Simple and elegant Croque Madame made with ham, gruyere, parmesan cheese, a layer of béchamel sauce, and topped with a fried egg.  It’s the most sophisticated ham and cheese sandwich around.

Enjoy your Croque Madame like a true Parisian by serving it with a bowl of French Onion Soup and a small green salad.  Then head on over and check out our other French inspired recipes.

A Croque Madame sandwich served on a plate (with a fried egg on top).

Croque madame is a gourmet French ham and cheese sandwich. It’s the female companion to Croque Monsieur but I like to think of Croque Maadame as the elegant and classy version because it’s served with a fried egg on top. My couple of trips to Paris have long ago solidified my love for the magnificence of French cooking!

How to make Croque Madame:

  • Make béchamel sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring well until the mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard and nutmeg. Set aside while you make the sandwiches. Sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance, stored in the refrigerator.
  • Layer sandwiches: Spread each bread slice with a thin layer of béchamel, spreading it all the way to the edges. Place 4 slices of bread, béchamel side up, on a baking sheet. Top bread with a piece of ham and a sprinkle of freshly grated gruyere and parmesan cheese. Top with another bread slice, béchamel side up, then sprinkle with remaining gruyere and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake:  Bake at 425° F 5-6 minutes, until cheese is melted, then turn the oven to broil and toast until the cheese on top is lightly golden, 2-4 minutes.
  • Top with fried egg: While sandwiches bake, cook a fried egg in a hot skillet. Place an egg on top of each hot sandwich.
Four process photos for how to make a Croque madame, including the béchamel sauce in a saucepan, and bread slices layered with béchamel, ham, cheese, then toasted.

Recipe Variations:

  • Croque Monsieur: the recipe is the same except the Croque Monsieur is made without the fried egg.
  • Bread:  Any bread will work, but we recommend thin white sandwich bread because it tends to make the yummiest layered grilled cheese.
  • Cheese: Croque Madame is made with high quality cheese like guryere and parmesan. Substitutes may include Emmental, Jarlsberg, Beaufort cheese or simply use a cheese you like, understanding that it may differ from the traditional French way.

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Recipe

A Croque Madame sandwich served on a plate (with a cooked egg on top).
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 35 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

For the Béchamel sauce:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (½ of a stick)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • cups whole milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • dash of ground nutmeg

For the Sandwiches:

  • 8 thin slices white sandwich bread
  • 5 ounces good quality ham , about 8 slices
  • 6 ounces Gruyere cheese , or Emmental cheese, grated (about 2½ cups)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 eggs

Instructions
 

Make béchamel sauce:

  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring well until the mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in mustard and nutmeg. Set aside while you make the sandwiches. Sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance, stored in the refrigerator.

Assemble sandwiches:

  • Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Spread each bread slice with a thin layer of béchamel, spreading it all the way to the edges. Place 4 slices of bread, béchamel side up, on prepared baking sheet.
  • Top bread with a piece of ham and a sprinkle of freshly grated gruyere and parmesan cheese. Top with another bread slice, béchamel side up, then sprinkle with remaining gruyere and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 5-6 minutes, until cheese is melted, then turn the oven to broil and toast until the cheese on top is lightly golden, 2-4 minutes.
  • While sandwiches bake, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Grease the pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray and crack eggs into hot pan (you may need to do this in batches, depending on size of skillet). Reduce heat to medium and cook for several minutes, until desired doneness. Place an egg on top of each hot sandwich.

Notes

Variations:
  • Croque Monsieur: leave off the fried egg.
  • Bread:  Any bread will work, but we recommend thin white sandwich bread because it tends to make the yummiest layered grilled cheese.
  • Cheese: Croque Madame is made with high quality cheese like guryere and parmesan. Substitutes may include Emmental, Jarlsberg, Beaufort cheese or simply use a cheese you like, understanding that it may differ from the traditional French way.

Nutrition

Calories: 689kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 38gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 278mgSodium: 1057mgPotassium: 419mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1198IUCalcium: 708mgIron: 4mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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