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Low-Carb Chicken Divan

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  45 min
  • Calories: 529
Low carb Chicken divan with broccoli and cheese

Creamy, cheesy, and broccoli-filled, we’ve updated classic chicken divan so that it’s fit for even the most health-conscious family.

Low Carb Chicken Divan.

This keto-approved chicken divan recipe is a creamy, cheesy, broccoli-filled dish that is an instant throwback to our childhoods. We’ve taken the liberty of giving this ‘80’s casserole a low-carb makeover for those who need it, but we swear it’s every bit as cozy as the classic.

Natalie has vivid memories of her mom putting her in charge of grating the cheddar cheese while she poached the chicken and steamed the broccoli for this classic casserole. Meanwhile, Natalie’s sisters were in charge of opening the cans of cream of chicken soup.

We all loved that broccoli and chicken casserole back in the day, but it was time to grow up a little and find some “real-food” alternatives to update our favorite retro casserole.

Low carb Chicken divan with broccoli and cheese in a pan with a spoon

What is the “Divan” in Chicken Divan?

In essence, chicken divan is just a creamy chicken casserole with broccoli in it. Although its origins can be traced back to a swanky hotel in 1800s New York City, chicken divan really became popular in the height of the 80’s casserole craze and easily won the hearts of many, because let’s face it...it’s really good. Cheesy broccoli and chicken? What’s not to love?

Ingredients laid out cheese, cream cheese, chicken,  mayonnaise, broccoli.

What’s in Chicken Divan?

  • Poached chicken: poached, shredded chicken is an incredibly versatile ingredient, and one of our favorite things to keep on hand at all times. P.S. This step can easily be done ahead of time.
  • Steamed broccoli: use a steam basket or just toss the broccoli into a small pot of boiling water, cover and cook until bright green and just tender. You could also do this in the microwave!
  • The cream sauce (the cream of chicken soup substitute): if you’re on the Keto diet, this creamy sauce is going to be your new best friend. After much testing, we found that a combination of mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, heavy cream and a little organic bouillon (this is our favorite brand) almost perfectly replicates the texture of cream of chicken soup—all of the flavor, none of the guilt!
  • Cheddar cheese: you can shred and use any kind of cheese you want for this Keto chicken divan recipe, but a good medium-sharp cheddar is our favorite.
  • Secret ingredient: what’s a classic family recipe without a secret ingredient? Ours is curry powder! Just a little bit takes our chicken divan casserole to the next level!
cream cheese, mayo and heavy cream, curry powder, salt and bouillon in a bowl
cream cheese, mayo and heavy cream, curry powder, salt and bouillon in a bowl

How Do You Make Chicken Divan?

If you prep and shred the poached chicken ahead of time, and have your steamed broccoli ready to go, the rest of this chicken divan recipe is really quick and easy.

  1. Make your cream sauce! Combine the mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, heavy cream curry powder, and chicken bouillon.
  2. Mix! In a large bowl add the broccoli, creamy sauce, and shredded, cooked chicken. Mix until combined.
  3. Into the pan! Spread the mixture into a large baking dish.
  4. CHEESE. Top with the cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake. Until it’s bubbly and gooey and all of the good things.

Serve! Oh, and eat it, too!

Low Carb Chicken Divan 4
broccoli, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, chicken divan in a pan
broccoli, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, chicken divan in a pan
melted cheese over broccoli, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, keto chicken divan in a pan

What Should You Serve with Chicken Divan?

Because the veggies are baked right in, chicken divan is a “no side dishes required” kind of dinner! If you’re on the Keto (or any low-carb) diet, then you definitely don’t want to add a side—this dish is heavy and rich, but also just perfect just as it is to hit those macros. But, if you really want to have all those childhood memories come flooding back, then we recommend serving this chicken divan over rice. Pure nostalgia, in the best of ways.

Tools You Will Need:

Low carb chicken divan in a bowl with rice.

Looking For More Low-Carb Dinner Ideas?

melted cheese over broccoli, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, keto chicken divan in a pan
close up of melted cheese over broccoli, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, keto chicken divan

How’d You Like It?

Give this keto-friendly chicken divan with curry a try and let us know how you liked it! Post a picture to Instagram and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can reminisce about the good ol’ days together (and mutually agree that we’re glad canned soup-based dishes are a trend of the past).

Low-Carb Chicken Divan

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  45 min
  • Calories: 529

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broccoli florets (about 8 cups)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon chicken base or 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cooked rice or cauliflower rice, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until bright green and slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine the cream cheese, heavy cream, mayonnaise, sour cream, curry powder, and bouillon. Microwave in 1 minute intervals, stirring in between, until the cream cheese is softened, up to 3 minutes total. Whisk until smooth and combined.

  3. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or 12 inch ovenproof skillet. Pour in the broccoli and cream sauce and mix to incorporate. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top.

  4. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, about 35 minutes. Serve warm over cooked rice or cauliflower rice.


To make-ahead and freeze:

Follow steps 1 through 3as written. Then combine the chicken, broccoli, and cream sauce in a freezer-and-oven safe container, such as a disposable foil baking pan. Cover the entire casserole tightly with plastic wrap, then with foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, defrost the divan in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight, then bake at 375°F until the cheese is bubbling, 40 to 50 minutes.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories529
  • Protein27 g
  • Carbohydrates7 g
  • Total Fat45 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol148 mg
  • sodium768 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Low-Carb Chicken Divan

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Angelina Liberato

    How much is a serving?

    We are hoping to add yield to our recipes for now this serves 8 so it will just be an 8th of the pan. Hope you enjoy!

  • Ron

    Am I the only fool that can't find how much chicken to use?

    Hi Ron, it's in the ingredient list. 4 cups of shredded chicken. Hope you enjoy!

  • Casey

    Was this recipe changed at some point? I remember making this before and I don’t remember using sour cream and I thought I used a full cup of Mayo. Either way I’m sure it’s still delicious. Did it used to be a cup of Mayo and a cup of heavy cream?

    Hi Casey! Yes, we re-tested the recipe to tweak a few things to make it a little less heavy. Glad you enjoyed the updated recipe!

  • Jessica

    Since you are using cooked chicken, doesn’t the chicken get dry since you cook it a second time for 35 minutes?

    Hi Jessica, Since the Chicken is covered in sauce and cheese it does not get dried out.

  • carolyn cupp

    what size is a serving of this recipe? please respond.

    There are 8 servings so an 8th of the pan. Hope you enjoy Carolyn!

  • shorup

    so delicious .thanks for sharing your receipe

    Thanks, so happy you loved it!

  • Lynn

    I've made this recipe several times and love it! It's very forgiving if you adjust ingredient amounts. I used 4 frozen chicken breasts on the smaller size, cooked them in the instant pot while i was prepping the sauce, then chopped them up. I steam cauliflower rice (2 bags) and put it as a base in the casserole dish and layer the other ingredients on top just as in the recipe. Thanks!

    THanks Lynn, so glad you love it!

  • Kelly

    Excellent! Made it just as suggested, and the whole family loved it. Never would have thought that curry could taste so good. Serve it with fresh sliced apples or a salad for some crunch.

    Thanks Kelly, we are so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Lin

    Great substitute for the real thing. I really enjoyed this recipe and will certainly be making it again. To change it up the next time I am going to add slivered almonds, onions and mushrooms. thank for a wonderful recipe

    Thanks Lin, so happy. you loved it!

  • Carol Wise

    Awesome! This is positively delicious and so so easy! No one would ever guess it is low carb!
    I have never been a fan of curry so I used cumin and it was outstanding.

    Thanks Carol, so glad you enjoyed it!