Croque Monsieur

This decadent French bistro sandwich features ham, Gruyère, and a rich Mornay sauce.

Croque Monsieur Recipe

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling Debbie Wee

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
2 servings

Croque Monsieur (which translates to “Mister Crunchy Bite”) is one of the most iconic French bistro dishes, often served at lunch or as a snack at the bar. Thin slices of ham are topped with grated Gruyère and a rich, creamy Mornay sauce. The sauce and gooey cheese make this a knife-and-fork sandwich. If you want to make this sandwich even more decadent, add an egg on top for a Croque Madame.


  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) good-quality firm white sandwich bread slices

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup whole milk

  • 4 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (about 1 cup), divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for garnish

  • 4 slices cooked unsmoked ham (3 ounces total; such as Jamon de Paris)

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to broil with rack about 8 inches from heat source. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Spread 1 side of bread slices evenly with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Place bread slices, buttered side down, in skillet; cook until toasted and golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer bread to a work surface. Wipe skillet clean.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small saucepan over medium until foamy. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, until light golden, about 1 minute, 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk; bring to a simmer over medium, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook, whisking often, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1/4 cup of the grated Gruyère and whisk until melted. Stir salt and pepper into Mornay. (If not using immediately, cover surface of sauce directly with plastic wrap for up to 1 hour.)

  3. Arrange 2 of the bread slices on a work surface, toasted side down. On each slice, spread 2 tablespoons Mornay sauce to evenly to cover the surface. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated Gruyère, and top with 2 ham slices. Spread mustard evenly on untoasted sides of remaining 2 bread slices; place, mustard side down, on top of ham-topped slices. Spread remaining Mornay sauce evenly on top of sandwiches, then top with remaining 1/4 cup grated Gruyère.

  4. Transfer sandwiches to a rimmed baking sheet, and broil in preheated oven until cheese has melted and top is bubbly and browning in spots, 5 to 7 minutes.

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