How to Make a Croque-Monsieur

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A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. And it’s pretty darn awesome.

How to Make a Croque-Monsieur | GoodCheapEats.com

French food gets a reputation for being complicated. I can see that. There are definitely some complex recipes. Souffle? Croissant? Yeah, I get you. Even a simple mousse au chocolat takes several steps and dirties many bowls.

On the other hand, however, French food is pretty simple, really. Bread, cheese, charcuterie? Bread and jam for breakfast? Roast chicken and potatoes? Escalivada? Those are all pretty easy and straightforward. Not to mention delicious.

So is the Croque-monsieur. This delicious comfort food is basically a dressed up grilled cheese sandwich. But, oh my! It’s so much more than that.

How to Make a Croque-Monsieur | GoodCheapEats.com

Its preparation takes a few more steps that stuffing bread and cheese in the panini press, but it’s worth washing a few more dishes. Totally worth it.

I was on a hunt for a good croque-monsieur in Paris, but never got one. So I’ve been making them at home instead. The ingredients are simple: white bread, Gruyere cheese (you can also use Emmental or other swiss-style cheese), Dijon mustard, ham, and a Beschamel sauce. And yes, that is real French Dijon that I brought home with me! You can buy it here.*

The irony is not lost on me that I bought white sandwich bread to make a French dish! Pain de mie, as it is called in France is a standard base for the croque-monsieur, though you can use other sandwich bread. To be honest, the local French bakery uses thick slices of batard which is really unwieldy for a fork and knife sandwich. In my mind, a croque-monsieur needs to be easily cut.

The Beschamel is not hard to do. I use a double batch of this sauce as a replacement for ricotta or cottage cheese in lasagna. It’s basically a white sauce of butter, flour, and milk. I add a few pinches of paprika, salt, and pepper to season it. Yum-O.

If you have a toaster oven, that is the perfect device to make these sandwiches quick and easy. I toast the bread on one side, assemble the sandwiches, and then return it to the toaster oven to melt the cheese and brown the tops. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can use the broiler. For some reason, the toaster oven just seems easier.

Tools I use for this recipe:

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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Comments

  1. teresa says:

    Thanks, Jessica! Have never heard of this version of toasted cheese. Certainly sounds tasty!!

  2. Jen says:

    Yum, even better is a Croque Madame!

  3. Stephanie M. says:

    Oh my goodness, Jessica, this looks yummy! It kind of reminds me of the chicken cordon bleu that I make only in place of the chicken, there’s bread. Julia Child has nothing on you!!! 🙂

    • Ha! I’m not so sure about that, but thank you for a great compliment. And yes, similar flavors in the two dishes.

  4. I’ve never had this, but it looks SO good!

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Jessica. YUM!

  5. Jazmine says:

    Had this while visiting Paris and it was fantastic. I am happy I stumbled across your recipe to try at home
    Thank you

  6. Connie McClaskey says:

    We had this at a little corner cafe in Paris. The cafe was recommended by our hotel and now we know why!! We ordered the Croque-Monsieur and it was absolutely incredible. Best sandwich we had ever eaten!!! I will try this recipe…It sounds very much like what we ate!

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