There’s no reason to fuss over finicky chicken cordon bleu recipes when this shortcut, easy chicken cordon bleu is simple and just as delicious!
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I hope you are one of the 100+ people who have made and loved this easy chicken cordon bleu recipe over the years. Considering it is still a very strong dinner staple in my house, I wanted to give it a moment in the spotlight with updated pictures and extra recipe notes (and give you a little encouragement to just make it already).
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 with all the same delicious flavor and taste.
Enter chicken cordon bleu the easy way. Or the lazy way. Or the slacker way. I’m good with any or all of those titles because when easy is this delicious, you don’t care about those kinds of things.
Simply put, boneless, skinless chicken breast halves are cut in half lengthwise to make two thinner chicken breast cutlets (or you can just use thin pieces of chicken or pound it thin…I’m telling you, this recipe is not fussy). The chicken is topped with ham, swiss cheese and bread crumbs and baked to golden, bubbly perfection.
Served with a creamy Parmesan-Dijon sauce, this easier chicken cordon bleu is just as satisfying as the original without all the fuss of pounding, rolling and toothpicking. My kids go nuts over this meal and it is often a Sunday dinner staple since it can be made ahead of time (details below in the recipe).
I’ve even included a little note in the recipe about how I make this even more family-friendly by cubing the chicken and making it a bit more casserole-style. Perfect for those kids that are too little (or too busy) to eat a whole chicken piece themselves.
So yeah, maybe this version isn’t quite as pretty as good ol’ classic chicken cordon bleu, but when your hungry husband and five kids are devouring dinner like they haven’t eaten in a year, I’m certain pretty is the last thing they have on their minds. There’s a time and place for everything, and right now, this easy chicken cordon bleu fits very nicely into our style of weeknight dinnering.
My preference for bread crumbs in this recipe are fresh bread crumbs (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) or crunchy Panko breadcrumbs. Both will give the best texture.
For the chicken, the idea is to have six thinner cutlets of chicken (about 1/2-inch thick) so you can either pound chicken breasts thin or cut thick chicken breasts in half to form two thinner cutlets (like the recipe suggests).
I've also made this more casserole-style and cubed the chicken. When I do it that way, I also chop the ham but do everything else the same. It helps the meal stretch further, especially with kids who are too little to eat a whole chicken breast piece.
Over the years since this recipe has been posted, I've made note of your comments; I've omitted the salt from the sauce recipe and indicated in the recipe to add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise (to form two thinner chicken breast cutlets)
- Salt and pepper
- 12 slices deli ham
- 6-8 slices Swiss cheese (6 to 8 ounces)
- 1 cup bread crumbs (I prefer panko in this recipe)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube, crushed)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray set aside.
- Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the 9X13-inch dish. Lightly sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- 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 piece of chicken is covered with ham and cheese. Toss the bread crumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the chicken.
- Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden.
- For the sauce, while the chicken bakes, in a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly to avoid lumps.
- Stir in the chicken bouillon granules. 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. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve each chicken cordon bleu portion with warm sauce.
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.
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Recipe originally posted June 2011; commentary, pictures, and recipe notes updated September 2016.