For this oven baked Chicken Cordon Bleu, lean chicken breast is stuffed with black forest ham and swiss cheese, then rolled in crunchy panko breadcrumbs. It’s an easy and delicious dinner that only takes 45 minutes to make.

Chicken Cordon Bleu - Served Sliced on Plate to Show Thin chicken cutlets stuffed with ham and swiss cheese

I ate chicken cordon bleu all. the. time. when I was a kid. However, this chicken cordon bleu came in a box. Frozen. The quality was questionable. But oh boy, did I love the flavors. Fortunately, this is a recipe that’s pretty simple to put together yourself using scratch ingredients. And of course, this homemade version is far better than any frozen option you can buy.

Chicken cordon bleu is typically deep-fried or pan fried, but here we simply bake it in the oven. It’s much healthier and also much less of a pain. Every once in a while I will set up my deep fryer for Homemade Mozzarella Sticks or Homemade French Fries, but I generally dread setting up the deep fryer, and will only do so when there’s not a good alternative.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe - Sliced and Served on Dish with Salad

Once you’ve made this dish once, know that you can play with the fillings a bit. I use a modest amount of ham and cheese in the middle, but you could add a few extra slices of cheese to make it extra gooey and delicious. You can also turn it into a sandwich and make this Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini next time!

Tips for Best Results

Buy chicken cutlets – While you can certainly butterfly chicken breasts yourself, I find that buying them already cut at the store yields much more evenly thin pieces, which is better for rolling. They are usually about the same cost as ordinary chicken breast, and it’s great that they’re ready to work with straight out of the package.

Roll tightly – Meat always shrinks as it cooks, so you’ll want to roll these up extra tight before baking. This looks nicer, but will also hold the filling better.

Use great cheese – Cheese varies HUGELY in quality, and I recommend going for a good quality swiss or gruyere here. Don’t get the cheap store-brand swiss cheese. Try to use cheese from a reputable brand like Emmentaler. Tillamook is also good.

Step by Step Overview:

Start by mixing together a simple spice mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and dried thyme:

Spice mixture for chicken in bowl - garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and thyme

This isn’t necessarily traditional for chicken cordon bleu, but I really prefer my food to be well-seasoned and the flavors go great here, without overpowering the dish.

Sprinkle this spice mixture all over the cutlets, along with salt and pepper, then lay them out on a flat surface.

Add a slice of black forest ham and two slices of swiss cheese onto each cutlet, so that each piece is generously covered.

Ham and Cheese Slices on Chicken Breast

Roll the chicken tightly lengthwise, and secure with a few toothpicks. You really don’t need more than three toothpicks per piece to keep everything in place:

Rolling chicken with ham and cheese and securing with toothpicks

The chicken rolls are going to look hideous but trust me, it will all turn out okay when you slice and serve it later.

Set up a breading station with flour, egg wash (simply an egg beaten with water), and panko breadcrumbs, and bread each rolled cutlet in that order, making sure to shake off the excess each step of the way. That prevents the breading from falling off.

Rolling Cordon Bleu Chicken breast in panko breading

Once you’ve breaded each piece, line the prepared cutlets up on a sheet pan:

Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu - on Sheet Pan with Panko Breadcrumbs

If you have some handy, spray the tops of each roll with cooking spray to encourage browning, but know that it’s not necessary. I’m not using any here. I don’t recommend attempting to brush on any oils, because it will remove the bread crumbs.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is gooey and the meat is cooked through:

Fully Cooked Chicken Cordon Bleu Rolls on Sheet Pan with Cheese Oozing

Because the thickness of the rolled chicken varies depending on the size of your cutlets, I find it important to use a thermometer here (affiliate). Cooking to an internal temperature of 160F is sufficient, as it will rise another 5 degrees from carryover cooking after it’s removed from the oven.

Slices of the Best Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe on a wooden board with knife

How to Serve

Remove the toothpicks from each piece of chicken, then cut into slices for the most attractive presentation. Fan the slices out on each plate, then serve with whatever side you enjoy. Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Roasted Cauliflower are two of my favorite healthy sides to serve with this. In the photos above, I have my Herb Mushroom Barley on the side.

Potato Gratin is also heavenly, just a bit heartier, or you could do some simple Steak Fries and bake them at the same time as the Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Recipe Tips and FAQ

How do you store Chicken Cordon Bleu leftovers?

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Yes, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Before reheating, I recommending thawing in the fridge overnight.

How do you reheat Chicken Cordon Bleu?

The microwave is easiest, though it will not yield a crunchy breading. Cook in 30 second intervals until warmed through. For a crunchier exterior, reheat in a 300F oven for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.

Can you make Chicken Cordon Bleu ahead of time?

Yes, you can roll up the chicken breasts and secure with toothpicks a day in advance, then roll in the flour/egg/breadcrumbs right before baking and pop it into the oven. Cook time may be be a few minutes longer since the meat will be colder coming right out of the fridge.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Served Sliced on Plate to Show Thin chicken cutlets stuffed with ham and swiss cheese

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken cutlets are stuffed with black forest ham and swiss cheese, and coated in panko breadcrumbs.
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Ingredients

  • 1.25 lbs chicken cutlets (I had 6)*
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs whisked with 1 tbsp water
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 lb thinly sliced black forest ham
  • 1/3 lb thinly sliced Swiss or Gruyere cheese
  • cooking spray optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and thyme. Sprinkle evenly all over the chicken. Season the chicken evenly with the salt and black pepper as well.
  • Set up a breading station by placing the flour in the first bowl, the whisked eggs in the second, and the panko in the third.
  • Lay out the chicken cutlets on a flat surface, and place a single layer of both ham and cheese on each cutlet. Roll each one up tightly lengthwise, then secure with 3 toothpicks.
  • Dip each chicken roll in the flour, then in the egg, then in the panko breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess coating every step of the way. Place on a baking tray.
  • If you have cooking spray, you may spray the tops of each chicken roll to encourage browning. This is not required.
  • Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, until it registers an internal temperature of 160F using a thermometer. Baking time may vary depending on how big your cutlets were, so a thermometer is important for making sure you don't over or undercook the chicken. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes, then remove the toothpicks, slice, and serve!

Notes

*You can purchase chicken cutlets at the store which will be ready to work with, or you can buy a typical 3-pack of chicken breasts, then cut them into cutlets yourself, getting 6 pieces to use for this recipe. See my Chicken Milanese post if you need step-by-step photos for how to cut the cutlets from breast pieces yourself.
Storing leftovers: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezing: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Before reheating, I recommending thawing in the fridge overnight.
Reheating: The microwave is easiest, though it will not yield a crunchy breading. Cook in 30 second intervals until warmed through. For a crunchier exterior, reheat in a 300F oven for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.
Make-ahead Option: You can roll up the chicken breasts and secure with toothpicks a day in advance, then roll in the flour/egg/breadcrumbs right before baking and pop it into the oven. Cook time may be be a few minutes longer since the meat will be colder coming right out of the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 376.58kcal, Carbohydrates: 25.22g, Protein: 37.56g, Fat: 12.9g, Saturated Fat: 5.87g, Cholesterol: 167.58mg, Sodium: 980.52mg, Potassium: 517.47mg, Fiber: 1.24g, Sugar: 2.61g, Vitamin A: 421.66IU, Vitamin C: 1.13mg, Calcium: 251.24mg, Iron: 2.59mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.