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This week’s recipe I’m going to warn you, it does not remotely meet the definition of healthy. Not that it’s bad for you but it definitely contains lots of wholesome, and high calorie, ingredients. That said it’s easily one of my favorite dishes that my mom has made over the years. I give you: chicken Cordon Bleu casserole.
Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those dishes that is often associated with fancy French restaurants. In reality it’s actually very simple dish. Chicken, ham and a little Swiss cheese and tada! A savory main course. The challenge of course lies in stuffing a chicken, but that does not mean you necessarily have to in order to get all of those wonderful flavors.
I think this recipe was born out of my mom‘s frustration having to make chicken Alfredo and spaghetti and meatballs constantly without much variation. We had several picky eaters in the family and appeasing everybody got to be a challenge. But everybody liked pasta and everybody likes chicken. She used to pick up chicken cordon bleu stuffed breast at the grocery store and make those… But there was something about the feeling that wasn’t so appealing. Then one day she decided to throw chicken and ham into a pot of pasta along with a cheese sauce made out of Swiss. This quickly became a family favorite.
Over the years it’s still been a fairly requested dish. And one of the best parts about it it was that it was easily converted to gluten free by simply substituting the type of pasta use. This does play a little bit with the liquid concentration of the dish, but we recently found that cooking gluten free noodles in chicken broth seems to prevent excessive moisture uptake in a recipe that’s going to end up in the oven. That being said you can simply substitute regular noodles for gluten free pasta and still cook them in water if desired or just use the chicken broth for a little added flavor!
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
- 9×13 pan
- 2 stock pots
- 12-16 oz Penne Pasta regular or GF, I used Barilla
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 16 oz Swiss cheese, cubed
- 1-2 cups milk or heavy cream
- 1-4 tbsp flour regular or GF, for thickening if needed
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 8 oz ham, diced I used John Morrell
- 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cook the pasta according to instructions substituting chicken broth for water for a better flavor. For gluten-free pasta I find this also helps retain moisture. While the pasta cooks shredded the rotisserie chicken if not done earlier.
- In a large stock pot heat 2 cups of milk until hot. Add switch to use in 1 inch cubes if you had a time, allowing to melt thoroughly in between. Stir frequently until cheese is completely evident melted. Additional cream/milk or flour can be added to reach desired consistency. Avoid adding chicken broth or other water-based products to thin sauce. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add pasta, chicken and ham to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Transfer contents to a lightly greased 9×13 pan and press into place. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese along the top and bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbling.
- Serve with a side of your favorite vegetables for a complete meal. This pairs well with asparagus or broccoli. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave covered and revive with chicken broth as needed.