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.
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!
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.
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.
- Take two slices of bread and spread mayo on them. Place a slice of cheese and two slices of ham on one slice.
- 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:
- 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.
- Coat: Whisk together the milk, eggs and salt and pepper. Carefully dip the sandwich pieces into the batter.
- 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!
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:
- Club Sandwich – meat lovers delight!
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Zesty Slaw – delicious slow cooker recipe.
- Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwich – two childhood favorites in one!
- Cucumber Sandwiches – perfect for a luncheon or tea.
- Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese – ready in 15 mins!
- 6 slices white bread
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 4 slices swiss cheese
- 4 slices ham
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard optional
- 4 slices turkey
- 1/2 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.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)