Low-Carb Chicken Divan

Story by Natalie
Low-Carb Chicken Divan
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Chicken Divan

This keto-approved chicken divan recipe is a creamy, cheesy, broccoli-filled dish that is an instant throwback to my childhood. We’ve taken the liberty of giving this ‘80’s casserole a low-carb makeover so it’s a whole lot better for you—but every bit as cozy—as the classic.

I have vivid memories of my mom putting me in charge of grating the cheddar cheese while she poached the chicken and steamed the broccoli for this classic casserole. Meanwhile, my 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 when I thought of making it for my family I cringed at the thought of using that sodium-and-preservative laden cream of chicken soup. While delicious in a casserole, I felt it was time to grow up a little and find some “real-food” alternatives to update my favorite casserole.

Low-Carb Chicken Divan

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?

I recently started the Keto diet, so I thought now was the perfect time to resurrect and redefine the traditional chicken divan recipe. So, let’s get to it!

Low-Carb Chicken Divan

What’s in Chicken Divan?

  • Poached chicken: poached, shredded chicken is an incredibly versatile ingredient, and one of my favorite things to keep on hand at all times. Here is our how-to on perfecting your poach! (P.S. This step can easy 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, cream cheese, 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. It’s also what my mom always used—a little nod to tradition.
  • 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!

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, cream cheese, 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

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 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.

Looking For More Low-Carb Dinner Ideas?

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

Ingredients

1 lb broccoli florets (roughly 6 cups)
4 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 cups cheddar cheese grated
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Better than Bouillon or 2 bouillon cubes
option rice for serving

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add in broccoli and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Set broccoli aside. (This step can be made ahead of time.)
  2. In a medium sized bowl, microwave cream cheese, mayo and heavy cream along with curry powder, salt and bouillon for 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
  3. In a 9X13 pan or 3 qt oven proof skillet mix together chicken with sauce and broccoli.
  4. Top with cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake at 375°F on center rack for 25 minutes.
  6. Serve warm over rice!

Freezing instructions. Combine all ingredients in a foil oven pan. Cover with plastic wrap and then with foil. Freeze for up to 4 months. When ready to bake defrost in fridge or on counter and bake at 375°F for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.