Monte Cristo Sandwiches
These Monte Cristo sandwiches rival Disneyland’s famous version (or better!), are quick and easy to make, a fabulous way to use up leftover ham, are make ahead friendly and the most spectacular sweet and savory combo you will ever sink your teeth into. This mouthwatering Monte Cristo recipe is made with layers of ham, turkey, and Gruyere cheese on sourdough or challah, dunked in a light batter, pan fried until golden, then served with powdered sugar, syrup and/or raspberry jam for dipping. The coveted buttery, golden crispy crust giving way to the velvety inside combined with gooey cheese, is sweet, salty, cheesy, buttery, perfection. Monte Cristos are ideal for breakfast, brunch and lunch, and make a fun dinner as well! Most importantly, they are more heavenly than you can dream of.
Servings Prep Time
22 sandwiches 10minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Servings Prep Time
22 sandwiches 10minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Monte Cristo Sandwich
Ingredients
Sandwiches
  • 6slices sourdough (my FAV), brioche or challah
  • 4tablespoons unsalted buttersoftened
  • 4tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • raspberry jam
  • 8thin slices Gruyere cheesemore or less as needed to cover bread
  • 4 slices ham, thinly slicedor 2 thicker sliced leftover ham
  • 8slices turkey, thinly sliced
  • Butter for pan frying
  • Vegetable oil for pan frying
Batter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2tablespoon milk
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
For serving
  • Powdered sugar
  • raspberry jam
  • maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Note: See post for detailed step by step photos.
  2. Whisk mayonnaise and mustard together, set aside.
  3. To assemble two sandwiches at the same time: place 2 slices of bread on a cutting board. Lightly butter each slice of bread then flip over so the butter is face down. Spread some mayo/mustard mixture on the top of each slice of bread. Top with 1-2 slices of cheese (or enough to cover the surface of the bread in a single layer), followed by 2 slices of ham (1 slice if using thick sliced leftover ham); set aside.
  4. Spread one side of two pieces of bread with raspberry jam. Place raspberry jam side down over ham. Spread the top side with the mayo/mustard mixture. Top with 4 slices of turkey and cheese (enough cheese to cover the surface of the bread in a single layer); set aside.
  5. Spread one side of two pieces of bread with mayo/mustard mixture and place side down over cheese. Spread the top side with softened butter.
  6. Place parchment paper or plastic wrap over one sandwich and top with a cast iron skillet to weigh down (or a lighter skillet filled with cans) and compress for 3-5 minutes. Repeat with second sandwich while you’re cooking the first one.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk the batter ingredients together in a shallow dish.
  8. Melt 2 tablespoon butter with ½ tablespoon vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
  9. Dip the sandwich into the batter, then flip so it’s completely covered. Transfer to the skillet and reduce heat to low. Cook for approximately 4 minutes per side OR until sandwich is golden and cheese is melted. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining sandwich.
  10. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with additional raspberry jam or syrup if desired.
Recipe Notes

Tips and Tricks

  • Crusts is optional. Some bread has extra thick crust which you may want to slice off to help “seal” in the sandwich and prevent the packed filling from falling out. If your crust is thin/soft enough, like in these photos, then feel free to leave it on.    
  • Don’t skip the mayo!  Only using mustard will result in dry bread or overpowering mustard. The mayo adds a rich spreadability while toning down the mustard.
  • Don’t skip the mustard!  The mustard adds the flaVOR.   Its tanginess complements the sweet jam and powdered sugar. 
  • Choose quality ingredients. I recommend Black Forest honey smoked ham and Gruyere Swiss cheese.  Purchase them at the deli counter of your grocery store and ask them to thinly slice both of them for you (makes your life easier and it’s free!)
  • Start and end with cheese. When layering the Monte Cristo, it’s important to start and end with cheese—it’s the melty glue that holds all the sandwich components together. 
  • Don’t skip the butter!  Buttering the outside pieces of bread before pan frying creates a barrier between the bread and the egg batter which prevents the bread from becoming soggy.  It also promotes a more golden, crispy exterior.
  • The press is key.  With three pieces of bread, you’ll want to compress the Monte Cristo so the ingredients meld together and create an accessible, tasty mouthful. If you don’t have a heavy cast iron skillet, you can use any pan and fill it with something heavy like cans.
  • Don’t oversaturate the bread with the batter.  The sandwich doesn’t need to rest in the batter for long – simply dip each side until it’s coated.  
  • Don’t skip the oil. A splash of vegetable oil when pan frying the Monte Cristo sandwiches helps prevent the butter from burning. You can also use another neutral oil but don’t use a flavored oil or that’s what your sandwich will taste like!
  • Toast at a lower heat. Don’t toast your sandwich at too high of heat or the bread will toast before the cheese melts. Once the cheese melts and you still want a more golden exterior, then you can crank up the heat.

Make Ahead 

You can prep the Monte Cristos in advance ONLY IF you use a sturdy bread and not sandwich bread.  Sandwich bread will become soggy with the layers of mayo/mustard and jam.

  • Sandwich:  Assemble the sandwich without dipping in the batter, then wrap each layered sandwich separately in foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.   
  • Batter:  Whisk all of the batter ingredients together in advance, cover, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

How to Store and Reheat  

  • Storage:  Transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze:  Let each Monte Cristos cool completely then wrap each sandwich separately with two layers of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil.  Freeze for up to two months.  When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator, then let the sandwich(es) sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before reheating in the microwave, skillet or oven. 
  • Microwave: Transfer to a microwave safe plate and microwave for 20-30 seconds.  
  • Stove: Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook for a couple minutes or until warmed to your liking, flipping the sandwich halfway.
  • Oven: Wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 to 7 minutes.