Bennigan’s Monte Cristo Sandwich – talk about guiding the lilly! This deep-fried triple-decker sandwich is served up with raspberry preserves jelly.
With only 15 locations in the continental US, chances are you don’t live near a Bennigan’s and can’t get yourself one of their delicious Monte Cristo Sandwiches. But with my copycat recipe, you can make it any time you want in your own kitchen.
Monte Cristo Sandwich Origin
It is thought that the Monte Cristo sandwich was a variation of the classic, French, Croque Monsieur, which has a lot of variations of its own.
It was Disney that made it popular in the USA by serving it in restaurants at Disneyland Anaheim in the 1960s. From there, it spread across the land changing according to local tastes along the way.
Monte Cristo Sandwich recipes have evolved like barbecue sauce. They change according to where you are in the USA and the batter recipe is a tightly kept secret.
In many regions though, the Monte Cristo is a savory sandwich of fried ham and cheese.
Most often, it is dipped in its entirety in a batter and either pan-fried in butter or deep-fried in oil or fat. Other variations make the sandwich more sweet than savory. And still, others change out the ham for sliced turkey.
In some parts of the US, it is a closed, grilled sandwich. While in others, it is an open sandwich with only the bread battered and fried, then assembled as a sandwich before being heated slightly under a broiler.
Bennigan’s Monte Cristo sandwich is sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with preserves. This sandwich is crisp on the outside with layers of ham, turkey, American, and Swiss cheese on the inside.
Here’s a list of what you need:
- Wheat bread slices
- Deli turkey slices
- Deli ham slices
- American cheese slices
- Swiss cheese slices
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Vegetable oil for frying
How to Make Bennigan’s Monte Cristo
- Place turkey and Swiss cheese on one slice of bread and ham and American cheese on another slice of bread.
- Place a third bread slice in-between and use toothpicks to secure the triple-decker sandwich in the corners.
- Place the egg in a mixing bowl, add water, and beat together.
- Add salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder. Beat batter until smooth.
- Dip sandwich in batter and carefully cover all the sides and surfaces.
- Carefully place the dipped sandwich in hot oil and fry until golden.
- Remove the sandwich from the hot oil and place it on a paper towel.
- Let it cool for a few minutes before removing the toothpicks.
- Slice the sandwich into fourths and sprinkle with powder sugar.
- Serve with raspberry preserves, pickle garnish, and your favorite side order of French fried potatoes.
If you like French toast, then you will enjoy this sweet and savory, deep-fried, triple-decker sandwich, served with raspberry preserves for dipping.
Try your own variations by choosing different sandwich meats and cheeses or by experimenting with different pieces of bread.
Any way you slice it, you will love the classic Monte Cristo Sandwich.
Love Bennigan’s? Try these copycat recipes!
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Bennigan’s Monte Cristo Sandwich
- 9 slices Wheat bread
- 3 slices Deli turkey
- 3 slices Deli ham
- 3 slices American cheese
- 3 slices Swiss cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- vegetable oil for frying
- Place turkey and Swiss cheese on one slice of bread and ham and American cheese on another slice of bread. Place third slice in-between and secure the triple-decker sandwich in the corners with toothpicks.
- Place egg in mixing bowl, add water and beat together. Add salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder. Beat batter until smooth.
- Dip sandwich in batter and carefully cover all the sides and surface. Carefully place in hot oil and fry until golden. When the sandwich has turned a warm gold color remove it from the hot oil and place it on a paper towel. Let cool for a few minutes before removing the toothpicks. Before serving slice into fourths and sprinkle with powder sugar.
- Serve with raspberry preserves, pickle garnish, and your favorite French fried potatoes.