I didn't want to stop eating it. It was so easy to throw together and I know it will be a frequent dinner item, because it was loved by all.
I really love my other version of Chicken Cordon Bleu Florentine Casserole, but I wanted to give you another option which is a little easier to make and uses common ingredients (no spinach and no Gorgonzola). I used the base sauce recipe from this Guiltless Alfredo (it is made in a blender), but added Swiss cheese instead of Parmesan. It was so cheesy. I LOVE cheese! The sauce turns out thick and rich and creamy. I even used fat-free cream cheese, but feel free to use whatever you have in your fridge. If you never got a chance to try out this amazing sauce with the alfredo, now is your chance with this recipe. It really is a great sauce and you could adapt it to work in so many different dishes.
Easier Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
3 oz. cream cheese (I used fat-free)
2 Tbl. flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbl. butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 - 1 1/2 c. Swiss cheese, shredded
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
3/4 c. deli ham, chopped
5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 1/2 c. pasta, cooked (whatever shape you have on hand)
(measure the pasta before it is cooked)
Panko bread crumbs
powdered Parmesan cheese
or use Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Add the milk, cream cheese, flour and kosher salt to a blender. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Carefully pour in the sauce mixture. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes or until it comes to a simmer. Add Italian seasoning, onion powder and pepper. Taste, and add more seasoning, if needed. Continue cooking until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or so.
Once it reaches desired consistency, add the shredded Swiss cheese and stir until melted. Add the shredded chicken, chopped ham, crumbled bacon and cooked pasta. Stir together until everything is coated in sauce. Pour into a large casserole dish. Cover top with Panko bread crumbs, parsley and a little powdered Parmesan cheese. Or, you can omit those three ingredients and use Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Spray topping lightly with butter spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly and bread crumbs are lightly browned. (If you don't care about the bread crumbs being browned, you could skip the baking part and eat this immediately as it will be creamier if you don't bake it). Serves: 4 - 6
Jenn's Notes: You don't need to soften the cream cheese before you add it to the blender, you can add it cold, right out of the fridge! Regular table salt can be used in place of kosher salt, but make sure to use half as much.