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Croque Madame

April 27, 2024

Piled high with ham, melted Gruyère, creamy béchamel, and topped with a fried egg, the French bistro classic croque-madame is an indulgent meal fit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


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a homemade croque madame sandwich with Béchamel sauce, ham, Gruyère & a fried egg topped with pepper, and chives
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More sandwiches to love

What Is A Croque-Madame Sandwich?

A croque-madame is a French bistro classic that begins with sliced ham and shredded Gruyère cheese layered onto thick slices of white bread. A simple, creamy homemade béchamel sauce is poured over the toasted ham-and-cheese sandwich and topped with more shredded Gruyére. Pop it in the oven until it starts to bubble and your house smells like heaven, then top with a fried egg and peppery microgreens. Be sure to check out the rest of our 50 Best Breakfast Ideas recipes.

bread, ham, Gruyère, eggs, butter, chives, micro greens and ingredients for homemade  Béchamel sauce in prep bowls

Classic Croque-Madame Ingredients:

  • Thickly-sliced fluffy white bread, like Texas toast. It’s ideal for soaking up the croque-madame’s béchamel sauce.

  • A smooth béchamel sauce made with whole-grain mustard, fresh thyme, and grated nutmeg

  • High-quality sliced ham

  • Grated Gruyère cheese with a nutty and assertive bite that you shred yourself right before melting.

  • A perfectly fried egg–the fried egg is what differentiates a croque-madame from a croque-monsieur!

milk being poured into a pan with butter and flour
homemade Béchamel sauce in a pot made with butter, flour, milk, thyme, dijon, salt and nutmeg

How To Make Croque Madame

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Make the béchamel sauce. Whisk together butter and flour. Slowly whisk in milk. Add thyme, mustard, salt, and nutmeg to combine.

  3. Make the sandwiches. Butter bread like you’re making grilled cheese sandwiches. Then lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and top them with ham and cheese. Close the sandwich with the other piece of bread.

  4. Toast the sandwiches in the preheated oven to melt the cheese.

  5. Top with béchamel and broil to toast.

  6. Fry the eggs.

  7. Finish the sandwiches by topping the sandwiches with chives, microgreens, and black pepper.

buttered bread toped with slices of ham and Gruyère on a baking sheet
sandwiches made with buttered bread with ham, Gruyère and topped with another piece of buttered bread on a baking sheet
baked sandwiches with ham and Gruyère topped with béchamel sauce and more Gruyère on a baking sheet
croque madame sandwiches on a baking sheet made with ham, Gruyère and homemade Béchamel sauce

How to Store Leftovers + Tips

  • How to eat a Croque madame: This is a knife and fork sandwich. In France, it is served with a steak knife for precision cuts, but a good table knife will work too. We like to start by cutting the yolk so it evenly drenches the entire sandwich.

  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheated in a warm oven. We don’t recommend freezing these sandwiches.

  • If you have any leftover béchamel sauce, you can use it to start Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese.

croque madame sandwiches on a baking sheet made with ham, Gruyère, homemade Béchamel sauce and topped with fried eggs
a homemade croque madame sandwich made with Béchamel sauce, ham, Gruyère & a fried egg topped with pepper, and chives

More Meal-Worthy Sandwiches To Love

The Best Croque-Madame: A Sandwich Love Affair

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Croque Madame

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  30 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 960


Béchamel Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • 8 thick slices white bread
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 12 slices deli ham
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or more butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives, for serving
  • 2 cups microgreens, for serving (optional)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, for serving

For Serving

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cups microgreens
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Make the béchamel sauce. Add the butter to a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is beginning to foam, sprinkle in the flour and cook, whisking for about 30 seconds; the mixture will clump together and bubble. Slowly add the milk, whisking until mixture is smooth. Add the thyme and continue to cook, whisking, until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Whisk in mustard, salt, and nutmeg to combine. Remove the skillet from the heat and discard thyme stems.

  3. Make the sandwiches. Spread 1 tablespoon butter onto one side of each of the bread slices. Place four of the bread slices butter side down on a baking sheet. Place three folded slices of ham on each, and cover each pile of ham with ¼ cup grated cheese. Top with the remaining slices of bread, butter side up.

  4. Toast sandwiches for 6 minutes, or until the bread is lightly golden and the cheese is melted. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn on the broiler.

  5. Pour the béchamel sauce evenly over all of the sandwiches. Top the sandwiches with the remaining cheese, dividing evenly. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, carefully crack the eggs into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not yet firm, about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully transfer 1 egg on top of each sandwich.

  7. Top the sandwiches with chives, microgreens, and black pepper before serving.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories960
  • Protein42 g
  • Carbohydrates48 g
  • Total Fat66 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol363 mg
  • sodium1185 mg
  • Total Sugars8 g

Croque Madame

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  • jenn

    This could not have been more delicious! 5 STARS!

    Thank you Jenn! We are so happy you loved it!