Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole offers a delightful twist on the classic dish, simplifying the preparation while maintaining its comforting flavors. This hearty casserole combines tender chicken, savory ham, and creamy Swiss cheese, all baked to perfection with a crispy breadcrumb topping. Whether served for a cozy family dinner or shared at a gathering, this recipe promises to satisfy cravings and impress guests with its rich taste and inviting aroma.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 8 oz. ham, diced
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 can (10.75 oz.) cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped chicken, diced ham, and half of the Swiss cheese. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream of chicken soup, milk, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper until smooth.
  4. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken and ham layers, making sure to cover completely.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining Swiss cheese over the soup mixture, creating a cheesy layer.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, Panko bread crumbs, and paprika. Sprinkle this mixture over the casserole top.
  7. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling.
  8. Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes before serving to let it set.

Variations & Tips:

  • For a lighter version, try using low-fat milk and reduced-fat cream of chicken soup.
  • To impart some green, mix in some cooked broccoli or peas with the chicken and ham.
  • If you prefer a crunchier topping, broil the casserole for an additional 1-2 minutes after baking, watching carefully to prevent burning.
  • Leftover rotisserie chicken makes an excellent time-saver and adds depth of flavor.
  • If Swiss cheese isn’t to your liking, you can substitute Gruyère for a nuttier profile or a mild cheddar for a more familiar take on the dish.
  • As always, ensure you’re tasting and seasoning as you go to cater to your personal preference.
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Conclusion:
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole is a comforting and satisfying dish that brings together the flavors of the classic Chicken Cordon Bleu in an easy-to-make casserole format. With its layers of chicken, ham, Swiss cheese, and creamy sauce, topped with crispy breadcrumbs, it’s sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. Whether for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, this casserole offers both convenience and deliciousness that will delight family and friends alike.

  1. Can I Prepare Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole in Advance?
  • Yes, Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole can be prepared in advance to streamline mealtime preparations. You can assemble the casserole according to the recipe instructions up to the point of baking. Once assembled, cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate. When ready to bake, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes to take the chill off. Then, proceed with baking as directed in the recipe. Keep in mind that if you’re preparing the casserole ahead of time, you may need to adjust the baking time slightly to ensure it heats through completely.
  1. Can I Freeze Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole for Later Use?
  • Yes, Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole can be frozen for later enjoyment. To freeze the casserole, assemble it according to the recipe instructions but do not bake it. Instead, cover the unbaked casserole tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Label the dish with the date and contents before placing it in the freezer. Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole can typically be frozen for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, bake the casserole according to the recipe instructions, adjusting the baking time as needed to ensure it’s heated through and the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  1. Can I Substitute Ingredients in Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole?
  • Yes, Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole is versatile, and you can customize it to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs. For example:
    • Protein: Instead of chicken breast, you can use leftover roasted or grilled chicken, turkey, or even cooked turkey bacon. Additionally, if you prefer, you can omit the ham or substitute it with cooked and crumbled bacon or smoked turkey.
    • Cheese: While Swiss cheese is traditional in Chicken Cordon Bleu, you can experiment with other cheese varieties such as Gruyère, mozzarella, or cheddar for different flavor profiles.
    • Sauce: If you prefer a homemade sauce instead of cream of chicken soup, you can make a roux-based sauce using butter, flour, and chicken broth or milk, seasoned with herbs and spices of your choice.
    • Topping: Feel free to customize the breadcrumb topping by adding herbs like parsley or chives for extra flavor, or substitute Panko breadcrumbs with regular breadcrumbs or crushed crackers.
  1. How Do I Reheat Leftover Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole?
  • To reheat leftover Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). If the casserole is in a microwave-safe dish, you can also reheat individual portions in the microwave. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to prevent the top from becoming too browned or crispy during reheating. Bake the casserole for about 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. If you’re reheating individual portions in the microwave, start with 1-2 minutes on high power, then check for doneness and continue heating in 30-second intervals as needed. Once reheated, allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes before serving to let the flavors meld together. Ensure the internal temperature of the casserole reaches 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
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