Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake - creamy pasta, melty swiss cheese, chicken, and ham all baked together and topped with homemade breadcrumbs.

I am NOT on a diet. Really and truly, I DO NOT like that word. It reminds me of powdery meal replacement shakes, translating your food into numbers, and then gaining it all back the next week. So instead of labeling it as a diet, I just tell myself I’m cutting back.

I’m being careful.

I’m watching what I eat.

I’m making healthy choices.

I’m only eating when I’m hungry.

I’m stopping when I’m full.

So in other words, I’m pretty much on a diet! But let’s not call it that okay?

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake - creamy pasta, melty swiss cheese, chicken, and ham all baked together and topped with homemade breadcrumbs. I sure love this little job of mine, but writing a food blog is a little hard on your waistline, just so you know! I wondered when it would catch up to me. (um, apparently TODAY).

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake - creamy pasta, melty swiss cheese, chicken, and ham all baked together and topped with homemade breadcrumbs.

I’m realizing as I type this that I’m setting myself up for a little scrutiny. So if you run into me at Costco and see a giant box of ice cream sandwiches in my cart, IT’S FOR THE KIDS! Promise. It’s just a few pounds, but they happen to be the very pounds that have made my shorts a little snug, and I really don’t want to buy new ones. Too cheap for that. No worries, I realize you probably aren’t on a “not a diet” like I am, so I’ll still be posting my typical variety of recipes – fresh, simple, and delicious! I just might need to train myself to eat one and then pass the rest along to others whose shorts are not so snug.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake - creamy pasta, melty swiss cheese, chicken, and ham all baked together and topped with homemade breadcrumbs.

Don’t let all this diet talk deter you from making this dish! My Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake is a total winner! It’s creamy pasta, melty swiss cheese, chicken, and ham all baked together and topped with homemade breadcrumbs. I’m not a big mustard person, so I kept that flavor on the lighter side, but you can feel free to add more if you want. I’ve tested this one out on the family a few times and everyone loved it. I always know I’ve got a good one when Little Boy #1 polishes off the leftovers for breakfast!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake - creamy pasta, melty swiss cheese, chicken, and ham all baked together and topped with homemade breadcrumbs.

This recipe calls for Better Than Bullion Chicken base, which you can find next to the regular canned chicken broth. I like having it on hand because you can add a lot of flavor to sauces with it, but only have to store a tiny jar in the fridge. So handy!

Eat up friends! I’ll just be over here enjoying some celery sticks.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients:
  • 4 cups rotini pasta (measure uncooked)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon Better Than Bullion Chicken Base
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (add up to 1 teaspoon more if you want the mustard flavor stronger)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worchestershire
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cooked cubed chicken (I used a rotisserie from the deli)
  • 3/4 cup cooked cubed ham
  • 4-5 slice swiss cheese
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs*
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 1 1/2 quart baking dish by spraying with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  3. Boil water for pasta in a large pot, and cook pasta according to directions. While you are waiting for the pasta to cook, you can start on the sauce.
  4. In a medium pan, melt butter over medium high heat.
  5. Whisk in flour and cook for a few minutes. The flour will be bubbly.
  6. Gradually whisk in the milk, and whisk frequently until it comes to a gentle boil.
  7. Whisk in chicken base, dijon mustard, Worchestershire, and salt.
  8. Whisk for a few more minutes until the sauce starts to thicken slightly.
  9. When the pasta is cooked, drain the water and return to the pan. Stir in the sauce, chicken, and ham and mix to combine.
  10. Pour half of the pasta mixture into your prepared baking dish. Place slices of swiss cheese evenly over the pasta. Pour the rest of the past over the cheese and spread evenly.
  11. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the pasta.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The top will be golden brown and the edges bubbly.
  13. Allow to set for a few minutes before serving.
  14. * To make your own breadcrumbs, place a crusty dinner roll or large slice of french bread torn into pieces in a blender or food processor, and pulse. I like to keep a few dinner rolls in the freezer so I can take out one at a time if a recipe calls for breadcrumbs. I added 1 teaspoon of dried parsley to mine.

Comments

  1. Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen says

    This looks wonderful! I’m in complete agreement with you on the dieting thing. I recently tried to do low carb to try to drop just a few pounds for summer and it only took me 5 days to realize it wasn’t going to work for me. I’m back to what I’ve always done – sensible choices, variety, portion control. Love how you’ve lightened this dish up. You’d only need a little to feel so satisfied!

  2. Katie says

    This looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it!

    Quick question – what can one substitute for Better Than Bullion? I’ve never heard of it and rural as I am things are a bit hard to come by!

    • Julie says

      Hi Katie, I’m hesitant to suggest a substitute for the Better Than Bullion chicken base because I haven’t actually tried it out, but you could do a can of cream of chicken soup instead of the flour, butter, and 1 cup of the milk. I’m assuming that is something you have access to? Hope this helps!

  3. PAMELA says

    This looks really, really yummy. Takes me back to the tuna casseroles my mom made while growing up. Speaking of, you could substitute tuna, yes? P.S. The Better Than Bullion chicken base is available at that big box store that starts with a “C”. They also have the beef, which is the best in winter soups :-)

    • Julie says

      Hi Pamela! Tuna would be really good too, and yes I’ve seen the Better Than Bullion there too (even low sodium, organic). Haven’t tried the beef yet, but thanks for the tip!

  4. Leah Bush says

    Just popped this into the oven. It looks and smells delicious! Hope my 6 kids like it :) So easy to put together that I have a feeling this is going to be on the menu from now on!

    THANKS!

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