Croque Madame vs Croque Monsieur Recipes & More!

Ordering Croque Monsieur vs Croque Madame

After a few minutes with a French café menu, visitors often wonder, what is the difference between a Croque Monsieur and a Croque Madame? And do I want to eat a Croque Madame or a Croque Monsieur, or should I eat both croques? My husband would say there is no question Croque Madame vs Croque Monsieur, both croques would be his answer.

First appearing in Paris cafes in the early 1900s, Croque Monsieur is THE quintessential French snack. Now 100 years later the question of whether to order a Croque Monsieur vs Croque Madame may indeed be one of the most important a foodie will make while visiting Paris.

Simply translated, Croque Monsieur means “crunch sir” and Croque Madame means “crunch Mrs.”, not very helpful if you’re deciding if you want to eat one.

So, how do you decide between Croque Monsieur vs Madame? Or perhaps you’d like a Croque Monsieur Madame (see below)?

Croque Madame vs Croque Monsieur: Croque Monsieur without the egg, and Croque Madame with the egg.

Croque Madame vs Croque Monsieur: Croque Monsieur without the egg, and Croque Madame with the egg.

What’s The Difference Between Croque Madame vs Croque Monsieur

Describing a Croque Monsieur as a French ham and cheese sandwich does not do it justice. A classic Croque Monsieur recipe uses creamy bechamel sauce, ham, buttered and toasted rustic county bread, mustard, and either Emmenthal or Gruyere cheese. Toasted and baked into a cruchy, melty, cheesy, deliciousness, the whole croque family are French food favorites.

A Croque Madame adds a sunny side egg on top which was thought to resemble a woman’s hat, hence the name. So, the only difference between Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame is the egg! This adds runny egg to the ooey gooey crunchy yumminess. I personally am a big fan of the runny egg and toasted bread combo and this is the ultimate in that category.

Where to find the best Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame

Let me just say, if you travel to Paris, you must at least try either a Croque Monsieur or a Croque Madame, especially if you want to truly experience the food of France. If you have enough time, my husband is right, both is the answer—just not during the same meal as he would have it.

Ponder your Croque Madame vs Monsieur order at one of the iconic Parisienne cafes that serve excellent Croque Monsieur, Croque Madame like Les Deux Magots in the 6th, Le Petit Cler in the 7th, or Angelina in the first. If you go to Angelina, do not leave without having the best hot chocolate in the world!

Order croque monsieur and croque madame at Angelina, but don’t skip the hot chocolate!

Order croque monsieur and croque madame at Angelina, but don’t skip the hot chocolate!

You may have guessed both the Croque Madame and Monsieur are pretty loaded with fat and calories. But hey, you’re on vacation, so when in France, go ahead and indulge!

But after you try the classic Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame in Paris, come home and make your own healthy versions. Below are my healthy Croque Monsieur recipe and Croque Madame recipe. And if you cannot decide between the Croque Monsieur vs Croque Madame, you may want to try my Croque Monsieur Madame, I think it’s the best of both worlds!

Croque Madame vs Croque Monsieur Recipes

The difference between our Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame recipe is the same as the French versions, the Croque Madame has the egg on top.

Light Croque Monsieur Recipe

Servings: 1

Ingredients
2 slices whole grain bread, or bread of choice
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
2 ounces low fat ham
2 slices reduced fat Jarlsberg cheese, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Croque Monsieur sandwich without the egg.

Croque Monsieur sandwich without the egg.

Instructions
1. Toast the bread.
2. Mix the Dijon mustard and the mayonnaise together to make dijonaise, and set aside.
3. When bread is toasted, take one slice and spread it with half of the of dijonaise.
4. Cover the dijonaised slice with the parmesan cheese, and half of the Jarlsberg.
5. Add the ham, and top with the other slice of bread.
6. On the top of the sandwich, spread remaining dijonaisse.
7. Add the remaining Jarlsberg.
8. Bake at 375 until cheese is melted.

Since the only difference between Croque Monsieur and Madame is the egg, that is also the only difference between the Croque Monsieur Light recipe above, and the Light Croque Madame recipe below.

Light Croque Madame Recipe

Servings: 1

The difference between Croque Madame vs Croque Monsieur is the egg on top.

The difference between Croque Madame vs Croque Monsieur is the egg on top.

Ingredients
2 slices whole grain bread, or bread of choice
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
2 ounces low fat ham
2 slices reduced fat Jarlsberg cheese, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 whole egg

Instructions
1. Toast the bread.
2. Mix the Dijon mustard and the mayonnaise together to make dijonaise, and set aside.
3. When bread is toasted, take one slice and spread it with half of the of dijonaise.
4. Cover the dijonaised slice with the parmesan cheese, and half of the Jarlsberg.
5. Add the ham, and top with the other slice of bread.
6. On the top of the sandwich, spread remaining dijonaisse.
7. Add the remaining Jarlsberg.
8. Bake at 375 until cheese is melted.
9. While baking, cook the sunny side up egg in a frying pan.
10. When cheese is melted and egg is cooked, top the Croque Monsieur sandwich with the egg.

What is a Croque Monsieur Madame?

A deliciously gooey Croque Monsieur Madame is a combination of Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur.

A deliciously gooey Croque Monsieur Madame is a combination of Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur.

If you still can’t decide between Croque Monsieur or Madame, or you want egg, but not sunny side up, or you’re not in the mood for crunchy, try my hybrid, the Croque Monsieur Madame! (Now I’m wondering if it should have been named Croque Madame Monsieur?)

It still has all of the ham and cheese gooey goodness on the inside, like a Croque Monsieur, and has an egg like a Croque Madame, but the Croque Monsieur Madame sandwich is dipped in the egg and then cooked in the frying pan.

The crunch factor is probably the biggest difference Croque Monsieur Madame doesn’t have. I love it so much, I’ve even incorporated my Croque Monsieur Madame into French cheese boards on occasion.

Croque Monsieur Madame Recipe

Servings: 1

Ingredients

Preparing croque monsieur vs croque madame.

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 slices whole grain bread, or bread of choice
2 slices reduced fat Jarlsberg cheese
2 ounces low fat ham
¼ cup egg whites

Instructions
1. Mix the Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and the parmesan together and set aside.
2. Put down one slice of bread, and then add 1 slice of cheese then ½ of the ham.
3. Spread the parmesan mixture evenly over ham.
4. Add remaining ham and then the second slice of cheese.
5. Top w/2nd slice of bread.
6. Put egg whites into a bowl large enough to fit the sandwich when flat.
7. Keeping sandwich in tack, lay sandwich flat in egg whites, and flip over coating both sides.
8. Spray a frying pan with nonstick olive oil, and cook on until egg is cooked through and lightly golden on both sides.

Croque Monsieur Madame on Cheese Board

Croque Monsieur Madame on Cheese Board

What to serve with a Croque Madame, Croque Monsieur, or Croque Monsieur Madame?

I’ve eaten all 3 of these French Croque sandwiches for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners! They can be rich and filling, and are a meal by themselves. If you would like a little something extra on your plate, try pickles, or a light green salad.

If you like this recipe, you may like:
Low Carb Chicken Cordon Bleu
Low Cal Lyonnaise Salad
Chicken Parm Panini

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