Croque Madame (Ham and Cheese With Fried Egg)

  • Serves

    serves 6


The croque monsieur, the classic French ham and cheese sandwich covered in cheesy bechamel, becomes a madame when a fried egg is placed on top of it. This recipe first appeared in our April 2011 special Sandwich Issue with author Alex Lobrano's article Classic Combination: Ham and Cheese.

What You Will Need


  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 12 oz. Gruyère, grated
  • 12 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 12 (3/4"-thick) slices pain de mie or Pullman bread, toasted
  • 6 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 12 slices baked ham, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 6 eggs


instruction 0

Heat butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook, whisking, until smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, 6–8 minutes. Add ½ cup grated Gruyère and the Parmesan, and whisk until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

instruction 1

Heat broiler to high. Place 6 slices bread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and spread 1 tbsp. mustard over each. Top with 2 slices ham and remaining Gruyère. Broil until cheese begins to melt, 1–2 minutes. Top with remaining bread slices, then pour a generous amount of béchamel on top of each sandwich. Broil until cheese sauce is bubbling and evenly browned, about 3–4 minutes.

instruction 2

Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggs, season with salt and pepper, and cook until whites are cooked but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Place an egg on top of each sandwich, and serve hot.
Croque Madame

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