The Next Generation of Grilled Cheese: Monte Cristo Sandwiches

When I was younger, my dad would pack jam and cheese sandwiches for camping and fishing trips. They might not have been the most pristine sandwiches, but they kept well. Later in life, I was introduced to the Monte Cristo sandwich–still the same jam and cheese but with ham and mustard added in and either grilled or fried. It was an upgrade tp the classic grilled cheese sandwich I never knew I needed.

  • Not Your Ordinary Grilled Cheese! It’s more than just grilled cheese, and it tastes so much better with the combination of ham, cheese, raspberry jam, and mustard between two slices of bread and fresh out of the grill or fryer.
  • Great-tasting! You wouldn’t think that raspberry jam and mustard would ever belong on the same sandwich, but with the other flavors from the sandwich, it just works, and you won’t find a better sandwich.
  • You can grill it or fry it! You have options for your Monte Cristo sandwich, whether you want to grill it like a grilled cheese or dip it in batter and deep fry it.
  • So many variations! You’re not limited to the flavors. You can use any deli meat, jam, sauce, cheese, or bread that you want. The only requirement is that you have some combination of sweet and spicy, meat and cheese, and bread that had been fried or grilled into one tasty sandwich. 

The Original Monte Cristo Sandwich

This is an old French sandwich circa 1910. It became popular in America in the 1930’s and then seem to drop out of sight in the 1960’s. My dad loved Monte Cristo sandwiches. As a child, it seemed that they were popular in diners and other casual recipes. Either way, they were made with meat, usually ham, and a soft cheese, raspberry jam, and mustard or a hot sauce. They are now a type of sandwich, a meat and cheese sandwich cooked like French toast or deep fried. We’ve maintained the sweet layer with either jam or a flavored honey.

How to Make Your Monte Cristo Sandwich: Grilling or Deep Frying

Grilling Your Monte Cristo

To grill your Monte Cristo sandwich, you can cook it just like you would French toast or a grilled cheese sandwich. Dredge the sandwich through an egg mixture and then grill it on a hot griddle until both sides are golden brown. The result is much like a French toast sandwich but much better.

Frying Your Monte Cristo

Frying a Monte Cristo sandwich is much like deep frying stuffed French toast. You dip it into a tempura batter until it’s covered and put it into a hot deep fryer until it’s golden brown on both sides. The result is a nice, crispy sandwich with the fried batter to tie everything together.

How to Use the Monte Cristo Sandwich as a Template

Starting with the Basics

As mentioned earlier, the Monte Cristo sandwich has become more of a sandwich type, making it a great template for variations. To make your variations, you need to stick with the basics of the sandwich, but then you can let your imagination soar from there:

  • Sandwich bread
  • Deli meat
  • Cheese
  • A sweet layer of jam or honey
  • A spicy layer of sauce or mustard

Choose your jam here.

Choose your honey here.

Try our Thai Sweet Chili Sauce here.

Recommended Flavors

Recommended Recipes

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