Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Class French Croque Monsieur recipe, toasted ham and Swiss cheese sandwich, topped with a bechamel sauce of butter, flour, milk, nutmeg, Parmesan and Gruyere.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Years ago, a French friend of mine introduced me to Croque-Monsieur, the French version of a toasted ham and Swiss sandwich.

I remember it being loaded with butter and cheese, and absolutely the most delicious sandwich in the world. My friend was somewhat addicted to these sandwiches, and after having one myself I could see why!

Gruyère cheese and ham just belong together.

Croque Monsieur

According to the word croque comes from the verb croquer or “to crunch”. So a Croque-Monsieur roughly translates to “Mister Crunchy”.

The feminine version, a “Croque Madame”, includes a fried egg on top. This classic French bistro sandwich is a great way to use up leftover ham.

Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwich Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • A pinch each of salt, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg, or more to taste
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups grated)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (packed)
  • 8 slices of French or Italian loaf bread
  • 12 ounces ham, sliced
  • Dijon mustard


1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

2 Make the béchamel sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Stir in the Parmesan and 1/4 cup of the grated Gruyère. Set aside.

3 Toast bread slices in oven: Lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly toasted. For extra flavor you can spread some butter on the bread slices before you toast them if you want.

(Alternatively, you can assemble the sandwiches as follows in step four and grill them on a skillet, finishing them in the broiler with the bechamel sauce.)

4 Build the sandwiches: Lightly brush half of the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham slices and about 1 cup of the remaining Gruyère cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slices.

5 Add bechamel, more Gruyere: Spoon on the béchamel sauce to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère cheese.

6 Broil till bubbly: Place on a broiling pan. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

If you top this sandwich with a fried egg it becomes a Croque Madame.

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Adapted from several recipes, including one by Debra Weber of and Ina Garten.


Cheesy Gooey Croque Monsieurs from Daniel Gritzer of Serious Eats

Cauliflower Croque Monsieur from All Day I Dream About Food

Croque Madame from Alexandra's Kitchen

Showing 4 of 33 Comments

  • Malika A. Black

    I just made my first homemade loaf of white bread and was looking for recipes to make with it. Croque Monsieur is one of them.
    I found many recipes on Google, but this version with bechamel sauce looks delicious. Maybe it makes the sandwich softer ?
    I only have Mozzarella and Cheddar at home. I’m sure it won’t be as delicious ! So I have to buy some Gruyère Cheese to make it. Thanks!

  • Elizabeth

    I lived in London for five weeks in 1989, doing Overseas Study in college, and the little sandwich shop down the street made their Croque Monsieur the same way as you except instead of bechamel, they topped it with thinly sliced tomatoes and broiled cheese. It was delicious!

  • Steph

    I made these last week – they were SO good. I went to the local Italian bakery and got a loaf of bread, hot out of the oven. They sliced it thin for me…which I thought would be a problem but it toasted up really nicely without being too hard. These were delicious! I will definitely be making these again.

  • Becky

    I first had this sandwich at Bouchon in Napa Valley, CA. I have never had a better sandwich. When I lived in SF I was lucky enough to live next to a French restaurant that served them as well. I became an addict. This recipe recreates the sandwich exactly! I am so happy that other people love it as much as I do! Everyone needs to try it before they say anything negative… it is sandwich perfection.

  • Natalie

    I am so excited to see a fabulous recipe for Croque Monsieur! I had one when I was in Paris… without the bechamel sauce. It was great. But when I travelled to Brazil, my boyfriend and I found a secluded little restaurant in Rio that served these delicious Croques Monsieur. And since I can’t speak portuguese, but can speak french… it was one of the only things I could read off the menu. This Croque Monsieur was the most incredible, tasty, delicious sandwich that I have ever had. I cannot WAIT to try this recipe. My boyfriend even made me forward him this address so we each have it on our respective computers, in case something should happen to one! Hahaha… Thanks for the recipe! YUM!

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