Easy, economical, healthy, and company-worthy, these Cordon Bleu Meatballs will satisfy all your savory cravings! Each meatball is stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese and baked, then finished with a creamy white wine sauce. An instant family favorite!
What's the Story Behind this Recipe?
Some time ago, I had the opportunity to review The SkinnyTaste Cookbook, the début cookbook of Gina Homolka.
Gina is the personable and creative author behind Skinnytaste, a wildly successful, award-winning food blog. One of the best recipes in the book is her Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatballs. From the first time we made them, it has been an oft-requested family favorite.
Not only will this meatball recipe satisfy your savory cravings, but the technique for making them will spark your creative juices, and can be applied to making any number of other stuffed meatball flavor combinations.
Our thanks to Gina's publishers for generously allowing us to adapt and share this recipe in conjunction with our review of The Skinnytaste Cookbook. Note that all of the recipe instructions have been rewritten, and minor changes have been made to the original recipe ingredients, amounts, and methods.
What Goes into this Recipe
Meatball Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
★ Ground Chicken: Use a good quality ground chicken. (We recommend Iserno brand plain ground ground chicken.)
Just so you know, not all ground chicken is the same quality. We made this with some off-brand chicken once, and they were too moist before baking, and too dry after.
Lean ground pork is also an option.
★ Swiss cheese: The original recipe calls for reduced-fat Swiss cheese. We have found that, while it does shave the overall calorie count a bit, the trade-off is that the meatball centers are less gooey and more bouncy than we prefer. If calories are not your priority, we recommend using regular Swiss cheese. (We also increased the amount of cheese by almost a third.)
In her version, Gina suggests cutting the cheese into cubes. I find that grating the cheese encourages it to melt more readily during baking.
★ Bread crumbs: The original recipe suggests using dry Italian bread crumbs. We prefer using fresh bread crumbs and adding additional dry herbs, and the recipe here reflects that. Either way works.
★ Ham: Use lean, thinly sliced deli ham. We like using a honey ham. Saltier hams (like Black Forest) make the overall flavor lean too far to the salty side.
★ Parmesan: Asiago, Romano, or a combination of any of the three cheeses work just fine.
Dijon Sauce Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
★ Flour: As usual, when it comes to sauces, you can use all-purpose flour; however, we recommend using Wondra.
Wondra, or instant flour, dissolves more quickly than all-purpose flour, and mixes into both hot and cold liquids easily. This makes it particularly useful for making smooth, creamy, lump-free sauces.
★ White wine: If you aren't a wine-drinker, try using white grape juice, or just a little more chicken broth.
★ Milk: The original recipe calls for 1% milk; however, any milk or alternative milk will work. (We have tried Almond milk, coconut-almond milk, and whole milk thus far.)
★ Chicken broth: Use a good quality canned or boxed chicken broth. You can also use homemade chicken stock; however, if it is very hearty, you will want to water it down a little.
Don't have any chicken broth? Sub in one teaspoon of Better than Bouillon or a bouillon cube. Dissolve the bouillon in one cup of hot water and proceed.
How to Make this Recipe
Preheat oven to 400°F | 205°C. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine ground chicken, bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, egg, garlic, and salt.
Mix thoroughly, and then divide into 12 equal portions. (See "Meatball Hack")
Roll each 1/12 portion of the ground chicken mixture into a ball. Set aside.
I usually put the formed meatballs in the fridge for about 15 minutes to make the mixture set a little better before trying to fill them.
While the meatballs are chilling, make the centers.
After making this recipe a number of times, I've found that it is easiest to make the ham and cheese centers in the following way:
- Divide the cheese into equal 12 portions.
- Form the cheese portions into little balls. Slightly wet your hands when you do this to encourage the grated cheese to stick together easier.
- Cut the deli ham into ribbons roughly 1-inch wide. Divide into 12 portions.
- Wrap the ham strips around the cheese balls.
Place a ham-covered cheese ball on one side of a prepared meatball, and form the meat mixture around it so that the ham-n-cheese is now in the middle of the meatball.
Transfer prepared meatballs to baking sheet and bake uncovered 18-22 minutes, or until no longer pink in center.
Make the sauce while the meatballs are finishing in the oven.
In a small bowl, combine wine, broth, milk, and mustard. Set aside.
Melt one tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in one tablespoon flour and whisk until it begins to smell slightly nutty; about a minute.
Add liquid mixture all at once and whisk constantly. When mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, salt and parsley.
When meatballs have finished in the oven, transfer to skillet and toss with prepared sauce; or simply pour it over the top.
FAQs & Expert Tips
No Flat Bottoms!
We found this cool meatball pan! It helps to keep meatballs from settling and getting flat on the bottom. It is definitely not a necessity, but it's a handy thing to have if meatballs are something you make often.
Easy Pizza Hack for Perfect Meatballs
You can use a kitchen scale, but I find that this "pizza method" works much easier.
Simply lay the meat mixture out on a flat surface and flatten slightly, then use a large knife or pizza cutter to make cuts from edge to edge through the center, as you might when cutting pizza.
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Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatballs
- 1 heavy skillet
- 1 meatball pan nice to have, but not necessary
- 1½ pounds lean ground chicken Try Isernio 95% Lean
- ¾ cup fresh bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 large egg
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces sliced deli ham
- 3 ounces Swiss cheese grated; or reduced-fat
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ¼ cup white wine or additional chicken broth
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup milk 1%
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper or freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F | 205°C. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine ground chicken, bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, egg, garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, and salt. Mix thoroughly, and then divide into 12 equal portions.
- Roll each 1/12 portion of the ground chicken mixture into a ball. Set aside. I usually put them in the fridge for about 15 minutes to make the mixture set a little better before trying to form it into balls.
- While the meatballs are chilling, make the centers.After making this recipe a number of times, I've found that it is easiest to make the ham and cheese centers in the following way:A. Divide the cheese into equal 12 portions.B. Form the cheese portions into little balls. Slightly wet your hands when you do this to encourage the grated cheese to stick together easier.C. Cut the deli ham into ribbons roughly 1-inch wide. Divide into 12 portions.D. Wrap the ham strips around the cheese balls.
- Place a ham-covered cheese ball on one side of a prepared meatball, and form the meat mixture around it so that the ham-n-cheese is now in the middle of the meatball.
- Transfer prepared meatballs to baking sheet and bake uncovered 18-22 minutes, or until no longer pink in center.
- Make the sauce while the meatballs are finishing in the oven.
- In a small bowl, combine wine, broth, milk, and mustard. Set aside.
- Melt one tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in one tablespoon flour and whisk until it begins to smell slightly nutty, about a minute.
- Add liquid mixture all at once and whisk constantly. When mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, salt and parsley.
- When meatballs have finished in the oven, transfer to a skillet and toss with prepared sauce; or simply pour the sauce over the top.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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A meatball stuffed with ham, Swiss cheese, and a creamy white wine sauce sound marvelous to me. I can't wait to taste this.
These Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatballs were fantastic! My entire family enjoyed eating them and we will be using this again in the future they were so good!
Renée B. says
So glad you enjoyed them - our whole family loves them, too!
These are some of the best meatballs I've ever made. The flavors were amazing, and they really worked well with the meatballs.
Y.U.M! Wow. These are simply amazing. Thank you for another great recipe.
I was wanting a unique recipe and these chicken cordon bleu meatballs were the perfect recipe for just that. Can't wait to make these again!
Renée B. says
They are definitely unique! The process opens up whole new meatball options, too. We recently made Rueben meatballs with corned beef instead of ham, and they were fabulous!
Thank you! I thought the nutritional info had already been updated on this one. It's done now!
FYI: This post is scheduled for update in the next week or so. Check back for new content, images, and recipe instructions.
Jean Nightingale says
The flavors were really great and it is a fairly easy recipe to prepare for any night of the week! I served the meatballs in a bowl, over zoodles, ladling the sauce over the entire dish. Yummy!
I will say, mine came out a bit tough, and I am wondering if I over handled the meatballs while making them? Did anyone else have this issue of being slightly tough and does anyone have any recommendations for me? Thanks!
Renée ♥ says
Thanks so much for your feeedback!!! You might want to back off on the breadcrumbs just a little and see if that makes them less tough. I've found that the amount of breadcrumbs I use depends on the density of the breadcrumbs I use. If they are soft, and from a less dense bread, I use a little more. If they are from, say, a heavy, whole grain bread, I use less. Store bought bread crumbs are very fine, and tend to result (in my experience) in a denser meatball. Hope this helps. ?
I really do not think it is right to share a recipe from a book that others, (including myself) has paid for, and without Gina's permission. She herself has not even shared this one.
Renée ♥ says
I understand your concern, Robin; however, I was given permission to publish one recipe from the book for the purpose of this review. [Note the "sponsored post" disclosure at both the beginning and end of this post.] Thank you for watching out for those of us who do recipe development though. Most of us are fine when a recipe is shared (with instructions rewritten to protect copyright, of course) when proper credit is given and when the recipe is used for the purposes of promoting our work, both of which are true in this case. Happy cooking! ?
These look wonderful. I would love to try making these before buying the book. Will you post the cooking directions?
Renée ♥ says
Yes! Thanks for pointing that out - I just converted this recipe from another recipe plugin and apparently the instructions didn't transfer. It's all fixed now!
Renée ♥ says
Sorry, Stephanie - I am in the midst of converting all of my recipes to a new format, and somehow I didn't notice that the directions for this recipe had gotten dropped. I've updated the recipe and they are up for you now!
Thanks for this recipe, it was highly recommended by a friend...but am I the only one that doesn't see an oven temp in the directions? I've got it all mixed up and ready to go!
Renée ♥ says
You are not the only one to not see the temp - but you are the only one to give me a head's up! Thank you!!! Corrections have been made.
Megan Pires says
Broccoli casserole. I so love it!