Become a true "cordon bleu" with this turkey, ham, and cheese casserole

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If you grew up going to French school, you probably frequently consumed cordon bleu: a dish of chicken or turkey breast stuffed with ham and cheese, covered in a crumb topping, and pan-fried until golden brown with a hot, melty interior. The recipe below takes all of those flavors and makes it even easier to prepare for a crowd.
In this recipe, the flavors of cordon bleu unite with the techniques that make mac and cheese so comforting and delicious. A cheesy béchamel is stirred into elbow macaroni, browned ground turkey, and diced ham. A cracker crust adds the crunch you crave.
Cooktop Cove
Turkey cordon bleu casserole
20 minutes
40 minutes
1 hour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
2 cups elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
1 pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups cooked ham, cubed
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the turkey, season with salt, and cook until browned on all sides, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
Cook the macaroni according to package directions, removing it from the cooking water when still al dente.
Meanwhile, make the béchamel. In a pot over medium heat, combine the butter and flour with a whisk. Cook until the flour no longer has a raw taste and smell, then begin whisking in the milk, bit by bit, until all of the milk has been added and the sauce is nice and thick.
Remove from the heat and whisk in half of each of the cheeses, the nutmeg, the mustard, and the pepper. Season as needed with salt.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked turkey, cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, and cubed ham. Mix until well combined, then transfer to a 9x13 baking dish.
Top with the cracker crumbs and the reserved cheese, and bake until bubbly and brown, about 20 minutes.
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