This Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole combines layers of chicken, ham, cheese, and a creamy white sauce to make the perfect dinner, any time of year!
My kids hate casserole. If I even say the word “casserole,” they head for the hills. If your kids hate casserole and similarly run for the hills at the mere mention, you might want to call this something else, because they are NOT going to want to miss this Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole. I mean pan dinner. Strata? Delight? Help me out here!
Have you ever had classic Chicken Cordon Bleu? If so, you know how amazing it is. I first had it when I went to college. It was the pre-packaged re-heated variety served in the dorm cafeteria, and it was glorious. How did they get that cheese and ham in there? I didn’t really care. It was just so good.
Some time later in my life, I tried making Chicken Cordon Bleu from scratch. The result was a severely impaled chicken breast (because of all the toothpicks I used to try to keep it from unrolling), breading that fell off in clumps, and a great deal of cheese loss. It made me sad.
What made me even more sad was how much the pre-packaged frozen variety cost at the store. So I never bought it. I was Chicken Cordon Bleu-deprived for years and years.
Imagine my rapture when I discovered this Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole! No stuffing and rolling chicken. No toothpicks. No breading falling off and cheese melting out. Just layers of chicken, ham and cheese with a creamy white sauce. It is magical.
This casserole is really easy to make. All you do is put some cooked, shredded chicken in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Then just scatter some chopped ham over the top and layer with slices of Swiss cheese. (I never have Swiss cheese, so I just use shredded mozzarella). Then you pour a lovely white sauce over it all, and crown it with buttered breadcrumbs and spices.
This recipe calls for panko. If you have never heard of this, it is feathery Japanese bread crumbs. (It literally means “little bread.”) You can buy it in any store, typically in the Asian section. Alternately, you can make your own breadcrumbs using the heels of bread. Just break them up, toss them into a food processor, and pulse a few times until they reach your desired size.
This recipe also calls for Dijon mustard. I have never bought Dijon mustard in my life, so I just use normal yellow mustard. But if YOU buy Dijon mustard, then by all means, use it!
When everything is assembled, you will bake it uncovered for about 45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and it is bubbly around the edges. Once removing it from the oven, you’ll want to let it sit and cool for 10-15 minutes to give it a chance to firm up just a bit.
This casserole is a hit with guests every time. I know your family will love it, even the kids 🙂
This recipe first appeared on Julie’s Eats and Treats, where I am a contributor.
- 5-6 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1/2 lb. thinly sliced deli ham any variety
- 1/4 lb. thinly sliced Swiss Cheese or 2 cups shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 4 Tbsp. flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
- 5 Tbsp. butter melted
- 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
- 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter or lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish.
Put shredded chicken evenly in the bottom of the baking dish.
Sprinkle the ham over the top of the chicken.
Lay the slices of cheese over the ham, or sprinkle the shredded cheese over the ham.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
Once the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and stir to make a roux. (It will look like thick paste).
Once it is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour in the milk while stirring quickly or using a whisk to make a smooth sauce.
Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
Add the lemon juice, mustard, salt, paprika, and pepper.
Bring the sauce barely to a boil and then remove from the heat.
Pour over the chicken, ham, and cheese.
Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium-sized bowl. Be sure to loosely cover the bowl to keep the butter from spattering.
Remove the bowl from the microwave and mix in the Panko, seasoning salt, poultry seasoning, and lemon pepper.
Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.