Classic mac and cheese but with all the flavors you love in chicken cordon bleu! Creamy, cheesy and loaded with chicken and ham, this is an easy way to feed the family!
Mac and cheese is definitely a dish that can take on so many other flavors like this lobster mac and cheese for an extra indulgent taste for dinner. Or maybe keep dinner low carb and make my cauliflower mac and cheese with cauliflower replacing the pasta!
But growing up with chicken cordon bleu for dinner at least every couple of weeks, I knew the flavors would do well in mac and cheese. This recipe is packed with cheese, chicken, diced smoked ham and peas.
how to make chicken cordon bleu mac and cheese
This recipe begins as every Mac and cheese should do, with a roux of melted butter and flour. After the flavor of the flour has been cooked out, whole milk is added and begins to thicken when mixed into the roux. Technically this is called a béchamel sauce and doesn’t really taste of much. The best part is when the cheese is added, and the better the cheese you use, the tastier your mac and cheese will be. I like to use a few different kinds of cheese for even more flavor. As well as regular sharp orange cheddar, white cheddar are really good to use.
what is chicken cordon bleu?
Traditional chicken cordon bleu is thinly pounded chicken wrapped in ham and cheese and then breaded and pan fried or deep fried. It sounds delicious because it is. Chicken, smoked ham and melted gooey cheese are made for each other!
time saving tips for this recipe
- Cook your chicken ahead of time. The chicken has to be fully cooked before being folded into the Mac and cheese. You can even buy pre-cooked chicken breasts.
- Make the whole recipe ahead of time but skip the oven bake until closer to when you’d like to serve it.
- Crispy bacon or Pancetta would work as well as smoked ham.
- This will easily feed 6 hungry people.
more mac and cheese recipes
Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese
- 3 cups elbow macaroni pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar
- 1 cup sharp white cheddar
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 large or two small chicken breasts cooked and roughly chopped
- 6-8 ounces cooked smoked ham, cut into cubes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Preheat the oven to 375°
- Rub a 9×13 inch baking pan or oven-safe dish with butter
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the olive oil to it
- Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 4-5 minutes, drain and set aside
- In a large pan met the butter until frothy and then add the flour
- Whisk until a paste is formed then add. about ¼ cup of milk
- Whisk until smooth and repeat until almost all of the milk has been added
- Turn the heat up to medium and bring to a light simmer
- Cook for about 3-4 minutes then add the grated cheddars whisking them into the sauce until smooth.
- If the sauce seems to thick just add some extra milk and whisk
- Place the elbow macaroni into the 9 x13 pan
- Add the chopped chicken, ham and peas and stir
- Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and mix well
- Bake in the oven uncovered or about 20-25 minutes and bubbly around the edges
- Let it rest for 5 minutes and then serve in bowls garnished with chives or parsley if desired