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Easy Chicken Divan Recipe Made From Scratch

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When the craving for a comforting, homemade meal strikes on a busy weeknight, this Chicken Divan casserole comes to the rescue. Creamy, cheesy, and oh-so-delicious, it’s the perfect way to transform everyday ingredients into a satisfying family favorite. Put away the can of cream of mushroom soup – this version is made with all-natural ingredients and no canned soups.

Fork getting a bite of chicken divan.

Let’s dive into this simple yet delicious chicken broccoli casserole recipe.

Chicken Divan Background

Chicken Divan is a classic American casserole dish consisting of cooked chicken, broccoli, and a creamy sauce, often flavored with curry powder or mustard. It’s typically baked with a cheesy breadcrumb topping. This dish is known for its comforting and savory flavors.

The exact origin of Chicken Divan is a bit unclear, but it is widely believed to have been created in the early twentieth century. One popular theory attributes its creation to the Divan Parisien Restaurant at the Chatham Hotel in New York City, where it was first served in the 1930s and cost $1.50 per person. (The hotel was located at Vanderbilt Avenue between East 48th and 49th Streets.)

Regardless of its precise origin, the classic dish quickly gained popularity and became a staple in American households. It’s often served as a hearty and satisfying meal, perfect for gatherings and family dinners. Over the years, variations of the dish have emerged, with some recipes adding ingredients like almonds or different seasonings to enhance the flavor. Despite its evolution, Chicken Divan remains a beloved classic in American cuisine.

Why You’ll Like This Recipe

Chicken Divan is a classic comfort dish that’s both creamy and indulgent. You’ll love this creamy chicken casserole for its simplicity and the way it combines tender chicken, fresh broccoli, and a luscious cheesy sauce with a hint of Dijon mustard. Plus, it’s a crowd-pleaser and perfect for gatherings or cozy family dinners.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 4-ounce can of sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Ingredients to make chicken divan casserole.

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large pot, steam or blanch the broccoli florets until they are slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Broccoli in a colander inside of a large pot.

In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in flour to create a roux. Cook the roux for about 1-2 minutes until it becomes lightly golden brown.

Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and heavy cream, making sure to remove any lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it thickens and becomes smooth.

Broth and cream being whisked together in a pot.

Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined and the cheese is fully melted.

Seasonings on top of a creamy sauce.

Add the cooked and shredded chicken, broccoli florets, and sliced mushrooms to the sauce. Gently stir until all the ingredients are evenly coated with the creamy sauce.

Mushrooms, broccoli, and chicken being added to a cream sauce.

Spread the mixture out evenly in the prepared baking dish. Cover with Cheddar cheese.

Combine the breadcrumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Evenly sprinkle the mixture on top of the chicken and broccoli.

Bread crumbs and melted butter in a bowl.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Bread crumbs on top of chicken and broccoli casserole.

After 20 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden and bubbly – about 10-15 minutes.

Plate topped with chicken divan.

Once done, let the Chicken Divan rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Pan of chicken divan.

Serve the Chicken Divan casserole hot and enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness!

What To Serve With Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan is a rich and hearty dish that pairs well with a variety of sides to create a balanced and satisfying meal. Here are some popular options to serve with Chicken Divan:

  1. Rice: Steamed white rice or brown rice is a classic choice. The rice can soak up the delicious sauce from the Chicken Divan.
  2. Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes make for a comforting side dish that complements the flavors of the casserole.
  3. Quinoa: For a healthier alternative to rice, consider serving Chicken Divan with quinoa. It adds a nutty flavor and extra protein to the meal.
  4. Pasta: Serve Chicken Divan over cooked pasta such as fettuccine or egg noodles for a comforting twist.
  5. Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette or ranch dressing provides a refreshing contrast to the richness of the casserole.
  6. Steamed Vegetables: Broccoli, asparagus, or green beans, steamed and lightly seasoned, are a great choice to echo the flavors of the casserole and add some color to the plate.
  7. Garlic Bread or Dinner Rolls: A side of warm, crusty bread is perfect for sopping up any remaining sauce.
  8. Roasted Vegetables: Roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes offer a hearty and flavorful side option.
Spoonful of chicken divan.

How To Store Chicken Divan

Store Chicken Divan in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 4 days. For longer storage, freeze it before baking in a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw (if frozen) and warm in the oven at 350°F until heated through. Enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness again and again!

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Broccoli Preparation: Blanching the broccoli briefly in boiling water or steaming it ensures it’s tender yet still vibrant green. You can also use frozen broccoli, just be sure to thaw and drain it first.
  • Sauce Perfection: The roux (butter and flour mixture) is the key to a creamy sauce. Cook it until it’s a light golden color to remove any raw flour taste.
  • Mushrooms (Optional): If you’re a fan of mushrooms, toss in the canned sliced mushrooms for extra flavor and texture.
  • Breadcrumbs: The buttery breadcrumb topping adds a delightful crunch. You can use panko breadcrumbs for extra crispiness. Be sure to cover the casserole with aluminum foil for the majority of the time to help prevent the breadcrumbs from burning.
  • Protein Options: You can use any type of leftover poultry in the recipe: rotisserie chicken, chicken cooked specifically for this recipe, or even turkey (then it would technically be “turkey divan.”)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use leftover cooked chicken? Absolutely! Leftover rotisserie or roasted chicken is perfect for this recipe.
  2. Is there a substitute for heavy cream? You can use half-and-half or whole milk for a lighter version, but the sauce won’t be as rich.
  3. What can I serve with Chicken Divan? It’s great on its own but pairs wonderfully with rice, quinoa, or crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.
  4. Can I use cream of chicken soup? Yes! If you’d like a creamier texture, substitute the chicken broth for 1 can of cream of chicken soup, and use only ½ cup of heavy cream instead of 1 cup.
Pan of chicken divan.

 Other Chicken Recipes You May Enjoy

Fork getting a bite of chicken divan.

Chicken Divan

Indulge in the timeless comfort of Chicken Divan – a creamy, cheesy casserole with tender chicken and broccoli, topped with a golden breadcrumb crust.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 461kcal

Ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms (canned) optional
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • In a large pot, steam or blanch the broccoli florets until they are slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour to create a roux. Cook the roux for about 1-2 minutes until it becomes lightly golden.
  • Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and heavy cream, making sure to remove any lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it thickens and becomes smooth.
  • Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined and the cheese is fully melted.
  • Add the cooked and shredded chicken, broccoli florets, and sliced mushrooms to the sauce. Gently stir until all the ingredients are evenly coated with the creamy sauce.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Cover with the cheddar cheese.
  • In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and melted butter. Evenly sprinkle this mixture over the chicken and broccoli in the baking dish.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.
  • Once done, let the Chicken Divan rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Notes

Leftover Chicken Divan can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze it before baking in a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw (if frozen) and warm in the oven at 350°F until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 836mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1391IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 253mg | Iron: 2mg
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