Shortcut Chicken Cordon Bleu

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This easy Chicken Cordon Bleu made with chicken breast, ham, Swiss cheese, and Dijon mustard is a twenty minute weeknight meal the whole family loves.

246 CAL 5g CARBS 8g FAT 37g PROTEIN 4

This Healthy Chicken Cordon Bleu takes all the hard work out of making this delicious ham and cheese stuffed chicken. Paired with some Garlic Roasted Broccoli or Mashed Cauliflower, it's a meal you will make again and again.

When it comes to family favorite meals, this one ranks super high on the list with its tasty combination of chicken topped with ham, melted Swiss cheese, and the best crunchy almond topping. It's crispy and cheesy and savory and just so so good. Plus it's healthy, low carb, and something you can get on the table in less than thirty minutes.

Lately, I have been trying to focus on eating less carbs, but sometimes I still want something with “crunch” or “breading.” However, after trying some low carb breadcrumbs, I decided a better option was to substitute nuts in for breading. Not only does it provide a great crunch, it also adds healthy fat and protein.

So with my new found breadcrumbs, I decided to set out to make a quicker version of Chicken Cordon Bleu because I definitely don't have time for the traditional version on a busy weeknight. Instead of pounding the chicken cutlets, rolling with the ham and cheese, dipping in egg wash, and breading, you just stack everything up and bake it for 20-25 minutes in the oven. It really couldn’t be easier and can be made with low carb/gluten free almond breadcrumbs or traditional breadcrumbs. Make up a big batch and save some for future meals. It makes a delicious sandwich or salad. Arby's anyone? 

Chicken cordon bleu with ham, Swiss cheese, and almond breadcrumbs with broccoli

What is Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Traditionally chicken cordon bleu is a French stuffed chicken dish. It starts with a very thinly pounded chicken breast. That chicken breast is stuffed with smoked ham and cheese and then rolled up and secured with toothpicks. Then it is dredged in eggs and flour and typically fried in a skillet. It's delicious but it is time intensive and has a lot of extra calories from the frying. Sometimes it is served with a cream sauce made with Dijon mustard, butter, and heavy cream. 

For this easy chicken cordon bleu, I eliminated all the hard work. Instead, the chicken is simply topped with the ham and cheese with a hearty smear of Dijon for some flavor. Then it is topped with either almond or traditional breadcrumbs and baked until tender and delicious. Easy as pie. 

What side dishes go with Healthy Chicken Cordon Bleu?

There are so many options when it comes to choosing a side dish for this chicken dish. Normally I almost always reach for something green like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, or a nice salad. Here are some ideas for sides:

  • I always think about broccoli when making this dish and this Crispy Baked Broccoli is a great pairing.
  • Cauliflower is another low carb option and it is hard to beat this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower.
  • If you aren't eating low carb, consider serving it with mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes.
  • In warmer months, we almost always serve this with a big green salad with a lemon vinaigrette. 

Can I use breadcrumbs instead of almonds?

Absolutely! If you want to make a more traditional cordon bleu, substitute regular or Panko breadcrumbs for the almonds. Prepare them the same way with melted butter so that they get nice and cripsy in the oven. For a gluten-free option, just make sure to grab some gluten free breadcrumbs. 

Can I make this in a skillet?

If you prefer making this stovetop, just make a few simple modifications. Start by grabbing some chicken cutlets or slice your chicken breasts into smaller cutlets. This will ensure they cook through in the skillet without burning. Then season them with salt and pepper and add them to a skillet with some olive oil. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until just cooked through, and top with the Dijon mustard, ham, and cheese. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts. 

Meanwhile, make the almond and butter mixture. Add that to a small pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until it is crispy and toasted. This works with regular breadcrumbs as well. Serve on top of the chicken.

Shortcut Chicken Cordon Bleu with melted cheese, ham, and almonds on a sheet pan.

How do I make a sauce for Chicken Cordon Bleu?

If you want to serve your chicken cordon bleu with a sauce, here is a quick and healthy recipe for a Dijon cream sauce to serve over top of the chicken.

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1.5 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Directions: Heat the butter in a small saucepan until it melts. Add the flour and stir until it turns light brown to make your roux. Stir in the skim milk and turn down to a simmer. Whisk until there are no clumps. Once it thickens, turn off the heat and stir in the mustard, cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. taste and season as needed. Serve drizzled over the chicken.

Tips for Making Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • Although this dish is traditionally made with Swiss cheese, you can substitute any cheese you like - mozzarella, cheddar, pepper jack, etc. Cream cheese works too.
  • For a more authentic cordon bleu use regular breadcrumbs instead of the almonds.
  • Change up the flavor by adding different herbs and spices to the chicken. Try Italian seasoning, rosemary, or thyme.
  • For some veggies, add in a layer of cooked spinach or roasted red peppers. 
  • For an extra crispy coating, double up the almonds or breadcrumbs and cover the entire chicken breast.

This recipe was originally shared in 2014 and has been updated with new photos, a video, tips, and ideas.

The Recipe
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Shortcut Chicken Cordon Bleu

246 CAL 5g CARBS 8g FAT 37g PROTEIN 4
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  • 1.25 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 5 slices deli ham, 96% fat free
  • 5 slices low fat Swiss cheese (1 oz.)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup almonds, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper

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Preheat the oven to 350 degree


Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.


Cut the chicken breasts into 5 pieces and pound them out to uniform thickness. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in baking dish. Brush each chicken breast with Dijon mustard.


Top with ham (folded if needed) and cheese.


Melt butter in the microwave and toss together the almonds, garlic powder, and oregano. Sprinkle on top of the chicken.


Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If desired, broil for last 2 minutes for an extra crispy top. Please note, cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken so keep an eye on it. It is ready when it reaches 165 degrees and the juices run clear.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
Amount Per Serving
Calories 246
Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 81mg
Sodium 391mg
Total Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 37g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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On Shortcut Chicken Cordon Bleu
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Andrea Pegg
January 4, 2018 - 05:49
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Loved this, and so easy!
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Bethany Duffy
April 11, 2017 - 16:27
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This is in our regular rotation! Husband, kid and I all love it. The only change I make is adding a smear of Dijon mustard on the chicken breasts before topping with the ham, cheese, and nut mixture. It adds a little extra flavor that takes it over the top.
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Geneva Perez
August 29, 2016 - 21:07
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It was so good, my husband and 11yr old step daughter loved it! Perfect dinner choice, quick and easy.
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