel sauce, you really need to use and knife and fork to eat this gracefully.

Croque Madame is a very messy sandwich with a runny egg over top. Between the egg and the extra cheesy béchamel sauce, you really need to use and knife and fork to eat this gracefully.

Ingredient List for Easy Croque Monsieur

Heavy Cream

Shredded Swiss or Gruyere Cheese (a blend works great too)

Butter

White Bread (thicker, more firm bread preferably)

Deli Ham

Optional Ingredient: Egg (If you want to make a Croque Monsieur with an egg on top.)

Croque Madame is the same hot ham and cheese sandwich with a runny egg over top.

How to Make a Simple Croque Monsieur

  1. In a small saucepan, heat heavy whipping cream and shredded cheese (swiss or gruyere) until the cheese starts to melt to the consistency of softened butter. Whisk together.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat, generously coating with butter.
  3. For each sandwich, arrange bottom slice of white bread in the pan, top with sliced deli ham, and then top with melted cheese mixture.
  4. Place a second piece of white bread on top. I like to put a little butter on the very top so that when you flip it, there’s plenty of butter.
  5. Once browned on the bottom, flip and brown the other side.
  6. For a croque monsieur with an egg, place a sunny side egg, over easy egg or poached egg right on top when you serve it.
  7. Croque Monsiuer and Croque Madame are both messy to eat, so it is best to use a fork and knife.

For the full ingredient amounts and recipe steps for simple croque monsieur, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. 

A Croque Monsieur is a French sandwich often found in bistros. Think about it as a hot hand cheese sandwich made on thicker, white bread with the cheese being more of a white sauce called béchamel sauce.

Best Bread for Croque Monsieur

The cheese in a croque monsieur is in form of a white, cheesy Béchamel sauce. This means it would very easily make a soft bread mushy.

With that in mind, the best bread for Croque Monsieur is a firm textured white bread. These are sometimes in smaller loaves but are heavier than normal sandwich bread.

Many grocery stores have a heavier artisanal bread already sliced which would work perfectly.

A Croque Monsieur is a French sandwich often found in bistros. Think about it as a hot hand cheese sandwich made on thicker, white bread with the cheese being more of a white sauce called béchamel sauce.

Notes About Easy Croque Madame (and Monsieur)

  • Shredded Swiss, Gruyere or even Emmental cheese (traditional French cheese) works best.
  • If needed, substitute half and half for heavy cream. You might need to cook it down a bit in the saucepan.
  • Use as little or as much deli ham as you like.
  • It is ok if the béchamel sauce leaks out the side of the sandwich into the skillet. It has a way of slightly browning and binding onto the bread that’s delicious.
  • This sandwich is messy; it is best to eat with a fork and knife.
  • Check out our Amazon store for our favorite kitchen items and pantry essentials.
  • I also recreated delicious French Gratins that we had during our trip to France. Check out this Potato au Gratin recipe.

Easy Sandwich Recipes for Dinner

We love a hearty sandwich for an easy dinner that the entire family will eat. Here are some of our favorites.

French Onion Sliders

French Onion Sliders are a cheesy-topped ground beef sloppy Joe mixture baked on Hawaiian rolls and drizzled in an delectable butter sauce. Make them for dinner or for a party, but just know, your family will be begging for more. 

Tuna Salad Coneys

These Tuna Salad Coneys take a classic we all know and turn it into a hot, cheesy sandwich that is full of flavor.

Ground Beef BBQ 

Ground Beef BBQ Sloppy Joe Recipe is an old fashioned ground beef barbecue sandwich recipe from the farm without brown sugar.  Served over bread, baked potatoes, or even on a cracker, you can't go wrong with this easy ground beef barbecue recipe.

Spanish Hot Dog Sauce

Whether you call it Coney sauce, chili sauce or Spanish Hot Dog Sauce, it's a cult favorite that takes you right back to your childhood. This restaurant-style hot dog sauce has the perfect amount of spice to top off your favorite dog!

 Pan Seared Chicken

This Easy Stovetop Chicken only uses a handful of ingredients for a quick, weeknight meal.

Planning a Dream Trip to France?

If you are like me and have a trip to France on your bucket list, I shared some helpful tips and thoughts about traveling to Paris, as well as other places in France:

Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame - How to Make a Croque Monsieur

Craving an extra cheesy hot ham and cheese sandwich? Try this Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame recipe for a shortcut to the classic sandwich found at French bistros.  Follow these simple instructions for how to make a Croque Monsieur, or add an egg on top for a Croque Madame. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: croque madame, croque monsieur with egg on top, easy croque monsieur or madame, how to make a croque monsieur, shortcut croque monsieur
Servings: 1 sandwich
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese (Swiss or Gruyere)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 slices thick white bread (more firm version)
  • 2 - 4 slices deli ham

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, heat heavy whipping cream and shredded cheese until it melts. Whisk together.
    Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame - How to Make a Croque Monsieur
  • Heat butter in skillet.
    Craving an extra cheesy hot ham and cheese sandwich? Try this Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame recipe for a shortcut to the classic sandwich found at French bistros.  Follow these simple instructions for how to make a Croque Monsieur, or add an egg on top for a Croque Madame. 
  • Arrange slice of bread in hot skillet. Arrange deli ham on top of bread.
    Craving an extra cheesy hot ham and cheese sandwich? Try this Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame recipe for a shortcut to the classic sandwich found at French bistros.  Follow these simple instructions for how to make a Croque Monsieur, or add an egg on top for a Croque Madame. 
  • Pour cheese mixture over top the ham. It is ok if it leaks out.
    Craving an extra cheesy hot ham and cheese sandwich? Try this Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame recipe for a shortcut to the classic sandwich found at French bistros.  Follow these simple instructions for how to make a Croque Monsieur, or add an egg on top for a Croque Madame. 
  • Top with second slice of bread. For extra brown bread on top, add a little bit more butter on top.
    Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame - How to Make a Croque Monsieur
  • Flip, and brown the second side.
    Craving an extra cheesy hot ham and cheese sandwich? Try this Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame recipe for a shortcut to the classic sandwich found at French bistros.  Follow these simple instructions for how to make a Croque Monsieur, or add an egg on top for a Croque Madame. 
  • Add a cooked egg on top, if desired.
  • Eat with a fork and knife.
    Craving an extra cheesy hot ham and cheese sandwich? Try this Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame recipe for a shortcut to the classic sandwich found at French bistros.  Follow these simple instructions for how to make a Croque Monsieur, or add an egg on top for a Croque Madame. 

Notes

  • Shredded Swiss, Gruyere or even Emmental cheese (traditional French cheese) works best.
  • Heavy cream is used, but in a bind half and half would work. You might need to cook it down a bit in the saucepan.
  • Use as little or as much deli ham as you like.
  • It's ok if the béchamel sauce leaks out the side of the sandwich into the skillet. It has a way of slightly browning and binding onto the bread that's delicious.
  • These sandwich is messy; it's best to eat with a fork and knife.
  • Love French recipes?  Try French Dinner Salad recipe. 

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Craving an extra cheesy hot ham and cheese sandwich? Try this Easy Croque Monsieur or Madame recipe for a shortcut to the classic sandwich found at French bistros.  Follow these simple instructions for how to make a Croque Monsieur, or add an egg on top for a Croque Madame. 

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