This Monte Cristo sandwich recipe is an innovative take on hearty food. It brings relished flavors that deliver a bellyful in one petite serving — a perfect start to National Monte Cristo Day (September 17).
The sandwich is such an effortless treat that brings fabulous flavors to a humble toast. This one is no different.
Except, with lower sodium, cholesterol, and calories, it’s a much healthier treat! Read on to learn about Monte Cristo and its health benefits.
What Is a Monte Cristo Sandwich?
Typically, a Monte Cristo is a replica of a ham and cheese sandwich. After assembling, it’s dipped in an egg batter, fried in butter, and sprinkled with powdered sugar to top it off.
Over time, the Monte Cristo has developed into several sweet and savory variations, leaving flavoring choices in the maker’s hands.
Croque Monsieur vs Monte Cristo
Croque Monsieur is the original French dish the Monte Cristo is supposed to have originated from. The difference comes in adding a béchamel sauce that really enhances the flavor of a Croque Monsieur.
What’s more, a Monte Cristo is dipped in an egg custard, whereas a Croque Monsieur typically is not.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
Let’s begin with bread, which has the most nutritional value. Compared to white bread, sprouted wheat bread has more fiber and serves half the amount of sodium per slice.
There’s every reason to monitor our sodium intake, what with all the snacking and cheat meals we may choose to indulge in throughout the day.
Reducing salt and sodium intake may help reduce the risk of heart disease, among many other complications. Low vitamin D and high blood pressure cases are just some examples of conditions that may result from high-sodium diets.
Sprouted wheat bread is also lower in calories, giving us room to add more slices to this sandwich!
Another nutritious aspect is eggs. Egg whites are a low-calorie source of proteins.
Like any other sandwich, a Monte Cristo is made up of bread and filling. However, your choice of these elements makes all the difference.
1. Best Bread for Monte Cristo Sandwich
Brioche or French bread are our go-to choices for every fried sandwich recipe. Whether it’s French toast or the Monte Cristo, these types of bread are perfect for soaking up egg custard without absorbing too much of it.
Brioche is denser than standard bread loaves, meaning it will produce a firmer sandwich. You can get similar results using day-old sliced bread or baguette bread, which is drier than other varieties.
For us, this is the fun part when making a Monte Cristo; you can stack juicy, flavorsome meat between the bread for a savory center. Meat like ham, or bacon, is excellent for adding natural fat that accentuates flavor.
Turkey slices are also a perfect way to get yummy pork flavor with less fat. Whichever meat you use, remember to layer it with some cheese, like mozzarella, for that stringy cheese effect we all love.
At first, we weren’t sure how the flavors of meat and berry would go together in this dish. But we knew a Monte Cristo sandwich without jam would be just another regular sandwich.
Adding jam is the finishing touch that takes the sandwich from simple to elegant. It brings berry zest to complete a dish bursting with sweet and savory flavors.
First, to get a nice, compact sandwich that’s easy to cook, use a cutting board to compress the sandwich.
Next, use a spatula, with one hand on top, to dip the sandwich for about 4 seconds on each side. The batter should reach halfway up the middle slice, so you get a fair whack of creaminess.
You’ll also be surprised how any citrus juice will add pleasant, tangy flavors that bring another facet to the dish.
What to Serve with
Below are a few of our favorite accompaniments for Monte Cristo.
1. Berry Dip
Make a zesty berry dip using strawberry, or any jam of your choice and orange juice. Berries are superfoods rich with nutrients.
On a taste level, they give a sweet-savory flavor to the dish and a tartness balanced by the creamy toast.
Bite-sized fruits like grapes (or tomatoes) are a smart way to add light calories. They are full of quenching flavor and add an appreciated sweetness to the dish.
Their acidity also helps to cut through the decadent flavors of the Monte Cristo.
3. Carrot Orange Ginger Juice
To complete a full and filling breakfast, add a quenching element like a carrot beverage. Carrot juice not only complements a sweet and cheesy sandwich but also adds nutrients and healthy calories.
We suggest keeping Monte Cristo side dishes simple, light, and nutritious. This way, you can round up your meal without taking away from the filling flavors of the sandwich.
This Monte Cristo sandwich contains 469 calories per serving, about 23% of your daily calories on a 2,000-calorie diet. Most of them come from proteins, meaning this dish will keep you satiated for longer periods.
A significant chunk also comes from carbs, namely 26% of your daily fiber need and 14 grams of net carbs.
2. Can You Freeze This Sandwich?
Yes, you can freeze a Monte Cristo sandwich.
All you have to do is wrap each sandwich separately using plastic wrap. After that, place them in an airtight container like a Tupperware box.
Monte Cristo sandwiches are best enjoyed fresh. However, if you leave frozen batches to defrost in the fridge and then lightly fry them in butter, you can reintroduce that crispy fried exterior.
Remember not to add jam or powdered sugar to the sandwiches if you’re storing them. Store plain sandwiches and add the condiments only after reheating.
3. How Long Does It Last?
Monte Cristo sandwiches can last from two to three months in the freezer. But you can also store them short-term in the refrigerator for up to three days.
This Monte Cristo Sandwich is a quick but satisfying breakfast with a melted cheese, bacon, and ham center. You can also use day-old bread with similar results. Serve it hot or cool along with a zesty berry sauce.
12 slices sprouted wheat bread (crusts sliced off *)
2 oz swiss cheese (grated)
1 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
2 tsp traditional Dijon mustard
1.5 oz ham (cut into tiny squares)
1.5 oz raw cured bacon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
5 egg whites
8 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 tbsp jam (strawberry)
4 tsp orange juice
Start by roughly chopping 1.5 oz raw cured bacon.
Combine 1 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise and 2 tsp traditional Dijon mustard in a dip bowl.
In another bowl, mix 4 1/2 tbsp jam and 4 tsp orange juice to create a dip.
In a shallow dish, add 5 egg whites, 8 tbsp milk, and 1 tsp vanilla and whisk together until mixed.
To make one sandwich, lay out 3 slices of bread. Add cheese onto the first slice, followed by ham. Spread the mayonnaise and dijon mixture onto one side of the second slice. Place it on top of the ham (mayonnaise side down) spread the mayonnaise and dijon mixture, then add bacon, followed by cheese. Finally, add the third slice of bread.
Use a rolling pin or cutting board to compress the sandwich for about 10-15 seconds. Cut the sandwich diagonally.
In a skillet, melt some butter and add olive oil at medium heat. (You can fry two sandwiches at a time if the skillet is large enough. Just remember to divide the butter and oil accordingly.) Dip the sandwich into the egg mix and transfer it to the skillet.
Cook for 4 minutes on each side until a dark, crispy brown crust forms.
Remove from the heat and sprinkle with 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar. Serve immediately with the jam dip and a light beverage.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 469Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 8g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Vitamin A 107IU
Vitamin C 6mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Neola Muhambi is a food and travel writer and SEO outreach specialist. Her African heritage and travels across various countries in Asia have given her a keen appreciation for cultural diversity and a sensitivity to the unique characteristics of various cuisines. Her experiences also sharpened her communication skills, which are helpful in her tasks to establish organic connections among websites.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
I just prepared a Monte Cristo sandwich and it was scrumptious! The balance of sweet and savory flavors made it irresistible.