Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu
Here I’ll show the easiest and most delicious way to make the classic Chicken Cordon Bleu, plus the most irresistible sauce to go alongside!
Chicken cordon bleu is an absolute classic and I couldn’t be more excited to share my take with you! This version is super easy because it’s completely baked – no frying necessary (and it’s still just as crispy – promise!). Sound good? Follow me…
Preparing Chicken Cordon Bleu
This version is not only easy because there’s no frying, but the preparation is easy too. Many cordon bleu recipes slice open the chicken, pound it until thin, roll it up with the filling and then chill or freeze it before coating and cooking. However here we’re just going to slice the chicken open and stuff it. No pounding, rolling or chilling needed.
How do you cut chicken for cordon bleu?
Just rest your hand on top and slice a pocket into the side of the chicken breast, going as wide and deep as you can without slicing through.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Filling
The filling is simply just ham and cheese. You’ll want thin slices of ham, mainly so it doesn’t unravel when you roll it up. For the cheese it’s gotta be Swiss! It melts really nicely but still stays fairly compact so it doesn’t all completely leak out.
I usually add 2 slices of ham and 2 slices of ham per breast, but just add as much as will fit.
Process shots: layer cheese on top of ham (photos 1&2), tightly roll (photo 3), slice pocket in the side of chicken (photo 4), stuff (photo 5), fasten with toothpicks (photo 6).
Panko breadcrumbs are a staple in my kitchen. They’re big and airy, meaning they turn things super crispy. You’ll find Panko breadcrumbs in the Asian section of most supermarkets.
Toasting the Breadcrumbs
I know I mentioned a super easy method, but there’s just one thing I ask. To get the chicken extra crispy, you’ll need to toast the breadcrumbs before you coat the chicken in them. Think of this step as giving the breadcrumbs a head start. That way they’ll crisp up at the perfect rate that the chicken cooks.
To toast the breadcrumbs I simply spread them out on a baking tray, spray them with oil and bake until lightly golden.
Process shots: add breadcrumbs to tray (photo 1), spray then bake (photo 2).
Breading for Chicken Cordon Bleu
For the breading, we’re going to coat the chicken in the classic flour, egg and breadcrumb combo. I also like to add a simple mix of seasoning to both the flour and breadcrumbs, just to keep the chicken nice and flavoursome!
I recommend baking the chicken on a wire rack above a foil-lined tray for two reasons:
- Less mess – the chicken will likely leak a little bit of cheese. This will go straight onto the foil, meaning no scrubbing crispy cheese off of the tray!
- Air circulation – baking the chicken on a wire rack allows the hot air to circulate around the chicken easier, meaning it will crisp up and cook more evenly.
Just remember to spray the rack with oil so the chicken doesn’t stick to it.
Process shots: coat chicken in flour (photo 1), then egg (photo 2), then breadcrumbs (photo 3), add to rack and spray with oil (photo 4), bake (photo 5).
Sauce for Chicken Cordon Bleu
The chicken will be delicious by itself, but of course, we’re going to douse it in an irresistible sauce! Plus, it’d be rude not to, seeing as this can be whipped up as the chicken bakes.
Mustard Cream Sauce
A creamy mustard sauce not only pairs beautifully with the chicken but also with the ham and cheese. It’s really simple and comes together in 5 or so mins. Just simply simmer and stir until it begins to thicken (it also thickens more when removed from the heat).
Process shots: add butter to pot (photo 1), melt (photo 2), add chicken stock, cream, parmesan, Dijon mustard and seasoning (photo 3), simmer and stir until thick (photo 4).
Chicken Cordon Bleu FAQ
What if I cut through the chicken?
I wouldn’t panic too much. The cheese is wrapped in ham, plus you get another layer of protection from the breading, so the cheese shouldn’t leak out too much.
Can I use a different cheese?
Swiss is a must! As discussed above, it’s got the perfect melting texture.
How do I know when the chicken is cooked?
The breading will be deep golden and the cheese will begin leaking out. The chicken should be piping hot and white all the way through.
Serving Chicken Cordon Bleu
When you serve the chicken, just carefully remove the toothpicks. I recommend twisting them out; if you yank them straight out you can sometimes take a chunk of meat out and half the breading!
What to serve with chicken cordon bleu?
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this baked chicken cordon bleu shall we?!
How to make Chicken Cordon Bleu (Full Recipe & Video)
Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu
Large Baking Tray, Wire Rack & Foil (for baking)
Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
3 Large Shallow Dishes (for dredging chicken)
Small Bowl (for seasoning)
Medium Sized Pot & Wooden Spoon (for sauce)
- 90g / 1 1/2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs (see notes)
- 8 thin slices of Ham
- 8 slices of Swiss Cheese
- 4x 250g/9oz Chicken Breasts
- 1 tsp EACH: Salt, Paprika
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- 50g / 1/3 cup Flour
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- Oil Spray, as needed
- 2 tbsp Butter (preferably unsalted)
- 120ml / 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
- 180ml / 3/4 cup Double/Heavy Cream, at room temp
- 1 heaped tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 30g / 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 pinches of White Pepper, (sub black pepper)
- Salt, to taste
Pour the breadcrumbs onto a large baking tray and give it a shake so they're evenly distributed. Coat with oil spray then place in the oven at 180C/350F for around 5mins, or until light golden (be vigilant as they turn perfect to burnt quite quickly!). Pour them into a bowl to cool and increase oven temp to 200C/400F.
Carefully slice a pocket into the side of each chicken breast, going as wide and deep as you can without cutting through the other side. Place two slices of cheese on top of two slices of ham and tightly roll. Wedge into the pocket and close it over so the filling is covered. Use toothpicks to seal the seam shut.
In a small bowl combine paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Line up 3 bowls: the first with flour and half of the season, the second with beaten egg and the last with the toasted breadcrumbs and the rest of the seasoning. One by one dredge the chicken through flour, then into the egg, then finish with breadcrumbs, fully coating the chicken at each stage.
Line a baking tray with foil then place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with oil, then place the chicken on top. Spray the chicken with oil then place in the oven for 25-30mins, or until deep golden & crispy, with the cheese starting to leak out. The chicken should be piping hot and white right through the centre.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot over medium heat melt the butter. Stir in the stock, cream, parmesan, mustard and white pepper until blended, then bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 5-6mins, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens (it will thicken more as it cools). Adjust with salt if needed then remove from heat.
Carefully twist the toothpicks out of the chicken, then serve up with the sauce and enjoy!
b) Stuffing the chicken – Depending on how much room you’ve got inside the chicken breast, you might not be able to fit 2 slices of ham and cheese, so just roll up and slot in whatever fits. If you do accidentally tear the chicken, don’t panic too much. The coating will provide an extra layer of protection and because the cheese is wrapped in the ham, it tends not to completely leak out (some leakage is fine and expected).
c) Cheese – Swiss is a must! It melts really nicely, but not to the point it turns thin and completely leaks out of the chicken.
d) Mustard – I find 1 heaped tbsp adds a punch, but not so much it’s overbearing. It also mellows out as it simmers. You can alter this to your taste though.
f) Calories – Whole recipe divided by 4 with no sides (slight over-estimate as not all the flour, egg and Panko is picked up by the chicken).
Here I’ll show the easiest and most delicious way to make the classic Chicken Cordon Bleu, plus the most irresistible sauce to go alongside! Chicken cordon bleu is an absolute classic and I couldn’t be more excited to share my take with you! This version is super easy because it’s completely baked – no frying…