Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese


Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese is hearty, but surprisingly light, with no butter or cream!

Don’t put your stretchy pants away from Thanksgiving just yet – there’s still Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese to be had!

Ok, to be fair, this mac and cheese recipe is actually VERY light when compared to other mac and cheese recipes. It’s made with NO butter, SKIM milk, lean chicken breast, diced ham, and a modest amount of quality-shredded cheese to mimic the classic flavors of a Chicken Cordon Bleu rollup.

Which I’ve actually never made because it just looks way too complicated. And homey don’t play that.

I know I just linked you guys off to a mac and cheese recipe the other day but, like I said, the hamster wheel inside my brain keeps spinning all mac and cheese, all the time, and I could not wait another second to try this deconstructed Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese!

Instead of pounding out chicken breasts, layering them with ham and cheese, then rolling up, and cooking, I sauteed a chicken breast with regular deli ham, then combined it with cooked pasta, and an easy cheese sauce. It’s silky, creamy, salty, and mouthwatering. I know you’ll love it!

Start the Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese with zee cheese! 4oz each Gruyere and Swiss cheese. I don’t usually love Swiss cheese, as it’s a little too strong for me, so the cheese guy at Whole Foods recommended this Prairie Rose Swiss, which is not only really mild, but melts well too. Loved it!

Shred the cheese by any means possible – box grater, hand grater, food processor etc. – then set it aside for a sec.

Next saute 1 large chicken breast cut into small pieces then seasoned with salt and pepper in a skillet over medium-high heat. I used non-stick spray vs adding any extra oil, which worked like a charm.

When the chicken is cooked through, add 1/2lb smoked deli ham sliced 1/2″ thick, then cut into small cubes. I had the woman working at the deli counter at the store cut it into “ham-steak” thickness, then cubed it at home.

Since the ham is already cooked you just need to warm it up for a minute or two. Once it’s hot, place some foil on top of the skillet then set it aside.

Next drop 10oz short cut pasta into a big pot of salted, boiling water. You can use whatever you’ve got on hand – penne, rotini, macaroni, etc. I used mini penne ’cause that’s all I had 10oz of, plus they’re so dang cute!

While the pasta is cooking, get to work on the cheese sauce. Stir together 1/2 cup milk with 2 Tablespoons flour in a small dish then add it to a large skillet over medium heat. Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup more milk plus 1 cup chicken broth while whisking constantly then season the sauce with salt and pepper and stir for 10 minutes, or until thick and bubbly.

Also, yes, that is definitely an electric beater attachment whisk. My regular one was in the dishwasher!

To complete the cheese sauce, take the skillet off the heat then add 3/4 of the shredded cheese and stir until smooth.

Stir in the cooked pasta, chicken, and ham next…

Then transfer the whole mixture into a nonstick sprayed baking dish, top with the remaining cheese, and broil ’til golden brown and bubbly.

Like this! Whee!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese

Serves 6


Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese is hearty, but surprisingly light, with no butter or cream!


  • 1 large chicken breast cut into small pieces then seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 1/2lb smoked deli ham, sliced 1/2" thick and cubed
  • 10oz short cut pasta - penne, shells, rotini, etc.
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup (4oz) gruyere cheese, shredded & divided
  • 1 cup (4oz) swiss cheese, shredded & divided


  1. Saute seasoned chicken pieces in a non-stick sprayed skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add ham then cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until heated through. Cover skillet with foil then set aside. Add pasta to a large pot of salted, boiling water then cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Whisk flour and 1/2 cup milk together in a small dish then add to a large skillet over medium heat. Slowly add remaining milk and chicken broth while whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper then switch to a wooden spoon and cook, stirring near constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat then remove skillet from hot burner.
  3. Add 3/4 cup of each cheese into the skillet then stir until smooth. Add cooked chicken, ham, and pasta then stir to combine. Pour into a non-stick sprayed 8x8 baking dish then top with remaining cheese and broil until golden brown.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

I could totally taste the Swiss cheese in here, but the more mild Gruyere mellowed everything out. The combo of the two was perfectly light and creamy. I did not feel bad at all about eating a heaping scoop of this mac!

That smoked ham had me drooling too (sorry for the visual) and I made sure to get a few cubes in each cheesy bite. Sensational! Ben called it bomb as hell.

I’ll take it!


Workout of the day: 35 Minute, 3.5 Mile Treadmill Workout

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  1. MMMmmmmm…. cheeeeeese. Can you really have too many mac n cheese recipes? I don’t think so. :)

  2. My husband thanks you and I curse you already. One the meal plan for Thursday :) Looks amazing!

  3. Lauren 11.26.2012

    Have you considered doing a cookbook on just your mac and cheese recipes alone? Seriously, this could lead to something…;)

    • Joanna Branson 11.27.2012

      You’re onto a great idea, Lauren! There is a woman who attends our local farmer’s market each week and sells nothing but different varieties of mac and cheese! She’s doing well enough that she’s considering opening a mac-n-cheese store! A cookbook is a great idea!

  4. Lori @ RecipeGirl 11.26.2012

    What a delicious flavor idea for Mac n Cheese!

  5. We make a chicken cordon bleu in the crockpot — and love it. So, I can imagine that this one will be amazing! I’m all for cheating to make recipes easier; I can’t imagine actually pounding chicken.

  6. Wendy B 11.26.2012

    This looks goo-ood! I am putting it in the “make in the next week” file. I like how you made a cheese sauce (which has always seemed a little intimidating to me) seem like something I can do!

  7. Bomb as hell is right.

  8. jennyv 11.26.2012

    My husband is obsessed with chicken cordon bleu & this seems like a great spin! I seriously don’t know how you and Ben don’t have to buy bigger pants each season… I would have no portion control around your dishes!

  9. My old non-vegetarian self would have been all over this! I used to love chicken cordon bleu!

  10. Stephie 11.26.2012

    This sounds delicious!! I am planning on trying it out on Friday <3

  11. karen downes 11.26.2012

    Kristin, I hope you don’t mind but I have a Iowa Girl Eats Faves board on Pinterest. I tried to e-mail you to see if it was ok with you but the address was unkown. Please let me know if you would like me to take it down. My feelings will not be hurt and I will still follow your blog. Thanks- downes

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.26.2012

      Hi Karen! I’m so sorry you had trouble emailing me, but that is totally fine that you have an IGE Faves board! I’m glad you have enough recipes that you enjoy that you were able to create one! :)

  12. […] dinner: Iowa Girl’s Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac & Cheese […]

  13. Melissa 11.26.2012

    I have been following your blog for over a year now and usually don’t leave comments but could not help myself this time. First, I love how you find new twists to homestyle faves. Second, I love your commentary!!! You actually had me busting out laughing on the “homey don’t play that line”…classic : )

  14. julia 11.26.2012

    yum! i love that you are just as obsessed with mac & cheese as i am AND that you try & make it healthier! thanks kristin!


  15. I don’t plan on putting my stretchy pants away until after New Year’s! If you keep posting mac and cheese recipes I may never put them back into storage ;) Can’t wait to try this new cheesy version!

  16. Sounds amazing but I’d have to serve it with a big big pile of something green to combat all that cheese -hah!

  17. Oh my….this looks so amazing! Love mac n cheese in all ways, shapes and forms!

  18. Trisha 11.27.2012

    Looks like another winner! One can never share too many mac & cheese recipes!

  19. Joanna Branson 11.27.2012

    I can’t wait to try this! My daughter loves you (she can’t get enough mac-n-cheese and Mommy is SO done with Kraft!) and I appreciate having so many options to keep her satisfied. Thank you!

  20. Megan 11.27.2012

    I saw this recipe this morning and made it for dinner tonight. You have a winner here! I forgot the gruyere cheese but put a little mild cheddar in it and it was still freaking tasty. Definite recommend from me!

  21. Ambar 11.28.2012

    I would totallu make this recipe on a cozy night! Love it!

  22. Hannah 11.28.2012

    SO good! just made it! :) can’t wait for left overs!!

  23. Rebecca 12.03.2012

    We made this last night & our whole family LOVED it even my 17 month old son!!! And the leftovers today were amazing!!! Thank you for another fantastic recipe!!!

  24. Sadye 12.17.2012

    Brought a pan of this to a party and only ended up with one serving of leftovers :) I will definitely make it again … for myself.

  25. Cortney 12.18.2012

    Making this for dinner tonight! Since I don’t have any swiss on-hand I’m sub’ing parmesan and some mild white cheddar, along with the gruyere. Hope it turns out okay!

  26. Tina 12.21.2012

    I am thinking of making this for Christmas Eve dinner! I plan on doubling (lots of people!) the recipe and cooking it in a 13×9, but I am VERY afraid of putting a glass dish in the broiler. Do you think it can just be baked at 350 for about 20 minutes for the same effect??

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.22.2012

      I might make 2.5 amount of the sauce if you’re baking, as it will dry it out a bit!

  27. Tifany 01.08.2013

    I made this tonight for my family and we LOVED it! My dad just had total knee replacement surgery and is with us during recovery time. I served a “girly” dish last night that he and my husband just kind of moved around with their forks and knew I had to make a more manly meal tonight. I didn’t have either types of cheese you mentioned, so I ended up using cream cheese and provel. A-mazing!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe! :-)

  28. […]  Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac & Cheese (Iowa Girl Eat): Because there’s nothing better than mac & cheese on a cold night. […]

  29. […] Read all the details about the recipe on […]

  30. […] for more fun Chicken Cordon Bleu recipes? I can’t wait to try these… Chicken Cordon Bleu Macaroni and Cheese from Iowa Girl Eats Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini from Panini Happy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta from […]

  31. […] recipe was adapted from this recipe and to be fair, the original recipe was pretty light. I only had to make minor adjustments to […]

  32. […] Full recipe at […]

  33. […] Full recipe at […]

  34. Amy 12.12.2014

    OMG, just had this for dinner and it was AMAZING. The only thing I changed was to add breadcrumbs and some melted butter to the reserved cheese before sprinkling it on top of the dish. (I like the extra crunch on my mac & cheese!) Also I made it in a 7×11″ pan because I wasn’t sure it would all fit in my not-very-deep 8×8, and it worked perfectly. I am going to be making this again and again all winter. Yum!!!

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