Croque madame casserole refashioned

What to do with leftover cubed bread the day after a cheese fondue? (Cheese fondue is a Swiss dish where cubes of bread are dipped into melted cheese.) My mom suggested making a bread soup. However, my kids groaned. “Awwww. Noooo. Not soup again!!” (I do make a lot of soups to smuggle veggies into them.) So, I decided NOT to make the bread soup. Then, I stumbled upon a recipe for a croque madame casserole…bread, ham, cheese. My kids would love this!

A croque monsieur is basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich—but leave it to the French to make even a ham and cheese sandwich sound classy. Croquer means to crunch and monsieur means mister. The sandwich originated in French cafés and bars as a quick snack. A croque monsieur served with a fried or poached egg on top is known as a croque madame. (In the United States, the Monte Cristo, a ham-and-cheese sandwich often dipped in egg and fried, is similar.)

Croque Madame, from WIkipedia, licensed under the GNU General Public License.
Croque Madame, from Wikipedia,
licensed under the GNU General Public License.

The croque madame casserole recipe had the eggs served on top. However, I decide to change the recipe up a bit to smuggle the eggs into my picky eaters without them even noticing it. I did this by integrating the eggs into the casserole instead of putting them on top.

Here’s what I did.

Although the bread was a day old, my very conscientious husband had gone to many efforts to keep it fresh by keeping it in a Ziploc bag. So, I spread the cubes out on a baking tray, heated the oven to 200 °C (400 °F), then turned it off and placed the bread in there for an hour or so.

Drying out the bread cubes in the oven.
Drying out the bread cubes in the oven.

I mixed my bread and ham in a casserole dish (which realized afterward I should have prebuttered). Then, I poured the milk and eggs over it and let it sit while I prepared the sauce.

I poured the egg mixture over the bread and ham mixture.
I poured the egg mixture over the bread and ham mixture.

I made a roux using the butter and flour. Then, I added mustard, cheese, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Making the sauce.
Making the sauce.

I poured the sauce over the bread mixture and topped it with some more cheese. Then I baked it.

The finished casserole
The finished casserole

And the boys said:

“Mmmmmm! May I have croque some more?”
“Mmmmmm! May I have croque some more?”
Croque madame casserole reloaded
Serves 6
An easy bread, ham, cheese, and egg casserole that the kids will love. Great to make with leftover bread.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
437 calories
21 g
268 g
25 g
31 g
13 g
245 g
705 g
6 g
0 g
11 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 437
Calories from Fat 222
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g
Saturated Fat 13g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 268mg
Sodium 705mg
Total Carbohydrates 21g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 6g
Protein 31g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 5 cups cubed day-old bread
  2. 200 g. (ca. 7 oz.) ham, diced
  3. 6 eggs
  4. 500 ml. (2 cups) milk, divided
  5. 3 Tbsp. butter, plus some for the casserole dish
  6. 2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
  7. 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  8. 200g (ca. 7 oz.) cheese such as Gruyère or Appenzeller, grated, divided
  9. Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, optional
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C (400 °F).
  2. Place cubed bread and ham in a buttered, medium-sized casserole dish.
  3. Scramble the eggs and 250 ml. of milk. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture and toss. Set aside.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour, one spoonful at a time, and whisk until smooth. Continue to cook until slightly thickened.
  5. Whisk in mustard.
  6. Add remaining milk and 150g. of cheese (reserving about 50 g. to sprinkle on top). Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of nutmeg if desired.
  8. Pour sauce over the bread mixture and stir to combine.
  9. Top with remaining cheese.
  10. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly, golden brown, and firm.
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