Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Making chicken cordon bleu from scratch is an endeavor that I take on every few years. I don't do that more often because it's a pretty fussy, time-consuming dish that, while delicious, can be recreated - at least flavor wise - with a delightful casserole. So that's what I do far more frequently and I almost always have it just before Christmas and New Year's approach. I'm busy with a bunch of preparations elsewhere and almost always have a little leftover chicken (or turkey) and ham on hand for making this dreamy dish.

A good creamy base for the rice to cook in is important for this casserole. Since I am not a big fan of baking rice from entirely dry in the oven - I don't think it results in the creamy texture I'm looking for - I like to start this one in a deep skillet and then transfer it to a casserole dish for the oven. If you wanted, you could also just bake the casserole in your deep skillet if it's ovenproof, but I kinda like having the opportunity to show off my beautiful sculptured glass casserole dish around the holidays. Call it a nod to tradition, if you will.

While the casserole is baking, put together a simple green salad, some steamed and lightly seasoned vegetables, or a similarly simple and healthy side dish. This casserole is rich and creamy and asks to be paired with something bright and light. Then dig in and enjoy some of my favorite comfort food ever.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

  • 2 T. butter
  • ½ c. diced onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 ½ c. chicken broth
  • 1 ¼ c. uncooked white rice
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • ½ c. plain yogurt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 tsp. grainy mustard
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 c. diced ham
  • 1 c. crushed butter crackers
  • 1 T. melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a deep skillet and add the diced onions. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme. Cook for one more minute.

Add the chicken broth and rice. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes. Do not stir.

Turn off the heat, remove the lid, and let it sit for 10 minutes, do not stir.

Add the cream of chicken soup, yogurt, milk, mustard, cheddar and Parmesan cheese, and the cooked chicken and ham. Stir to combine.

Transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish. Combine the crushed crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole and bake for 25 minutes, uncovered. Allow the casserole to rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

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