When you think about crêpes, you don’t usually think about savory crêpes filled with meat and cheese. In France, and specifically the Normandy and Brittany regions, these savory buckwheat crêpes are a tradition.
A lighter meal rather than the typical French dinner, a crêpe-filled dinner will involve a crêpe salée (savory crêpe) as a main, and a crêpe sucrée (sugary crêpe) as dessert. Washed down with a jug of cider, it is the perfect meal at home or in a crêperie restaurant.
While crêpes are not difficult to make, there is an art to making the correct number of crêpes. The French saying goes:
And equally at the other end:
There is also a tradition of serving crêpes at during the celebration of Chandeleur, although those usually tend to be sweet crêpes, not savory ones (although never say never!)
Ingredients and Variations
The beauty of the savory crêpe is that you can put whatever you want in it. If you prefer fish instead of meat, or simply don’t like spinach, you can easily alternate with something else.
The traditional ingredients in a galette bretonne are egg, ham and gruyère, but other possible combinations are:
- Spinach and goat cheese
- Smoked Salmon, crème fraîche and lemon
- Mushrooms, bacon lardons and crème fraîche
- Roquefort, emmental and goat cheese
- Potatoes, smoked ham and munster cheese
If you are using ingredients like mushrooms or bacon lardons, make sure to cook them separately first, before adding them on top of the crêpe.
Typically the cheese used is gruyère, but other cheeses such as emmental or cheddar will also do. Basically, you want a hard cheese, that won’t completely overpower the other ingredients.
Frequently asked questions
What to serve with buckwheat crêpes?
Usually, savory crepes are served with a side salad. You can even serve it with a salad niçoise, if you want a hardier meal.
As I mentioned above, usually, most French people will have one savory crepe with salad, and one sweet crêpe (like the crêpe suzette) for dessert for a filling meal.
What drinks to serve?
Traditionally buckwheat crêpes are usually served with cider. Fun fact: the cider is usually served in a bowl, not a glass!
You could also try a light blanche beer or a sparkling crémant (white wine) from the Loire, but the classic pairing is usually with cider.
☞ READ MORE: Easy Guide to the French Wines
Savory Crêpe Recipe
A simple galette bretonne recipe, otherwise known as the buckwheat savory crêpe from Brittany, France. With ham, cheese, and egg, you simply can't go wrong.
For the Crêpe
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 egg
- 45cl of water
- pinch of salt
- canola oil (or butter) to grease the pan
For the fillings
- 1 egg per person
- 1 pack of ham
- 80g of grated gruyère
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, egg, water, and salt.
- Whisk vigorously until the batter is completely smooth and fluid.
- Let the mixture rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Chop the ham into small pieces.
- On a hot pan that has been greased, pour in a scoopful of mixture for the first crêpe.
- Turn the crêpe over and crack an egg on it.
- Add 1/2 slice of ham and a portion grated gruyère cheese on top of the crepe.
- When the egg white is cooked, fold the sides of the pancakes towards the center.
- Repeat as many times as necessary to use up the crêpe mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
This recipe should make around 4-6 crêpes. Please adjust quantities for additional servings.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 544mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 20g
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.
If you enjoyed that, check out our other classic French recipes and my sweet crêpe suzette recipe that will make an excellent dessert after a savory crêpe. Bon appétit and à bientôt !