Croque Monsieur Recipe: The Ultimately Easy French Sandwich
How to decide? Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame

Croque Monsieur Recipe: The Ultimately Easy French Sandwich

If you are looking for classic French food, you have to munch or croque into a Croque Monsieur! Or Madame.  Both are basically glorified ham and cheese sandwiches, perfectly unhealthy and laden with cheese. A French national treasure.

Forewarned, if you are following my Croque Monsieur Recipe, don’t try to hold back on the butter and the cheese.

Monsieur vs. Madame vs. Mademoiselle

Croque, which translates in English as “to bite”, is pronounced as “crok”. The “Monsieur” means “Mister”, referring to a lunchtime meal that the man of the house would have at work. It was first seen on a restaurant menu of a Parisian café in 1910, becoming popular very quickly afterward.

French word: Croque or Croquer

English translation: to bite

The Croque Madame became popular in the 1960s with the women’s movement. The Croque Madame recipe is the same, except the sandwich is topped off with a fried egg.

There is a rarer “light” version called Croque Mademoiselle, where the cheese and butter are substituted for cream cheese, and the ham is replaced with a slice of lighter meat such as chicken or turkey. I confess though I have never seen it on a restaurant menu!

And have I mentioned, that all these sandwiches are absolutely delicious? Today, it is still generally a lunchtime meal, paired with a simple salad to make all the cheese seem a bit healthier. You usually find them on the menu at traditional brasseries and cafés, rather than Michelin starred fine dining (but that doesn’t mean you have to turn your nose up at it!)

If you don’t have a French restaurant nearby, no fear, it is simple enough that you can make it at home.

☞ READ MORE: ABC of French Cuisine (the Food Dictionary)

Other Variations

There are other Croque Monsieur variations as well, as French chefs become more creative.

Other Croque SandwichesRecipe Ingredients
Croque Provençal With tomatoes added. (Region of Provence)
Croque AuvergnatWith the regional blue cheese Bleu d’Auvergne. (Region ‎Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes)
Croque NormandWith potatoes and camambert cheese added. (Region Normandy)
Croque BourguignonWith mustard from Dijon. (Dijon is the capital of the Region Bourgogne)
Croque GalloisAdd in beer, a touch of mustard, cayanne pepper and Worcestershire sauce. It is quite similar to the Welsh rarebit, and the name is sometimes used interchangeably. (Gallois is French for the home country of Wales).
Croque NorvégienWith smoked salmon. (For Norway).
Croque TartifletteWith potatoes added
Croque HawaïenWith a slice of pineapple added (For Hawaii.)
Croque SucréA dessert where all the ham, butter and cheese is replaced by a sliced banana and chocolate sauce or powder.

Frequently asked questions

How do you eat a croque sandwich?

cutlery

Now, although the Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame are sandwiches, they are both quite messy to eat. No fear though, you can do as the French do and eat it with a knife and fork.

I do not however recommend trying to transport these to take them in to the office.

salad illustration

What do you serve with it?

Since they are usually served at lunchtime as a lighter meal, they are usually served by themselves, or with a small salad.

Other heartier options would be with a vegetable soup like minestrone or french fries.

What drinks to serve with it?

wine bottle

You might think the Croque Monsieur is the perfect sandwich to pair with a beer, but alas in France, we tend to stick to wines during a meal.

A light rosé or chilled white goes quite well with a Croque Monsieur, such as a Rosé-de-loire or a Cabernet-de-Saumur from the Loire Valley.

☞ READ MORE: Easy Guide to the French Wines

croque monsieur

Croque Monsieur Recipe

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

The Croque Monsieur, a French dish that is meant for lunch or as a quick snack. The name "croque" means to bite.

Ingredients

  • 2 bread slices
  • butter
  • 2 cheese slices (gruyère or emmental)
  • Slice of ham (use sliced chicken or turkey if you don't eat pork)
  • 3 table spoons of milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of paprika, chives or nutmeg (optional, for extra flavor)

Instructions

  1. Take 2 bread slices and liberally butter one side of each.
  2. Place the cheese slices on each piece of bread, on the buttered side.
  3. Add a piece of ham on top of the cheese.
  4. Close the sandwich.
  5. In a bowl, mix grated cheddar (or gruyère) with milk, salt, and pepper.  
  6. Add paprika, chives, or nutmeg for extra flavor to the mixture.
  7. Apply the mixture to the top of the sandwich and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Notes

Croque Madame Recipe:

Follow the same Croque Monsieur Recipe as above, and then top off the sandwich with a fried egg or omelet.

Croque Mademoiselle Recipe:

Follow the same Croque Monsieur Recipe as above, but substitute the cheese and butter for cream cheese and the ham for a slice of lighter meat such as chicken or turkey.

Serve warm with salad.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 833Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 2438mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 59g

Note: We are not certified nutritionists and these estimates are approximate. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This website is written and produced for informational purposes only.

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And it’s that simple.  I hope you enjoyed that recipe, any other quick French meals that you would like to know more about? Comment below!

A bientôt and bon appétit!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Stuart

    Terrible misleading recipe for the Croque Madame. A bechamel must be created. Mixing milk etc in a bowl will produce an absolute child’s mess. Cannot imagine somebody trying such a thing.

  2. Christine

    Croque Madame every time! Love cutting into the warm yolk and having run all over the sandwich!

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