Monte Cristo Bread Pudding

So, anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis would probably very understandably assume that my favorite sandwich is a BLT.  (Maybe because I have mentioned bacon a few times here and there over the years.)  But astonishingly it is not…nope, my heart belongs to a sandwich called the Monte Cristo, which is a ham, cheese and turkey sandwich that is dipped in egg batter and fried to golden perfection.  (Pause here to close eyes and imagine the wonderfulness).

So there’s your background for the story I am about to tell.  A little while back I made the Southern husband a Southern dinner of ham with red-eye gravy and grits.  And at the end of that deliciousness, I had a good-sized chunk of ham left over, and it dawned on me that while I always order Monte Cristo sandwiches on any (and I mean any) menu where I find them, I’ve never made one at home.  And since you need very thin sliced ham for a Monte Cristo sandwich and since my leftovers were in a big old chunk of ham and since I am kind of terrified of my mandoline slicer (you don’t want to know, believe me), I let go of my Monte Cristo sandwich dream and resigned myself to making something that required chunks of ham.

And then I had a vision.

(Bear with me.  That’s the closest picture I have to what I imagine a vision might look like.)

What if I took all the fabulous elements of a Monte Cristo…the ham, the turkey, the cheese, the bread, the egg batter…and just rearranged them a little?  Into a mixture of ham chunks and sliced turkey and shredded Swiss cheese and cubes of bread, all soaked in a mixture of eggs and milk and cream, and then baked?

Heck, without the whole frying part, this was even HEALTHY!  Er.  Healthi-ER.  Than the fried Monte Cristo sandwich.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Anyway, this little dish of heaven that I have christened Monte Cristo Bread Pudding is a quick mixture of all those ingredients above.  I scattered a few bread cubes in the bottom of some individual baking dishes, then put cubed ham, some shredded cheese and some sliced turkey on top of the bread (you could definitely use cubed turkey as well if that’s what you have on hand.)  I covered all this with another layer of bread cubes.  Then I mixed up some eggs with a little cream and milk and pepper and poured it over the bread mixture.  Then I covered the dishes with plastic wrap and popped them into the fridge for a few hours so everything could get nice and soaked through.

When suppertime rolled around I sprinkled the top with a little more cheese and baked them for about 30 minutes until things were looking nice and golden.  Now, if you want the FULL Monte Cristo experience, you could sprinkle yours with a little confectioner’s sugar and serve them with some raspberry jam on the side, since that’s often how the sandwich is served.  In all my excitement I forgot about that part, and so we dove into ours as is.

Which means I need to make them again soon so I can try them with the sugar and the jam.  Which means I need to make ham with red-eye gravy and grits again soon.

It’s a never-ending circle.

Monte Cristo Bread Pudding
Serves: 2 servings
  • 3 cups bread cubes
  • 2 cups cubed ham
  • 1 cup cubed or sliced turkey
  • 1½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup cream
  • 2 eggs
  • Powdered sugar (optional)
  • Raspberry jam (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Lightly grease two individual baking dishes and put one cup of bread cubes into the bottom of each. Divide the ham and turkey between each dish. Top each dish with ½ cup of cheese and another ½ cup of bread cubes.
  3. Thoroughly mix the egg, cream and milk together. Pour half of the egg mixture over the contents of one baking dish and repeat with the other. Cover each dish with plastic wrap, press down on the top a little to make sure the bread is in contact with the egg mixture, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (and up to overnight)
  4. Remove plastic wrap and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and with raspberry jam, or just as is!

Still Hungry?

Savory French Toast BLT from Framed Cooks

Turkey Monte Cristo Panini from Panini Happy

Prosciutto, Apple and Brie Monte Cristo from Fine Cooking


Want a photo beside your name? Go to, sign up for a free account, and upload a photo. It's super easy!

  1. says

    Genius! I love the Monte Cristo…my first experience was in the Pirates of the Caribbean restaurant at Disneyland, years ago. Since it has been forever since I have been to Disneyland…you know how long it’s been since I enjoyed this delightful sandwich. I love your vision!! I will follow your lead and rearrange the ingredients…I can hardly wait.

    • Kate says

      Oh my goodness…you just zapped me back to Disneyland when the teenager was a tyke…I’m pretty sure I had it there too! :)

    • Kimberly Shapiro says

      My first experience was also at the Pirates if the Caribbean Restaurant at Disneyland! This sounds amazing. I will definitely try asap :-)

  2. Wendy says

    Mmmmm…. Monte Cristo’s are my favorite sandwich too! Cannot get them enough so this is great. I know what we are making as soon as the heat breaks!

    • Kate says

      I know…I should really have waited until the first frost, but I had the leftover ham and I just couldn’t help myself. :) :)

  3. says

    When I was in college, my roommate and I used to always order Monte Cristo’s from Bennigan’s whenever we went. I had never had one before then but the pairing of ham, cheese, and jam seemed magical to me!

    • Kate says

      Bennigan’s! I never knew they had Monte Cristos. Oh, the lost opportunities! Guess I will just have to make this again to make up for that!

  4. gemom says

    Genius! I definitely will make this. I might add some sauteed leeks when I do. Laughed at the “that’s my story”bit.

    • Kate says

      Right? I’m keeping a respectful distance from mine for a while. Until I get the overwhelming urge to make homemade potato chips, and then I will work up my nerve again.

  5. Joyce says

    Love this recipe, and it’s on the menu next time it’s my turn to host breakfast…which I do every other week.

    Regarding the mandoline, I am sitting here with a bandaged hand because I managed to slice my palm with the da*n thing….and it is so hard to keep a bandage on your hand without wrapping it up totally. They say that mandolines are ‘handy’, but I didn’t realize the double entendre.

  6. Lisa says

    OMG — I still have nightmares about my mandolin accident. My hubby was ready to take me to the emergency room after my hand slipped off the guard. I thought I was going to lose my thumb. And bloody potatoes are not appetizing!!! Otherwise, it is an awesome tool.

    Do you have any bread recommendations for this luscious sounding recipe? Would a more sturdy bread work best?

    • Kate says

      Totally agree about the mandoline…it’s amazingly effective, but I am very, very careful around it now. Safety first! Glad you are okay. Meantime, any bread except for fluffy sandwich bread will work fine. I did use a country-type bread, which also let me cut it into the right size chunks since it was unsliced. Here’s a link to my favorite bread recipe, which is SUPER easy to make, perfect every time, and great in this recipe:

    • Kate says

      Uh-oh – now you are going to have to make it every time there’s a pot-luck! Thanks for the lead on the sauce – sounds scrumptious!!

  7. Judith says

    Do you think it’s possible to sub another cheese for swiss? I live in Japan, and swiss is hard to come by and very expensive.

    • Kate says

      I think any smooth melting cheese would be okay – cheddar or muenster, for example. It will of course have a bit of a different taste, but it will still be delicious!!

  8. Joyce says

    I’m sure we would all appreciate it if you would include nutritional information with your recipes, such as fat and calories.

    Ha, ha…..please don’t; that would spoil all the fun!

    I made this last night for breakfast today and will let you know how it turns out. Can’t wait!

  9. LeeAnne says

    Just fell onto your blog from a link to the walnut/bleu cheese/red grape/ skewer recipe — totally making that for the Christmas dinner in the neighborhood.

    My mind is blown by this Monte Cristo idea. First, I LOVE the Monte Cristo (jam included – now must find/make cranberry chipotle sauce – tip o’ the hat to Bill). The mind blowing bit is that you have hit on an idea for using Thanksgiving leftovers in a new dish that actually sounds like something I want to taste. Can I just say that the magazine trade needs to call a halt to all the patently unappetizing “recipe” ideas they tout every year. Please! Green bean casserole curry and turkey-n-dressing tacos are gross.

    I have Thanksgiving turkey and Honey Baked Ham that are ready to party together this weekend. Yay!! Thank you for this really brilliant post.

    • Kate says

      Hurray! You know, I wrote this recipe way before Thanksgiving and it didn’t even dawn on me that it would be great for leftover turkey…but of course it makes complete sense. So thank YOU! :)

Let's Talk!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *