Easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu

This chicken cordon bleu recipe is the easiest ever because you stack the ingredients instead of stuffing them inside the chicken. This makes it super quick, even if you’re making a big panful!


What is Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Chicken Cordon Bleu is a European classic that originated in Switzerland. It’s usually made by stuffing ham and cheese inside of a chicken breast and then breading and pan-frying it.

The name Cordon Bleu means “Blue Ribbon” and refers to a wide blue ribbon once worn by the highest order of knights. Calling something blue ribbon was a way to say that it was of special quality.

Note that my Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe has tomato slices on it, just because I like them. You can totally leave them out if you want to be more traditional.

What Makes This Cordon Bleu So Easy?

When it comes to weeknight meals, I didn’t want to spend the time flattening the chicken into a cutlet (which you can learn to do here if you’d like), and then stuffing it, and then breading it, and then panfrying it. You already can tell what a pain this would be, right? Instead, I came up with this Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe where the ham, chicken, and cheese are simply and quickly layered, and then topped with lightly oiled breadcrumbs that get nice and crunchy.

This chicken cordon bleu recipe stacks the ingredients over the chicken instead of stuffing them inside. And it's baked, so it's a simpler and healthier version of the classic.

By layering it in this way, you can double, or even triple, the recipe and assemble a whole pan of these cordon bleu stacks lickety split!

You may have noticed that the ham’s on the bottom, under the chicken. That’s to catch any cheese that melts off the top and tries to slide away.

This chicken cordon bleu recipe stacks the ingredients over the chicken instead of stuffing them inside. And it's baked, so it's a simpler and healthier version of the classic.

Since first making this recipe, I have discovered that using a silicone mat or parchment paper stops the cheese from sticking, thus making clean up a breeze. I should say thought that I sometimes still put the stacks straight onto the pan so that the cheese drips down and browns on the pan. Then I use a metal spatula, one with a sharp bevel like this, to scrape under the chicken and get all of that browned crunchy cheese onto my plate. You get less (or no) brown crunchy cheese on the silpat, but the clean up is so easy that it’s hard to choose which version is better.

Finally, you might notice that I’ve included tomato slices here. Those aren’t traditionally part of chicken cordon bleu, but I wanted a bit of extra moisture and some vegetable all in one dish. Tomatoes arrived.

What Kind of Chicken to Use for Cordon Bleu?

I prefer using chicken thighs for this dish. I get the boneless skinless chicken thighs and kind of unroll them to make flat pieces of chicken. I prefer thighs to breasts for most things because they’re juicier and don’t get overcooked and dry as easily.

However, if you want to use breasts instead of thighs, you absolutely can. You want the breast to sit within the slice of ham. If the chicken breasts are too big for this, then cut them in half. I would also suggest that you consider pounding them slightly. This is because chicken breasts are usually thicker on one end than the other (the rounded end is usually thicker than the pointy end). What this means is that the pointy part ends up overcooked by the time the rounded part is cooked through. If you pound the thicker end down a bit so that it’s the same thickness as the thinner end, then the breasts cook more evenly. Learn how to pound the chicken breasts (and see pictures of how to do it) here. 

Okay, now it’s time for the Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe! Have a great day!

Christine ;)


Easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


This chicken cordon bleu recipe is the easiest ever because you stack the ingredients instead of stuffing them inside the chicken. This makes it super quick, even if you’re making a big panful!


  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 (1 oz.) slices ham
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 2 large chicken breasts cut in half)
  • 4 (1 oz.) slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 large tomato, sliced (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine the panko, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
  3. Lay the 4 slices of ham out on the baking sheet in a non-overlapping layer.
  4. Take a chicken thigh and unroll it so that it is a flat single-layered piece. Put it on top of one of the slices of ham. Repeat with the remaining chicken thighs.
  5. Top each chicken thigh with a slice of cheese.
  6. If using, lay two tomato slice over each piece of cheese, overlapping the tomato slices slightly if needed to make them fit onto the chicken.
  7. Top each chicken stack with one quarter of the bread crumb mixture.
  8. Bake until chicken is cooked through to 165F on an instant read thermometer, and bread crumbs are browned, about 20-25 minutes.
This post originally appeared in September, 2013. It was revised and republished in February, 2021.
Easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu

19 responses to “Easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu”

  1. Linda says:

    I have made this soooo many times, and it’s ALWAYS a hit.  Easy to make ahead then pop in oven.  And impressive to serve to guests!!  Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. Kathleen Peterspn says:

    How can the chicken cordon bleu recipe be converted to use an air fryer?

  3. Kirk Mangels says:

    This is really good!. The recipe is quick and simple, and the results are delicious – thanks so much!

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  8. Love Cordon Bleu! Yours looks fab! :)

  9. Ok, I want this right now. DH knows how to make crepes and really good coffee. Nice BUT this would be even better.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Crepes, you say? I don’t think my man can do that. He does make a mean coffee though. I honestly am just happy whenenver he cooks. Doesn’t matter what he makes, I always think it’s amazing. And so nice to sit at the counter, sip wine and watch.

  10. Well, I divorced the man who was sharing my kitchen, but a lifetime ago I said I would marry him after he made me a raspberry souffle! Still love a raspberry souffle AND a man who knows his way around the kitchen!

    Great story Christine. I think it is FAB that your man wants to keep his recipe a secret. I am just thrilled you are willing to share yours!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Betsy, I totally understand the pull of the raspberry souffle. Or any kind of souffle. That is one dish that I have not come anywhere near perfecting yet. Always a disaster, actually. Maybe I should get my man to give it a try!

  11. Renee says:

    It’s been ages since I’ve had Chicken Cordon Bleu. Seeing this makes me want it very soon. I love your version that isn’t breaded and fried.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Thanks Renee. I rarely fry anything. So rarely that I hadn’t even realized that it was remarkable here. But you’re right. This is not only easier but healthier than the original.

  12. Love the short-cut of everything on top! I’m pretty happy whenever my hubby decides to grill…but, he did make me a tasty carrot cake from scratch once!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Mmmm…I love homemade carrot cake. Did he make cream cheese frosting too? I’m swooning! Thanks Marjory :)

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