A Monte Cristo is a ‘levelled-up’ version of a grilled cheese. Layers of bread, ham, turkey, and swiss cheese are dipped in an egg batter, pan fried (or even deep fried) and dusted with powdered sugar!

This is a perfect lunch recipe or makes for a great easy dinner with a simple tossed salad.

Monte Cristo on a wooden board with sauce on the side

What is a Monte Cristo Sandwich?

How decadent is a Monte Cristo Sandwich? This fancy sandwich is kind of variation on the ‘croque-monsieur’, also known as a ‘French Sandwich.”

A Monte Cristo is basically a fried version of a ham and cheese slider. What distinguishes this sandwich recipe from others is that it is fried in a coating of whisked eggs & milk (a bit like french toast). This creates a velvety sandwich with a crisp coating that keeps the meat and cheese perfectly melted inside!

open Monte Cristo on a wooden board

Layers of Cheese and Meat

So, what’s on a Monte Cristo sandwich? The best Monte Cristo Sandwich always starts with the best ingredients.

  • Bread: White bread will seal the best, but you can always swap it out for sourdough, rye or even a dinner rolls in a pinch! Cut off the crusts (save them to make breadcrumbs).
  • Mustard: Enhance the flavor with a dijon mustard or a spicy brown mustard along with the smear of mayonnaise. Make it your own and add your fave sauces.
  • Meats: Traditionally we add ham and turkey. I love the texture of the thinly shaved deli meat but of course you can use leftover ham too!
  • Cheese: This sandwich is traditionally made with Swiss Cheese, but you could sub in any cheese you have on hand. A nice Muenster, mozzarella or sharp cheddar would work well.

Monte Cristo in an egg mixture

How to Make a Monte Cristo Sandwich

Making a Monte Cristo is all about the layers. Stack the cheese, meat, and bread and make sure to press it down to seal in all the ooey-gooey cheese! I use 3 slices of bread which takes longer to cook. Of course you can use just two slices more like you would when making a grilled cheese.

  1. Take two slices of bread and spread mayo on them. Place a slice of cheese and two slices of ham on one slice.
  2. Cover with another slice of bread and a swipe of mustard. Add two slices of turkey and another slice of cheese. Top with the last slice of bread.

To Cook a Monte Cristo:

  1. Seal & Press: I use a heavy pan to press the sandwich down to compress it. Don’t be shy, give it a good squish! Next, cut off the crusts to ‘seal’ the sandwich.
  2. Coat: Whisk together the milk, eggs and salt and pepper. Carefully dip the sandwich pieces into the batter.
  3. Fry: Place the battered sandwich onto the skillet and fry each side until the bread is golden brown and crispy.

You want the outside bread to be brown and crispy and the cheese to be fully melted. This is literally the best Monte Cristo sandwich you’ll ever have… it’s THAT good!

Monte Cristo with powdered sugar

A really good Monte Cristo Sandwich will then be dusted with powdered sugar to offset the bolder and saltier flavors of the ham and cheese. It will usually have a little dollop of strawberry jam on the side, making it all the more decadent to eat!

More Delicious Sandwich Recipes:

Monte Cristo on a wooden board with sauce on the side
4.98 from 70 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Monte Cristo Sandwich

This next level grilled cheese is dusted in powdered sugar and served with a side of jam for the perfect finish!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 sandwiches
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  • 6 slices white bread
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 slices swiss cheese
  • 4 slices ham
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard optional
  • 4 slices turkey
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar optional


  • Place 2 slices of bread on a cutting board. Spread mayonnaise on each slice of bread. Top with a slice of cheese, and 2 slices of ham. Add the second slice of bread and spread with a little bit of mustard if desired. Add 2 slices of turkey and a slice of cheese. Add the 3rd piece of bread.
  • Using a cutting board or the bottom of a frying pan, gently press the sandwich. Cut off crusts (to help seal the sandwich).
  • In a small bowl mix together milk, eggs and salt & pepper until combined. Dip sandwich into egg mixture.
  • Preheat skillet over low heat and add butter. Add sandwich and cook 4-6 minutes. Flip and cook 4-5 minutes more or until cooked through and melted.
  • Dust with powdered sugar if using. Serve warm with strawberry jam.
4.98 from 70 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 1167 | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 82g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Cholesterol: 510mg | Sodium: 1760mg | Potassium: 568mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1755IU | Calcium: 768mg | Iron: 5.1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Lunch
Cuisine American

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Monte Crisco sandwich on a wooden board with a title

Monte Cristo sandwich on a wooden board with sauce on the side with writing
Monte Crisco sandwich being soaked in liquid and Monte Crisco sandwich on a wooden board with sauce with a title


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. This is a favorite dinner in our home, when i stumbled across your version this week i knew i had to try it because your website is also a favorite in our household! They were absolutely delicious! Even our 1 year old ate almost her whole sandwich (small version). When i asked if this recipe or our old recipe was better, this one takes the cake! And i agree! Wonderful job as always, we have not found a recipe that we, or our 5 and 1 year old, has not liked! Thank you!5 stars

  2. I grew up with almost every local restaurant offering a great Monte Cristo sandwich. But over the years, they have become almost impossible to find. The occasional place that has them typically doesn’t do a good job. I started making my own, but I do a shortcut method. I’ll make French toast for dinner one day (usually a Thursday) and make extra French toast that I then save to use for my sandwiches. The bread is already done (albeit, no longer crispy) so I put a slice of Swiss cheese on each piece and then add my honey turkey and honey ham between them. They can be heated in the microwave, or wrapped in foil and heated in the oven. You can even fry them to get the bread crispy again and heat the fillings. I especially love using Lewis Hawaiian bread half loaves (I get two). Even my super picky husband loves these.5 stars

  3. I really enjoyed this recipe. In the past, I only ate Monte Cristo sandwiches at a restaurant. Not anymore!!! Now I can enjoy an absolutely delicious one in my own kitchen. Thank you!5 stars

  4. Do you think the bread, meats, and cheeses could be assembled and frozen ahead of time, then thawed, and add the mayo before squishing and cooking? I’d like to make these when our family of 10 gets together soon, but I’ll be short on prep time that day.5 stars

    1. I have never tried prepping and freezing these sandwiches, Rita. But I would love to hear how it turns out for you. I think you should be fine, just let them thaw completely before dipping in the egg mixture and pan frying.

  5. I’ve never had a monte criso before but I was expecting amazing flavor!!! A basic ham and cheese with some pickles would have been better… less work more flavor!!!

    1. Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy a Monte Cristo Sheryl. I personally love the flavor. Thank you for trying it!