Chicken Cordon Bleu

Don’t get me wrong…I love classic chicken cordon bleu in all its gloriousness. I really do. But sometimes I want an easier way. Less work but same delicious flavors and taste.

Enter Chicken Cordon Bleu the Easy Way. Simply put, boneless, skinless chicken breast halves are cut in half lengthwise to make two thinner chicken breast cutlets. Single layered in a baking dish, they are topped with ham, swiss cheese and buttery bread crumbs and baked to golden perfection. Served with a creamy Parmesan-Dijon sauce, and this easier chicken cordon bleu is just as satisfying as the original without all the fuss of pounding, rolling and toothpicking. Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe is whisking the sauce together while the chicken bakes (and if you’ve been around here long enough you knew I had to come up with a cream-of-chicken-soup-free sauce – your sauce-loving lips will never be the same after this simple, homemade, creamy version).

Sure, this easy version isn’t quite as pretty as the real thing, but when your hungry husband and four boys are guzzling down dinner like they haven’t eaten in a year, then pretty is really the last thing they have on their minds, let’s be serious.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

What To ServeRoasted Asparagus or steamed peas
Simple Rice Pilaf
Spinach Salad with Sweet-Spicy Nuts, Apples, Feta & Bacon or Strawberry Spinach Salad

One Year Ago: Ultimate Stuffed Zucchini
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles
Three Years Ago: Pumpkin Bars

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Yield: Serves 6

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Note: fresh bread crumbs here make all the difference. I save the heels of my bread stashed in the freezer for just a recipe like this when I need to grind up fresh bread crumbs quickly in my blender or food processor. Also, try to find really thick chicken breasts – it makes it easier to cut them in half lengthwise and still have a good-sized portion.

Ingredients

    For the Cordon Bleu:
  • 3 large chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise (to form two thinner chicken breast cutlets)
  • 12 slices deli ham
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 to 1/2 pound thinly sliced swiss cheese
  • For the Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube, crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter. Set aside.
  2. Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the 9X13-inch dish. Layer each chicken breast with two slices of ham and top with 2 slices of swiss cheese, shingling across the chicken breast to make sure the entire chicken breast is covered with ham and cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the chicken.
  3. Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden.
  4. While the chicken bakes, in a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly, while cooking the flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules and salt. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm until the chicken is finished baking.
  5. Serve each chicken cordon bleu portion with warm sauce.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: Assemble the chicken, ham and cheese according to the recipe. Store the prepared bread crumb/butter mixture in a resealable plastic bag or other container. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and store it and the bread crumb mixture in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. When ready to bake, sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and bake according to the recipe, adding anywhere from 5-15 extra minutes since it was refrigerated prior to baking. Make the sauce while the casserole bakes or make it ahead of time, let it cool, and store it covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, reheating over low heat and whisking to recombine before serving.

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/chicken-cordon-bleu-the-easy-way/

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

95 Responses to Chicken Cordon Bleu {The Easy Way!}

  1. Ali says:

    What a delicious and quick version of classic Chicken Cordon bleu Mel. It looks so decadent. The warm Parmesan Dijon Cream Sauce sounds heavenly. Thank you so much for another wonderful recipe. I love your site & the recipe so much. :) Have a great week!

  2. StephenC says:

    Beautifully done!

  3. adrienne says:

    Looks good! What kind of chicken bouillon granules do you use? I need a decent brand recommendation to have around the pantry…

  4. kandi v says:

    Thanks for thinking of me yet again Mel! I have been wondering for awhile what to do with my bread heels. Looking forward to making this! :)

  5. Kim in MD says:

    You have done it again, Mel! That looks like the most delicious Chicken Cordon Bleu ever! The sauce must be especially yummy…my family will love this! :-)

  6. April says:

    I think I’ll have this for dinner tonight! So nice when you already have everything on hand.

  7. ashley says:

    you are a dear! this is the dish my husband requested for fathers day and i was dreading the pounding and rolling. i am going to give this recipe a try. love your site and share it with EVERYONE!

  8. Megan H. says:

    mmm Chicken cordon bleu is my favorite! I cant wait to try this version! Thanks so much.

  9. I love this stress free, hassle free version of an old favorite!

  10. Marnie says:

    This looks great! Can hardly wait to try it. Thanks. :)

  11. Kim S. says:

    Mel–when you say to cut them in half so that they’re thinner, do you mean thinner as in side to side thinner (about the shape of a chicken strip), or do you mean thinner as in top to under side thinner? Clear as mud? Haha! Thanks for an easier take on a great meal classic! I’ll try it soon! –Kim

  12. Heather says:

    I tried this tonight for dinner. We all loved it! The only comment I have is that the sauce is saltier than Lot’s wife!! :) I would probably omit the salt, because the boullion and parmesan alone do the trick. At least for me. Thanks for the great recipe!

  13. Okay, seriously!? I keep thinking I should try chicken cordon blue this way and have yet to do it. It’s so nice to see you were able to pull out and pull off the ideas swirling around in my head! Sweet! I, too save the heels of breads just for breadcrumbs. Makes me feel a bit more frugal and I love that!

  14. elise says:

    made this tonight! it was soo easy that i was able to throw it together with my 4 little boys in the kitchen with me. i used chicken tenders because that was what i had and they worked great. it was so delicious i don’t think i will make it any other way…unless it’s for company ha ha! thank you so much i love your recipes!

  15. Sara says:

    I am new to your website over the last few months and LOVE your recipes! One of my good friends shared it with me and our family is loving the good cooking in our house. I am excited to make this Chicken. It looks easy and delicious. Thank you for what you do!

  16. teresa says:

    mel, you seriously saved us from a night of nasty leftovers or expensive pizza. i always know i can count on your site. this was delicious and SO easy. the sauce was awesome too. i linked this up on facebook. thanks for such awesome recipes!

  17. cindy says:

    I’m going to try this with chicken tenders–that’s what’s in the freezer. The sauce looks yummy, I will watch the salt amount unless you have chicken granules that are salt free.
    Love your site–but I think I’ve already mentioned that!

  18. Kira says:

    I have a similar recipe my mom has always made, but we always end up dipping in ranch or something since the recipe has no sauce. We will definitely be adding the sauce to our recipe! Thanks. You really are brilliant.

  19. Emily M says:

    Mel, I love all your chicken cordon bleu recipes. I’ve tried both the breadbowls and the casserole and love them both. I’m excited to try this one too. I’m sure it won’t let me down. None of your stuff ever does!

  20. Tiffany says:

    I made this on Friday night for dinner, and it was great! There was only one small problem – my sauce was not saucy at all! It was really really really thick. I don’t know if I cooked the flour mixture too long, but it seemed to thicken up way before the 3-5 min was up. I even whisked in extra milk at the end to try to loosen it up, but it didn’t help much. The chicken definitely needed the sauce for flavor, in my opinion. But the leftover sauce used the next night was really just bad, but not in a flavor way – just texture! It was a giant glob! Any ideas on how to fix that for next time? Because this was yummy (and SO easy), so there’ll definitely be a next time!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Tiffany – not sure why your sauce was so thick! If you make it again, either increase the liquid or decrease the butter/flour ratio, but honestly, I’m kind of bemused why it would have cooked up so thick and so quickly. Mine is definitely on the runnier side of thick when I make it.

  21. Julianne says:

    This recipe (both recipes, actually) = PERFECTION. Never going to mess with the real cordon bleu, this is now my absolute go-to for this meal. HOORAY, you ‘ve done it again!

  22. Jennifer G. says:

    My 14 year old daughter made this for dinner this week. It was delish and I would make it again. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Tracey says:

    This recipe ROCKS my world! Thanks so much for posting it! It’s SO easy, and SO delicious! I actually got to thinking that this recipe could be altered in many ways….as in you could pile anything on that chicken, add a little bread crumb, and you’re good to go!!
    I made a chicken parmesan version….chicken cutlets, topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and the homemade bread crumbs. It was delicious and my 3-year-old gobbled it up, which is kindof a miracle! It turned out a little liquidy, but my husband actually had the idea to put pasta underneath to soak up some of the liquid, so I’ll have to give that a shot next time. :)

  24. From one mom of boys to another, thanks for the recipe that left my kids speechless (because they were eating). I posted this today…http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/09/easy-chicken-cordon-bleu.html

    Christy

  25. Alicia says:

    I made this last night for dinner. When my son found out I was making Chicken Cordon Bleu he asked every 5 minutes if it was done yet. He scarfed up his piece in about 5 seconds. My husband said, and I quote “that was great, make that again.” Overall I would say it was a resounding sucess and will be put into “my favorites” folder. Served with rice pilaf and roasted Brussels sprouts.

  26. Judy says:

    Another winner!!! My husband said he was getting tired of chicken, but that this was really good. Easy and yummy!

  27. Angie says:

    Made this recipe last night and it was delicious! The only change I would make is leave out the additional salt in the sauce. Will be making this again soon!

  28. Hey, Mel! I saw this recipe on Pinterest, but it was a photo from another blog who made your recipe and posted their experience. Glad she linked back to you so I could thank you for the recipe. (I also changed the URL of my Pin so it leads to this post) I have it in the oven now–can’t wait to try it! We are having it with asparagus and roasted baby potatoes.

  29. [...] 1. dinner tonight was mel’s easy chicken cordon bleu. [...]

  30. Michelle Watabe says:

    Mel, I hadn’t really been in the mood to cook for a few months and I finally got reinspired from your blog! I am actually excited to make dinner again! I’ve never attempted C.C.B. b/c it seemed way too labor intensive and I also O.D.ed on the store bought kind at the Cannon Center at BYU. I made this tonight and it was delicious!!! I used chicken tenderloins because that’s what I had. I bundled two together and wrapped a large piece of deli ham around it. It worked great. The only thing was, I feared the sauce would be too salty but didn’t follow my gut and wished I had. I ended up adding quite a bit of water to the sauce until the salt was toned down. I agree with a few of the other commenters to let the bullion, worcestershire and parm do their thing without the additional salt. I will be making this for years to come! You have the best food blog around!

  31. [...] love Chicken Cordon Bleu. But it always seemed like too much work. Then I saw a tip from Melanie at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Instead of pounding out the chicken breast, rolling it up, and securing with toothpicks, she uses [...]

  32. Liz says:

    I made this the other night and we loved it! I didn’t have parmesan so I subbed more swiss in the cheese sauce. Turned out wonderful! Thanks Mel!

  33. Jenn says:

    I made this tonight and it is EXCELLENT but I had the same (minor) problems as Tiffany and Michelle Watabe. The sauce thickened up before the three-minute mark and ended up thicker than pancake batter and very sticky. Next time I’ll use more milk and/or not cook it as long. It was also *incredibly* salty which was unfortunate because the flavor was oh. so. good. Next time I’d either leave out the salt or just use a couple shakes.

  34. Jenn says:

    It surprises me that I haven’t commented on this recipe yet because I’ve made it twice now. Another slam dunk! I’ve successfully made the encased chicken cordon bleu only once in my life (using one of your posted recipes, of course), but this will be my go to recipe when ever I want the dish now. The other way is such a hassle!! The sauce is delicious (admittedly my sauce turns out thick too), and such a great compliment to the chicken. Thanks again for another great recipe!!

  35. Sylv says:

    This recipe was the hit of our recent dinner.- Although I am a bit tired of the process at this point since we served 100 people. We actually cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise and in half again since the pieces were so large. It turned out perfect. I doubled the bread crumbs to make them a little more crispy. We were able to fit 8 breasts in one 9×13 pan. As for the sauce, I used fat free milk and did just a pinch of salt, since I figured the ham and the mustard, as well as the cheese would give us enough salt. It was delicious!!!

  36. Hi can i just fry the chicken cordon bleu o just steam it?what if there is no oven availabale?

  37. Mel says:

    Karen – it’s worth a try. I’ve never made it anyway other than the recipe states so if you don’t have an oven, you can try pan-frying the chicken, covering the skillet and letting it cook through on the stovetop.

  38. [...] be surfing Pinterest today. Wednesday: Easy chicken cordon bleu. I like Mel’s recipe here. Serving it with rice pilaf.Thursday: Pulled pork and chips. Somehow I forgot to make this. Could [...]

  39. Trayce says:

    My husband loved this! It was so easy and fast. I laughed when I saw your comment “cream of chicken soup – free sauce”, because I skip over any recipe that calls for it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  40. mark says:

    Americas Test Kitchen recipe cuts a pocket in the chicken breast stuffing the ham & cheese inside then breaded in ritz cracker. Why not use heavy cream instead of milk in the sauce?

  41. Marek says:

    For those of you looking for bouillon substitutions, I used Better Than Bouillon with success!

  42. Amanda says:

    Trying this tonight!! There is not a recipe on here I have tried that my whole family hasnt loved so I am sure it will be a hit!!! We barely eat anything that isnt on your website any more!!!

  43. Darla says:

    This was excellent. I used pepper jack cheese instead of the traditional Swiss. Loved by all around the table. Is now in the rotation!! So much easier than pounding and stiffing and rolling only to have the cheese melt out!

  44. Menu Mondays says:

    [...] easy chicken cordon bleu, wild rice, green [...]

  45. Trish says:

    This was fabulous! My whole family loved it, including my toddler!

  46. [...] fourth course was an easy recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu (found here). It tuned out quite well. I have never made it before, but I was pleased with the results. [...]

  47. [...] that made chicken cordon bleu manageable and decided to adapt it from there. The recipe I found is here. From this, I mainly stole the sauce [...]

  48. Beth says:

    I made this tonight and everyone thought it was delicious. I had some leftover cheese sauce I will make Chicken Parmesan and use it up.

  49. Megan Guevara says:

    I think I might play with the ham cheese and chicken a little but no alteration on the sauce. It was flat out he best sauce I have made. Maybe leave out the salt but wow. Thank you. Had to pin this to Pinterest for later.

  50. Jenny says:

    I made this last night for a friend who has been ill and WOW! I wanted to dive into the sauce pan and swim around in all it’s creamy goodness. Way better than the doctored up cream of chicken sludge I usually serve with chicken. Thanks for a great recipe. It’s a keeper!

  51. robin young says:

    Yummy and delicious! Will definitely repeat again.

  52. annemarie says:

    Very good, such a nice change from the everyday chicken breasts we’re so used to. Served with fresh broccoli and sauce was a great addition to that also.

  53. Meredith says:

    Awesome! I never have the cream of chicken soup for all of these recipes I see online. I don’t ever need to buy it….this sauce is delicious!!!! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  54. melanie anderson says:

    This is the best I have tasted! So yummy, thanks

  55. Theresa says:

    Hi Mel,
    This recipe looks amazing, however, I’m a little confused, please help me out. You are taking three chicken breasts and cutting them in half to make six. That part I get, but when you are topping them with the cheese and ham, are you putting the bread crumbs directly on top of the cheese or topping it with the other half of chicken then putting the bread crumbs? I’m thinking based on your serving size that you are topping the layers of chicken, ham, cheese, then bread crumbs to make a sort of open faced chicken cordon bleu….would that be correct?
    Thanks for your help!

  56. Mel says:

    Theresa – there is not a double layer of chicken – the chicken is topped with the ham, cheese and bread crumbs and baked that way.

  57. [...] to pound the chicken and stuff it with cheese and ham—this recipe (discovered on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog) is super simple and tastes the same as the fancier stuffed version. And the sauce adds an [...]

  58. Janet says:

    I’m looking forward to trying this, thanks for sharing your recipe!

  59. Joanne says:

    We made our chicken cordon bleu in the traditional way but were looking for a sauce to complement it. The sauce in this recipe worked perfectly. It thickened up right away, so we quickly added more milk, and yes, chicken stock, to the mix. Worked like a charm. I do have a question though. We have a lot of leftover sauce…what could we use it with?

  60. Mel says:

    Joanne – you could freeze the leftover sauce or thin it out a bit (warmed through) and serve it over rice for a pretty simple meal.

  61. Shannon says:

    I wonder it the saltiness for some is from the chicken bouillon. I bought a big jar of powdered chicken bouillon that was so salty it over powered everything else. I really like the Better than Bouillon paste–so much flavor and not too salty.

  62. Mackenzie says:

    This was absolutely delicious! I didn’t add salt to the sauce and it was still perfect! The dijon sauce really made the meal! Thanks for a delicious meal!

  63. [...] One Year Ago: AB’s Biscuits   Chicken Cordon Bleu From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe   Ingredients: 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half (like you’re butterflying, [...]

  64. [...] Cordon Bleu From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe   Ingredients: 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half (like you’re butterflying, but [...]

  65. Juli in VA says:

    Mel, made this tonight…my family and I are no strangers to the variations of chicken cordon bleu…I have done several streamlined versions, but this one got cheers from my people all around the table. The SAUCE! Oh my goodness. Wonderful…this is my go to CCB recipe from here on out. Thanks again for a ringer :)

  66. Laura says:

    I love this recipe! It’s so easy to make and everyone is always really impressed. The only recommendation I would make is for the dressing: don’t add the extra salt until it is almost done. When I made it the parm and the bouillon already had so much salt that adding the extra went overboard!
    And it’s so easy too!

  67. Kristy Benevides says:

    This looks amazing! I am making it tonight and can not be more excited! This is right up my husbands alley. I was just wondering if you cover the chicken at all through the cooking process or just leave in uncovered the entire time? Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes!

  68. Taylor says:

    This is a great recipe for a delicious, yet very simple weeknight meal! I had everything on hand, which is another huge plus! The only thing I did different was omit salt in sauce because I felt it didn’t need it after tasting and used mozzarella cheese instead of Swiss. The baking time was spot on too, which I appreciate. Thanks a lot! Highly recommend this recipe!

  69. Holly says:

    Made this last night with great success! Thanks for another keeper!

  70. kaitlyn says:

    at what temperature do you cook the chicken?

  71. Ria says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it many times (maybe once or twice a month) and the fambam just loves it! I even pinned this on my pinterest ‘Tried and tasted’ board! More power (and awesome recipes!) to you and your blog :)

  72. Kim says:

    Just discovered your site and love it! From one busy mom to another, did you know you can make your sauce in the microwave? I use a 2 cup glass measuring cup, and melt the butter first, then whisking in the flour, then milk, cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Stop once per minute to whisk, and to check the consistency. Then add the remaining ingredients. This has been huge for me, because I’m also trying to not use the “cream of” soups:)

  73. Jane says:

    Quite a hit w adults & children!! And easy! I reduced the amount of mustard and worcestershire in the sauce for kid taste — it was still delicious. It makes quite a lot of sauce– could I freeze it to use for next time?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jane – I’ve frozen this sauce before and it gets a slightly grainy texture after freezing. It’s not bad, just not quite as creamy as when you first make it.

  74. Louise says:

    Making this for dinner tonight (was happy I had all the ingridients) I am so excited, it looks amazing!

  75. Aliciadawne says:

    Hi Mel,
    This is the first recipe of yours I’ve tried and I have to say it turned out so well I can’t wait to try more. The chicken was delicious and the sauce was amazeballs! Though I did run into the problem of it being slightly thick, I will just have to make some adjustments in my ratios and maybe the heat level I’m cooking it at. Having such an easy prep and quick cooking time means this can be a weeknight favourite!

  76. Tricia says:

    I’m going to do this with procuitto and park and put some chopped sage in with the crumbs so it is saltimbocca style. You could get so creative with this recipe. Parmesan?

  77. Marci says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! Made it for my familys Christmas today and used ground up French fried onions and ritz type crackers for the crumbs…yummy!everyone liked the sauce too! Will definetly be making this again!

  78. Dana says:

    Any tips on freezing this before baked? I’m trying to make freezer meals, but not sure how this would turn out…

    • Mel says:

      Dana – I’ve never frozen this, sorry! But I think it’s definitely worth a try. I’d assemble, cover and freeze and then bake from frozen or let it thaw in the fridge overnight.

  79. Sue says:

    Major hit with my family! One of my boys wasn’t too sure, until the first bite and then he cleaned his plate! I changed it a bit by making two layers (because my chicken from Costco is a bag of thin frozen chicken breasts) of chicken/ham/cheese and then topped it with the fresh breadcrumbs (you’re right, they do make a big difference!). Baked it a bit longer. Thanks for sharing …. YUM

  80. Lindsay Lee says:

    I made this for Valentines Dinner tonight! It was a huge hit!!! My 2 year old just kept asking for more. I can’t wait to make more of your recipes in the near future!!!

  81. Jenn says:

    By any chance, do you know how many calories are in this recipe?

  82. Sharri says:

    When my husband requested Chicken Cordon Bleu, l groaned inwardly. I preally didn’t feel like messing with pounding and rolling, and all the mess. But, he so rarely makes requests that I had to do it. Your recipe was the PERFECT blend of ease and flavor. We all loved it! I didn’t have Swiss, so used Provolone and subbed Ritz crackers for the bread crumbs. Oh, and didn’t add the salt and it was perfect for my salt-loving family. Will definitely make it again. Thank you for another winner!

  83. Diana says:

    WOW-I will never go back to the mess and hassle of toothpicks. I changed it up a bit – used panko, and did a layer on the bottom, then the chicken, ham and swiss with more panko/butter mix. I didnt use your parm sauce, but instead just did a light cream sauce with chicken stock. OMG – so so good…and so easy. My mom, who doesnt cook, even asked for the recipe. THANK YOU!

  84. Taylor says:

    I have made this recipe a couple of times and am making it again tonight. My family and I really enjoy it. Tastes great and it’s super easy! I do omit the salt in the sauce recipe (as I found it to be way too salty) and instead sprinkle a little salt on the chicken breasts prior to putting on the ham and cheese. By the way, the sauce is really good and pairs with the chicken well!

  85. Jill says:

    I’d like to make one pan of this w/o breadcrumbs so it can be gluten free. Do you think corn starch would work instead of flour in the sauce? Same amount?

    • Mel says:

      Jill – I”ve never made the sauce with cornstarch. Cornstarch acts a bit different in sauces since usually you want to mix it with a cold liquid and add it to a hot mixture. Definitely worth a try though – Good luck.

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