A Monte Cristo Sandwich is a brunch's version of a ham and cheese sandwich. Dipped in a sweet egg custard and served with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh blackberry sauce, this recipe for a Monte Cristo is a sweet and savory breakfast treat!
Whenever I have leftover deli ham, Baked Ham, or Instant Pot Honey Baked Ham, I put this Monte Cristo on my brunch menu. This sandwich is so simple to make, yet quite complex in flavors. It is sweet, savory, and a perfect recipe to elevate brunch while putting leftovers to use.
What is a Monte Cristo?
Monte Cristo sandwiches are ham and cheese sandwiches that have been coated in an egg custard and pan-fried. I like to think of them as a savory stuffed version of classic french toast.
Made with sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and a slightly sweeten egg custard, this sandwich is sweet, savory, a bit salty, and perfectly balanced. It truly hits all the notes you crave in a brunch entree.
Traditionally, Monte Cristo Sandwiches are paired with fresh jam and a dusting of powdered sugar or a side of maple syrup. I have elevated this classic with a simple fresh blackberry sauce. It is completely optional, but makes transforms a classic Monte Cristo into something quite spectacular.
Notes on Ingredients
- Ham: Use leftover ham or thinly sliced deli ham for these sandwiches.
- Swiss Cheese: Swiss cheese is the traditional choice for Monte Cristos, but feel free to omit the cheese or use Gruyere or Muenster in place of the Swiss cheese.
- Dijon: Mustard is optional, but adds just the right amount of tang to these sandwiches.
- Egg Custard: The egg custard is made with eggs, milk, and maple syrup, and a few spices, much like my batter for french toast.
- Bread: You want to use sliced bread that is no more than ½ inch thick. I used whole wheat bread, but white bread will work as well. You can even use gluten-free bread to keep these sandwiches gluten-free--just be sure your ham is gluten-free as well.
- Blackberry Sauce: This is an optional topping made with fresh or frozen blackberries, fresh lemon juice, and maple syrup.
How to Make Monte Cristo Sandwiches
- Spread Dijon mustard on 4 slices of bread.
- Top the bread with sliced ham and sliced cheese and then top with the additional slice of bread, for a total of 4 ham and cheese sandwiches.
- Prepare the egg mixture by whisking together eggs, milk, maple syrup, a dash of salt, and freshly grated nutmeg.
- In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat.
- Dip each of the prepared sandwiches into the egg mixture and turn to coat.
- Pan-fry until toasted evenly on each side.
The blackberry sauce is such a great topping to this savory french toast. It adds a bit of sweetness and texture and pairs beautifully with the ham.
The sauce comes together as easily as simmering blackberries with maple syrup and lemon juice and is ready in just a few minutes time.
Not at all! Traditionally, Monte Cristo Sandwiches are served with a dusting of powdered sugar and maple syrup.
Monte Cristo Sandwiches are best served immediately. If you happen to have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and reheat them in a dry skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
Yes, with a few modifications. Omit the Swiss Cheese, use plain nondairy milk in the egg custard, and panfry in dairy-free butter.
Be sure to not let the ham and cheese sandwiches soak in the egg custard long. You just want to coat the outside of the sliced bread.
More Brunch Recipes
- Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
- Quiche Lorraine
- Ham and Egg Breakfast Casserole
- Easy Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Asparagus Frittata
- Cream Cheese Danishes
When you are craving something sweet and savory for breakfast, a Monte Cristo is the way to go! Please leave a comment and review below if you gave this savory french toast a try!
Monte Cristo Sandwich
- 6 oz fresh blackberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Monte Cristo Sandwich
- 8 slices bread any variety
- 8 slices Swiss cheese thinly sliced
- 12 slices ham thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter
- powdered sugar optional (for dusting)
- Combine berries, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Let simmer until berries only begin to slightly break down, for about 5 minutes.
Monte Cristo Sandwiches
- Spread 4 slices of bread with Dijon mustard. Top each of the 4 slices of bread with 3 slices of ham and 2 slices of cheese each. Top with the additional slices of bread to four 4 sandwiches.
- In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, nutmeg, pinch of salt, and maple syrup. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, flipping to coat on both sides of the sandwich.
- Place each sandwich in melted butter in skillet, and pan fry on each side until golden--about 5 minutes per side.
- To serve, place one sandwich on a serving plate, dust with powdered sugar, and the blackberry sauce if using.
- Whole wheat bread, white bread, or gluten-free bread work well for these sandwiches.
- If you do not want to make blackberry sauce, serve Monte Cristos with jam or maple syrup.
- Feel free to use fresh or frozen blackberries to prepare the blackberry sauce.
- Use Gruyere or Muenster in place of the Swiss cheese if desired.
- Keep these sandwiches dairy-free, by omitting the cheese and using non-dairy milk in the egg custard and pan fry in non-dairy butter.
- Monte Cristo Sandwiches are best served immediately. If you happen to have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and reheat them in a dry skillet over medium heat until warmed through.