Monte Cristo Sandwich is 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.
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.
- 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: I make an egg custard 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: The blackberry sauce is such a great topping to these sandwiches. It is made with fresh or frozen blackberries and maple syrup. By all means, you can serve with maple syrup on the side in place of the blackberry sauce.
How to Make Monte Cristo Sandwiches
The process for making Monte Cristo Sandwiches is the combination of making ham sandwiches and french toast. It is quite simple, yet delivers incredible results.
The first step is to prepare ham and cheese sandwiches. I add a smear of Dijon mustard for added flavor helps to elevate this breakfast sandwich.
Next prepare an egg custard just as you would for french toast. I use eggs, milk, maple syrup, and a bit of nutmeg. You can add in a dash of cinnamon as well, as that pairs great with glazed ham.
Dip the sandwiches into the egg custard and then pan fry in butter until toasted evenly. You can serve the Monte Cristos simply with a dusting of powdered sugar and maple syrup on the side, but I strongly recommend serving with Blackberry sauce. It only takes a few minutes to make and can simmer while you prepare the Monte Cristo Sandwiches.
More Recipes Perfect for Brunch
- 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!
Monte Cristo Sandwich
- 6 oz fresh blackberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Monte Cristo Sandwich
- 8 slice bread
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 8 oz ham thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 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, only about 5 minutes.
Monte Cristo Sandwiches
- Spread 4 slices of bread with Dijon mustard. Layer the remaining 4 slices of bread with the ham and cheese, dividing ham and cheese evenly. Place slice of bread that has been spread with mustard on top of slice with ham and cheese--making four sandwiches.
- Heat butter in large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, nutmeg, and remaining 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, if using. And divide the blackberry sauce evenly between the sandwiches.
- 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 in refrigerator for up to 2 days and reheat in dry skillet over medium heat until warmed through.