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Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan is a cheesy chicken bake that’s great for a cozy night in. Serve with a side of rice for a classic casserole dinner.

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chicken divan in a casserole dish with a serving spoon made with chicken, broccoli, cheese and topped with panko
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More Creamy Chicken Dishes From The Modern Proper.

A Classic Chicken Dish Made Modern

If you ask us, chicken divan conjures the golden age of ladies who lunch, perhaps with a martini or glass of crisp white wine in hand. Why do they call it chicken divan? The original chicken divan recipe has been attributed to the Divan Parisien Restaurant at Chatham Hotel in New York City, where it was created by a chef called Lagasi in the early twentieth century. Lagasi kept his recipe a secret, but apparently the maître d'hôtel of the Divan Parisien leaked some recipe notes and the chicken divan casserole we eat today is a version of the original version that included poached chicken, broccoli, and Mornay sauce (which is béchamel sauce enriched with cheese–yum!). Our recipe calls for Shredded Chicken, so you can use leftover chicken or follow our tips to make Perfect Poached Chicken breasts.

raw broccoli, chicken, cheese, cream of chicken soup, milk, sour cream, spices and panko in bowls for chicken divan

Chicken Divan Ingredients

  • Broccoli florets

  • Kosher salt, garlic and onion powder

  • Condensed cream of chicken soup

  • Sour cream & whole milk

  • Curry powder & Bouillon cubes

  • Shredded chicken

  • Shredded cheddar cheese

  • Panko or crushed Ritz crackers

  • Melted butter

  • Cooked rice

broccoli being cooked in a pot of salted water
salt, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, garlic & onion powders, curry powder, bouillon, chicken, & cheese in a bowl
salt, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, garlic & onion powders, curry powder, bouillon, chicken, & cheese in a bowl
salt, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, seasonings, chicken, broccoli & cheese in a bowl

How To Make The Best Chicken Divan Recipe

  1. Cook the broccoli. Boil in salted water until bright green, about three minutes.

  2. Prepare the sauce–mix the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, seasoning, bouillon, chicken and half of the cheese and stir until everything is combined. Place broccoli in chicken mixture and mix gently until everything is mixed together.

  3. Put everything into the casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling and the cheese is melted.

  5. Make the panko breadcrumbs and butter topping.

  6. Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the heat to 400°F. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheese. Return the baking dish to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.

  7. Serve warm over cooked rice, if using. You can check out our tips for making Brown Rice and White Rice, depending on your preference.

chicken divan in a casserole dish topped with shredded cheese
chicken divan in a casserole dish topped with shredded cheese and panko breadcrumbs ready to be baked
chicken divan in a casserole dish with a serving spoon made with chicken, broccoli, cheese and topped with panko
Chicken Divan with broccoli, and cheese in a casserole dish

What To Serve With Chicken Divan

Since chicken divan has a rich, creamy sauce we think a crisp salad on the side would be a fresh accompaniment. A crunchy Caesar Salad or a Classic Wedge Salad, would make this entire meal feel like a night at a restaurant. You could keep things basic and delicious with our Simple Butter Lettuce Salad, or add a little extra flavor with an Easy Fennel Salad.

chicken divan in a casserole dish with a serving spoon made with chicken, broccoli, cheese and topped with panko
chicken divan made with chicken, broccoli, cheese and panko in a bowl served on top of white rice

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Chicken Divan

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  35 min
  • Calories: 293

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broccoli florets (about 8 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for water
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon chicken base or 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 2½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup panko, breadcrumbs, gluten-free panko or crushed Ritz crackers
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • Cooked rice, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until bright green and slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Drain.

  3. In a large bowl, stir together the salt, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder, bouillon, chicken, and 1¼ cup of the cheese until combined. Gently fold in the broccoli, until combined.

  4. Transfer the chicken mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread out into an even layer. Sprinkle all over with the remaining cheese.

  5. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling and the cheese is melted.

  6. Meanwhile in a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and the butter.

  7. Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the heat to 400°F. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheese. Return the baking dish to the oven until the bread crumbs are golden brown, 5-8 minutes.

  8. Serve warm over cooked rice, if using.


To make-ahead and freeze:

  1. Before baking, cover the casserole tightly with plastic wrap, then with foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, defrost the casserole in the refrigerator for 6 hours or up to overnight. Bake as instructed.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories293
  • Protein19 g
  • Carbohydrates8 g
  • Total Fat17 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol98 mg
  • sodium434 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

Chicken Divan

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Eileen

    If you're making this ahead and freezing it, what are the steps? Thanks!

    If you want to freeze it un-baked go through step 4 then freeze. If youo'd like to fully cook it then freeze we would leave off the breadcrumbs bake then completely cool before freezing.

  • Steven

    Can a rotisserie chicken be used and should the Panko breadcrumbs be seasoned or unseasoned?

    Yes, you can use rotisserie chicken and unseasoned breadcrumbs. Hope you enjoy!

  • Tiffany

    Is there something you would suggest to use in place of the cream of chicken soup? Perhaps bechemel? Trying to avoid anything processed ;)

    There's not a great replacement for it in this recipe.

  • Ashley

    This looks amazing and something the entire family would love. If using chicken bouillon cubes, do the cubes need to be crushed to mix in? Thanks!

    Yes, we recommend crushing it in to a powder.

  • Sierra

    My mom made this for me when I was 1 week postpartum with my first baby. I was obsessed! We now make it regularly for our daughter who is 10 months and loving eating solids- she can’t get enough of it! It’s now my favorite treat to make for new mamas on the dinner train after they give birth. Thank you! It’s so yummy and I wouldn’t change a thing!

    Thanks Sierra, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Julie

    I served this over rice and it was a big hit! Will definitely be throwing it into the rotation :)

    Thanks Julie, glad you loved it!

  • Lea

    I really liked the addition of curry to this dish - thought it added a bit of sweetness. Overall, super tasty comfort food that I’ll definitely make again!

    Thanks Lea, so glad you loved it!

  • Kinzer

    This was excellent, with the cheese, chicken, broccoli, and curry, it was reminiscent of a matty matheson dish but this was much lighter and I actually like it better. This will absolutely make it into our regular rotation!

    Thanks Kinzer, so glad you love it and it's going in rotation!

  • Jenn

    My family devoured this!

    YAY! Glad you all enjoyed it!