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

The French Sandwich: Croque Monsieur or Madame?

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.

French word: Croque or Croquer

English translation: to bite

The “Monsieur” means “Mister”, referring to a lunchtime meal that the man of the house would have at work. The Croque “Madame” became popular in the 1960s with the women’s movement. (There is a rarer vegetarian Croque Mademoiselle, but I confess I have never seen it on a menu!)

And have I mentioned, that both 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.

The French way to eat a Croque sandwich

Now, although the Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame are sandwiches, they are both quite messy to eat. I do not recommend trying to transport these to take these in to work. No fear though, you can do as the French do and eat it with a knife and fork.

Croque Monsieur Sandwich

Croque Monsieur Sandwich

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.


  • 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)


  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 grill for 10 minutes.


  • Serve warm with salad.
  • For the Croque Madame, do the same as above, and then top off the sandwich with a fried egg or omelet.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 833 Total Fat: 45g Saturated Fat: 23g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 198mg Sodium: 2438mg Carbohydrates: 48g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 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.

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!

This Post Has 2 Comments

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

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