This Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe is a family favorite that we’ve been making for decades! It looks fancy but is a secretly easy main dish for dinner. Simply pound chicken thin, roll it up with Swiss cheese and sliced ham, pan fry, and then bake in the oven for the ultimate meal. And don’t forget the delicious Dijon sauce- it absolutely MAKES this dish!

Creamy sauce is poured over crispy chicken roll ups.

Family Favorite Chicken Cordon Bleu

Growing up, there were just some dishes that had special meaning. And this Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of them.

My dad didn’t make it often, but when this dish was on the menu, I knew it was going to be a special night.

Everyone at the table gravitated towards these stuffed chicken breasts.

It’s hard to beat the crunchy coating

The salty ham and Swiss cheese center

That creamy Dijon sauce drizzled on top.

Lucky for me (and you, now!), I soaked up and learned all of his tips and tricks; I’ll be sharing all of them with you below!

But don’t get scared away because this dish may seem complicated. Just follow the simple tips and tricks below and you’ll be enjoying this Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe in no time!

And don’t forget Chicken Cordon Bleu Sauce to top it off– it literally MAKES the dish!

Chicken, ham, Swiss cheese, mayo, mustard, flour, breadcrumbs, and seasonings are the ingredients for chicken cordon bleu.

Ingredients

To make this Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe you need:

  • Chicken. You will need a little over a pound of chicken, breasts are best for this recipe. The meat is pounded thin so you can roll up the cheese and ham.
  • Mayo. This creates the base of the batter to dredge the chicken in, you can use whatever variety you like. Just be sure to choose a mild-flavored option.
  • Dijon mustard. If possible, do NOT sub for another flavor of mustard as it will affect the taste.
  • Milk. Either regular dairy or a plant-based alternative will work.
  • Flour. Depending on your dietary needs, you can choose all-purpose or a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend, both work perfectly. Avoid a grainy type, like whole wheat, though.
  • Breadcrumbs. Italian breadcrumbs are needed. Steer clear of Panko or the texture will be affected. If you only have plain breadcrumbs, be sure to mix in some Italian seasoning.
  • Parmesan cheese. Grated works best since you will mix the cheese with the breadcrumbs to create the coating and use it in the sauce.
  • Swiss cheese. The thicker the slices, the more cheese you will have in each roll. Opt for a brand you like since you will taste it.
  • Ham. Similar to the cheese, thickness matters. Try to get thin-sliced ham, if possible.
  • Thyme. This fresh herb adds so much flavor to the sauce. You can sub with dried if you need to.

How to Make Chicken Cordon Bleu

These are the steps to follow to make this Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe:

Prep the Chicken

The first step to preparing this dish is to cut and pound the chicken.

Do your best to divide the breasts into 5-ounce portions, you should end up with four.

Place the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper, or in a Ziploc bag. Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken until it’s about ½-inch thick. If you don’t have a mallet, you can use a rolling pin.

Roll and Stuff

On a clean cutting board, lay a piece of Swiss cheese on a slice of ham. Roll these together. Repeat this until you have 4 rolls.

Place one at the end of a flattened chicken breast. Carefully roll up the chicken, ensuring it is tight. Use 2 or 3 toothpicks to hold the chicken together.

Dip and Dredge

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, milk, flour, salt, and pepper. Use a fork or whisk to stir until everything is mixed well.

In another bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Carefully dip each chicken roll with toothpicks into the mayo mixture first. Be sure all of the sides are thoroughly covered. Then, place the coated chicken in the breadcrumb bowl, again getting all sides in the mixture.

Sear and Bake

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Add a couple of tablespoons of butter to a large skillet that is oven-safe and turn the stove to medium or medium high heat. After the butter is melted, add the rolled and coated chicken in a single layer.

After about 2 or 3 minutes, you will notice a beautiful crust forming. Use a SPATULA, not tongs, to carefully flip each piece of chicken. If you use tongs, you could ruin the coating. Take extra care at this step.

Continue cooking for another 2 or 3 minutes. Then, transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. If your skillet isn’t oven-safe, then carefully place the chicken in a baking dish, first.

Make the Sauce

While the chicken is cooking, you can make the Chicken Cordon Bleu sauce.

Place 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and allow the butter to melt. Add minced garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds, or until you can smell it.

Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of flour and whisk until it is absorbed into the butter.

Slowly add the milk a couple of tablespoons at a time, being sure to whisk well after each addition.

After you have incorporated all of the milk and the sauce is thick, stir in the cheese, mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme and mix until it is smooth.

When the chicken is done, serve it up with a generous drizzle of sauce and some fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: You can roll up the ham and cheese and store in the fridge. Or, you can completely prepare the rolled-up chicken the day before and stop just before cooking, then store it in an airtight container. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  • To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: It is possible to freeze this dish, but it is best done before baking. Otherwise, the texture will not be the same.
  • To Reheat: Use the oven or air-fryer for the best results. You can also use the microwave, but it will be a bit soggy.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already low-carb as written.  Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Gluten-free: Opt for a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend instead of all-purpose flour and certified gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  • Dairy-free: Replace the butter with oil or vegan buttery sticks, the milk with a plant-based variety, and choose dairy-free cheese.
Healthy and creamy chicken cordon bleu is a delicious main dish.

FAQs

What is Cordon Bleu sauce made of?

Typically, the sauce on top of Chicken Cordon Bleu is made with butter, garlic, flour, and milk, and then seasoned with Dijon mustard, Parmesan, and herbs, like thyme.

What do you serve with Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Chicken Cordon Bleu is delicious with green beans, broccoli, potatoes, or even rice!

What does the bleu mean in Cordon Bleu?

The bleu in Cordon Bleu comes from the French term meaning blue ribbon, or high quality.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Breast is best. Be sure to opt for chicken breasts, rather than thighs.
  • Nice and thin. Place the chicken in a bag or between plastic wrap or parchment paper so you can pound the chicken until it is no more than ½-inch thick.
  • Roll it tight. Carefully roll the chicken up with the ham and cheese as closely as possible so it doesn’t fall apart when you dredge and cook it.
  • Oven-safe. The frying and baking process is much easier when you use a skillet or Dutch oven that you can place in the oven.
  • Make extra. The sauce is SO good, you might want to make a little extra.
Ham and cheese are rolled up in chicken and then pan fried.

What to Serve with Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is so versatile, pair it with your favorite sides for a complete meal.

Green Beans Almondine, Air Fryer Broccoli, Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower, and Roasted Asparagus with Garlic are healthy and delicious.

More hearty sides like Duchess Potatoes, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, or even Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes are filling.

You can switch it up and serve some Southern Collard Greens alongside this chicken, too.

Or, keep it lean with Cauliflower au Gratin or this Fall Harvest Salad.

More Chicken Recipes

Chicken can be enjoyed in so many ways!

Olive Garden Chicken Marsala, Chicken Piccata, and Spatchcock Chicken are great for a crowd.

Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken and Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies are quick and healthy.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Classic Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

This Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe is a family favorite that we've been making for decades! It looks fancy but is a secretly easy main dish for dinner. Simply pound chicken thin, roll it up with Swiss cheese and sliced ham, pan fry, and then bake in the oven for the ultimate meal.
Creamy sauce is poured over crispy chicken roll ups.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 20 minutes
Total 50 minutes

Ingredients 

Chicken Cordon Bleu:

  • 1 ¼ lbs. chicken breasts cut into 4 pieces, pounded thin
  • 4 oz. Swiss cheese sliced
  • 4 oz. ham sliced
  • 2 tbsp. mayo
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. milk or a plant-based alternative
  • 2 Tbsp. flour gluten-free, if needed
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. butter salted, or oil

Dijon Cream Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp. butter salted
  • 1 Tbsp. flour gluten-free, if needed
  • ½ cup milk or a plant-based alternative
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼-½ tsp. salt to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. thyme fresh, finely chopped
  • Parsley finely chopped, optional

Instructions 

For the Chicken:

  • Prep and Roll Chicken: Cut the chicken breasts into four 5-ounce portions and pound them with a meat mallet until about ½-inch thick. Roll up a 1-oz. slice of cheese with a 1-oz. slice of ham. Place this at one end of a chicken breast and then roll up the chicken around it. Secure the rolled up chicken with 2-3 toothpicks.
    1 ¼ lbs. chicken breasts, 4 oz. Swiss cheese, 4 oz. ham
  • Bread Chicken: In one medium-sized bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, milk, flour, salt, and pepper until combined. In a second medium-sized bowl mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip each chicken breast in the mayo mixture, making sure all sides are covered. Next, transfer the chicken to the breadcrumb bowl, flipping the chicken over so it is completely coated.
    2 tbsp. mayo, 1 ½ Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp. milk, 2 Tbsp. flour, ¾ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper, ¾ cup Italian breadcrumbs, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Sear in Skillet: Add 2 tablespoons butter, or oil, to a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the rolled-up chicken in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until a gorgeous crust starts to form and then carefully flip over. (It’s VERY important at this step that you do not disturb the crust too much. So definitely avoid using tongs. Instead, use a flat spatula and swiftly slide it under the crust.) Cook the chicken for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
    2 Tbsp. butter
  • Bake the chicken in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or it is cooked through and no longer pink.
  • Make the Sauce: Add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and continue sauteing for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until combined. Slowly begin adding in the milk, 2-3 tablespoons at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once all of the milk has been added and the sauce has thickened, stir in the cheese, mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme until smooth.
    1 tbsp. butter, 1 Tbsp. flour, ½ cup milk, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, ¼-½ tsp. salt, 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard, ½ tsp. thyme
  • Serve the chicken with a drizzle of the sauce and a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: You can roll up the ham and cheese and store in the fridge. Or, you can prepare the rolled-up chicken the day before and stop just before cooking, then keep in an airtight container.
  • To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: It is possible to freeze this dish, but it is best done before baking. Otherwise, the texture will not be the same.
  • To Reheat: Use the oven or air-fryer for best results. You can also use the microwave, but it will be a but soggy.

Nutrition

Calories: 649kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 53g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 170mg, Sodium: 1757mg, Potassium: 712mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 737IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 469mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    This is tasty, but the recipe needs tweaking. Our mayo mixture required more milk to be functional (not a thick paste). There is no garlic or pepper in the sauce ingredients, but they are listed in the written recipe. We liked the taste of our end product and will make it again.

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Beth! I’m glad you made it work. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!