Many of us need easy dinner recipes for busy weekdays. Making the same old dishes over and over again feels uninspiring, so new ideas are welcome. However, you don’t want to prepare anything too complicated but keep things simple and delicious.
This easy keto meal recipe is a real winner: it’s simple — with only 5 ingredients — surprisingly easy to make, practically no-carb, packed with protein, and it pleases the palates of the whole family. If you still haven’t tried to make keto Chicken Cordon Bleu, I suggest you’ll give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!
What is Chicken Cordon Bleu
The word “bleu” might make you think this dish contains blue cheese, sometimes called bleu cheese. But no, this dish doesn’t contain blue cheese but Swiss cheese.
Actually, the words “cordon” and ”bleu” are French and mean blue ribbon. Blue ribbon is the sign of high standard food prepared by master chefs, although the term originates from 16th century France where members of the highest order of knighthood wore blue ribbons. An exciting fun fact you can tell your family when you serve this meal to them!
There are several variations on cordon bleu dishes. At least here in Finland, the most famous version is Pork Cordon Bleu, where pork fillet is pounded thin, wrapped around a slice of cheese and a slice of ham, breaded, and pan-fried. Naturally, the breading is not keto but made with regular breadcrumbs.
Personally, I’m a fan of Chicken Cordon Bleu because of its gorgeous look and delicious taste. I don’t tend to add even keto breading to my Chicken Cordon Bleu because the dish is perfect even without breading.
How to make this Chicken Cordon Bleu
Thick skinless, boneless chicken breast halves make the base for this recipe. You’ll need to pound the chicken, so choose as thick breast halves as you can find. After pounding the chicken, things are really easy: just lay a slice of cheese and ham on each pounded chicken breast half, roll into tight rolls, and secure with toothpicks. Bake in the oven until the juices run clear.
I prefer Swiss cheese and thinly sliced ham for my Chicken Cordon Bleu, but feel free to check the tips for variations at the end of this post for further ideas.
So, let’s take a closer look at how to prepare this particularly palatable keto meal:
Take 4 thick skinless, boneless chicken breast halves. Mine weigh about 6 oz (170 g) each.
…until they are about 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) thick.
Sprinkle unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt…
…and pepper evenly on each chicken breast.
Place 1 slice of Swiss cheese…
…and 1 slice of ham on each chicken breast.
Roll up the breasts.
Secure with toothpicks.
Place the rolled chicken in a baking dish.
Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 35 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Don’t overbake! The chicken turns easily dry if baked too long.
Remove from the oven.
Remove the toothpicks and serve.
How I came up with this easy keto chicken recipe
I constantly write down ideas for 5-ingredient keto recipes in a text file. There are recipe ideas from drinks to desserts and munchies to main dishes. Since I was traveling the whole week and was at home for just two days to work on my blog recipe, I had to come up with an easy and foolproof recipe for this week’s blog post.
I checked my list and found two fabulous alternatives. However, one of them would have needed more experimenting (so I’ll save it for next week!), but the second one — Chicken Cordon Bleu — sounded like a foolproof recipe, so I chose that for this week’s post. Chicken is a perfect ingredient for easy and protein-packed keto dishes.
However, as I had just a rough idea of Chicken Cordon Bleu (pounded chicken breast halves filled with ham and cheese), I needed to make some more plans and calculations.
Well, those three ingredients, chicken, ham, and cheese were certain, but I wanted to naturally add some seasonings as well. I simply chose the good old S&P.
Many cordon bleu recipes contain breading, but as I wanted to keep things simple, I decided to omit the breading and just bake the filled and rolled chicken in the oven. I could certainly make a breaded version later, but I wanted to keep things straightforward for my first experiment.
Coming up with the measures was as simple as this dish: 4 chicken breast halves for 4 servings and 1 slice of both ham and cheese for each serving. Salt and pepper to taste. It cannot get any simpler!
I took my brand new meat tenderizer and started pounding the chicken breast halves. I had also bought thin slices of ham and a bit thicker slices of Swiss cheese, both of which fit awesomely on the pounded chicken, which I had seasoned lightly with salt and pepper.
I rolled up the chicken, placed the rolls into a baking dish, and baked. Actually, I forgot to check the time when I put the chicken in the oven, so I eyeballed the dish and removed the chicken when I thought it was done.
The dish turned out really delicious! The only thing I wasn’t the happiest about was that I had baked the chicken a tad too long, so it was on the dry side. I had some leftover chicken breasts and made a breaded version with almond flour breading, and since I kept my eye on my watch and was able to control the baking time, the chicken was juicy and tender.
All in all, I was super satisfied with this simple dish which is surprisingly satiating and delicious. And all with only 5 ingredients! Actually, it’s just 3 ingredients if you don’t count salt and pepper.
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 4 thick skinless and boneless chicken breast halves (approximately 6 oz = 170 g each)
- 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 4 slices cooked ham
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
- Pound the chicken breast halves so that they are about 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) thick.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly on each chicken breast.
- Place 1 slice of Swiss cheese and 1 slice of ham on each chicken breast.
- Roll up the breasts. Secure with toothpicks.
- Place the rolls in a baking dish.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the juices run clear, about 35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Remove the toothpicks and serve.
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Low Sugar, So Simple: 100 Delicious Low-Sugar, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Recipes for Eating Clean and Living Healthy
Starwest Botanicals Organic Malabar Black Whole, Pepper, 16 Ounce
Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt - 5 lbs. Extra-Fine Grain
Redmond Real Salt - Ancient Fine Sea Salt, Unrefined Mineral Salt, 26 Ounce Pouch (4 Pack)
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 4 servings in total|
|Protein||172.2 g||43.1 g|
|Fat||24.4 g||6.2 g|
|Net carbs||0.3 g||0.1 g|
|kcal||915 kcal||229 kcal|
Tips for variations
Of course, you can get fancy with this dish and add seasonings or use other fillings than Swiss cheese and ham. Here are some suggestions:
- Smear the pounded chicken breast halves very lightly with Dijon mustard before seasoning them with salt and pepper. Tomato paste is another tasty alternative.
- In addition to salt and pepper, you can use other seasonings like onion powder (my absolute favorite!), garlic powder, Montreal Steak Spice, red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning, BBQ seasoning, or dried herbs such as oregano and thyme.
- Another tasty idea with herbs is to add fresh basil leaves or sage leaves on top of the cheese and ham before rolling up the chicken.
- Bacon fans will naturally use bacon slices instead of ham for this dish. Alternatively, you can add fried crumbled bacon on top of the ham and cheese before rolling up the chicken. Talk about yumminess!
- You can use other cheese types than Swiss cheese for this recipe. Just make sure they are sharp and flavorful. On the other hand, I bet Brie or Camembert makes a fabulous twist, too. And, of course, blue cheese, aka bleu cheese, is another tasty cheese variety that goes perfectly with this dish.
- Usually, cordon bleu dishes are breaded. You can certainly use keto breading for this Chicken Cordon Bleu. The easiest — and maybe the best — option is almond flour or preferably coarse almond meal. Simply sprinkle about 1—2 teaspoons of almond flour on top of each chicken roll before baking. Alternatively, you can roll the chicken in almond flour.
- Crushed pork rinds make a delicious pure carnivore breading, so does crumbled fried bacon.
- Top the chicken rolls with cheese for extra cheesiness. Prepare the recipe as directed, bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, then sprinkle shredded cheese (like Parmesan or more Swiss cheese) on top and continue baking until the chicken is done.
Another busy week has passed. I was traveling in Tallinn, Estonia, and returned home for a couple of days. My knee is getting better (I injured it for the second time just before leaving for Tallinn!), but now I can walk a bit longer distances without it hurting too much.
Currently, I’m spending a couple of days in beautiful Hämeenlinna, Finland’s oldest inland town. I have passed by the town countless times but never really spent a longer time there — except now. I will certainly come here again once I’m able to do longer walks. The numerous lakes and the medieval castle are worth seeing.
Before coming here, I did a few keto waffle experiments using our Ketokamu baking mix. The experiments turned out well, but I’m sure I will manage to perfect the recipe next week once I’m back home.
Last but not least, I received my copies of my new Finnish book “Koko perheen järkevä ruokavalio” (”Well-Formulated Whole Family Diet”), which is an updated version of my previous keto book. This new book doesn’t mention keto for a single time, even though the approach is pretty much keto!