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Vegetarian Monte Cristo – a Meatless Recipe by

Meatless Monte Cristo

Ooey, gooey, decadent, kind of crazy … this meatless Monte Cristo is definitely that. Bunny food, no. Unless your bunny happens to love uber-cheesy bliss in the form of a rich, golden brown, batter-dipped grilled cheese sandwich. It’s a big, giant, slightly smoky, melty, golden-brown, lightly sweet grilled cheese that’s just basically heaven, especially when dipped into a little strawberry jam.


Meatless Monte Cristo

Meatless Monte Cristo

A Monte Cristo for the meatless bunch. Smoked cheddar and Swiss melted between layers of egg-battered bread, and then fried until golden brown and perfectly melty. And then it's served with strawberry jam. Yes, seriously!
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 4 slices Artisan sourdough bread
  • 2 ounces smoked cheddar cheese thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces Swiss cheese thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Confectioner's sugar and strawberry jam for serving


  • Lay two pieces of bread flat and place the cheese slices on top, keeping the cheese inside the border of the bread. Top each with a second slice of bread.
  • In a flat 8x8 baking dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and nutmeg.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. One at a time, carefully set the sandwiches in the batter for a couple of seconds each, then turn once to coat the other side. Transfer to the skillet, taking care to hold the sandwiches together.
  • Cook the sandwiches until the cheese begins to melt and the bread turns golden, 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip the sandwiches over and use a spatula to gently press them down, concentrating on the edges to help seal them a bit. Cook until the second side is browned and the cheese is completely melted.
  • Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut them in half. Set on plates and dust lightly with confectioner's sugar, if desired. Serve with strawberry jam for dipping.
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  • Reply
    Holly Waterfall
    January 29, 2014 at 7:58 am

    HOLY sandwich! That melty… yeah, i’m pretty much drooling over here. I’ve never tried a monte cristo, but this may just be the push I needed to make it happen!

    • Reply
      Kare Troughton
      January 30, 2014 at 10:25 am

      YES, do it! Come to the dark (and ooey gooey) side. 😉

  • Reply
    Julia Mueller
    January 29, 2014 at 8:26 am

    YUM! Monte Cristos have been one of my family’s lunch favorites for as long as I can remember, and I’m definitely down to try the meatless version! Ooey goo me, sister!

    • Reply
      Kare Troughton
      January 30, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Regular Monte Cristos for lunch = you have the most awesome family ever. Adopt me?

  • Reply
    marquis @realrawkitchen
    January 29, 2014 at 8:53 am

    This is genius! The Monte Cristo sandwich was my favorite way back in the day so I have a feeling I’d love this as well. I rarely eat cheese-usually for very special occasion (that’s how I view cheese: very, very special)-but I feel like this would be worth it. It’s the ultimate grilled cheese!

    • Reply
      Kare Troughton
      January 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I really need to adopt that way of thinking when it comes to cheese. It is SUCH a major weakness of mine!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I could make a serious dent in this!

  • Reply
    Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe
    January 29, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I’ve never had the chance to try a Monte Cristo sandwich but I’m sure this meatless version is even better than the original!

    xo, Elisa

    • Reply
      Kare Troughton
      January 30, 2014 at 10:20 am

      You definitely don’t miss the meat. It just comes across as a big, ooey ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. But, you know, covered in egg batter and served with jam! 😉

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    January 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I am thinking that I just might have to try out a vegan version of this! It sounds delicious! I am a big-time sweet/savory fan.

    • Reply
      Kare Troughton
      January 30, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Be sure to share if you do! The only part I wouldn’t be sure about is the egg-based batter. Maybe flax eggs and almond milk?

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Oh I am so in – loving the smoked cheddar and the side of jam is a must!

    • Reply
      Kare Troughton
      January 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

      It’s such a crazy combo, but it totally works. 🙂

  • Reply
    Meg @ Beard and Bonnet
    January 29, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Holy cow! I just drooled on my keyboard. I need that sandwich in my life.:)

    • Reply
      Kare Troughton
      January 30, 2014 at 10:14 am

      You won’t regret it! 😉

  • Reply
    January 29, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I was basically a Monte Cristo addict in college (freshman 15, anyone?) and I have occasionally missed them since going veg. I’m so excited to see this version! The smoky cheese sounds like the perfect meat substitute!

    • Reply
      Kare Troughton
      January 30, 2014 at 10:13 am

      I can see how they would become addicting! Occasional splurge though … you’ve gotta! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 30, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Tillamook!! Oh my goodness, I could eat Tillamook cheese every day and die a happy woman. I’m so thankful that it’s getting easier to find out here in the Midwest! I’m not sure if you’re in an area where you can visit their factory, but I highly recommend it.

    In other news, this sandwich looks delicious! I know what I’m having for lunch today. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 12, 2014 at 7:34 am

    i love these. it looks delish!

  • Reply
    Kelly Bucheger
    June 28, 2014 at 10:23 am

    In my apparently cloistered existence, I’ve never had a Monte Christo before, so let me first state the obvious: this sandwich is absurd — french toast, dusted with powdered sugar, meets smokey cheese, served with jam. The result was indeed absurd and … killin’! Yum! Absurd! Yum again!

    We’ll be repeat this over and over. My only caveat with this recipe is that one cook’s “medium” could be another cook’s “medium low”: my heat was too high, so that the sandwiches browned way too fast for the cheese to fully melt and become even more absurd. Even with the cheese not entirely melted, this killed, and we ate it greedily, with plenty of jam. Absurd.

    To contrast the richness and unctuousness of the sandwich, the plan had been to serve it with tart apple slices drizzled with dark cherry balsamic vinegar, which made it to the plate, and bitterish greens served with a mustardy vinaigrette, which didn’t make it to the plate, since the sandwiches browned up too quickly for the chef to make that happen. So that’ll be next time.

    Meanwhile: hats off, this was great, make it if you haven’t — just watch the heat!

    • Reply
      Kare Raye
      June 28, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. So glad you liked the recipe! And good tip on the heat. It’s best to err on the low and slow side when it comes to grilled cheese! And your tart apple slices + dark cherry balsamic vinegar addition – holy yum!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Hi Kare(your name kinda means butter in my mother tongue 🙂
    Can I translate your recipes?with credit to your blog.Maybe you answered this question somewhere bud answer it again please.
    TnQ ^^

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      July 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      Sure, you can translate one or two recipes from our site, but we’d prefer no more than that. Thanks!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    1 star
    I don’t eat starchy read of any kind, I don’t use milk with lactose, the milk sugar brand of sugar, I don ‘t ever use or add sugar to any recipe so there’s very little reason for me to use this recipe. Keeping my blood sugar more normal without eating any high blood sugar producing STARCH in all bread is more important to me. So this recipe is not for me at all.

  • Reply
    [email protected] Organics
    June 26, 2018 at 1:48 am

    My kind of sandwich… I’ve never tried Monte Cristo before and it looks so yummy. Can’t wait to rock this recipe on my kitchen. Thanks for the recipe.

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