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Food & Recipes

Croque Madame Casserole: Delicious Brunch-Worthy Recipe Bakes in 30 Minutes

This all-in-one bake is perfect to whip up for Mother's Day or any occasion!

Whether for Mother’s Day or a casual weekend, croque madame casserole is a dish will make your next brunch extra special! It’s a layered dish consisting of ham, cheese, béchamel sauce, Dijon mustard and eggs that are baked until golden brown. This blend of ingredients produces a dish full of savory, nutty and smoky flavors. Since it cooks in the same pan, this dish also makes cleanup a breeze. Keep reading for tips on how to make this breakfast bake — plus a simple recipe that goes from oven to table in about 30 minutes!

What is croque madame?

At its core, croque madame is a toasted ham and cheese sandwich that’s topped with a creamy sauce and a fried egg. This sandwich originated in Paris around the early 1900s and remains a popular menu option at cafés and restaurants. It’s also simple to make at home, especially in the form of a casserole.

Related: What’s Better Than a Grilled Cheese? One That’s Fried, Italian-Style — Delizioso!

Why you should turn this dish into a casserole

If you need to whip up breakfast for a crowd, croque madame casserole is the way to go. It contains the same ingredients as the sandwich, except you’re layering and baking them in one pan. What you end up with is a dish that’s meaty and cheesy. Plus, it yields several servings and certain elements like the béchamel sauce can be prepared in advance for easy assembling the day of.

3 chef’s tips for a yummy croque madame bake

Below, chef Nelson Serrano-Bahri, director of innovation at the American Egg Board, shares his three tips to ensure your casserole bakes up to melty and golden brown perfection.

1. Opt for stale bread for the best texture.

Day-old white bread (such as a country or pullman loaf) absorbs the mixture better without becoming too soggy. This results in a better texture for your casserole as it bakes. If you don’t have stale bread on hand, lightly toast fresh bread slices in a 375°F oven for around 5 to 10 minutes. Then, allow them to cool slightly before using for the casserole.

2. Use this trick to ensure the eggs cook evenly.

The eggs bake on top of the casserole, similar to the actual sandwich. To prevent them from spreading, cut out a small circle in each bread slice that’s going on the top layer of the casserole. Crack the eggs into the holes, and proceed with the final steps before baking. This trick helps the eggs cook evenly and maintains their eye-catching appeal. (The cut-out step also works for this Egg in a Hole recipe.)

3. Keep a close eye on the casserole.

You want the casserole to be golden brown on top, with the eggs fully cooked. So, to avoid overcooking the dish, cover it with foil if the top begins to brown too quickly. Continue baking until the inside is fully set and cool before serving.

How to make croque madame casserole

When you’re ready to try this hearty breakfast bake, give Epicurious‘s recipe a go. It’s oven-ready in under an hour and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Serve it on its own or with a refreshing salad. Also, any leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days and warmed up later.

Croque Madame Casserole


  • 12 (¾-inch-thick) slices day-old white bread
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3¼ cups grated Gruyère or cheddar cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 12 thin slices ham
  • 6 large eggs
  • Cooking spray


  • Active: 30 mins
  • Total time: 50 mins + cooling
  • Yield: 6 servings
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Using 2-inch cutter or sharp paring knife, cut hole in center of 6 bread slices. Trim bread to fit in 2 even layers in 13-by-9-inch baking dish, with whole slices on the bottom and the slices with holes on top, forming 6 sandwiches. Remove from dish.
  2. Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until butter foams then subsides, and mixture is light gold and thickened, about 3 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, whisking, until mixture thickens and coats the back of spoon, 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat to very low. Whisk in nutmeg, ¾ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper into the Béchamel sauce. Gradually whisk in 1 cup grated cheese, making sure cheese is melted before adding more. You should have about 3½ cups of sauce.
  3. Spread one-third of Béchamel in dish. Arrange 6 whole slices of bread in a single layer in dish. Spread Dijon evenly on bread. Top each with 2 slices of ham, folding to fit on bread if necessary.
  4. Spread another third of béchamel over ham. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup cheese. Place 6 bread slices with holes on top to form 6 sandwiches. Spread remaining Béchamel over sandwiches; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese around holes.
  5. Crack 1 egg into each hole. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese. Season with remaining ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.
  6. Spray large piece of foil with nonstick spray. Place foil, oiled side down, over baking dish, crimping to seal. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, increase oven temperature to 400°F, transfer dish to top rack, and bake until egg whites are just barely set and yolks are still runny, 8 to 12 minutes.
  7. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Keep reading if you’re hungry for more delicious breakfast recipes!

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Best-Ever Southern Biscuits and Gravy Recipe: Chef’s Butter Trick Makes ‘Em Extra Flaky

Bacon Pancakes Combine Two Breakfast Faves in One Tasty Bite — Easy 30-Minute Recipe

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