Fancy Frugal Recipe: How to Cook Chicken Cordon Bleu in an Air Fryer

by HomeSteadHow

Today we will cook the fanciest frugal dinner we can, which also happens to be keto: chicken cordon bleu in an air fryer. This is probably my favorite meal ever. It turns out amazing and you have fun along the way, so let’s begin!

For three servings, you will need three chicken breasts, or chicken thighs, a little bit of Parmesan cheese, six slices of ham, and three slices of Swiss cheese, as well as some butter, white cooking wine, and mayo.

Chicken cordon bleu

First, get some chicken breasts. Always wash your hands; do not cross contaminate and wash all the surfaces you touch. If you want to make this even more frugal, you could use chicken thighs as they usually have a lot more flavor.

Butterflying the chicken thighs

Butterfly them, and since they are still pretty thick, pound them out with the tenderizer next. 

Tenderizing the chicken

When I was a teenager, I worked in an Italian restaurant. I am a bit rusty now, but one of the things I remember is that you need to push outwards, towards the edge, to “stretch” the meat. Make sure not to tear it.

With the thinner part, you don’t have to hit that much: the goal is to get it all the same thickness, and that way it will cook evenly.  

Adding Swiss cheese and ham

Next, add a couple of slices of ham on top. I got black forest ham from the deli, specifically thinly sliced. Then add one slice of Swiss cheese to each, and then roll it all up. 

Adding a coating of mayo and parmesan cheese

In the past, I would put it in milk and eggs, and roll it in breadcrumbs. For this keto version, I am going to brush it with a coating of mayo and sprinkle it with parmesan cheese. I am only putting the coating on top because on the bottom it will just melt.

How to make chicken cordon bleu in an air fryer

Now put it in the air fryer. Skip the foil, that way the bottom will be crispier. Cook the chicken at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Once it is in the air fryer, you can get started with the sauce and the sides, but do not forget to check on the chicken: you want it to have a golden crust.


I am going with asparagus and cauliflower rice. Both sides are vegetarian-friendly.

How to make cauliflower rice

Grate the cauliflower, turning it into rice. Prepare the pan with butter and a bit of avocado oil. 

Adding garlic, ginger and turmeric to the cauliflower rice

Add some garlic, ginger, and plenty of turmeric. 

Adding in cream to the cauliflower rice

Then add cream. Throw in the rice. 

Keto frugal recipe

The trick is not to overcook it, otherwise it will become mushy. Leave it under the lid for about three minutes. Afterwards, add cream. Zest a bit of lemon in, then take it off the heat, and season it with salt and pepper.

Cooking asparagus

I am boiling the asparagus at the same time. Once you drain it, melt some butter in a pan, put all the asparagus in there, and then swivel it around and brush it so each of the asparagus gets a little coating of butter on it. Add salt and pepper.


The sauce is very simple, but not too healthy: it is keto, but contains a lot of butter and cream. 

Keto cordon bleu sauce

Put in a stick and a half of butter, and once that melts down, add white cooking wine. Let it cook for a while, then add cream. 

Cooking chicken in the cordon bleu sauce

Finally, put the chicken in so it soaks up some of the flavors.

Chicken cordon bleu in an air fryer

Chicken cordon bleu in an air fryer

And we are done! I am so impressed with how well the crust came up. This is a zero-carb crust, and it tastes amazing even with no breadcrumbs. It does not feel too cheesy, just tastes like a nice, crunchy texture.

If I won a lottery and had unlimited money, the only thing I would want in the world is a chef to cook me food like this every day. If you are looking for a fancy meal but still want to stay frugal, this keto chicken cordon bleu in the air fryer is definitely the perfect meal for you.

Let me know what you think of this frugal keto recipe in the comments below.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Enn69673600 Enn69673600 on Dec 25, 2022

    I love chicken cordon bleu. The first time I made it was a recipe from Adkins. Basically the same as this recipe up to the mayo/parm part. After it was rolled, then it was browned in butter in a skillet then put into the oven (cannot recall the temp or time) to finish cooking. It was so good. Something I do with asparagus - steam lightly then saute in garlic butter. So good. I haven't been so fond of cauliflower rice so I would probably just skip that altogether but I might try your recipe!!

  • Donna Calkins Phillips Donna Calkins Phillips on Jan 07, 2023

    Can you provide nutrition info?