Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu is a great way to turn an ordinary chicken breast into something fancy enough for company, yet easy enough for any day of the week!
In case you aren't familiar with chicken cordon bleu, it is a thinly pounded chicken breast wrapped around ham and Swiss cheese, then breaded and fried (in this case air fried) or oven-baked. It's a delicious meal that the entire family will love.
The term Cordon Bleu is French for blue ribbon, meaning of the highest class and this Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe is definitely the BEST version I've ever had. I absolutely love using my air fryer to make delicious meals like this one.
If you love using your air fryer to make incredible meals and snacks as much as I do, you will LOVE these air fryer recipes!
Frequently Asked Questions
What goes with Chicken Cordon Bleu?
While you can serve anything you like with Chicken Cordon Bleu, I like to keep the side dishes simple and light because of the richness of the Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Some of my favorite vegetables to serve with it are steamed broccoli with a light lemon butter sauce, roasted asparagus, or a simple side salad.
Chicken Cordon Bleu goes well with mashed potatoes or a simple rice pilaf, like this recipe for homemade herb rice-a-roni.
Yes, absolutely! You can either prepare it and freeze them individually before cooking or fully cook them and freeze to reheat from frozen.
I go into more detail about reheating times and temperatures later on in this recipe post.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Boneless skinless chicken breasts are what is typically used when making chicken cordon bleu, however you can certainly make different variations using different cuts of meat.
If you want to try appetizer size mini-Chicken Cordon Bleu, use chicken tenders pounded thin and smaller pieces of ham and cheese.
You can use veal or pork cutlets, or even pounded beef will work (use a tender cut). I've even seen a recipe for meatloaf cordon bleu!
Ham & Cheese
Ham slices and swiss cheese are usually what is used to make chicken cordon bleu, but you can certainly use this same technique and switch up the fillings like I did in this recipe for Italian stuffed chicken breasts. You can also use any type of cheese that you like.
The ham is typically deli ham because the slices of ham are thin enough to roll easily. If you wanted to use leftover ham that you baked, try to get the slices very thin for the best results.
Mustard & Mayo
One of the things that I love about this recipe the most is the sauce that I put on the inside. It's a simple combination of mayonnaise and dijon mustard and the flavors compliment the ham and cheese perfectly. It also adds a touch of creaminess.
While I always hope you will try my version of a recipe, adding the mayo and mustard sauce is completely optional. You can skip it altogether or get creative and come up with your own blend of flavors that you love.
Wet & Dry Coating
The wet coating I use in this recipe is a simple combination of eggs and mustard. When I first started testing this recipe, I tried coating the rolled chicken in the mayonnaise and mustard combination and it tasted delicious,the only issue I had was the breading always came off in places. So, I switched to using an egg wash before rolling in the bread crumb mixture and that fixed the problem. I loved the flavor of the mayo/mustard mixture so much that I decided to use on the inside! That is when this recipe truly became a blue ribbon winner!
The best combination for the dry coating that I found is a combination of breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs. I like the crunch of the panko, which is a larger bread crumb, but if you use all panko it tends to fall off during the cooking process. You can also use all bread crumbs if you prefer.
I used basic seasonings of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder in the breading mixture, but feel free to add what you like. Some people like to add Italian seasoning or, if you like a little spice, try adding in some red pepper flakes for a little extra flavor & kick!
If you want to make a lower carb version of this recipe, try replacing the breadcrumbs & panko with crushed pork rinds.
Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu from Frozen
Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those recipes that can easily be made ahead of time and either refrigerated for 1-2 days before cooking or frozen either before or after air frying. I tested them each way and these are my cooking suggestions. Please keep in mind that all air fryers work slightly differently, so you may have to adjust your cooking time and temperature according to the type of air fryer you have.
I used the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer to test reheating as well as the Ninja Foodi Indoor Grill.
Air Frying After Refrigerating Uncooked Chicken Cordon Bleu
Take the refrigerated Chicken Cordon Bleu out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to cooking for the best results. Preheat the air fryer on the hottest setting. On the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper, I use broil (450℉/230℃).
Make sure your cooking surface is also preheated. I used the air fryer basket in the Ninja Foodi, but you can use the crisping plate or whatever surface you are cooking on in your air fryer. Make sure it is in the air fryer while it's preheating. This will help prevent the chicken from sticking.
Once preheated, spray the surface with a few spritzes of oil. You can use any oil you like, I use avocado oil or olive oil. Place the breaded chicken into the air fryer in a single layer. The amount you can fit in your air fryer will vary by the design of the air fryer. Air fry (or Air Crisp) on 375℉/190℃ for 18-20 minutes. Remove and place on a cooling rack until ready to serve.
Reheating Cooked Chicken Cordon Bleu (not frozen)
To reheat fully cooked Chicken Cordon Bleu, I would use the lowest setting on your air fryer (around 300℉/150℃) and it will take 15-20 minutes to heat it through. Using a higher temperature will decrease the time, however the lower temperature setting will prevent the breading from getting too brown.
If you remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before reheating that will decrease the time it takes to warm through and have the cheese melt.
Air Frying Uncooked Chicken Cordon Bleu from Frozen
Preheat the air fryer on 325℉/160℃ for 5-10 minutes with the air fry basket in the air fryer. Spritz the basket with oil and place the frozen cordon bleu in a single layer in the basket.
Spritz the top of the breaded chicken with oil and air fry (air crisp) at 325℉/160℃ for 35-40 minutes. When cooking raw chicken from frozen, I do measure the internal temperature and the goal is for it to reach around 165℉/74℃.
Remove from the air fryer and let them rest on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Air Frying Cooked Chicken Cordon Bleu from Frozen
This is my least favorite way to prepare and cook the Chicken Cordon Bleu because by the time the frozen chicken is done, the breading is a little too brown even at the lowest air fry settings on my air fryer.
I used the Ninja Foodi PC & AC to air fry a frozen cooked Chicken Cordon Bleu on 300℉/150℃ and it took 40 minutes to cook through. The chicken was a little dry and it didn't have the same creaminess as other methods.
How to Make Chicken Cordon Bleu in an Air Fryer
Prepping the Chicken
Properly preparing the chicken breasts to be stuffed and rolled requires a cutting board, meat mallet, and parchment paper or a piece of plastic wrap. It only takes a few minutes to pound out the chicken, but if you want to skip this step, you can always cut a slit in the chicken and stuff the ham and cheese slices in that way. **If you do it this way, your cook time will need to be increased.
Personally, I find it easier to cut the chicken in half and pound each half until it is about ¼" thick and and it is the classic way to do it, so that is how I'm going to show you to do it.
The first thing is to cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise through the middle. You can do this by using a long sharp knife or a kitchen tool like a close 'n cut.
Once the chicken breasts are cut and you have 4 pieces of chicken, lay 1-2 of them on your parchment paper or plastic wrap and fold the parchment or plastic wrap over the top of the chicken.
Use a flat sided meat mallet or meat tenderizer to gently pound the chicken until it is about ¼ inch thickness. You don't want to pound too hard or you will break apart the meat and that will make it difficult to roll and keep the cheese from melting out during the cooking process. You also don't want the chicken too thick or it will be hard to roll.
After the chicken is pounded thin, it's time to assemble the chicken cordon bleu.
Assembling the Chicken Cordon Bleu
It only takes about 10 minutes to assemble and bread the chicken pieces, so now is when I suggest preheating your air fryer on the hottest setting (I use broil/grill on the Ninja Foodi PC & AC). Make sure your air fryer basket or whatever surface you are going to air fry the chicken on is in the air fryer during the preheating process. This will help prevent the chicken from sticking.
Make up the sauce if using. I used ¼ cup of mayonnaise mixed with 2 Tablespoons of dijon mustard, but feel free to use all mustard or any combination you like.
Lay each chicken piece flat on your cutting board and lay down 1-2 pieces of ham (thinly sliced deli ham works best) on top of the chicken. Then cut the Swiss cheese slice in half and place then on top of the ham in middle. You want to keep the cheese away from the edges so it has less chance of leaking out while air frying.
Next up is the "secret sauce," which is a simple combination of mayonnaise and dijon mustard, but it adds such a great flavor and creaminess to the Chicken Cordon Bleu. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of mayonnaise with 2 Tablespoons of dijon mustard (or honey mustard would be great as well). Spread about 1½ Tablespoons of the sauce over the Swiss cheese.
Rolling and securing the chicken can be the most frustrating part of making Chicken Cordon Bleu, so please remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. Do the best you can to get the ends tucked in and secured with toothpicks, but even when I think I've done it perfectly, I've had some cheese melt out. Don't stress about this part, especially if it's the first time you've made this dish. It gets easier the more you make them.
Starting from one end, begin to roll the chicken over the filling. When you get to the end, tuck the ham over itself and bring the other end of the chicken over it and secure with a toothpick.
Watch me do it!
Then you want to tuck in the ham on the sides and secure with toothpicks. I usually use about 4 toothpicks per piece of chicken. I also recommend to get a handful of toothpicks out of the container before you start so you don't have to reach in with "chicken hands" and get more toothpicks.
Don't worry if some of the sauce leaks out, that won't hurt a thing.
Once the chicken is rolled and secured, it's time to coat in the egg wash and then in the dry breadcrumb & panko mixture.
Whisk 2 large eggs with 2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard in a shallow tray, I like to use the coating trays from Pampered Chef.
Combine the Panko and breadcrumbs with seasoning blend in a second shallow container or put the breading mix in a plastic bag.
Dredge the chicken (one at a time) in the egg mixture and then coat with the dry mixture. Let the chicken sit for a few minutes and then make sure the breading is covering the entire chicken roll. Repeat for the remaining chicken.
Air Frying Chicken Cordon Bleu
Spritz the basket or cooking surface with a few spritz of oil ( I use either olive oil or avocado oil), place the chicken in the basket or on the cooking surface and spritz the top with oil.
Air Fry on 375℉/190℃ for 18-20 minutes. I usually go the entire 20 minutes and they have turned out perfect each and every time. It's hard to get a temp on a stuffed chicken breast because by the time the very center (where the cheese is) gets to be 165℉/74℃, the chicken can be overcooked. Swiss cheese melts at around 150℉/65℃, so if I am not sure if it's done I usually look for an internal temp (where the cheese is) of about 155℉/68℃.
I do not recommend trying to flip the chicken during the air frying process because I have found that almost 100% of the time some of the breading will come off.
When the 20 minutes is up, remove the chicken from the air fryer and let them rest on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes. Using a cooling rack instead of a solid surface like a cutting board or plate will prevent the crust from steaming on the bottom and becoming soggy.
Remove the toothpicks before serving.
Serve & Enjoy!
Air Fryer Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe
- Air Fryer
- 2 10-12 ounce chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 8 slices deli ham
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- oil for spritzing
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon fine grind sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Remove your chicken breasts from the refrigerator and cut them in half lengthwise through the middle so you have two thin pieces of chicken from each breast. Set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients.
- Mix up the mayonnaise and mustard sauce if using. Whisk together 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons dijon mustard in a shallow dish. Combine the panko, breadcrumbs, and seasonings in a second shallow dish or in a plastic bag. Get out 8 slices of deli ham and 4 slices of Swiss cheese. Get 16-20 toothpicks out of the box.
- Preheat the air fryer on the hottest setting. For the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper, use the broil (grill) setting with the basket or cooking surface inside the inner pot
- Place each chicken piece between parchment paper or plastic wrap and use a flat meat mallet to pound the chicken until it is about ¼" thick. Repeat for all the chicken pieces.
- Place 2 pieces of ham on top of the chicken and cut the Swiss cheese in half and lay it in the middle of the ham in a single layer. Spread about 1-1½ Tablespoon of the sauce over the cheese.
- Roll the chicken over the ham and cheese and when you get to the end, tuck the ham over itself and pull the end of the chicken up and over to create a roll. Secure with toothpick.
- Tuck in the ends and secure with toothpicks.
- Coat each piece of chicken with the egg and mustard mixture and then coat in the breadcrumb mixture. Pat the breadcrumbs into the chicken and let the chicken sit for a minute or two. Repeat for each chicken roll.
- Spritz the basket or cooking surface with oil of choice and place the chicken in the basket in a single layer. How many you can fit will depend on your air fryer, but you do want space between each one for the best outcome. Spritz the top of the chicken with oil.
- Air fry (Air Crisp) on 375°F/°190°C for 18-20 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove and let rest on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Serve & Enjoy
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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