Growing up, I remember eating Chicken Cordon Bleu and just loving the combination of flavors. Gooey cheese, crunchy coating, everything about it was just yum. But making and cooking the individual chicken pieces can be a little time consuming, so I started looking for alternative ideas. A way to get the same ingredients, flavors, and memories but in a faster and simpler dish. Enter: Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake.
Pasta bakes are so simple and easy to make, and they result in such a delicious dish! Somehow mixing everything together and baking it off elevates a simple pasta dish to something special. My husband is always a fan of pasta bakes.
I love to make my Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake (or Chicken Cordon Blue Pasta Bake) extra cheesy by adding a layer of shredded cheese in the middle of the pasta itself. No one ever seems to complain 🙂 No idea why…
Swiss is a classic cheese here but I am a fan of Monterey Jack. You can also throw in some of your favorite veggies, more meat, etc. Make it your own! That is one of the best things about cooking 🙂
Leftover chicken and deli ham make this dish incredibly simple. Cheese sauce is whipped up in just a few minutes while the pasta cooks, and then you can let the oven do the rest of the work! And whenever you have people hovering, or when leftovers disappear in a flash, you know you have a winner.
What are your favorite childhood dishes that you wish were faster or easier to make?
- 1 lb pasta shape of choice such as penne or rotini
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white wine (optional)
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups Swiss cheese (or monterey jack), shredded
- black pepper
- 2 cups chicken cooked, diced
- 3/4 cup deli ham cut into 1" squares
- 2 Tbsp butter melted
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a large pot, heat water to a boil and cook pasta as per package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside when done.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the butter until melted over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook until the roux is a light golden color, whisking occasionally, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Add the white wine to the roux mixture and cook until reduced by half, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Add the milk to the white wine and roux mixture. Whisk to combine. Cook until heated through.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese to the milk mixture and stir until melted in. (Reserve the other 1/2 cup of cheese for assembly). Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Combine the pasta, cheese sauce, chicken, and ham in a large pot. Stir to combine.
- Spread half of the pasta mixture in a large baking dish. Top the pasta layer with the 1/2 cup of reserved shredded cheese.
- Fill the dish with the rest of the pasta.
- In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, panko breadcrumbs, and dried parsley. Stir to combine.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs across the top of the pasta.
- Bake the pasta until heated through and the breadcrumbs are starting to turn a light golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. If the breadcrumbs are darkening too fast, cover the dish with aluminum foil. Serve warm.