The Decadent Monte Cristo Made Skinny

Ahhh, the Monte Cristo. How wonderful to serve this dish for breakfast or brunch on the weekends.  This extravagant jewel is traditionally made with 2 slices of white bread, ham, turkey and a slice of cheese. It’s dipped in eggs and fried in gobs of butter. Finally, topped with jam and powdered sugar. One big problem-It has a ton of fat and calories. In fact, this deliciously decadent sandwich normally has 1122 calories and 69 grams of fat! This skinnier version has the same great taste, but contains 455 calories and 13 grams of fat per sandwich. If you’re looking to cut the calories and fat, a half of sandwich is still very satisfying.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes

Ingredients for Sandwich:

4 slice Eating Right (kids) Whole Grain Honey White Bread, wheat sourdough or sourdough, see shopping tips

4 ounces thinly sliced turkey breast

2 slices lean ham or turkey ham, thinly sliced

4 teaspoons reduced-sugar blackberry, boysenberry or your favorite preserves or jam (I love Trader Joe’s reduced sugar jams)

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon reduced-fat butter or reduced-fat spread such as Smart Balance Light

4 egg whites

2 teaspoons fat-free or reduced-fat milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

Ingredients for Topping:

4 teaspoons reduced-sugar blackberry, boysenberry or your favorite preserves or jam

4 teaspoons powdered sugar


1. To make the sandwich- Spread the outside of 4 slices bread with 1 teaspoon butter each. Flip bread over and spread each inside with 1 teaspoon of preserves or jam.

2. Layer the turkey, ham, and cheese on the 2 slice of bread spread with preserves.  Place remaining 2 slices on top to form sandwiches. The buttered sides should be on the outside.

3. Using a shallow bowl, whip together egg whites, milk and vanilla.

4. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, flip over and dip on other side  (just like making French toast)

5. In a non-stick pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Place dipped sandwiches in pan and grill over medium heat for approx 3 minutes on each side.  Cook until golden brown.  Remove from heat.

6.  To make topping-Spread the top of each sandwich with 1 teaspoon preserves and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

7.  Cut each in half and plate.  You’ll need a fork and knife to eat this sandwich.  Serve with a cup of fresh berries or sliced melon.

Makes 2 sandwiches. It’s so satisfying, it can serve 4, each with ½ sandwich.

Food Facts

Some food historians think the Monte Cristo is a variation of a French sandwich called Croque Monsieu, which is basically a grilled ham and cheese.  Although there are no documents to verify it, many feel the Monte Cristo was first served in Southern California in the 1950’s.  Disneyland in Anaheim, California also contributed to the trend of eating the Monte Cristo.  It first appeared in 1966 on the menu of their Blue Bayou and Tahitian terrace restaurants in the New Orleans Square. They still serve it today.

Shopping Tips

If you shop at Vons/Safeway, they sell a delicious bread called Eating Right (kids) Whole Grain Honey White Bread. For those of you who love the flavor of white bread, you’re going to love this bread.  It’s only 130 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber for 2 slices.  If you can’t find this bread substitute a wheat sourdough, or regular sourdough.

Prep Tip

To prepare several sandwiches- preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Cook 2-4 sandwiches at a time depending on your pan size.  Place the grilled sandwiches on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while the rest are being cooked.

Weight Watchers POINTS

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 sandwich
455 cal, 13g fat, 40g protein, 41g carbs, 3g fiber, 1063mg sodium, 18g sugar