Can't decide whether you want something sweet or savory? Make an air fryer Monte Cristo! This unique sandwich satisfies all your cravings at once. It's like a combination of French Toast and a panini. In less than 20 minutes, you'll have this tasty twist on a ham and cheese sandwich perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
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Table of Contents
- Air Fryer Brunch Recipes
- What is a Monte Cristo Sandwich?
- Why You'll Love This Monte Cristo Sandwich Air Fryer Recipe
- What's in a Monte Cristo sandwich?
- Monte Cristo Ingredients
- Best Bread for Monte Cristo Sandwich
- Best Cheese for Monte Cristo
- Equipment Needed
- How to Make a Monte Cristo in an Air Fryer
- Recipe Variations
- What to Serve with Monte Cristo Sandwiches
- Monte Cristo Side Dish
- How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
- More Sandwich Recipes
Air Fryer Brunch Recipes
Using your air fryer will save you so much time. You'll save time cooking it and cleaning it up! An air fryer Monte Cristo is the perfect brunch sandwich because it tastes like a sweet breakfast pastry, but it's as filling and savory as a hearty entree.
In fact, one of the best things about a brunch is that you can combine sweet breakfast foods with savory lunch choices. So serve up some savory lunch faves like Air Fryer Grilled Cheese, Air Fryer Quesadillas, and Air Fryer Hot Dogs.
What is a Monte Cristo Sandwich?
A Monte Cristo sandwich is a French-inspired sandwich typically consisting of ham, turkey, and cheese that is battered and deep-fried, similar to a French toast. The sandwich is then often dusted with powdered sugar and served with jam or syrup.
Origin and History of the Monte Cristo Sandwich
The origin of the Monte Cristo sandwich is debated. It is believed to have been first created in the United States, possibly in the early 1900s. Some attribute the creation of the sandwich to a chef at the New York City Waldorf Astoria Hotel, while others claim it was invented by a chef at a California cafe.
Because the origin of the sandwich isn't clear, it is difficult to know exactly who invented the Monte Cristo sandwich.
Through the years, the sandwich gained popularity in the United States in the mid-20th century and can now be found at restaurants across the country. It has also been adopted and adapted in other countries, with variations featuring different types of meat, cheese, and bread.
Croque Monsieur vs Monte Cristo Sandwich
Both the Croque Monsieur and Monte Cristo are French-inspired sandwiches that feature ham and cheese. The Monte Cristo sandwich is battered, deep-fried, and served with jam. The Croque Monsieur is toasted or grilled and is served with bechamel sauce.
Monte Cristo Day
This tasty sandwich is celebrated annually on September 17th. So mark your calendar and remember to make it on National Monte Cristo Day.
Can you make a Monte Cristo sandwich in an air fryer?
Yes, you certainly can! You don't need to deep fry this tasty sandwich. So get ready to learn all about a Monte Cristo not fried in oil. It's air fried to achieve all the crispiness and have the same incredible flavor.
Why You'll Love This Monte Cristo Sandwich Air Fryer Recipe
This Monte Cristo sandwich recipe is incredibly easy, even for beginning cooks that have never seen or tasted one before. If you can make a sandwich, you can make this!
Air fryer Monte Cristo is the ultimate combination of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and French toast. You'll love how these flavors layer on top of each other to create a sandwich that imprints itself on your memory.
What's in a Monte Cristo sandwich?
A classic Monte Cristo sandwich is made with sliced bread, ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese. It is battered and fried until browned and crispy. In this recipe, I used a french toast batter and air fried for a whole new experience.
This recipe has raspberry jam in the sandwich. If you prefer a savory sandwich, you can leave it out or use Dijon mustard instead.
Monte Cristo Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for the Monte Cristo batter:
- Milk - dairy-free versions can also be used
- Vanilla extract
- Ground black pepper
- Ground nutmeg
Here's what you'll need for the sandwich:
- Thick sliced bread - I like to use fresh bakery bread such as brioche, sour dough, or challah
- Deli or leftover ham
- Thin sliced turkey
- Swiss or Gruyere cheese slices
- Raspberry jam
- Powdered sugar
- Non-stick cooking spray
Best Bread for Monte Cristo Sandwich
You need thick-sliced bread for this Monte Cristo air fryer recipe.
What kind of bread for Monte Cristo sandwich is up to you. Texas toast is a great white bread option. You can also use sourdough, French, Italian, or whole wheat.
You can also use French toast - it's a great way to use pre-made French toast or any leftovers you have on hand.
Best Cheese for Monte Cristo
A traditional Monte Cristo is made with Swiss cheese. You can use Gruyere, American, Cheddar, or Monterey Jack cheese (or a combination of them). The best one is the type of cheese you prefer for a ham and turkey sandwich.
- Air Fryer
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Mixing Bowls
- Mixing Spoon or Whisk
How to Make a Monte Cristo in an Air Fryer
To prepare the batter:
- In a large bowl, crack eggs and add milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and seasonings.
- Whisk together.
To assemble and air fry the sandwich:
- Spread raspberry jam on one side of each sandwich. Add a slice of cheese and then a slice of ham on the other slice of bread.
- Top the ham on each sandwich with two slices of turkey.
- Add the remaining slice of cheese on top of the turkey slices.
- Place the raspberry jam-sliced bread on top to complete the sandwich.
- Dip the sandwich into the egg batter and let it sit for about 30 seconds. Pick up and let the excess drip off.
- Turn over and dip the other side of the sandwich into the batter for the same amount of time and again allow the excess mixture drip off. Repeat with other sandwich.
- After air fryer has preheated to 380 degrees for 5 minutes, spray with a nonstick spray. Carefully place sandwiches in the air fryer basket.
- Air Fry for 8 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Carefully remove from air fryer and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Cut into quarters and serve with a side of raspberry jam and some fresh fruit.
As with most sandwiches, a Monte Cristo can be adapted to suit your taste and preferences. Here are a few ideas:
- Bacon Monte Cristo - Add some cooked and crispy bacon to the sandwich.
- Chicken Monte Cristo - Substitute the ham and turkey with chicken, either deli slices or leftover chicken.
- Turkey Monte Cristo - Leave out the ham and use only turkey. Substitute the raspberry jam with cranberry sauce.
What to Serve with Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Raspberry jam is the most popular dipping sauce served with a Monte Cristo sandwich. But there are more Monte Cristo sauce options:
- Cranberry Sauce
- Honey Mustard Sauce
- Maple Syrup
- Marinara Sauce
- Red Currant Jelly
Monte Cristo Side Dish
Here are some sides to serve with Monte Cristo sandwiches:
- French Fries
- Fresh Fruit
- Hash Browns
- Potato Chips
- Potato Salad
- Simple Green Salad
- Tomato Soup
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
It is best to serve a Monte Cristo sandwich fresh and warm. It can become soggy once cooled down. However, if you have extra here's what you do:
To Store: Place the sandwich in an airtight container or plastic zip-top bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To Freeze: Place the sandwich in a freezer-safe container or plastic freezer bag. Freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
To Reheat in Air Fryer: Place the sandwich in a preheated air fryer at 350°F for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through air frying.
To Reheat in the Oven: Place the sandwich on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes.
More Sandwich Recipes
- Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon
- Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Pockets
- Brie & Prosciutto Panini from What a Girl Eats
- Hawaiian Roll Breakfast Sliders
Find lots of easy air fryer recipes right here on 2CM!
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Air Fryer Monte Cristo
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 thick slices bread
- 2 slices ham or 4 deli thin slices
- 4 deli thin-sliced turkey
- 4 slices swiss or gruyere cheese
- 1-2 Tablespoons raspberry jam for sandwiches + more for dipping
- Garnish: powdered sugar
- Preheat air fryer to 380 for 5 minutes.
- Mix all ingredients for the batter in a large wide-mouthed bowl.
- Lay bread slices out. Spread jam on one side of each sandwich.
- Layer a slice of cheese, a slice of ham and 2 slices of turkey then top with another slice of cheese.
- Put the jam-spread bread on top of ham and cheese layered bread. Press down slightly or place an iron skillet on top for a few minutes.
- Dip each sandwich in batter, each side for 30-seconds, then let excess drip off.
- Place in preheated air fryer that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and cook for 8 minutes, turning hallway through.
- Serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and a side of jam for dipping.
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