Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese with raspberry jam is the ultimate sandwich. This healthy version is ready in minutes and perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Prepare to be wowed because it can be low-carb too!
Brunch? Lunch? Dinner? I'm not sure there's an occasion when this beloved sandwich isn't a popular choice. Have leftover ham? This is your recipe.
If this were Bennigan's or Disney World's original recipe, it would be deep-fried, which is the way I first enjoyed it.
But you can make it much healthier and easier by turning it into a grilled cheese sandwich.
Use keto chaffles or thin-sliced bread and sugar-free jam, and it becomes keto-friendly. Let that sink in!
There will always be a place in my heart for decadent versions and Monte Cristo Breakfast Casserole. But I'm happy I can enjoy this delicious sandwich any day of the week.
Here's what you'll need to make Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese and some changes you can make:
- Bread - absolutely any bread will work in this recipe. But, if you want to keep lower in carbs and on the healthy side, then use one of these options:
- Thin-sliced whole wheat bread, such as Dave's Killer Bread.
- Keto bread. These are popping up everywhere. I like the Aldi brand.
- Keto Chaffles. I LOVE this option! 3 ingredients Cauliflower Chaffles are perfect in this recipe.
- Cloud Bread - A savory version like the one we make with ricotta is delicious. (Leave out the garlic!)
- Ham - use nitrite-free if you can. The original Monte Cristo uses a combination of turkey and ham. An easy way to add more protein to this sandwich is to double up on the meat!
- Cheese - Swiss cheese and or the more easily melted Gruyère cheese are the best choices. I like Havarti cheese too! These will all give you the gooey center you want.
- Raspberry Jam - use sugar-free or low-sugar jam to keep this recipe low-carb and healthier. Strawberry and blackberry jams are also popular pairings.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Directions with Pictures
I've got a system down for making grilled cheese with jam that minimizes the mess and comes out perfectly crisp as a result of making way too many grilled cheese sandwiches for my kids!
It's not complicated. But, pictures along with some tips will make the point. Here we go for just one sandwich. Use the exact same method to prepare as many servings as desired.
- Lay out a slice of bread. Spread butter on the top side and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. It's important to completely cover the bread with butter to obtain an even crusty outside, which is easier with a tub of melted butter.
- Spread butter on one side of a second bread slice, sprinkle with cinnamon, and place it on the first slice of bread, butter sides together.
- Spread jam on the side that is now on top. Layer ham and cheese on top of the jam.
- Heat a very thin layer of oil over medium heat in a large pan or on a griddle. (I usually just spritz it!) Additional fat is not absolutely necessary, particularly if you've done a good job of buttering the bread completely. But I think it fills in any gaps. I like to cook it at a lower temperature so the cheese has a little extra time to melt.
- Lift the top piece of bread (with the jam, ham, and cheese) and place in the pan butter side down.
- Place the second slice of bread, butter-side up, on top of the slice of bread in the pan.
- Allow the sandwich to cook for 2-3 minutes, and then flip to the other side and cook for 2 minutes more. Both sides should be slightly brown and crusted but not burnt. Take a little peek at the bottom after about 1 and a half minutes to get an idea of the timing when you make the first one.
Remove the sandwich from the pan and repeat!
To serve, cut in half. Optionally, lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar and a little more raspberry jam for dipping.
What to serve with Monte Cristo Sandwiches
What you serve with this decadent grilled cheese sandwich may depend upon when you're enjoying it. It really is perfect for any meal. Here are some healthy ideas:
- Green Salad with Sweet Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing.
- Fruit - This fruit salad with quinoa would be nice.
- Sweet potato chips or another healthy alternative to chips.
- Raspberry or strawberry preserves for dipping.
- Cauliflower egg bites - These are kind of like a tater tot!
- Cole Slaw
- Raspberry or strawberry preserves for dipping.
- Chocolate covered raspberries are the perfect sweet ending!
More Family-Friendly Dinner Ideas
Did you make this recipe?
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Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese
- ¼ cup butter softened
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 slices thin-sliced whole wheat bread use keto bread or chaffles for no carbs
- 12 ounces ham we used deli ham; can also use a turkey/ham combination
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 1 Tablespoon sugar-free raspberry jam or strawberry, blackberry; more for dipping is optional
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil, canola oil
- Powdered sugar, optional
- Spread butter on ONE side of each slice of bread and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Spread jam on the un-buttered side of the bread.
- Build each sandwich by layering ham and cheese over the jam. The uncooked sandwich will be buttered on the outside and have all the other ingredients inside.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add sandwiches to skillet, in batches if necessary.
- Allow sandwiches to cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until each side is slightly crisped and golden brown and cheese is melted.
- Cut sandwiches in half, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with extra jam for dipping if desired.
- Low-carb changes: Use bread that is low in net carbs and sugar-free jam.
I have been dying to try a Monte Cristo at some point in my life: they sound like the perfect combo of sweet and savory. YUM!
Thanks! I hope you try one soon!
I thought I would miss the deep fried version, but I didn’t. It was perfect and will be my new comfort dish when I’m on a splurge. I still use the bread! But at least there’s no batter. Thanks for the recipe. Will be making again.
Your welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the skinnier version!