Croque Madame

Croque Madame

20 min
Croque Madame is a classic French type of sandwich with ham and cheese. A variation on the Croque Monsieur, it is served with a fried egg on top. Our recipe for Croque Madame takes a bit of a spin on the original and also has fresh, ripe tomatoes and is served with a crispy, green vinegar salad.


Croque Madame:
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (regular oven).
  • Mix grated mozzarella, crème fraiche, mustard, and salt. Pour the mixture over the four slices of bread.
  • Place the ham and tomato slices on two of the bread slices and place the remaining bread slices on the tomatoes with the cheese mixture on top.
  • Bake the two Croque Madame in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese mixture is melted and golden.
  • Meanwhile, let the butter melt in a pan. Fry the eggs at low to medium heat for about 5 minutes – the fried eggs may be flipped and cooked for about 1 minute on the other side.
How to serve:
  • Toss the lettuce with vinegar and divide the salad into two plates. Place the two Croque Madame on top of the salad and place the fried eggs on the bread. Garnish with pepper and serve.

A perfect version of this French classic deserves a well-fried egg as its crowning glory. Whether you prefer your fried eggs sunny-side up or over easy, the best fried eggs have a crispy, golden edge and a runny yolk that can create that delicious Croque Madame sauce to complement the crispy bread and cheese crust.


Frying your eggs in a cast iron pan is an easy way to ensure that the edges of the egg whites become deliciously crispy as this type of pan retains heat very well. As the recipe states, your fried eggs should be cooked at low to medium heat. Allow time for the pan to heat properly to make sure that the eggs do not stick to it while also ensuring that the golden egg yolks do not cook too quickly or harden up. Cracking the eggs into a bowl rather than directly into the pan will give you more evenly and tightly shaped eggs that will look great on top of the Croque Madame.

Questions about Croque Madame

With our simple recipe for Croque Madame, you can prepare a delicious, French classic in under half an hour. Learn more about the well-known hot sandwich by looking at our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the dish.

What is a Croque Madame?
A Croque Madame is a hot sandwich originating in France. Typically enjoyed as a quick snack, it is prepared by baking slices of bread with boiled ham and tomato topped with a creamy mustard-flavoured cheese mixture. The hot sandwich is served with a fried or poached egg on top.
How to make a Croque Madame?
Recreate the atmosphere of sitting at a quaint French sidewalk café by making yourself an authentic Croque Madame sandwich with a well-fried egg on top. Bake the sandwich with a cheese mixture, ham, and tomatoes in the oven until the cheese is melted and golden, then add a fried egg with a soft yolk on top. Serve the French sandwich with a simple green salad tossed with white wine vinegar for a delicious lunch – wearing a beret and listening to 'La vie en rose' music is optional, but enjoyment is guaranteed.  
What is the difference between Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame?
The main difference between the two French sandwiches is whether they are served with or without an egg on top. Croque Madame with its fried egg makes for a slightly more substantial and filling meal than its counterpart. While there is, of course, a lingering Croque Monsieur vs Croque Madame debate, both varieties taste lovely.
What bread to use for Croque Madame?
A traditional Croque Madame recipe uses a pain de mie – a French white or brown bread that is slightly sweet and soft and has a thin crust. However, the cheesy sandwich may essentially be prepared using any type of bread from wholemeal and sourdough to classic sandwich bread or brioche. The one thing to keep in mind when you choose the bread is to go for a type of bread that will crisp up nicely in the oven to give the French sandwich its signature crunchiness.


Croque Madame:
Grated mozzarella cheese, 13%
75 g
Sour cream, 5%
½ dl
Dijon mustard
2 tsp
Coarse salt
½ tsp
Wholemeal bread, for instance, sourdough
4 slices
Boiled, smoked ham (approx. 100 g)
2 slices
4 slices
5 g
Side dish:
Rinsed, green lettuce
100 g
White wine vinegar
1 tsp
Freshly ground pepper

Croque Madame – a French classic

Typically eaten as a quick snack, Croque Madame is a French café classic. The dish and the similar Croque Monsieur have been popularised across the world where they are now also enjoyed as a lunch or breakfast dish. The tomatoes we have chosen to include in our recipe for Croque Madame add a bit of natural sweetness that complements the salty, smoked ham as well as the richness of the cheese and the runny fried egg.

Serve a quick and fancy lunch or snack

While a Croque Madame toast may certainly be enjoyed on its own, serving it with a small side dish of some sort transforms it from a snack into a fancy lunch. There are many options for what to serve with the crunchy, cheesy sandwich but going with a simple green salad as we suggest works incredibly well as it brightens the dish without stealing the spotlight. The crispy lettuce tossed with a bit of tangy white wine vinegar is refreshing as a fresh, light companion to the rich sandwich.

A classic with grilled bread and melted cheese

The best Croque Madame recipe yields an elevated grilled cheese sandwich with many different textures and flavours. It has crunchy bread, a crispy melted cheese crust flavoured with sharp, tangy Dijon mustard, soft and sweet tomatoes, salty and chewy ham, and a rich, runny egg yolk that almost makes for a kind of sauce giving it a complex flavour profile that makes it a scrumptious addition to your rotation of easy lunch recipes.

Has this delicious, golden sandwich gotten you in the mood for more French lunch, brunch, or breakfast classics? Then have a look at our recipe for salade Niçoise and quiche Lorraine. We guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Add your own touch

A delicious way to experiment with your homemade Croque Madame is to wrap it in strips of bacon. The combination of bacon and eggs makes it perfect as a sturdy breakfast or the main course of your next brunch spread.

After assembling the sandwich, wrap it in bacon strips. Fry it for 2-3 minutes on each side in a pan using just a bit of oil. It may be a good idea to start by frying the side that has the ends of the bacon strips, so they stick properly to the bread. After frying on both sides, transfer the sandwich to a preheated oven and bake for 5-7 minutes as you prepare the fried eggs which may be cooked in the bacon grease.

Garnishing your bacon-wrapped French sandwich with herbs like chives, parsley, or thyme adds a bit of freshness as well as a beautiful splash of colour that serves to brighten and lighten the slightly heavier and saltier sandwich. If you want to lean into the decadent, heavy side, though, you can serve it with a rich and creamy bechamel sauce, which is also one of the more classic ways of serving this.