Croque Madame on Brioche


A spin on the traditional French croque monsieur with deli ham, rich smoky cheese, béchamel, and eggs on brioche bread. Typically in France the eggs are fried but I prefer poached eggs topped with chives and smoked paprika. Optionally serve it with sliced plum tomatoes to make it a croque Provençal. This is my sweet angel's favorite dish that I prepare for her.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
2 sandwiches


  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 (1 inch) thick slices brioche bread

  • 2 slices deli ham

  • 2 slices Gruyere cheese

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives, or to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 2 slices plum tomato


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Season with Dijon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook until sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove sauce from the heat.

  2. Fill a large saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in vinegar, and keep the water at a gentle simmer. Crack an egg into a small bowl then gently slip egg into the simmering water, holding the bowl just above the surface of water. Repeat with the remaining egg. Cook eggs until the whites are firm and the yolks have thickened but are not hard, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, dab on a kitchen towel to remove excess water, and place onto a warm plate.

  3. Melt remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add bread and toast in melted butter on both sides. Top bread slices liberally with warm sauce, then top with ham and Gruyere cheese. Place poached eggs on top.

  4. Cover the pan with foil or a lid and turn off heat. Let stand until cheese has melted and sauce and eggs have set, about 5 minutes.

  5. Serve immediately, spooning any leftover sauce on top of eggs. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chives and paprika.

Cook's Note:

You can use French bread or any white bread for the brioche, and smoked Gruyere, Fontina, or Emmentaler cheese. For garnish, you can use fresh parsley instead of chives, or dried parsley, chives, or thyme, or a combination of all of them.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

826 Calories
57g Fat
47g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 826
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 57g 73%
Saturated Fat 28g 140%
Cholesterol 378mg 126%
Sodium 1181mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 12mg 62%
Calcium 463mg 36%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 407mg 9%

* 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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