Take-out Tuesday, Blue Ribbon Chicken Gratin

Do you like Chicken Cordon Bleu?  You know, a ham and cheese stuffed chicken breast, which is breaded and baked or fried?  Yum…

chicken and pasta thepaintedapron.com

Have you ever wondered why it’s called Cordon Bleu?  Cordon Bleu is French for blue ribbon, as in a recipe worthy of a blue ribbon…

blue ribbon chicken thepaintedapron.com

This recipe has the same main ingredients as traditional chicken cordon bleu, plus a creamy sauce, and pasta instead of breading.

To keep it in the French category, let’s call this a gratin~ A gratin is a dish covered with a light brown crust of melted cheese, the term originates from the French gratter, which means to grate~


Poach the chicken in water to cover on medium low heat for 60-90 minutes


The water will turn into a flavorful broth for cooking your pasta


Set chicken aside and shred


Saute bacon pieces, stirring occasionally until crisp and drain on paper towels


Reserve 1 T of bacon drippings and use it to saute onion and peppers in the same skillet [ignore the sour cream in the photo, I ended up not using it]


Add diced ham and cook and stir for a minute or two, then top with fresh spinach


Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes


Add cream, soup and Velveeta cheese.  Cook and stir to melt cheese


Add chicken and bacon to sauce mix in skillet


Add pasta a little at a time.  You want the casserole to be full of pasta, yet still very creamy and moist with lots of sauce so it won’t be dry after baking


Turn into a prepared deep 8×8 inch baking dish.  I used a foil pan because this gratin was traveling~


Top casserole with grated cheddar and Parmesan.  You can also use bread or cracker crumbs if you want a crunchy topping

cordon bleu cassoulet thepaintedapron.com

Cover and refrigerate for up to 36 hours.  Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes until heated through and bubbling.

chicken cordon bleu casserole thepaintedapron.com

Oh la la!


Blue Ribbon Chicken Gratin

A pasta bake, loaded with chicken, ham, bacon, vegetables, and cheese will win a blue ribbon on any occasion!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 5 oz thin spaghetti or any pasta
  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts, cooked see cooking instructions below
  • 4 strips bacon, cut in pieces
  • 4 slices thick deli ham
  • 1/2 large sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 sweet yellow or red pepper, diced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 8 oz. Velveeta cheese,
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 1 oz grated Cheddar
  • 1 oz shaved Parmesan


Poached Chicken

  • Place raw chicken in a 3 Qt saucepan with water to cover
  • Cover pan and poach chicken on medium low heat for 60-90 minutes
  • Remove chicken and drain, reserving broth for cooking pasta, and chop or shred chicken

Blue Ribbon Chicken Gratin

  • Bring a large pot of water, seasoned with 1 tsp of salt to a boil or use reserved chicken broth
  • Add spaghetti and cooked al dente {until just barely done} and drain
  • Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, remove to paper towels to drain
  • Saute onion and peppers in bacon fat until softened, about 5 minutes
  • Add ham to skillet and stir fry 2-3 minutes.
  • Add spinach to skillet and cover pan
  • After several minutes, remove cover and stir spinach down into vegetable mixture as it wilts
  • Add Velveeta, soup and cream, cooking and stirring for several minutes to incorporate and melt cheese
  • Season with salt and pepper and add chicken to sauce mixture in skillet and add 1/2 of the pasta
  • Stir well to combine, then add remaining pasta in increments, making sure the ratio of pasta to sauce remains very creamy. The casserole should be dense and very "wet."
  • Turn mixture into a greased 8" x 8" deep baking dish and top with Cheddar and Parmesan
  • Can be covered and refrigerated at this point for up to 36 hours before baking
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes until hot and bubbling


I like to use thin spaghetti for this, but you can use any pasta you like
Keyword bacon, casserole, cheesy, chicken, do ahead, ham, pasta
chicken and pasta thepaintedapron.com

This is very similar to Loaded Tetrazzini, which has a sauce made with Alfredo sauce and onion dip and Parmesan cheese

chicken tetrazzini thpaintedapron.com

You might also want to check out another version of Chicken Cordon Bleu, Twisted Chicken Marco Polo.  This version is wonderful  served atop a salad!

twisted chicken marco polo thepaintedapro.com

Thanks so much for visiting!


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The Gunny Sack

21 Responses to “Take-out Tuesday, Blue Ribbon Chicken Gratin”
  1. Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    I’d really like to try one of these, kinda leaning towards the alfredo sauce… My boys don’t do “new or different” very well and I just freaked them out with an Enchilada Burrito Casserole this past Sunday… Once that trauma wears off a Tetrazzini type meal is on tap:@)

  2. lulu says:

    Any of your casseroles would be great on our boat trip. Heat and eat is my mantra on the water.

  3. I read this before breakfast. Now I’m starving! Thanks, Jenna! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Liz Mackie says:

    Thank you. Have a Great Day!ย 

  5. Rosie Moreno says:

    This Cordin Bleu recipe looks wonderful!! Thank you for your recipes and the clear directions you provide (love the step-by-step presentation!). A copy is now in my files!! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  6. Emily says:

    Such good recipes Jenna, thanks for sharing and making it look easy……….

  7. In a word…yummmm.

  8. Velva says:

    This is pure comfort food. I would eat this till it was gone ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. Mary says:

    Jenna, I don’t know where your gratin was travelling to but I’m sure the recipients were very happy when it arrived! Just add some bread and wine and this is pure comfort food for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Miz Helen says:

    Your Chicken Gratin is a dish that we would enjoy over and over, it is sure going on my list to cook soon. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday this week. Have a great weekend and come back real soon!
    Miz Helen

  11. Kitty says:

    Oh my word, Jenna, this casserole sounds like such comfort food! I’d love to make this when I need to feed a crowd. Thanks for all your kitchen inspiration.

  12. Miz Helen says:

    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your new Red Plate and have a great weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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