With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, I’ve been testing out all sorts of different casseroles, desserts, and turkey recipes. Some, like the Green Bean Casserole, are healthy. Others are not. This Turkey and Cranberry Croque Monsieur would fall into the latter category. This is the perfect recipe to use leftover turkey, but works just as well with deli sliced turkey.
I fell in love with my Brie Croque Monsieur, so I decided to make a few small changes to incorporate leftover turkey. First, I substituted cranberry sauce for the mustard. I always seem to have a huge jar of leftover homemade cranberry sauce each year (none of the canned stuff here!). Second, I switched to leftover turkey from the black forest ham. Then, just add a little bit of turkey bacon for a crunch and you’ve got a delicious Turkey and Cranberry Croque Monsieur.
To lighten up this recipe, I started experimenting with the béchamel sauce. A béchamel is just butter, flour, and regular milk. This time, I tried using almond milk since it’s a bit healthier than regular milk. The flavor was a bit different from a regular béchamel, but that was expected. However, it was surprisingly delicious. I am definitely inspired to use almond milk in more of my recipes!
I left the regular milk in the list of ingredients for this recipe, but feel free to make the substitution like I did!
- 6 thick slices bread
- 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- Dash nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 cup Gruyere, grated
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
- 12 oz turkey
- 6 slices turkey bacon
- 5 oz Brie
- 6 tbsp cranberry sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat. The milk should be hot, but do not allow it to boil. Leave the milk over a low flame while preparing the béchamel sauce.
- In a separate medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes. The mixture will almost resemble wet scrambled eggs at first, then begin to turn toward a golden color. Just as it starts to turn golden, slowly add the hot milk while stirring constantly.
- Once all of the milk has been added, whisk vigorously. Continue stirring until the béchamel sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
- Add 1/2 cup Gruyere, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg to the béchamel. Stir until smooth.
- Place the slices of bread side-by-side on a cookie sheet then bake in the preheated oven for 3-5 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional minute to toast the bread. Once toasted, spread up to two tablespoons of cranberry sauce on three of the slices. Place a few slices of turkey, turkey bacon, and Brie on top of the cranberry sauce. Top with the plain slice of toast.
- Cover the top piece of bread with a few spoonfuls of the cheese béchamel sauce. Grate the remaining Gruyere over the béchamel sauce.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the top is bubbly and light brown. Allow the croque monsieur to cool slightly before enjoying.