Chicken Cordon Bleu

December 17, 2022

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Perfect Chicken Cordon Bleu – made with tender chicken breasts, flavorful black forest ham, tangy Swiss cheese, and a crisp panko finish. And to polish it off it’s highlighted with a creamy garlicky mustard sauce to finish. It may be old fashioned but it’s still absolutely delicious!

Chicken Cordon Bleu shown sliced in half with sauce on top. Green beans shown to the side.

What is Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Cordon Bleu is a dish with Swiss origin that is a derivative of schnitzel.

Chicken cordon bleu specifically is made of chicken that has been pounded thin, layered with ham slices, and topped with Swiss cheese. They layers are rolled snug or folded over, after which it’s breaded with flour, egg and dried breadcrumbs. And to cook it’s and either pan fried or baked.

In the United States it was a dish that was very popular between the 60’s and 70’s. In my experience as a kid growing up in the 90’s I commonly remember chicken cordon bleu casserole which was a simplified version (which wasn’t quite as good, but mimicked the same flavors).

You can serve it whole (note in this recipe though you’ll only get four servings if doing so), or you can slice and layer them on a platter domino style. I prefer the later as you’ll get more servings and presentation is eye catching with those pretty swirls.

And the creamy honey mustard sauce, which I believe is a staple to the dish, should be poured over each individual servings right before it’s served (so the breading doesn’t get soft, because that crispy crunch is a crowning finish!).

This dish is perfect for entertaining or for the holidays. It may be a little bit of extra effort but very well worth it!

Chicken Cordon Bleu shown sliced on a white serving platter.

What to Serve with Chicken Cordon Bleu

I recommend serving this with:

Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Black forest deli ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • All-purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh thyme and optional parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the creamy honey mustard sauce:

  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Heavy cream
  • Dijon mustard
  • Prepared yellow mustard
  • Honey
  • Cornstarch 1 Tbsp butter

Ingredients needed to make chicken cordon bleu.

How to Make Chicken Cordon Bleu

Here’s a summary of how we’ll prepare the chicken (see below for full recipe):

  1. Flatten chicken pieces to 1/4″ thickness (between plastic wrap) using a meat mallet.
  2. Top with ham slices and Swiss cheese.
  3. Roll snug then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. In 3 separate dishes individually add flour, mix eggs, then mix panko, parmesan and herbs. Season each with salt and pepper.
  5. Dredge chicken in flour, followed by eggs, then panko mixture.
  6. Transfer to greased baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  7. Serve with creamy honey mustard sauce.

Six steps of flattening, layering and rolling chicken cordon bleu.

Collage of six photos showing how to make breading and roll chicken in flour, egg and breading.

How to Make the Creamy Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until lightly golden and fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  2. Pour in chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until it’s reduced to 1/2 cup (or just under), about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in heavy cream, dijon mustard, yellow mustard, honey, and cornstarch broth mixture. Whisk until mixture has thickened. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Rewarm over low heat as needed and thin with a little more broth if desired.

Images showing how to make sauce for chicken cordon bleu.

Tips for the Best Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • To prevent all the cheese from melting out work to fold the ham and chicken edges up around the cheese as you roll it up.
  • Don’t skip the chill time for the stuffed and rolled chicken. This helps it hold it’s shape while breading and baking.
  • For best results use an oven probe thermometer or an instant read food thermometer otherwise it’s very easy to end up with overcooked or undercooked chicken.
  • You don’t want to slice into it to check for color and doneness because cheese will seep out (again stick with a thermometer, and test to 165 in center of each chicken breast.
  • If you find cheese is melting out the sides of the chicken a bit as it bakes you can either wrap up the side with a small piece of foil or plug it with a balled up piece of foil.

Possible Variations

  • You can use all dijon mustard or all regular yellow mustard if preferred based on flavor preference. I personally just like the blend here.
  • If you like a sweeter sauce add an additional 1 Tbsp honey. If you want no sweetness you can omit.
  • Try a different cheese such as Gruyere or sharp white cheddar.
  • Rosemary would be a tasty option in place of thyme.
  • If you don’t like mustard I’d try a white wine sauce. Replace 1/2 cup of the chicken broth with dry white wine, omit the mustard.

Chicken Cordon Bleu cut into slices and shown an a white oval serving tray.

Storage and Reheating

  • The cooked chicken should be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.
  • If reheating individual portions warm in a microwave on 50% power in a microwave safe plate until heated through.
  • For several portions you can reheat in a 350 degree oven in a greased baking dish covered with foil until warmed through (just keep in mind the cheese may seep out).
  • Note that reheated results won’t be as good as fresh (breading will soften and chicken won’t have quite the same moisture, but no need to waste delicious tasting chicken).

More Favorite Chicken Recipes to Try

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu shown sliced in half with sauce on top. Green beans shown to the side.
5 from 3 votes

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Made with tender chicken breasts, flavorful black forest ham, tangy Swiss cheese, and a crisp panko finish. And to polish it off it's highlighted with a creamy garlicky mustard sauce to finish. It may be old fashioned but it's still absolutely delicious!
Servings: 6
Prep30 minutes
Cook30 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 4 (7 to 8 oz each) boneless chicken breasts
  • 8 slices (12 oz) black forest ham (deli cut), such as Boars Head
  • 8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese*
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (heaping) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup fine grated (1.4 oz) parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Dijon Cream Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard (or another 1 Tbsp dijon)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp low-sodium chicken broth

Instructions

  • Pound each piece of chicken out to an even 1/4-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap using the flat side of a meat mallet. Pound somewhat gently as to not tear the portions.
  • Place two slices of ham over each piece of chicken followed by 1/2 cup of cheese over each piece of chicken (leaving 1/2-inch uncovered around all edges).
  • Starting on the smaller end of the chicken portion roll it up snugly to the opposite side while tucking in the ham and chicken on the ends (to help keep cheese from seeping out as it bakes).
  • Wrap each piece very snug in a piece of plastic wrap, especially tightening at the ends (do this tootsie roll style then wrapping ends of plastic wrap under). Let chill in fridge at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. This will help it hold it's shape.
  • One you are ready to bake the chicken preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a rimmed 13 by 9-inch baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray (for easier clean up you can cover with aluminum foil and spray foil).
  • Pour flour into a shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper and whisk.
  • Whisk eggs together in a second shallow dish while seasoning with a little salt and pepper.
  • Pour panko, thyme and parmesan into a third shallow dish along with some salt and pepper. Toss mixture together.
  • Remove chicken pieces from fridge and remove plastic wrap. Working with one portion at a time roll all sides into flour mixture, shake off excess.
  • Transfer to egg mixture then roll all sides to coat, let excess run off.
  • Transfer to panko mixture then roll and press to adhere well, coating all sides.
  • Place breaded and stuffed chicken pieces on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until each piece registers 165 degrees in center on an instant read food thermometer, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Let chicken rest for a few minutes then transfer to a cutting board. Cut into slices then serve the creamy honey mustard sauce over the chicken and garnish with parsley.

Sauce

  • While chicken is baking prepare the sauce.
  • In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until lightly golden and fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  • Pour in chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until it's reduced to 1/2 cup (or just under), about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in heavy cream, dijon mustard, yellow mustard, honey, and cornstarch broth mixture. Whisk until mixture has thickened. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Rewarm over low heat as needed and thin with a little more broth if desired.

Notes

  • *Sharp cheddar or gruyere are other great cheese options.
  • If you find the cheese is melting out of the chicken while baking you can plug it up with a crumbled up piece of aluminum foil.
  • Keep an eye on the chicken near the end, if it is browning too much on top then tent with a sheet of foil.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 611 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 260mg87%
Sodium 1180mg51%
Potassium 879mg25%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 60g120%
Vitamin A 1094IU22%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 462mg46%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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14 Comments

  • Greybeard

    Keep an eye on the chicken near the end, if it is browning too much on top then tent with a sheet of foil. I did this and as it turns out, I only have 1 eye…of which I ended up baking with the chicken…now I can’t see if the chicken is done!

  • Erin Rock-Ballard

    This is the best chicken cordon Bleu recipe I have ever made. Directions were easy to follow, recipe was delicious. Definitely saving this one.

  • Katelyn

    Just as I thought — breadcrumbs don’t get browned in the oven. You’ll have to fry the outside first. Very misleading.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry to hear that. Mine have every time after being in the oven so long but perhaps it varies by oven. I wouldn’t recommend pre browning in the recipe because others likely have an oven like mine that browns sufficient so they’d end up with burnt crumbs. If your oven browns lightly I’d recommend baking on a rack one or two levels up in the oven.

  • Georgie Long

    I’m assuming these can be frozen after step 11. Can they then be baked frozen or must they be defrosted first? Thanks

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I think what you’d need to do is bread after thawing so the Panko doesn’t get soggy, so thaw before breading and baking.

  • Duncan Edwards

    A lip-smacking and luscious gourmet treat, suitable for most festivities, we love this presentation😛

  • Patricia

    I have made this in the past, but I am going to try your version soon as it looks so delicious!

    A question on pounding the chicken thinner. Do you just pound the piece as is, or do you butterfly it first and pound it? I am never sure if doing that changes the texture or something.

    P.S. I agree that slicing them makes a better presentation, but also, some people are intimidated by a big roll of meat like that. This makes it easier to serve and eat.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You can begin with single chicken breasts that are 7 to 8 oz in size and pound out thin (yes it takes a bit of time and patience not to break them up) or you can use 14 to 16 oz chicken breasts which are quite large and butterfly then pound them a little thinner. The only issue is that it’s hard to butterfly perfectly even but I have used both methods here and either works just fine.
      I hope you really enjoy the recipe Patricia!