Chef John's Monte Cristo Benedict


Imagine the best French toast you've ever had, combined with the best ham and cheese sandwich you've ever had, topped with perfectly poached eggs. You don't need any Hollandaise because the poached egg yolks are the sauce.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
4 sandwiches


  • 2 large eggs

  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • teaspoon ground allspice

  • 4 thick slices day-old French bread

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 8 thin slices cooked ham

  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese

  • 4 slices Havarti cheese

  • 8 poached eggs

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives, or to taste

  • 1 pinch kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  2. Whisk 2 eggs, cream, white sugar, salt, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and allspice together in a bowl until batter is thoroughly combined.

  3. Lay bread slices into batter, one at a time, and let bread absorb the mixture. Turn bread slices in batter until almost all batter has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.

  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and melt butter in the hot skillet. Cook bread slices in the hot butter until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer French toast slices to a baking sheet.

  5. Lay ham slices into the hot skillet and cook until meat begins to brown, about 1 minute per side.

  6. To assemble, place a Cheddar cheese slice on a slice of French toast, top with 2 slices of ham, and lay a Havarti cheese slice over ham.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until French toast pieces are no longer wet, the batter is set, and cheese has melted and begun to brown, about 20 minutes.

  8. Place sandwiches on serving plates and top each with 2 poached eggs. Season with kosher salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.


See Chef John's technique to turn out perfectly poached eggs every time.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

651 Calories
44g Fat
26g Carbs
38g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 651
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 44g 57%
Saturated Fat 23g 116%
Cholesterol 572mg 191%
Sodium 1475mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 458mg 35%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 347mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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