Mary Berry's Croque Monsieur, a super simple but absolutely delicious recipe that makes the best working lunch. Toasted, baked or grilled bread slices, smoked ham and cheese, dijon mustard and bechamel sauce, it can't get any better than that!
As much as I want to stay away from carbs, there is no way I could ever stay away from them for too long. I mean, look at this scrumptious pile of deliciousness! That I like bread, cheese and ham, it's clearly an understatement. I love them! And this croque monsieur recipe is my new favourite recipe.
Who doesn't like some cheese on toast? Well, if you thought that is divine, add some ham to the mix, and you are in heaven for sure. I love the smoked ham, but any ham can be used. Same goes for the cheese - any kind would do, although the meltier, the better.
What is a Croque Monsieur
Croque Monsieur is a French cheese and ham sandwich, either grilled or fried, and smothered with white cheese sauce. It's a much fancier version of a good old ham and cheese sandwich.
- slices of bread - the shop-bought sliced bread is by far the easiest option here
- slices of ham - either deli ham or leftover ham - I have this gammon recipe which can be used here too
- grated cheddar cheese
- butter -I prefer salted water
- flour - plain flour would do
- milk - I prefer full-fat milk
- dijon mustard
- black pepper
Step-by-step photos and instructions
The Bechamel Sauce
Making the BECHAMEL SAUCE at home is so simple. All it is is a white sauce made with butter, milk, flour, seasoned generously with black pepper, and perfected it with dijon mustard and cheese.
And it can be used in so many recipes, from pasta like in my Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake or cauliflower, like my Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon. And so many many more.
- melt the butter, add the flour and whisk well
- pour over the milk whisking continuously to avoid lumps
- when it starts to thicken, add the pepper, dijon mustard and cheese, and mix well
How to put the sandwich together
This recipe is adapted from Mary Berry's popular recipe. I chose to bake the bread to crisp up, rather than grill, but you can choose whatever is more convenient for you.
- melt the butter, and brush the bread slices on one side only
- place the slices on a baking tray with the buttered side up
- bake at 220 degrees Celsius (430 Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy
- remove from the oven, and spread dijon mustard on 2 of the slices, but not on the buttered side
- arrange the ham and grated cheese, then place the other 2 slices of bread on top of the cheese and ham
- top with bechamel sauce and grated cheese, then bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbling hot
It's such an easy recipe, but a great favourite not only with grown-ups, but with fussy kids too. Just be careful with your first bite, the sauce is rather hot!
This French recipe is pure perfection to me! I wouldn't do it any other way, but it can, of course, be tweaked to your own liking. No need to go out of your way to buy specific ingredients, just use what you have around.
If you like white bread, that's great! Otherwise any kind of sliced bread should do. Or why not, some good old homemade bread, like my Crusty Bread Recipe.
Sliced ham can be swapped for any other meat like deli chicken, beef or turkey. Or even leftover meat, why not?!We all know how many leftover we end up with after a large feast like Easter, Christmas or Thanksgiving, so this recipe is the best way of using up whatever cooked meat you have around.
As with cheese, anything goes - grated mozzarella, cheddar, edam, gruyere, it's up to one's preference. I do find that the sharpness of the cheddar cheese works beautifully well with the bechamel sauce though. Simple, easy and delicious - what every meal should be!
If you’ve tried this MARY BERRY’S CROQUE MONSIEUR or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.
Mary Berry's Croque Monsieur
- 4 slices of bread
- 4 slices of ham
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 60 g butter (¼ cup)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius (430 Fahrenheit).
- Melt half of the amount of butter, and brush all the bread slices on one side only.
- Arrange the slices buttered side up on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy.
- Spread ¾ of the dijon mustard over 2 slices of bread (not the buttered side), and arrange 2 slices of ham and spread some grated cheese on top of each mustard-spread slice.
- Place the other 2 slices of bread on top to make 2 sandwiches.
- To make the sauce, melt the rest of the butter, add the flour and whisk well.
- Pour in the milk, and whisk to get a smooth thick sauce.
- Add the remaining dijon mustard, half of the remaining cheese and black pepper.
- Mix well.
- Top the two sandwiches with the bechamel sauce, and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbling hot.
Absolutely wonderful lunch time treat! We added thinly sliced tomatoes and it was delicious!
Thank you for the recipe, I plan to try some of your other recipes as they also look delicious!
Happy New Year!
I am glad you enjoyed it, it’s a delicious recipe!