Croque Monsieur


There are as many versions of this classic French sandwich as there are Parisian cafes that have it on their menus. The Croque Monsieur, or “Crispy Mister” appeared on French menus in 1910 and was simply a ham and Gruyere sandwich fried in butter. A good one is typically topped with either extra grated cheese or a bechamel or mornay sauce. The best must be eaten with a knife and fork. A Croque Madame is a regular croque with an egg on top.

I’ve always had a weakness for these cheesy, gooey, buttery concoctions, but a recent event changed my palate forever…I went to Paris where I found the simple version of the ham and cheese, on a baguette of course, sans butter, mayo or any other enhancement beyond the quality of the components and a little lettuce. If you want to splurge, this adaptation of Ina Garten’s recipe is a good one, but a little rich for me now after several weeks of enjoying the bare naked version of the famous combo.

Croque Monsieur

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • dash nutmeg
  • 10 ounces Gruyere, grated
  • 8 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • Dijon mustard
  • 12 ounches sliced baked ham

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan make a bechamel sauce using the butter, flour, seasonings and milk. Add 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese and stir until cheese has melted and the sauce is thick.

Toast the bread on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes.

Lightly brush the toasted bread with mustard, add slices of ham to half the slices and sprinkle with half of the the remaining cheese. Top with another slice of bread. Slather the tops of the sandwiches with cheese sauce and add the remaining Gruyere. Bake for 5 minutes. then broil for another 3-5 minutes or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.





  1. Mary says

    Cathy, this looks so good. I’d be in my kitchen now if I didn’t know how much time I’d owe the treadmill. This is a great recipe and I, too, think your picture is fabulous.

  2. Loulou says

    One of my favorite things to order from our local café. It’s been a while though…think I need to go get one!

  3. Lisa says

    Here I am at lunch time. I didn’t know I was so hungry. This looks like a great meal. Gruyere is such a delicious cheese.

    But then you have a wonderful point about “bare naked” sandwiches too. That really is the way I like them best, something I learned on my first trip to Europe as a teenager. Almost anything tastes great on a good baguette, with maybe just the sheerest smear of butter, and then good ham and cheese or sliced eggs or even a chocolate bar.

    Now I am really hungry!

  4. La Table De Nana says

    These are one of my very faves…many variations too! My friend left for Paris yesterday..I thought of your trip:)

  5. Rosabela says

    This is the version I made a little while ago and just loved it … but is loaded with calories. I figured that next time I’ll try a lower fat version (if that’s possible). :-)

  6. Lori (All That Splatters) says

    This looks wonderful, Cathy! Calories, shmalories. I can’t wait to try your version! 😉 😀

  7. Acorn Cottage says

    Welcome back Cathy! Your pictures are lovely! How very exciting for you! I can’t even imagine what your trip was like with all the sites and sounds. Hope you share more photos with us so we can live vicariously though you! I missed you. Went to Tahoe and tried making the crab tater tots….I needed you by my side!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Smiles, Nancy

  8. vincent says


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>