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croque monsieur in a small pan fresh out the girll

A guide to the perfect Croque Monsieur

Here I'll give you some game changing tips and tricks to making the perfect Croque Monsieur!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: lunch
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 2 sandwiches
Calories per serving: 797kcal
Author: Chris
Cost per serving: £4 / $5


  • Small Pot or Pan & Whisk (for bechamel)
  • Medium Non-Stick Pan & Spatula/Turner (for frying)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Cheese Grater


Béchamel Sauce

  • 1 cup / 240ml Milk, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup / 50g Gruyere, grated
  • 2 tbsp EACH: Flour, Butter
  • 1/8 tsp EACH: White Pepper, Ground Nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste

Croque Monsieur

  • 4 fairly large slices of Bread, sliced to 1/2" thickness (see notes)
  • 4 - 6 slices of Ham (2-3 slices per sandwich)
  • 4 slices of Swiss Cheese (see notes)
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Butter, as needed
  • 1/3 cup / 30g freshly grated Parmesan, to top


  • In a small pot or pan over medium heat melt butter. Stir in flour to form a paste then very gradually pour in milk, whisking as you go to avoid any lumps forming. Stir in salt, white pepper and nutmeg, then stir in gruyere until it fully melts. Remove from heat.
  • Spread 4 slices of bread with butter, then flip over and spread with a thin layer of dijon mustard. Top 2 of the slices with a slice of cheese, then add 2-3 slices of ham. I recommend folding them in to create a bit of height/texture in the sandwich. Top with more cheese, then add bread mustard-side-down (so both sandwiches are buttered on the outside).
  • Add the sandwiches to a non-stick pan over low-medium heat. Fry until they turn deep golden on the bottom with the cheese just starting to melt, then flip and fry the other side until golden.
  • Spread over béchamel sauce (give it a quick stir over heat if you need to loosen it up) then top with a good sprinkling of parmesan. Place under the grill and broil on high until golden and crisp on top.

Quick Demo


a) Bread - You want a firm loaf of bread, something like a Sourdough. Some varieties of French bread work well too. Just so the béchamel doesn't cause the sandwich to go soggy! If you've only got very soft bread I recommend toasting one side of each of the slices and face them inwards when you stack the sandwich. That way both sides of the bread is toasted and will offer a bit more stability.
b) Making sure it's cooked right through - Some recipes bake the sandwich to finish it off, but if you're frying fairly low and slow it will cook right through no problem. If you notice the bread darkening too quickly before the cheese starts to melt just lower the heat slightly. Grill/broiling will also help finish off the centre too.
c) Cheese - A lot of stores just call it 'Swiss Cheese', but if you're looking for specifics I recommend Emmental or Leerdammer. Gruyere is an absolute must, so do try and get your hands on some (most supermarkets sell it). 
d) Calories - per sandwich assuming 3 slices ham each and 2 tsp butter each:
Nutrition Facts
A guide to the perfect Croque Monsieur
Amount Per Serving
Calories 797 Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Fat 47.98g74%
Saturated Fat 28.002g175%
Trans Fat 0.597g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.042g
Monounsaturated Fat 13.737g
Cholesterol 160mg53%
Sodium 1656mg72%
Potassium 676mg19%
Carbohydrates 45.7g15%
Fiber 2.1g9%
Sugar 10.49g12%
Protein 45.62g91%
Vitamin A 1472IU29%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 966mg97%
Iron 3.32mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
*Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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