All the flavors of a decadent Croque-Monsieur in a no-fuss crowd pleasing cake. Looking for the ultimate comfort food? Don’t bother making individual portions—Try this family-size version the classic French bistro sandwich instead, with ham, Gruyere, and a delicious spinach bechamel sauce. Kids will love it! This recipe is so versatile: You can substitute any type of ham, cheese or vegetable and make your own twist.
Ingredients list for the Ham Cheese Spinach Cake
For the bechamel sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (240ml) warm milk
- 1 pinch of salt
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Ground nutmeg (optional)
- Sandwich bread slices
- 1/2 lb (220g) sliced cooked ham
- 2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped
- 1 cup cheddar (or Swiss cheese), grated
1. Pre-heat your oven to 360°F (180°C).
2. Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add flour and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes pale golden with a slightly nutty aroma.
3. Pour warm milk in 2 steps, stirring constantly with wooden spoon and whisk until smooth. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly along the bottom of the saucepan, until boiling, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer gently until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. If you still have lumps, break them down with your immersion blender!
4. Stir in spinach and cook for 1 minute. Add cheese and stir well. Set the bechamel aside.
5. Line bread slices in the bottom of a buttered loaf pan (cut them to adjust if necessary). Arrange one layer of ham, then spread one layer of bechamel sauce. Repeat the process with bread, ham, bechamel and finish with additional grated cheese on top.
6. Bake in the oven at 360°F(180°C) for 25 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minute before serving directly from the pan with a crisp salad.
Note: You can line the loaf pan with parchment paper if you want to un-mold and serve the ham and cheese spinach cake.