This chicken cordon bleu recipe can make a wonderful dish to celebrate Swiss Cheese Day (January 2nd). No toothpicks required, it takes roughly one hour to make and can be dipped in whatever sauce you like.
It stands to reason that chicken cordon bleu is usually mistaken for a 5-star indulgence. Its name suggests a swanky meal, which could also mean costly.
Truth be told, chicken cordon bleu is adaptable for cooks of all levels with an average ingredient list. It’s the kind of dish that’s manageable but will make you look like an exceptional fine-dining chef to your family this National Chicken Cordon Bleu Day (April 4th).
What Is Chicken Cordon Bleu?
First, about the term “cordon bleu”. This phrase is actually French, in which “cordon” means ribbon, and “bleu” means blue, as in the color.
With some rooting around, here’s what we’ve found out about the name’s origins.
In the 12th century, blue ribbons used to be worn by knights of the highest order of chivalry. The name “chicken cordon bleu” hints at a high-quality dish with excellent taste made by eminent cooks.
Though represented by a French name, it was originally a Swiss dish and first mentioned in a cookbook in 1949.
However, it wasn’t until 1967 that it made its way over to America. This is where it came to be widely known as “chicken cordon bleu”.
Is Our Recipe Healthy?
It’s easy to see that these crispy chicken rolls with melted cheese and smoky hot ham are packed with fat. However, we managed to keep the fat content at a moderate amount, with 6 grams of saturated fat.
The nutrition values of this dish still remain within our approved health limits. These limits, as presented on our website, are set for an average adult having no specific health issues.
Nevertheless, we don’t recommend this dish for people with diabetes or hypertension. It’s best to consult health experts about your diet to omit foods that may increase risk factors for certain diseases.
This chicken cordon bleu recipe provides you with 411 calories per serving (without the sauce or side). In which, the calories from fat are 198.
In this chicken cordon bleu recipe, we used regular breadcrumbs and all-purpose flour. Feel free to substitute these with Panko and almond flour to make it lighter and less calorie-dense.
This chicken cordon bleu recipe is hands down a simple and delicious combination of chicken breasts, ham, and Swiss cheese.
Ham is the meat that’s cut from the thigh or rump of a pig. It’s usually cured or cooked fresh and used most often in salads and sandwiches.
The reason we chose to make chicken cordon bleu with ham is because it’s a leaner cut than bacon. Besides, it doesn’t release as much excess fat after cooking.
Truth be told, there doesn’t have to be a fixed filling for every chicken cordon bleu recipe. Sometimes people opt for ham, others for bacon, or both.
Bacon often comes with thin fat strips running along the slice’s length, while ham is more lean and dense. You can also substitute prosciutto for bacon if preferred.
Chicken cordon bleu is traditionally made with Swiss cheese (obviously not a stretch of the imagination since it’s from Switzerland).
Swiss cheese is known for a firm texture with a rather dry mouthfeel afterward. The strong, slightly sweet, and the acrid scent of this cheese makes perfect sense when added to this dish.
Swiss cheese is not the top choice of cheeses to eat fresh. Be that as it may, it melts excellently when baked.
There’s still a softer, silkier, and creamier kind of Swiss cheese you may have heard of, that is Baby Swiss. However, it works best in omelets or frittatas rather than fried rolls.
Aside from Swiss cheese, many chicken cordon bleu recipes also use Parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese delivers a delicious flavor mix of saltiness and sharpness, and won’t be too overpowering for other ingredients.
For chicken cordon bleu, we recommend using Parmesan cheese that’s aged at least one year. This variety often comes with a straw shade and a demi-souffle texture— ideal for either coating or melting.
How Long to Cook
Let us be absolutely honest: Our chicken cordon bleu took only 10 minutes to fry.
However, the part that will take you the most time is the prepping and rolling— for us it’s 40 minutes. It requires patience and a little clever maneuvering with your hands, but bit by bit, you’ll create perfectly nice-looking rolls.
The end result will be golden crispy rolls with swirling cheese in each bite you take. It’s certainly worth the effort.
Follow the instructions for a fail-safe dinner!
Sauce for This Recipe
As our health limit doesn’t allow excessive consumption of fat, we completely omitted the sauce from this recipe.
Chicken cordon bleu tastes as heavenly as it’s supposed to even without being joined by a sauce. Nonetheless, it is your meal and you can always have it whatever way you like.
Whether you want to serve these rolls as they are or get them a perfect dip, we’re here for you. That’s why we thought a little chat about this might be helpful.
Chicken cordon bleu is usually served with a mustard cheese sauce or hollandaise. When it comes to these sauces, it’s all about whisking this and that together for a homemade delight.
We’d love to share a simple mustard cheese sauce recipe with you that worked pretty well our way. Hopefully someday soon we’ll eventually get it down to an official recipe on the website with precise measurements.
Here’s a brief instruction for the sauce:
First, melt butter in a skillet and stir in flour, milk, and chicken broth successively. Note that there must be a pause-and-whisk between adding each ingredient.
Let the sauce mixture simmer over medium heat for a couple of minutes, whisk constantly until it thickens.
Season with salt, ground black pepper, and Dijon mustard (if you like). Sprinkle in grated cheese (preferably Parmesan cheese), quickly stir it up one more time, and there you have it.
Tips to Make
No one finds oddly-shapen, splotchy, weird fried rolls appealing. Here are some small fool-proof tips for a chicken cordon bleu recipe that’s adapted for the deep-frying method.
When pounding the chicken breasts, try to keep the meat mallet working at the best possible steady speed. You probably don’t want to create rolls with damaged chicken cutlets that fall apart or come with uneven thickness.
For chicken cordon bleu, we believe the ideal thickness for a chicken breast is ¼ inch.
Be careful not to pound chicken too thin as it’ll easily tear apart later. Contrastively, keeping it too thick will result in enormous rolls with an abnormal ratio of the chicken to the filling.
Last but not least, never forget to place layers of paper towel in a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. This is to drain excess oil from the rolls before serving to help make them less greasy.
How Long Does It Last in The Fridge?
Chicken cordon bleu is served best when it’s smoky hot out of the frying pan. It’s because the exterior crumb will only stay crispy within half an hour at room temperature.
Texture aside, chicken cordon bleu can last up to two days in the fridge, then you can microwave to reheat.
However, it’s important to note that the outer cannot reach its top crispness even after microwaving. Remember to reheat only what you will eat, as it’s not good to reheat food multiple times (especially meat).
Chicken cordon bleu is a rich meal with bold flavors. Therefore, a fresh and light-flavor side is best to create a complete meal.
Chicken cordon bleu can be made into a delicious sandwich. Try adding these intriguing rolls along with baguettes and a few leaves of crispy lettuce!
If you’re looking to add pasta, the recipe must follow a completely different method. Chicken cordon bleu pasta is not about crispy rolls but a one-pan dish.
For the present case, chicken is chunked and cooked together with ham and pasta in creamy gooey cheese. In fact, it bears a close resemblance to chicken alfredo in appearance.
Rice is a less common pair for chicken cordon bleu. Same as when adding pasta, a chicken cordon bleu recipe with rice must also follow its own cooking method.
Normally, chicken and rice will be cooked together and made into a casserole. You’ll find it similar to chicken and rice casserole— the only difference is the teaming up of ham and cheese.
4. Mustard Potato Salad
Mustard potato salad with a creamy tangy vinaigrette definitely was the first thing that came to our minds. Needless to say it perfectly balanced out these chicken rolls that are swirling with melted cheese.
We didn’t plan on any sauce for this chicken cordon bleu, mostly because we’ve seen this coming. The rich flavor and tanginess of this mustard potato salad simulated a very similar taste to a mustard cheese sauce.
Mixed with crunchy carrots and creamy, tangy mustard, mustard potato salad is tasty and easy to make. With baby carrots for natural sweetness, whole-grain mustard for pungency, and almond kernels for a nutty aroma, you can’t lose.
There’s also room to modify this salad to your taste. Feel free to add more of your favorite herbs and Mediterranean spices for extra texture and tang.
5. Ginger Beet Juice
Finally, we chose to complete this meal with beet juice. Beet, ginger, lemon juice, and green grapes join together to create a hearty drink with an added zing of freshness.
Pour this drink over ice cubes and top it off with basil. Healthy and tasty, check!
Make Tasty, Easy Dinners With These Chicken Sheets and Skillets
These rosemary chicken thighs taste as good as they look: savory, chewy, and plus, super fragrant. Everything cooks in one lined sheet so cleanup is a breeze.
Similarly, this enticing sheet pan of ours is filled with juicy meat and tender baked sweet potato fingers. One serving also plates up very nicely: a chicken filet for proteins, sweet potatoes for carbs, and green peas for the “greens” in five-a-days.
If you’re looking for just chicken breasts cooked a plethora of ways, we got you. They’re with roasted veg, salads, rice, pastas, burger buns,... you name it.
Admittedly, roll dishes are not usually my strong suit. I did, however, round this Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe out in a jiffy, which means you can totally do the same, too. Go on and hit that right note!
Season chicken breast cutlets with 1/8 tsp salt, 11/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp onion powder on both sides, rub them evenly. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Make the rolls: Place each chicken cutlet on a cling film, put successively 2 slices of Swiss cheese and 2 slices of ham on top of the cutlet, roll them up together.
Wrap the chicken roll in the plastic wrap tightly, twist the excess plastic on the two sides and tie them together. Repeat with the remaining. Chill the rolls in the fridge for 5 minutes.
Prepare 3 large plates with 1/2 cup flour, 2 beaten eggs, and 4 oz bread crumbs. Dredge the chicken rolls successively in flour.
In beaten eggs.
And in bread crumbs. Chill in the fridge again for 10 minutes.
On a cast-iron skillet, heat 1 cup olive oil over medium-high heat, wait until the oil is sizzling. Transfer the chicken rolls in and turn down to medium heat.
Fry the chicken rolls for 8 minutes, turn whenever one side is golden brown.
Sprinkle chopped dill on top. Serve while still hot.
(*) Only part of these ingredients will end up in the final product and we have calculated nutritional values based on that amount. The whole amount is needed for the coating and cooking process, but what actually ends up being consumed are 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/6 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 medium egg, and 3 1/2 ounces of breadcrumbs.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 419Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Vitamin A 146IU
Vitamin C 1mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
Delicious chicken cordon bleu with a crispy and savory coating!