Croque Madame Recipe

Croque Madame on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Yield: 2 sandwiches
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
552 Calories
41g Fat
20g Carbs
27g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 552
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 52%
Saturated Fat 23g 115%
Cholesterol 217mg 72%
Sodium 940mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 570mg 44%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 267mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The croque madame sandwich is a variation on the famous croque monsieur. The croque madame is similar to the croque monsieur in almost every way. Both include ham, béchamel, and Gruyère cheese, but the croque madame is topped off with a fried egg "hat." The runny egg yolk adds a rich sauce to this substantial sandwich.

The toasted bread provides texture, while the cheese, ham, and egg add substance and flavor. It's a hot sandwich that makes any occasion extra special. Serve a croque madame for breakfast or brunch, or make them for dinner and serve with a salad on the side.

It's essential to read the recipe carefully and have all your ingredients, pans, and utensils ready. It's a fast and easy preparation, but several cooking steps make timing important.

Croque Madame Recipe/Tester Image

"This deluxe sandwich is perfect for a special lunch or brunch. I used sliced French-style sandwich bread and thinly sliced culatello for the ham, which is similar to prosciutto. The result was incredibly rich, flavorful and filling. One sandwich could easily be shared by two people."—Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

  • 1 dash freshly grated nutmeg

  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 6 ounces sliced or grated Gruyere cheese, divided

  • 4 slices bread

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, optional

  • 3 to 4 ounces thinly sliced ham

  • 2 large eggs

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Croque Madame ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour to the butter and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

    Flour and butter mixture in a saucepan with a wooden spoon, on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the milk , 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a dash of nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until thickened.

    Béchamel sauce sauce in a saucepan with a wooden spoon, on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and half of the Gruyere cheese.

    Cheese sauce in a saucepan with a wooden spoon on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Arrange two slices of bread on a baking sheet and spread with Dijon mustard, if desired. Divide the ham on top of the two slices of bread.

    Bread slices with mustard and ham on a sheet pan, and a knife on top of a bowl with mustard

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Spread a bit of the thick cheese sauce over the ham, top with the remaining gruyere and another slice of bread.

    Cheese, bread and ham sandwiches on a sheet pan, and bread on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush the tops of the sandwiches with some of the melted butter.

    Butter in a pan with a brush on a burner, and sandwiches on a sheet pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Place the sandwiches in the hot skillet, buttered side down and brush more butter over the tops. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown. 

    Sandwiches in a pan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Remove the sandwiches to the baking sheet and spread the remaining cheese sauce over the tops. Be sure to coat the edges to prevent the bread from burning.

    Sandwiches coated with a cheese mixture on a sheet pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Position a rack in the top third of the oven. Turn the oven to broil. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack each egg into a ramekin then add them slowly to the skillet.

    Eggs in ramekins and a pan with butter on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny. While the eggs are cooking, place the sandwiches under the broiler and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and beginning to brown.

    Eggs cooking in a covered pan on a burner, and two sandwiches on a sheet pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  12. Remove the sandwiches to plates and top each with a fried egg. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

    Croque Madame on plates

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


  • Use thinly sliced leftover ham or good-quality deli ham for these sandwiches.
  • Sliced brioche or country-style bread are excellent choices for the bread or use your favorite sourdough bread or white sandwich bread. The bread should be somewhat soft and not overly thick.

Recipe Variation

Instead of Dijon mustard, use a mustard-mayo spread made with 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.

What does croque madame mean literally?

Croque madame literally means "Mrs. crunch" and croque monsieur translates to "mister crunch."