Croque Madame Recipe | The Recipe Critic


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A Croque Madame is a tasty French sandwich made with béchamel sauce, melty cheese, ham, and a sunny-side-up egg on top. You should definitely give it a try if you’re looking for a new delicious brunch recipe!

Looking for more tasty sandwiches to make for lunch? Try a homemade monte cristo, Cuban sandwich, or pork tenderloin sandwich!

2 halves of a croque madame stacked on top of each other.

Croque Madame Recipe

A Croque Madame is a ham and cheese sandwich with a twist. It’s got layers of ham and gruyere between crispy sourdough bread, but what makes it special is the creamy béchamel sauce poured on top, and a fried egg crowning it all. Doesn’t that sound like the best combination?

If you’re looking for a tasty lunch that’s a bit fancy but totally worth it, you should definitely try a Croque Madame. It’s seriously SO delicious, with that crispy bread, yummy ham and cheese, creamy sauce, and a delicious fried egg on top. It’s a French classic for a reason, and once you taste it, you’ll know why!

Croque Madame vs Monsieur

So, what’s the difference between a Croque Madame and a Croque Monsieur? The two are super similar, and a Croque Madame is essentially a monsieur sandwich with an egg added on top!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ever wanted a fancy upgrade to your usual ham and cheese sandwich? That’s what a Croque Madame is all about. Let’s talk about the ingredients that make it so great.

  • Unsalted Butter: Adds a rich, creamy taste and helps in browning and flavoring the sauce and bread.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Thickens the sauce, giving it a smooth and creamy texture.
  • Milk: So the béchamel sauce is nice and creamy! It also enhances its flavor and thickness.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: To season your croque madame to taste!
  • Pinch of Nutmeg: Enhances the béchamel sauce with a subtle, warm, and slightly sweet flavor.
  • Good Quality Bread: Forms the main structure of the sandwich. I used sourdough bread, but French bread, brioche bread, or any other type of thick, crusty bread will work great.
  • Dijon Mustard: Adds a tangy and slightly spicy flavor. The perfect complement to the creamy cheese and salty ham! If you don’t have any Dijon on hand, you can also use regular mustard. The flavor will just be a little different.
  • Gruyere Cheese: Provides a milky, nutty flavor that complements the ham and balances the creaminess of the sauce.
  • Deli Ham: For some meaty, savory goodness!
  • Eggs: Not only add protein, but since they’re cooked sunny side up, add some moisture with that tasty runny center.

How to Make a Croque Madame

I know it looks like a lot of instructions for a sandwich, but trust me, it’s so worth it! Once you take a bite of your Croque Madame, you’ll be a believer! (And also want it all the time.)

Bechamel Sauce

  1. Butter and Flour Mixture: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for about 2 minutes, until thick and bubbly and just starting to lightly brown.
  2. Whisk in Milk: Slowly add the milk a little at a time while whisking constantly to prevent clumping. Increase the heat to medium and continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes until thickened and nearly boiling.
  3. Add Seasonings: Add salt and pepper to taste as well as 1 pinch of nutmeg. Continue to whisk and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Set Aside: Remove from the heat and set aside.

Sandwich Assembly

  1. Preheat Oven: Set the oven to broil on high. Then heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Toast Bread: Spread about 2-3 tablespoons of the butter evenly across each piece of bread, just one one side. Brown each piece of bread on the skillet on the buttered side, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add Mustard: Place two pieces of your browned bread, toasted side down into a baking dish. Spread the Dijon mustard on the un toasted side of each piece.
  4. Layer With Cheese: Add about ¼ cup of the shredded gruyère cheese onto each of the slices of bread. Pour some of the bechamel sauce onto the grated cheese, about 3 tablespoons on each.
  5. Layer With Ham: Add 5 slices of the ham onto the sauce covered cheese, you can add more to each if you want more meat.
  6. Top With Bread: Spread another 2 tablespoons of bechamel sauce onto the ham and top with the remaining 2 slices of bread, with the toasted side out.
  7. Add More Cheese and Sauce: Spread the remaining shredded gruyere cheese on both sandwiches and top with another 2 tablespoons of bechamel sauce.
  8. Broil: Place your Croque Madame sandwiches into the oven, on the center rack. Broil for about 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and has become browned and bubbly on top. Don’t over broil the sandwiches.
  9. Fry Your Eggs: While the sandwiches are in the oven, heat the remaining butter in the skillet and fry the eggs, sunny side up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve: When the croque madame sandwiches have come out of the oven, top them with the fried eggs, plate the sandwiches and serve with additional bechamel sauce.

Not a Fan of Runny Eggs?

No problem! You can cook your fried eggs over medium or over hard, depending on the consistency of the yolk you want. This usually takes about 4 minutes, whereas it takes about 2 minutes to cook them over easy. See more about frying eggs here.

6-photo collage of the sandwiches being layered with meat, cheese, and sauce.

Tips and Variations

So your Croque Madame tastes like it came from a French bistro, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Toast Your Bread: This is one step you don’t want to skip! Toast the bread just right – golden and crispy, so it holds up against the sauce without turning soggy.
  • Be Generous With the Sauce: Don’t hold back on the bechamel sauce – it’s the heart of the Croque Madame. A good drizzle on top and inside layers adds to the creamy goodness.
  • Using Different Cheese: If you don’t have gruyere cheese you can also use shredded swiss!
  • Broil With Care: Keep an eye on the oven while broiling to prevent burning. Your Croque Madame will cook fast! You only want to broil enough to melt the cheese and get a beautiful golden crust on top.

Top-down view of 2 sandwiches topped with fried eggs.

Storing Leftovers

I recommend enjoying your Croque Madame fresh but if you want to store leftovers, put them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep in mind that the sandwich may become more soggy as it sits.

Closeup of croque madame sandwich.

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Bechamel Sauce

  • Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for about 2 minutes, until thick and bubbly and just starting to lightly brown.

  • Slowly add the milk a little at a time while whisking constantly to prevent clumping. Increase the heat to medium and continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes until thickened and nearly boiling.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste as well as 1 pinch of nutmeg. Continue to whisk and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat and set aside.

Sandwich Assembly

  • Set the oven to broil on high. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.

  • Spread about 2-3 tablespoons of the butter evenly across each piece of bread, just one one side. Brown each piece of bread on the skillet on the buttered side, about 2-3 minutes.

  • Place two pieces of your browned bread, toasted side down into a baking dish. Spread the dijon mustard on the un toasted side of each piece.

  • Add about ¼ cup of the shredded gruyere cheese onto each of the slices of bread. Pour some of the bechamel sauce onto the grated cheese, about 3 tablespoons on each.

  • Add 5 slices of the ham onto the sauce covered cheese, you can add more to each if you want more meat.

  • Spread another 2 tablespoons of bechamel sauce onto the ham and top with the remaining 2 slices of bread, with the toasted side out.

  • Spread the remaining shredded gruyere cheese on both sandwiches and top with another 2 tablespoons of bechamel sauce.

  • Place the cheese covered sandwiches into the oven, on the center rack. Broil for about 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and has become browned and bubbly on top. Don’t over broil the sandwiches.

  • While the sandwiches are in the oven, heat the remaining butter in the skillet and fry the eggs, sunny side up. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • When the sandwiches have come out of the oven, top them with the fried eggs, plate the sandwiches and serve with additional bechamel sauce.

Calories: 1332kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 68gFat: 105gSaturated Fat: 57gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 482mgSodium: 2592mgPotassium: 1016mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 2781IUVitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 1098mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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