Layers of Flavors – Ham & Cheese Bake

What I love about this recipe is that it challenges you to identify and enjoy each of the distinctive layers in this Ham & Cheese Bake. Another thing I love about this recipe is that it is soo simple to make – you just layer the ingredients and bake. One could even call it a baked ham & cheese sandwich. And taking it a step further, categorizing it as an open-faced Monte Cristo sandwich. I believe it qualifies – slightly. These are all good names, some describing this dish better than others. Let’s compare ingredients to get right down to it. 

Comparisons per single serving     * indicates no ingredient match
Ham & Cheese Bake Ham & Cheese Sandwich Monte Cristo
1 slice bread 2 slices bread 2 slices bread
1 to 1 ½ slices ham 1 to 2 slices of ham 1 to 2 thick slice of ham
1/4 cup variety of cheeses, grated 1 slice Swiss cheese 1 slice gruyere cheese
1 thin slice of onion * *
2 stalks of asparagus * *
White wine * *
S&P * S&P
* * Eggs
* Mayo Mayo & Mustard
* Butter Butter

According to Wikipedia:

Ham & Cheese Sandwich: “A ham and cheese sandwich is a common type of sandwich. It is made by putting cheese and sliced ham between two slices of bread. The bread is sometimes buttered and/or toasted. Vegetables like lettuce, tomato, onion or pickle slices can also be included. Various kinds of mustard and mayonnaise are also common.”

Monte Cristo Sandwich: “is an egg-dipped ham and cheese sandwich that is pan or deep fried, a variation of the French croque-monsieur. In the 1930s–1960s, American cookbooks had recipes for this sandwich under such names as “French sandwich”, “toasted ham sandwich”, and “French toasted cheese sandwich”. 

According to me (haha):

Ham & Cheese Bake: Some people consider this version a casserole, however, I do not. I think of it as a ham and cheese sandwich on steroids (kudos to extra vegetables included) conveniently baked (not fried). 

So let’s see how this sandwich stacks up!

Layer bread in a baking dish. I didn’t plan ahead and chose the wrong size dish for 4 portions, but it all worked out.

Thin slices of onion top the bread.

Asparagus and seasonings are the next layer. 

Ah the ham! I used deli sliced ham but ham slices leftover from a chunk of ham would be nice too.

The last layer is the cheese. I used three cheeses (swiss, mozzerella and cheddar). Photo only shows one cheese.

Layered and baked. I left it in the oven a little too long so it is more golden than I wanted, but that didn’t affect the taste. 

Layers of goodness melt in your mouth.

An easy meal for any night of the week! So layer away and enjoy!

Layers of Flavors - Ham & Cheese Bake

Yields 4

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  • 4 slices French or Italian bread
  • 5 thin slices white onion
  • 9 asparagus stalks
  • 6 thin slices cooked ham
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • Garlic blend (Spice Islands) to season
  • Butter


  1. PREP: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an ovenproof baking dish.
  2. Layer in order: bread, onion, asparagus, ham and cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic blend.
  3. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until cheese has melted and is golden in color.


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