Croque monsieur brunch bake


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Who’s tried a croque monsieur? (roughly translated as a toasted cheese and ham sandwich just in case anyone is wondering!) Piled into a baking dish and drenched in an egg and milk mixture – just like french toast – and baked, they can be transformed into a rather tasty and attractive weekend brunch option …

A croque monsieur brunch bake close up in a red baking dish.

As is the case on many Sundays, yesterday went like this. Planned to make lovely brunch for Mr. Scrummy and I at, oooh, about 10 or 11am. Got way-laid with putting a wash on/minor catastrophes/phone calls/lazy zone-out moments on the sofa/unexpected urgent errands etc. Suddenly realised it was 3pm. Brunch for two became late lunch for two + parents we’d picked up along the way.

Well, not to worry because this is one weekend brunch-y dish that can easily be breakfast, lunch, dinner or anything in between. It can also be made ahead and then thrown in the oven whenever you’re ready, which is what I’d have done yesterday if I’d organised myself a bit better.

So what on earth is a croque monsieur brunch bake? Well, you guessed it, I totally made up the name. But if you’ve ever tried a British bread and butter pudding, it’s a lot like that – but savoury. If you’re in the US or elsewhere, maybe the best description would be a sort of French toast casserole or ham and cheese strata?

Croque monsieur brunch bake just baked in a red baking dish with a blue tea towel under it and with crockery in the background.Whatever you prefer to call it, it’s a delicious, comforting little idea that you can pull together in hardly any time at all. Really it’s just like making a pile of ham and cheese sandwiches, soaking them in a mixture of egg and milk, then arranging them prettily in a dish with tomatoes and cheese on top … and baking! How easy is that?

The other big bonus is that you can customise this to your heart’s content. This time I stuck to ham and gruyère cheese (hence calling this a croque monsieur brunch bake!) with a few additions – cherry tomatoes and a bit of onion and mustard – but you could easily make this more ‘breakfast-y’ by adding cooked sausage or bacon, or more ‘lunch-y’ by adding more veggies like pan-fried peppers. And of course you don’t have to use gruyère. I was just being posh by using it in mine. You can use any old tasty cheese.

I’ll leave you with one more little tip. Cook your bake until it’s nice and browned and crispy on top. First time, I under baked and there were a few gloopy bits inside. Not so great. You want to bake until the egg and milk mixture soaked into the bread has solidified to a bread pudding-like consistency. Yum.

A closeup of the side of a baking dish of Croque monsieur brunch bake with salad and plates in the background.

This was really my first foray into the exciting world of breakfast bakes or casseroles. 😉

Have you ever made anything like this before? If so, what? If not, do you think you might give this a go? I hope so … and let me know how it goes!

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A croque monsieur brunch bake just baked in a red baking dish.
5 from 1 vote

Croque monsieur brunch bake

Whenever I visit France, I make sure I have a croque monsieur - a yummy toasted cheese and ham sandwich! Recreate those flavours in a delicious brunch bake - it's like a sort of french toast bake and perfect for any time of day.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 8 slices white bread
  • cooked ham, enough to make 4 sandwiches
  • slices of gruyère cheese, or any tasty cheese of your choice – enough for 4 sandwiches
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon heaped of mustard, I used Dijon
  • 1/2 of a small onion, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • grated cheese e.g. mozzarella for sprinkling
  • a handful of fresh chopped parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
  • Make 4 ham and cheese sandwiches with the bread, ham and cheese. Cut each in half diagonally so that you have 8 sandwich halves.
  • Whisk the eggs together with the milk, mustard and a good grinding of salt and pepper in a jug. Add the chopped onion and garlic.
  • Dip each sandwich half in the egg and milk mixture, then arrange in a medium-sized square-ish baking dish in two rows, with the two rows overlapping a little (the sandwiches should be standing up with the pointy part facing upwards).
  • Pour the rest of the egg mixture over the sandwiches, then top with grated cheese and the tomatoes. Leave to stand for at least 10 minutes so that the egg mixture can soak into the bread.
  • Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until the top of the bake is golden and crisp. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve (with a fresh salad if you like!).


You’ll notice that the amounts in the ingredients list are not exact. That’s because exact amounts don’t really matter – apart from the amount of eggs and milk. This is a very customisable recipe!
It can also be made up a few hours ahead (or even the night before). Just assemble, then cover with foil and keep in the fridge until you're ready to bake.
Some ideas for customising:
1 Add cooked sausage and/or bacon along with the tomatoes for a more hearty bake.
2 Use spring onions/scallions instead of the ordinary chopped onion for a subtler flavour.
3 Spread pesto on the bread along with the ham and cheese.
4 Use prosciutto instead of ordinary ham.


Calories: 295kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 254mg, Sodium: 396mg, Potassium: 362mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 675IU, Vitamin C: 9.6mg, Calcium: 277mg, Iron: 3.2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!


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A closeup of the side of a baking dish of Croque monsieur brunch bake with a title below it for Pinterest.

About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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  1. Look very nice a savoury bread pudding(my first thought when I saw it). Cant wait to try it. Going to make nice green salad to go with for a nice meal:)

    1. Hello Paula. I don’t see why you couldn’t use any kind of bread you like! Please give it a go and let me know how you get on! 🙂

  2. What a clever idea to feed a lot of people! I love a croque monsieur or at times a croque madame! 😀 I make a similar one called a wifesaver breakfast (a Canadian term and dish). We can’t get enough of it!

    1. Never heard of a wifesaver brekky, Lorraine, but sounds intriguing. I love croque madames, too! I guess in a way this is like that as it has lots of egg in it!

  3. Ummm. WOW. I am just about dying of happiness over this!! Brunch bakes are the best!

    1. Thanks, Joanne! Glad you like it! You could make this vegetarian by adding spinach instead of the ham – that would be pretty good! 🙂

  4. This looks so delicious, Helen! Croque Monsieurs are the best, and now I can enjoy a little taste of France via your English kitchen. 😉 And because it’s a massive bake, it feeds lots of people (more likely, me multiple times! I need to learn to share!)

    1. Oh no, sharing is so over-rated! 😉 Go ahead and enjoy the whole lot, Meggan … weekend treat!

  5. Oh my, my, my…. I could definitely eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’d be like a hobbit and even have second breakfast (too dorky?).

  6. Well, I’ve never had CROQUE MONSIEUR, but I definitely love it! I’m in if a recipe works for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Pinned!

    1. Thanks, Mira! You must try a classic croque monsieur some day. Unbeatable little snack!

  7. Helel, I think this is so fancy – such a lovely dish – don’t think I’ve ever made anything like this before!

  8. I love that you have made this in to a bake. Perfect for when you have friends round for brunch 🙂