Croque-Monsieur Recipe

Background and History

The Croque-Monsieur is a classic French sandwich that first appeared on Parisian café menus in the early 20th century. The name “croque-monsieur” roughly translates to “mister crunch,” reflecting its crispy texture. This delicious dish is essentially a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, elevated with a creamy béchamel sauce. It’s a staple of French bistros and a beloved comfort food worldwide.

Recipe Guide


  • 2 people


  • Total preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time

  • Cooking time: 10 minutes


  • 4 slices of white or sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (softened)
  • 4 slices of cooked ham
  • 4 slices of Gruyère or Emmental cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Dijon mustard (optional)


Prepare the Béchamel Sauce

  • In a small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
  • Add the flour and whisk constantly until it forms a smooth paste (about 1 minute).
  • Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously until the sauce thickens (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assemble the Sandwiches

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) or heat a griddle/pan over medium heat.
  • Spread a thin layer of béchamel sauce on two slices of bread.
  • Place a slice of cheese on top of the béchamel.
  • Add two slices of ham on top of the cheese.
  • Spread a little Dijon mustard on the remaining two slices of bread (optional).
  • Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices.

Cook the Sandwiches

  • Spread butter on the outside of each sandwich.
  • If using an oven, place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • If using a griddle or pan, cook the sandwiches for about 3-4 minutes on each side, pressing down gently with a spatula, until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Top and Serve

  • If desired, spread a little more béchamel sauce on top of each sandwich.
  • Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the béchamel.
  • Place the sandwiches under a broiler for 2-3 minutes, until the top is bubbly and lightly browned.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 550
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fat: 35g
  • Saturated Fat: 20g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 1300mg


  • For a Croque-Madame variation, add a fried or poached egg on top of each sandwich before serving.
  • You can substitute Gruyère or Emmental with other melting cheeses like Swiss or cheddar if preferred.
  • For added flavor, consider adding a thin slice of tomato or a few leaves of fresh spinach inside the sandwich.

Allergy Warning

  • Contains dairy (butter, milk, cheese)
  • Contains gluten (bread, flour)
  • Contains pork (ham)
  • Mustard (optional) may cause allergies in some individuals

Enjoy your homemade Croque-Monsieur, a taste of French culinary tradition right in your kitchen!

What is the difference between a Monte Cristo and a Croque-Monsieur?

A Monte Cristo is a variation of the Croque-Monsieur that is typically dipped in egg batter and fried, giving it a French toast-like quality. It is often served with powdered sugar and a side of jam or preserves, adding a sweet element to the savory sandwich.

Why is it called a Croque-Monsieur?

The name “Croque-Monsieur” comes from the French words “croquer” (to crunch) and “monsieur” (mister). It refers to the sandwich’s crispy texture when toasted or grilled.

What is the difference between a Croque Madame and a Croque-Monsieur?

A Croque Madame is similar to a Croque-Monsieur but with the addition of a fried or poached egg on top. The egg resembles a lady’s hat, which is why it is called “Madame.”

What is Croque-Monsieur made of?

A Croque-Monsieur is made of sliced bread, ham, and cheese, typically Gruyère or Emmental. It is topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and then toasted or grilled until crispy and golden.

What country is Croque-Monsieur from?

Croque-Monsieur originates from France. It is a popular French bistro and café staple.

What is “croque” in French?

In French, “croque” means “crunch” or “bite,” reflecting the sandwich’s crispy texture.

When should I eat Croque-Monsieur?

Croque-Monsieur can be enjoyed at any time of the day, but it is commonly served as a lunch or brunch dish. It also makes for a hearty snack or a light dinner.

What is the English word for “croque”?

The English word for “croque” is “crunch.”

Is Croque-Monsieur masculine or feminine?

The term “Croque-Monsieur” is masculine in French, as indicated by the word “monsieur,” which means “mister.”

How do you eat a Croque-Monsieur?

A Croque-Monsieur is typically eaten with a knife and fork due to its rich béchamel topping and melted cheese. It can be enjoyed on its own or served with a side salad or fries.

Ignatius Thornfield
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Ignatius Thornfield, the discerning Recipe Connoisseur behind this site, is a culinary aficionado dedicated to transforming pet dining into an art form. With an exquisite taste for flavors and a keen eye for nutritious combinations, Ignatius shares a curated collection of gourmet pet recipes. His site is a sanctuary for pet owners seeking to indulge their furry friends with delectable and health-conscious meals. Ignatius's expertise in the realm of pet cuisine is evident in the sophisticated and thoughtfully crafted content he presents. For those who appreciate the finer culinary experiences for their pets, Ignatius Thornfield's site is a treasure trove of gastronomic delights.