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A Croque Madame is a next-level grilled ham (or turkey) and cheese sandwich with Mornay sauce that’s topped with fried egg. Find out how easy this French bistro classic is to make at home, including a homemade Mornay sauce that whips up in 5 minutes!

overhead view of bistro spread with croque madame sandwich

Bistros are known for their comfort food, and both the Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame are bistro classics. 

What is Croque Madame?, you ask. Let’s start with its counterpart.

The Croque Monsieur is basically the French version of a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s stuffed with Gruyère cheese and ham (I used turkey instead), and topped with either Mornay or Béchamel sauce. 

The Croque Madame is just a Croque Monsieur with egg on top. 

And I have to say, Dear Reader, that as fabulous as a Croque Monsieur is, I will probably never eat it when the possibility of runny yolk can easily turn it into a Croque Madame.

front view of croque madame with runny fried egg on top

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Impressive. You’ll feel like you’re at a street café in Paris! Croque Madame is elegant enough to entertain with, but easy enough for weekday dinner (or lunch).
  • Versatile. This French egg sandwich is great for just about any meal of the day, fancy brunch and family dinner included.
  • Absolutely delicious. The combination of ham (or turkey, as we use here), Gruyère cheese, creamy Mornay sauce, fresh bread, and fried egg with a runny yolk will easily make this one of the most decadent grilled cheese sandwiches you’ve ever had.
recette croque madame served with salad greens

Croque Madame Sandwich Recipe with 5-Minute Easy Mornay Sauce

This classic bistro dish is proof that some sandwiches require a fork and knife! Between the melty Mornay sauce and runny egg yolk, it’s way too messy to eat with your hands. But it is absolutely worth every messy bite.

Croque Madame Ingredients

Mornay Sauce:

mornay sauce ingredients with titles
  • Unsalted butter – butter and flour cooked together forms a roux, which thickens our Béchamel sauce
  • Flour – use regular all-purpose flour here
  • Milk – whisking milk into roux and heating until thickened makes Béchamel
  • Salt and black pepper – to season the sauce
  • Nutmeg – just a little bit adds complexity; think of it as a secret ingredient that you won’t be able to put your finger on
  • Gruyère – adding cheese to Béchamel sauce makes it Mornay sauce

Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame Sandwich Ingredients:

croque monsier ingredients
  • Unsalted butter – this is to spread on the outside of the bread to add rich flavor before the sandwiches are griddled
  • Good-quality sliced bread – use fresh bread, artisanal if possible; sourdough, white country bread, or French boule are all options that yield a delicious Croque sandwich
  • Sliced deli turkey – feel free to swap out the turkey for more traditional ham
  • Gruyère – this cheese has a slightly nutty, salty flavor and creamy texture when melted; you can substitute with Emmental or Jarlsberg Swiss cheese if you can’t find Gruyère
  • Dijon mustard – just a little schmear adds complexity and cuts through the Mornay sauce’s richness

Other Ingredients:

  • Fried eggs – adding fried egg on top is what transforms a Croque Monsieur into a Croque Madame sandwich
  • Fresh chives – optional, but recommended; fresh chives on top adds a pop of green color and burst of mild onion flavor

How to Make Croque Madame

Make the Mornay Sauce

First Make a Roux:

Remember, a roux is fat and flour (usually in equal parts) that’s cooked together and used to thicken sauces.

how to make roux
  1. Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is mostly melted, whisk in the flour.
  2. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, whisking frequently.

Then Make Béchamel Sauce:

how to make bechamel
  1. Whisk milk into the roux.
  2. Cook until thickened, about 30 seconds.

And Then Turn the Béchamel Into Mornay Sauce:

how to make mornay sauce
  1. Whisk in the salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the cheese until well-combined.
  2. It will be very thick.
mornay sauce in saucepan

Remove the thick Mornay sauce from the heat.

Make the Sandwich

assembling croque monsier madame sandwiches

Butter 1 side of each piece of bread with 1 teaspoon of butter. Lay the bread (buttered side down) on a cutting board. 

Spread 3 tablespoons of Mornay sauce on each of two slices of bread. Top each with 2 ounces of sliced turkey, and about 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Spread the Dijon on the remaining two slices of bread. 

Flip the bread with the Dijon over onto the bread topped with cheese to make a sandwich.

toasting croque madame

Place the sandwiches in a medium skillet and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown on both sides (about 2 to 3 minutes per side).

broiled croque monsieur

Preheat the broiler, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and transfer the sandwiches to the prepared baking sheet. 

Divide the remaining Mornay sauce between the tops of both sandwiches, making sure to spread the sauce to the edge of bread so that the whole top of the sandwich is covered (you can add a little more shredded Gruyère on top if you have it). Broil a few minutes until the Mornay is bubbling and starting to turn golden in spots.

Transfer the sandwiches to serving plates and top each with a fried egg and chives.

How to Store and Reheat Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame

You can make these sandwiches up to 3 days ahead of time, and wait to top them with fried eggs until right before serving.

To reheat the sandwiches, put them on a baking tray, and heat them in a 350F oven until warm throughout, about 5 to 8 minutes.

madame croquette sandwich on stoneware plate

Croque Madame Recipe FAQs

What is the Difference Between Mornay and Béchamel Sauce?

Mornay sauce is Béchamel with shredded cheese added. Gruyère is typically used, but Emmental and/or Parmesan are also common.

What Does Croque Mean?

In French, the verb croquer means “to crunch” or “to bite”. The word monsieur means “mister”, and madame means “mrs”. Therefore, the literal translation of this sandwich means “crunchy mister” or “crunchy Mrs”.

What Do You Serve with Croque Madame?

This decadent, rich sandwich is a filling meal in itself, but it pairs well with a number of side dishes:

  • Broiled tomatoes seasoned simply with salt and pepper
  • Salad greens dressed with lemon juice and olive oil
  • French fries
  • French onion soup

More Bistro Food Recipes to Try

partially eaten croque monsieur with egg

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an edible mosaic submark initials

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Croque Madame Recipe

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Yields: 2 sandwiches
A Croque Madame is a next-level grilled ham (or turkey) and cheese sandwich with Mornay sauce that’s topped with fried egg. Find out how easy this French bistro classic is to make at home, including a homemade Mornay sauce that whips up in 5 minutes!

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Ingredients
 

Mornay Sauce:

Sandwiches:

  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 slices good-quality fresh bread
  • 4 ounces sliced deli turkey or ham
  • 1 1/2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Other:

  • 2 fried eggs for topping
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives for garnish

Instructions
 

For the Mornay Sauce:

  • Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is mostly melted, whisk in the flour. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, whisking frequently. Whisk in the milk, and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the cheese until well-combined (it will be very thick). Remove from the heat.

To Assemble the Sandwiches:

  • Butter 1 side of each piece of bread with 1 teaspoon of butter. Lay the bread (buttered side down) on a cutting board.
  • Spread 3 tablespoons of Mornay sauce on each of two slices of bread. Top each with 2 ounces of sliced turkey, and about 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Spread the Dijon on the remaining two slices of bread. Flip the bread with the Dijon over onto the bread topped with cheese.
  • Place the sandwiches in a medium skillet and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown on both sides (about 2 to 3 minutes per side).
  • Preheat the broiler, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and transfer the sandwiches to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Divide the remaining Mornay sauce between the tops of both sandwiches, making sure to spread the sauce to the edge of bread so that the whole top of the sandwich is covered (you can add a little more shredded Gruyère on top if you have it). Broil a few minutes until the Mornay is bubbling and starting to turn golden in spots.
  • Turn off the broiler and transfer the sandwiches to the oven to stay warm while you fry the eggs.

To Serve:

  • Transfer the sandwiches to serving plates and top each with a fried egg and chives.

Notes

  • Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes 2 large sandwiches, and honestly, each sandwich is enough for 2 servings (especially if you serve each half topped with a fried egg).
  • Cheese: 1 1/2 ounces of shredded Gruyère is about 6 tablespoons of cheese.
  • Make Ahead: You can make these sandwiches up to 3 days ahead of time, and wait to top them with fried eggs until right before serving. To reheat the sandwiches, put them on a baking tray, and heat them in a 350F oven until warm throughout, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 687kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 293mg | Sodium: 1405mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1352IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 657mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Sandwiches
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Croque Madame, Croque Madame Recipe, Croque Madame Sandwich, Croque Monsieur, Mornay Sauce

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

croque madame recipe pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on September 23, 2010. It was updated on May 5, 2023.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




53 Comments

  1. I love the look this open sandwich especially the runny egg on top! Can imagine myself slurping up the yolk!:D

  2. Faith…why do I get the feeling that you and I would have a great time putting brunch together ;o)
    Love the breakfast as well as your setting.

    Ciao bella and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  3. Can’t believe I never think of the croque-madame when planning a meal! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Gorgeous! I’m yet to make a croque madame but I know it won’t be long now – this post had my mouth watering :)

  5. Croque MOnsieur is boring. Who wants him when you can have the seductive, oozing yolk on Croque Madame? Yours looks mighty tantalizing, Faith!

  6. Major yumminess! I looove egg sammies and one so fancy!? Mmmm! After your crab stuffed shells, the bechamel sounds wonderful, too!

  7. I had a ridiculous number of croque madame’s while I was in Paris…I never got sick of them! Of course I had them hold the meat but they were still fantastic.

    Love the last photo!

  8. You’re such an expert in egg cooking! That runny yolk is so ‘sexy’. :)

  9. As a big fan of eggs, I LOVE this! It looks definitely adorable and so appealing!

  10. I’m in awe of how your plate coordinates with the background :D This recipe sounds delicious.

  11. I have to say I agree that Madame is so much nicer then Monsieur. I always go for Madame under these circumstances. Diane

  12. Gorgeous photos all, but that last of the egg is magazine worthy. The egg is perfectly cooked for this particular sandwich. It is lovely and has set my mouth to watering. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  13. What a wonderful thing to found out that you post this delicious my kind of breakfast Croque Madame. Thank you :)

  14. Barbara @Modern Comfort Food says:

    Even with the sort of fried eggs I prefer — well done with hard yolks — your croque madame would still be a delight! This is my idea of a perfect Sunday brunch.

  15. It never ceases to amaze me how damn delicious a runny yolk is. So many things in life taste better with an egg on top. This totally being one of them!

  16. marla {family fresh cooking} says:

    I’ll take the Croque Madame over the Croque Monsieur any day. The egg makes all the difference for sure. Great photos girl :)

  17. Anna Johnston says:

    Having a nice cup of tea & reading my fave people’s blogs – you’ve inspired my breakfast decisions – a lovely serving of Croque Madame coming up I believe. Thanks Faith :)

  18. Oh wow, this looks sooooo delicious. I don’t make eggs enough. I should. What a great looking dish!

  19. This is a perfect meal for anytime of year.
    Mimi

  20. pachecopatty says:

    Yes I’ll have one of these, s’il vous plait:)

  21. Magic of Spice says:

    Definitely a favorite of mine…and yours is gorgeous :)

  22. My Carolina Kitchen says:

    What a gorgeous presentation. It looks just like it came from a French bistro. Your egg is perfectly cooked and there’s nothing quite as tasty as a good Mornay sauce.

  23. I love that runny yolk!!

  24. I feel so out of touch–I’ve never heard of these! But I’ve never eaten in a bistro either. I used to be horrified by runny egg yolks but now I’m such a fan that the last shot here was my favorite. It’s so sexy!

  25. The Southern Cookbook says:

    Great pics, I’ve never had this. Looks delish! ;)

  26. I’ve tried a Croque Monsieur once in a restaurant and it was a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Now that I see your yummy version, I might just have to try my hand at making it! I think it was your last picture of the sunny egg yolk that sealed the deal :)

    Have a great weekend, Faith!

  27. a new word, a new recipe, a new concept to me! :D It looks delicious! I think every recipe that combines yolk with bread is a winner! :)

  28. Honey @ honeyandsoy says:

    Ooooh that runny egg yolk!! Your croque madame looks amazing!

  29. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Yum! So very good with the fried egg and the Mornay sauce!

  30. Great pictures, great dish, it looks so good! Perfect bistro food!

  31. I haven’t made one of these for myself in such a long time – too long – as you’re reminding me! This rocks!

  32. Your sandwich rivals that of any French bistro – yum!

  33. Wow a wonderful looking little treat! I love the idea of the sauce, meat and egg all mixing together…yum!

  34. this looks fabulous and simple :) I need to wake up in the morning to enjoy breakfast once again :) I love eggs. Either breakfast, lunch or dinner. I don’t mind having eggs. it’s my all time favorite :)

    have a wonderful day !!!
    jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

  35. Faith,

    Croque Madame looks gorgeous. I love the egg the on the top.

  36. Maria @ ScandiFoodie says:

    Oh yuuum! That last photo just made my mouth water!

  37. Blond Duck says:

    Man, I still hadn’t stopped drooling over the pizza and now this? You’re killing me!

  38. Faith,

    A++ That is a gorgeously cooked egg. Love the dish!

  39. Heavenly Housewife says:

    Beautifully done, I’d love to tuck into this. And now I am reminded that I want to go back to paris :D
    *kisses* HH

  40. I agree with you the egg makes all the difference in the world. Your Croque Madame looks irresistible.

  41. I love this type of breakfast as long as I have a soft beautiful egg on top :D

  42. BeadedTail says:

    I hadn’t heard of this before but it sounds very good! I’ll have to go with no runny yolks though. :)

  43. I have never heard of this sandwich. Thanks for introducing me to it. Yours looks wonderful. My family would go nuts for this:)

  44. Especially that last photo, Faith–with the cut-into egg coated in mornay—gorgeous.

    this is a dish that I have forgotten about–so it’s great to have your tasty reminder.

  45. That last picture is magazine worthy, Faith! I love bistro food, too!

  46. I didn’t know that! I’m ordering a Croque Madame the next time I see it on a menu! (Never have yet, however.)
    And oh my, your photos, Faith! Deeeelicious!

  47. Delicious! Bistro food is awesome.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  48. I’m going to get all kinds of cool points when I spring this on folks this weekend. Thanks!

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