Monte Cristo Sandwiches

I’ve had Monte Cristos on several occasions in my life; nearly all of them while at some eating establishment with the word “diner” in the title and where someone says “You’ve got to try their Monte Cristo”.It never occurred to me to try these at home until my friend Dawn, who is a great cook, invited me over for lunch last month and whipped up a bunch of these sandwiches.They were so yummy and it inspired me to make them at home for my family too- so thanks Dawn!

If you’ve never had a Monte Cristo Sandwich and you’re looking at the ingredient list thinking I’ve made a dreadful mistake, guess again!A Monte Cristo is an interesting concoction; basically a ham and cheese melt on French toast.Sound strange?It’s one of those things that sounds strange, but tastes oddly delicious!If you love a sweet and salty combo you’ll love these. My husband had never tried one before, and both he and my 2-year old thought they were awesome.But then, what 2-year old (and 20-something year old) wouldn’t like to sprinkle sugar over their dinner??This is actually a great meal that could be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or a snack.

White sandwich bread
Thin sliced deli ham
Swiss cheese, sliced
2 eggs
1 C milk
2T flour
Strawberry Jam (or raspberry works too)
Powdered sugar
optional: dijon mustard or maple syrup


Whisk flour and milk and then add in eggs and whisk until well-blended and place in a shallow dish.Now this isn’t rocket science- basically you want to put the cheese and the meat on the inside of the bread, then dip both sides of the sandwich in the egg/milk mix, then grill in a hot buttered skillet until the bread is browned and toasty and the cheese inside is melted.Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with Jam. Done.

However, I’ll tell you how I find it easiest to do.When I tried to build the sandwich first, and then dip it, it was hard to keep everything together and I had egg stuff dripping all over. Apparently I’m not as coordinated as Dawn is because that’s how she did it and it looked effortless!

Soo…I dip one side of one piece of bread in the egg mixture and place in a hot, buttered skillet. Then immediately build the sandwich on the bread in the pan, starting with the cheese on the bottom, then meat, then cheese again. (This way, the cheese melts and “glues” the sandwich together.) Then I dip one side of the 2nd piece of bread in the egg and place it on top (egg side out).

Let the sandwich sizzle for a few minutes until the bread on one side is nice and brown, and flip.

To serve, slice in half and sprinkle with powdered sugar.I like it served with the classic strawberry jam.I place a little bowl on the side, but you can just grab a knife and slather some on the inside too.When I had these at my friend’s house in addition to the jam, she also had maple syrup andDijonmustard (not to be eaten together- just to pick one or the other!)So it’s really up to you and your preference.


Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. This Canadian has never heard of a Monte Cristo that was deep fried or served with anything sweet, but I might be willing to try some kind of jam with it.
    Canadian version:
    In addition to the ham add a slice of turkey (real turkey, not processed meat) Make the sandwich, cut it in half diagonally and secure with toothpicks. Dip the halves in the egg mixture, coating all sides. Cook on griddle, browning all sides. Serve with ketchup or chilli sauce.
    (some people put mustard or mayo on the bread before adding the meat and cheese)

    1. This is how a proper monte cristo should be made. Dipped in a crepe batte, fried until golden, dusted with powder sugar and strawberry preserves. Just had a perfect one at Milton’s in Del Mar (San Diego)

  2. I enjoy a raspberry mustard on top of these: one part raspberry jam to two parts honey or dijon mustard.

  3. I am really looking forward to making these. The first time I experienced a Monte Cristo sandwich was at the Blue Bayou inside the Disneyland Pirates Ride, and I am so excited to attempt these. Thank you so much!

  4. My kids are eating these as I type…it’s strangely quiet at the lunch table. Two of my three are somewhat picky eaters, but I think I’ve found a winner!

  5. There was a restaurant I used to go to when I lived in Northern California that would make these only they were 3 layers cut in triangles and enclosed in the egg batter and deep fried. They’d also have ham, turkey and cheese in them and then they’d sprinkle the powdered sugar on them and serve with a pina colada marmalade that was really good.

  6. When I make these, I actually make thme a little more savory and skip with jam and put the mustard in with the egg and milk. add a little cinnamon, too.

  7. I grew up ordering these from a local Bennigans and have always loved them. Now that I’m looking toward food with a little less of a fatty/greasy tendancy, I will definitely give these a go!

  8. This was a different twist on my understanding of a monte cristo. The only place I’ve ever seen them was at a restaurant called Bennigans here in MT. Those ones were deepfried though… so maybe it was still really french toast, just fried french toast? Then it was dipped in the jam. It was surprisingly good, once you got past thinking about what exactly you were eating. 🙂

  9. My husband and I both love Monte Cristo sandwiches. In our young and foolish days we used to get the double deep fried version at a restaurant called Bennigans. They were so good but dripping in fat. I made them thinking our kids would gag at the thought of them. I was surprised that they all tried them AND liked them! Thank you. Your recipes make me look like a rock star in my kitchen.

  10. Made these tonight and my family loved them. My kids (ages 11, 9, 6 and 2) all gave good reviews. The all dipped the sandwiches in syrup. I preferred the jam (homemade blackberry). Perfect for a hot, busy summer evening.

  11. I have loved Monte Cristo's since I was a little girl. I think I may try this recipe mixing it with the puffed french toast recipe here on this site. Now that would make an extra special french toast for this sandwich!

  12. I made this for dinner last night—sooooo good! The jam just made the entire sandwich come together! My husband and I have a new favorite dinner! 🙂

  13. These look great! Every monte cristo I've ever had at a restaurant has been served with rasberry preserves instead of strawberry (mainly Bennigan's but also a place in my college town called Spanky's)…I'll have to try strawberry. I make a baked-in-the-oven version for my family quite frequently with the raspberry preserves and it is yummy! I bet it's better fried in a pan…:-)

  14. oh I’m glad Morgan! Seems like such a weird combo, but I promised it would be yummy! Glad you liked them 🙂

  15. I made these, they are AWESOME! I was totally terrified of the jam, but I did it and was glad. I even made it for dinner guests and it was a HIT!

  16. Mmmm… looks so good. I am kinda disappointed that I didn’t get to try these while I was there!