Smothered Chicken with Bacon and Tomatoes

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Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes and fettuccine on a plate with pan in background. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

Oh, hello, Bacon!  Welcome to my dinner, you’ve just made it a party!  This Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes is a STRESS-FREE dinner that your entire family will LOVE!

You will love it because it’s so easy to make!  Your family will love it because it’s loaded with delicious big comforting flavor.  The chicken is smothered in a creamy sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.  And the chicken seasoned with sage is the perfect moist vessel for all of this goodness!

This recipe cooks up quickly on the stove in a skillet or pan.  It pairs perfectly with pasta, rice, quinoa, or heck, a flip flop!

Cooking from the Freezer

When weeknights are busy, it’s so nice to have a stocked freezer to turn to.  I’m not talking about frozen pizzas or frozen TV dinners.  I’m talking about fresh ingredients that you can easily prep ahead and grab for quick cooking dinners.  

This Smothered Chicken with Bacon and Tomatoes recipe is one of those grab-from-the-freezer easy dinners!  Bacon stores amazingly in the freezer and of course chicken breasts do as well.  Pre-sliced scallions also freeze nicely and are great when they are being added to a cooked dish.  They are not great it you want to use as a garnish. 

Simply pull the chicken out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the fridge.  For the bacon, just cut off as much as you need while still frozen, then put the rest back in the freezer.  

Now, for the cherry tomatoes, you do not want to freeze them.  But, these are great to have on hand for a variety of quick meals from breakfast to lunch to dinner!

Click here to get my printable cheat sheet with 10 Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You need a large skillet/frying pan for this recipe. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

Oh, I also like to cut my raw chicken with kitchen shears, but you can also just cut with a knife. And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR CHICKEN WITH BACON AND TOMATOES

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you prepare in the day(s) ahead.

 Slice the bacon into small bits.

Cut the chicken breasts into 2 pieces each and then season with a mixture of the ground sage, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Finely slice the scallions. Mince the garlic.  Store the bacon and chicken separately in the fridge until ready to cook.  The scallions and garlic can be stored together in the fridge.

Hand seasoning raw chicken on plate for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

How far ahead can I prep the chicken?

You can cut and season the raw chicken breasts up to 3 days in advance.  Be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.  Once you cook the chicken, you can save it for another 3 days. 

Do I have to use Bacon?

You can skip the bacon, but it’s what brings the smokiness to this dish.  If you still want that flavor, you can add some paprika to the seasoning for the chicken.  You can also swap the bacon with pancetta if you want that pork flavor without the smokiness. 

COOK YOUR YOUR CHICKEN, BACON, AND TOMATOES

Preheat a large frying pan on high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for 7-8 minutes to render the fat and crisp up the bacon. Transfer the bacon to a plate on a paper towel using a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.

Bacon bits cooking in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

To the bacon fat, add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cook 5 minutes on the first side and then 2 minutes on the other side. Then cover the pan and cook for another 3-5 minutes to cook through until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F or all pink is gone in the center. Transfer chicken to the plate with the bacon.Chicken searing in pan with bacon bits on a plate to the side for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

Cooked chicken in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

To the same pan, add the garlic, the tomatoes and half of the scallions. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth and scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to pop and get juicy.

Bacon Tomato Sauce in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and the remaining broth to the pan and then whisk in the half and half slurry. Bring up to a simmer while stirring as it thickens. Add back the chicken and half of the bacon bits. Let cook for 3 minutes so that everything comes together. Serve over Fettuccine.

Bacon Tomato Sauce in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

Can I freeze this after it’s cooked?

Yes, the Chicken, Bacon, and Tomatoes (without the pasta!) will freeze very nicely.  You can store it in the freezer for up to 4 months.  However, don’t freeze the pasta.  Make that fresh when you defrost and warm up the chicken again.  

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes in a pan. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
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Smothered Chicken, Bacon, and Tomatoes

This Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes is a STRESS-FREE dinner that your entire family will LOVE! You will love it because it's so easy to make!  Your family will love it because it's loaded with delicious big comforting flavor.  The chicken is smothered in a creamy sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.  And the chicken seasoned with sage is the perfect moist vessel for all of this goodness! #chickendinnerideas

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Bacon, chicken, skillet dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 10 oz Fettuccine
  • 1 lb Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Sage
  • 4 oz Bacon
  • 10 oz Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 4 Scallions
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup Half and Half
  • 1 tbsp Corn Starch

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Measure out and mix in a small bowl, the ground sage, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Cut the chicken breasts in 2 pieces each and season with the seasoning mixture.

    Hand seasoning raw chicken on plate for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  2. Slice the bacon. Finely slice the scallions. Mince the garlic.

Cook

  1. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Add a tsp of salt to the pasta water and then add the fettuccine pasta to the boiling water and stir so they noodles do not stick together. Bring back to a boil and cook for 7-8 minutes until al dente. Save 1 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and add it back to the pot and cover while you finish the chicken.

  2. Preheat a large frying pan on high heat. Add the bacon slices and cook for 7-8 minutes to render the fat and crisp up the bacon. Transfer the bacon to a plate using a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.

    Bacon bits cooking in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  3. To the bacon fat, add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cook 5 minutes on the first side and then 2 minutes on the other side. Then cover the pan and cook for another 3-5 minutes to cook through until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F or all pink is gone in the center. Transfer chicken to the plate with the bacon.

    Cooked chicken in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  4. To the same pan, add the garlic, the tomatoes and half of the scallions. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth and scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to pop and get juicy.

    Bacon Tomato Sauce in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  5. While the tomatoes are cooking, make the corn starch slurry by mixing the half and half and the corn starch in a small bowl.

  6. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and the remaining broth to the pan and then whisk in the half and half slurry. Bring up to a simmer while stirring as it thickens.

    Bacon Tomato Sauce in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  7. Add back the chicken and half of the bacon bits. Let cook for 3 minutes so that everything comes together. If the sauce is too thick, you can whisk in another 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Serve over Fettuccine.

    Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes in a pan. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

One Pan Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake with Rice

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One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake in casserole dish.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Cozy.  Easy.  Warm.  Delicious.  These are the words that describe my perfect Fall recipes and I’ve just added one more to the list!  This One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake with Rice has layers of deliciousness.  On the bottom, the flavorful rice cooks right in the oven.  That’s right, no cooking it separately on the stove!  On top of the perfectly cooked rice, you have the chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!  This cozy, warm, comforting, and delicious family dinner is yours for any busy night!

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

All the Flavor Without the Hassle

Traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu is a labor-intensive process.  It requires pounding out the chicken, rolling in the ham and cheese, then breading the outside and frying it.  But you can get all of that amazing flavor in this MUCH easier version!  

Here are a few other classics made easier!

Piece of One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake on a plate with fork holding a bite.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need a large casserole dish that’s approximately 10×10, 12×12, 10×13 or similar.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR CHICKEN CORDON BLEU BAKE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge… (See the full recipe below)

 This recipe has only a few easy steps:

  1. Mix & Bake the rice
  2. Prep the chicken while rice bakes
  3. Add the chicken, ham, and cheese.  Bake again.
  4. Add breadcrumb topping and Bake final 5 minutes!

The rice cooks for 20 minutes before adding the chicken.  The reason for this is so the rice absorbs the water and fluffs up first.  If you add the chicken from the start it will boil in the liquid and overcook.

While the rice cooks, slice chicken breasts from the side to create 2 thin breasts.

Knife slicing raw chicken for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Sliced raw chicken for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Season with the salt, pepper, and oregano. Lay the chicken flat on a plate or cutting board. Layer 1 slice of ham folded on top of the chicken. Layer the swiss cheese slice folded on top of the ham.

Sliced raw chicken with deli ham and slice of cheese on top for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Can I use a different cheese?

You can use any cheese you like of course.  However, you will want a full-flavored cheese that can bring something to this dish.  Gruyere is great, manchego, or even a sharp cheddar can work great!  You can also use sliced or shredded.

COOK YOUR CHICKEN CORDON BLEU BAKE

After your rice has precooked, it’s time to add the prepped chicken!  Bake for another 20 minutes.  While the chicken bakes, make the breadcrumb topping.  After 20 minutes, add it to the top of the cheese and bake for another 5 minutes turning the broiler on low to get a golden brown crispy topping!

Sliced raw chicken with deli ham and slice of cheese on top for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake in casserole dish.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Can I freeze this bake?

Once the casserole is cooked, you can freeze it after first cooling it and then tightly covering it. It can stay in the freezer for up to 4 months. To cook it again, cover with aluminum foil and bake 350 F for 1 hour if thawed, 1 1/2 hours if frozen.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake in casserole dish.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!
Piece of One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake on a plate with fork.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake with Rice

This One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake with Rice has layers of deliciousness.  On the bottom, the flavorful rice cooks right in the oven.  That's right, no cooking it separately on the stove!  On top of the perfectly cooked rice, you have the chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!  This cozy, warm, comforting, and delicious family dinner is yours for any busy night! #chickencordonbleu #chickenbake #chickendinnerideas

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Keyword casserole, chicken, chicken dinner, one pan meal, one pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 411 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups White Long Grain rice
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth (or 3 cups Water + 3 tsp Chicken Base)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, skinless, boneless (raised w/o antibiotics)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 4 slices Smoked deli ham
  • 4 slices Swiss Cheese (or gruyere)

Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees

  2. Add all rice ingredients to casserole dish. Stir to combine, then tightly cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

  3. While the rice cooks, slice chicken breasts from the side to create 2 thin breasts. Season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Lay the chicken flat on a plate or cutting board. Layer 1 slice of ham folded on top of the chicken. Layer the swiss cheese slice folded on top of the ham.

    Sliced raw chicken with deli ham and slice of cheese on top for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!
  4. Make the breadcrumb topping by mixing the ingredients together in a small bowl

  5. After 20 minutes, take the rice out and add the chicken slices layered to the top in a line. Cover and bake for another 20 minutes.

    Sliced raw chicken with deli ham and slice of cheese on top for One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!
  6. Remove the cover and sprinkle the breadcrumb topping on top. Put it back in the oven with the broiler setting on low for 5 minutes to brown the topping. Watch to make sure it doesn't burn.

    One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake in casserole dish.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!
  7. To serve, use a spatula to scoop out the rice, chicken and topping. Enjoy!

    Piece of One Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake on a plate with fork.  On the bottom you get flavorful rice topped with chicken, salty ham, nutty and melty swiss cheese, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping!