This easy Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe comes to you just as my mom makes it, and you're going to love it! This dish has tender chicken breasts filled with rich ham and Swiss cheese, breaded with a coating mix of garlic, herbs, and cheese, all served with a deliciously creamy sauce.
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Growing up, my mom would make Chicken Cordon Bleu for us every year for Christmas dinner. The flavors of the rich ham, melted cheese, and breaded chicken all rolled up into a pretty roulade. Served with a savory white sauce, the two make a heavenly combination. It's totally worth the little bit of extra work it takes to make this impressive dish.
Chicken cordon bleu really isn't hard to make! It's perfect for a dinner party, a special occasion meal, or a Sunday dinner.
This classic dish is so tasty and looks so fancy—it's always a hit in our house. For more dinner party mains, try my Beef Tenderloin Roast with Creamy Horseradish Sauce, make some delicious Lobster Tails, or our Classic German Sauerbraten Recipe!
One reason why I love this classic Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe so much is that it has so much more flavor than any other Chicken Cordon Bleu I have ever tried, and I'm not just talking about the frozen chicken cordon bleu rolls you can buy in the freezer section at Costco!
Many chicken cordon bleu recipes just call for breadcrumbs with some salt and pepper when it comes to breading the chicken. However, my mom's version is a combination of Shake N' Bake, parmesan cheese, and a dry garlic and herb dressing mix for way more flavor.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Easily customize this recipe to your preference with different cheeses or herbs.
- Made with simple ingredients you may already have in your pantry!
- Quick and easy, this dish is ready in less than an hour!
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Chicken - We'll use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you have them instead but the meat will need to be raw and thawed before you begin.
- Sliced Ham - We like thicker cut black forest ham for this recipe.
- Swiss Cheese - For the mild and nutty cheesy layer inside the chicken.
- Eggs - To make an eggwash to secure the bread crumbs for the coating.
- Breadcrumbs - I love to use Original Shake N' Bake breadcrumbs for this recipe to really set it apart!
- Flour - All-Purpose Flour will work fine to make the coating for this chicken dish.
- Parmesan Cheese - We like to use the powdered kind instead of the freshly grated stuff for this recipe but either will work.
- Garlic & Herb Dressing Mix - If you have trouble finding this you can just use Italian dressing mix instead or make your own version using the ingredients listed below in the notes.
- Sour Cream - Balances out the flavors and adds a creaminess to the sauce.
- Cream of Chicken Soup - For the base of the sauce, to make it thick with a more intense chicken flavor.
- Broth - Chicken broth adds a great depth of flavor.
- Salt & Pepper - Enhances the flavors. Season to taste.
How to Make Chicken Cordon Bleu
Half chicken. Working with one chicken breast at a time, lay the meat on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice each breast in half horizontally into two even pieces.
Flatten chicken. Cover the chicken breasts and the cutting boards with sheets of plastic wrap (or place a large Ziploc bag over the whole setup) and pound each piece with a meat mallet. The pieces need to be about ¼ inch thick the whole way through. The thinner end of the breast may not need to be flattened if it is not too thick.
Assemble. Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on top of each flattened chicken breast.
Make chicken rolls. Roll each chicken breast tightly into a tight roulade, then wrap them tightly in pieces of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to secure without toothpicks. Alternatively, you can use toothpicks to hold each roulade together and skip the refrigerating time.
Prepare coating. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the contents of a box of Shake N' Bake (each box comes with 2 packets, and you will use them both) with the Parmesan cheese and packet of Good Seasons Garlic & Herb Dressing in a shallow bowl. Stir well to combine, then set aside. Also set aside a shallow dish or plate with ¼ cup of flour for dredging, and a third shallow dish with the beaten eggs in it for an egg wash.
Dredge chicken rolls. Unwrap and dredge each roulade. Dip the chicken roll first in flour, shaking off any excess back into the shallow bowl.
Then roll the chicken in the beaten egg mixture, and then in the Shake N' Bake breadcrumb mixture. Repeat the process with all of the remaining chicken.
Combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and chicken broth in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into a 9x13-inch pan and set aside.
Brown chicken. Heat 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Working in batches, brown the chicken cordon bleu pieces on all sides for 2-3 minutes just to crisp up the outside and give it some color. Transfer the pieces to the large baking dish with the chicken cordon bleu sauce.
Bake. Bake everything for 40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken is cooked through.
Serve. Serve hot with rice and vegetables.
The main difference between these dishes is the stuffing. Chicken Kievs are traditionally stuffed with butter and a blend of herbs, while Chicken Cordon Bleu is stuffed with ham and cheese.
Cordon Bleu is French for "Blue Ribbon" meaning to signify excellence. The phrase refers to the blue ribbons or sashes worn by the Chevaliers du Saint-Esprit, the highest order of knighthood under the Bourbon kings. As far as a chicken dish name goes, it's fancy!
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Reheat thoroughly in the microwave or in the oven.
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a great make-ahead dish as it freezes very well. Assemble the chicken rolls until the browning stage, and instead of cooking them, wrap them individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store them in a freezer-safe container or in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Fully defrost then follow cooking directions as normal. It is best to make the sauce fresh.
Alternatively, leftovers can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Fully defrost before reheating until piping hot. The sauce may not freeze well as it contains dairy.
Tips for Success
- Roll tightly. One trick to delicious Chicken Cordon Bleu is to roll the chicken tightly, with the filling securely in the middle. This will ensure the flavors cook and meld together perfectly.
- When it comes to assembling chicken cordon bleu, I have found that the key is to have your meat pounded to a uniformly thin size so that it is easier to roll up into a tight roulade (which sounds fancy but literally is just rolled meat and comes from the french word "rouler", which means "to roll").
- If you want a more traditional presentation, you can bake the breaded chicken cordon bleu on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper without browning and crisping them first. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and heat the sauce separately on the stovetop.
To Crisp or Not To Crisp?
The only real step where I deviated from the way my mom makes this Chicken Cordon Bleu is that she usually heats a little oil in a skillet and browns each roulade on all sides before placing it in a casserole dish with the sauce and cooking it through that way.
I totally love it when it's made this way, but it doesn't turn out quite as pretty as cooking the breaded roulades on a baking sheet in the oven, and I find the frying process to be both messy and more work with added prep time since you have to work in batches to get all the chicken browned before baking it.
Make it however you prefer!
Substitutions and Variations
- You can cook the sauce and the chicken cordon bleu separately, which may be a more traditional approach. However, I highly recommend you try it my mom's way at least once by baking the chicken cordon bleu in the sauce!
- Use cheddar, gruyere, mozzarella, or another of your favorite melting cheeses. The cheese may ooze out of the chicken wrap, but you can seal it by using extra toothpicks if you won't want to contain it.
- Homemade Shake-N-Bake: If you don't have Shake-N-Bake, you can make a breadcrumb mix that will also work well using breadcrumbs, vegetable oil, salt, paprika, minced onion, garlic powder, black pepper, celery salt, dried parsley, dried basil, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper. See the recipe card notes for the measurements needed.
- Homemade Garlic & Herb Dressing Mix: If you can't find this at the store, it's available online, or you can use Italian dressing mix or use a combination of dried oregano, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, sugar, black pepper, dried basil, celery salt, dried thyme, and ground mustard seed. See the recipe card notes for the measurements.
What to Serve with Chicken Cordon Bleu
We always serve this with cooked white rice and some kind of green vegetable. And the leftovers are always so, so good the next day!
- Easy Rice Pilaf with Orzo Pasta
- Lemon Pineapple Jell-O with Pineapple Whipped Cream Topping
- Lion House Dinner Rolls
- Oven Roasted Broccoli with Garlic, Parmesan, and Lemon
- Green Beans with Bacon & Pine Nuts
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples
- Haricot Verts with Dijon Vinaigrette
- Cranberry Jello Salad with Cream Cheese Topping
- Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic, Parmesan, & Lemon
More Celebratory Main Dish Recipes
- Prime Rib Roast with Horseradish Sauce
- Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
- Easy Beef Tenderloin Roast With Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- Pan Seared Lamb Loin Chops
The Best Chicken Cordon Bleu (Mom's Recipe)
Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 8 slices ham
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 2 eggs beaten
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 box Original Shake N' Bake
- 1 envelope Garlic & Herb dressing mix
- 1 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
- Toothpicks or plastic wrap
- 2 (10.5-ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup chicken broth
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Working with one chicken breast at a time, lay the meat on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice each breast in half horizontally into two even pieces. Cover with sheets of plastic wrap and pound each piece with a meat mallet to about ¼-inch thick with a meat mallet, if needed.
- Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on top of each flattened chicken breast. Roll each chicken breast into a tight roulade, then wrap them tightly in pieces of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to secure without toothpicks. Alternatively, you can use toothpicks to hold each roulade together and skip the refrigerating time.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the contents of a box of Shake N' Bake (each box comes with 2 packets and you will use them both) with the Parmesan cheese and packet of Good Seasons Garlic & Herb Dressing in a shallow dish. Stir well to combine, then set aside. Also set aside a shallow dish or plate with ¼ cup of flour for dredging, and a third shallow dish with the beaten eggs for an egg wash.
- Unwrap and dredge each roulade first in flour, shaking off any excess, then in the beaten egg, then in the Shake N' Bake mixture. Repeat the process with all of the remaining chicken.
- Combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and chicken broth in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into a 9x13-inch pan and set aside.
- Heat 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Working in batches, brown the chicken cordon bleu on all sides for 2-3 minutes just to crisp up the outside and give it some color. Transfer to a large baking dish with the chicken cordon bleu sauce.
- Bake for 40 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken is cooked through.
- Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Reheat thoroughly in the microwave or in the oven.
- Freeze: Leftovers can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Fully defrost before reheating until piping hot. The sauce may not freeze well as it contains dairy.