Anna Barnett's Croque Madame

"An indulgent dish originating from Parisian café culture; a good Croque Madame should always arrive oozing with melted cheese, piles of ham and crowned with a delicious runny fried egg. Simple but magnificent, it makes for the perfect brunch. Here I’ve shared alternative ingredients to make this a gluten free option, meaning everyone can enjoy." - Anna Barnett

Recipe by Anna Barnett of  'How to Be Gluten Free and Keep Your Friends.'

Feeds 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes



  • 2 generous chunks of butter
  • 4 slices of freshly cut gluten-free bread

Béchamel sauce

  • generous knob of butter
  • 2tbsp plain flour or gluten free plain flour
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 180ml full fat milk
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

For the sandwich

  • several sprigs of sage
  • 2-4 sliced of good quality ham
  • 2 slices of Gruyere – enough to layer across two sandwiches
  • splash of oil/ butter
  • 2 free range/organic eggs


Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Begin by making your béchamel sauce. First melt your butter then add in your flour and cook for 2-3 minutes over a medium to low heat. Begin to gradually add in your milk until it forms a thick, smooth paste. Continue this process until you’ve used up all the milk and you have a smooth sauce. Next season to taste, add in your nutmeg and set to one side ready to use.

For the sandwich start by melting two generous knobs of butter in a large frying pan. Add in your sage leaves and place your bread in the butter cooking until the bread turns a light golden brown. Remove the bread and sage leaves and set your pan to one side, ready to use to fry your egg.

With the fried side of the bread facing outwards, add your ham and cheese then pour over half of your béchamel sauce. Add the other slice of bread and finish with another layer of béchamel and a slice of gruyere. Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Fry up your egg in both butter and a splash of oil (to stop it from burning). Place your frying pan over a high heat and cook until your egg has a delicious crispy bottom but a runny yolk. Serve the egg on top of your Croque-Monsieur to create your Croque-Madame. Finish by scattering over the crispy sage leaves.


For more delicious recipes from Anna, like the ones below, check out her book 'How to Be Gluten Free and Keep Your Friends'

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