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Easy Chicken Divan is loaded with chunks of tender chicken and broccoli and smothered in a cream sauce. It is perfect to freeze for later!

We like to serve this cheesy Chicken Divan with rice, but it’s also delicious over noodles or Mashed Potatoes. To skip out on a few carbs, pair it with Parmesan Roasted Asparagus or Creamy Pesto Salad. It’s great all by itself, too.

Chicken Divan served over rice on a white plate.

Chicken Broccoli Divan

What is Chicken Divan? Chicken Divan is a classic American Dish originating from New York City in the early 1900’s. Lagasi, a chef at the Divan Parisienne Restaurant at the Chatham Hotel created it. 

This creamy and flavorful Chicken Divan Casserole is so easy to make and so yummy! It’s loaded with chunks of tender chicken and broccoli, smothered in a rich and creamy sauce, and topped with crisp, buttery bread crumbs. It is comfort food at its best!

During the colder months, I am always on the lookout for delicious and cozy recipes. This Chicken Divan fits the bill perfectly!

We ate a similar dish fairly often when I was a child (we called it Chicken and Broccoli Casserole), and it reminds me of home and good memories whenever I eat it. My kids love it too, so it is a staple at our house!

Chicken Divan from scratch

There are a variety of Chicken Divan recipes, and most of them use condensed soups and/or mayonnaise. I decided to make up my own sauce recipe.

It’s just as creamy and flavorful as the traditional recipe, but it tastes even better because it’s homemade!

PREP. Preheat the oven to 375°F, and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

SAUCE. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat, until melted. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, followed by the milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook the sauce until thickened and bubbling. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the sour cream and salt.

BROCCOLI. Add the broccoli to a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until softened slightly but not fully cooked. Drain well.

COMBINE. Add the broccoli and chicken (instructions for cooking chicken HERE) to the skillet with the sauce, and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.

BAKE. In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the chicken mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown and crispy, and the sauce is bubbling.

ENJOY! Serve hot with cooked rice, noodles, or Mashed Potatoes.

Creamy chicken and broccoli Chicken Divan topped with cheese and bread crumbs in a baking dish.

Recipe Tips

Broccoli. To avoid mushy broccoli, only cook it about halfway before adding it to the casserole mixture. The broccoli will cook the rest of the way as it bakes, and will come out green and tender, instead of mushy and bland. It makes for a much prettier presentation and tastes better too.

A frozen bag of steamed broccoli will also work (more than one bag may be needed).

Thickness. Easily adjust the texture of the sauce in a few ways.

  • Thin it out by adding extra chicken broth. 
  • Using whole milk will create a creamier sauce than using skim milk.
  • To thicken the sauce – in step 2, with flour, pour ¼ cup of the sauce into a separate bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of flour. Once smooth, pour it back into the main sauce and stir.
  • To thicken the sauce with cornstarch – in a separate bowl add 1 tablespoon of cold water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir and pour it into the main sauce. Simmer.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts. To calculate how many chicken breasts are needed, note that 1½ lbs of raw chicken will equal about 3 cups (16.5oz) of cubed cooked chicken. Use an equal amount of boneless skinless chicken thighs. 

Variations. This recipe is already a creamy dish of pure comfort, but to get a bit creative, try some of the following ideas:

  • Replace the broccoli or add it with cauliflower, green beans, corn, spinach, or asparagus.
  • Add extra flavor with black pepper, onion powder, or garlic powder.
  • Use 3 cups of rotisserie chicken. 
  • Replaced the breadcrumbs with crushed cornflakes or ritz crackers.
  • Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to cut down on the amount of fat.
  • Use nut milk instead of cow’s milk.
Scoop of chicken divan topped with bread crumbs.

Storing info

Make ahead of time. Cover with saran wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to bake. 

Make this a freezer meal. Prepare the casserole in a disposable baking dish, (do not add the buttered breadcrumbs).

  • Cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and freeze for 2-3 months.
  • To bake, let thaw in the fridge for 24 hrs.
  • Top with bread crumbs and bake according to recipe instructions.
  • You may need to add a few minutes to compensate for the colder casserole.

STORE leftover Best Chicken Divan recipe in individual airtight containers, or a single container, and keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.

FREEZE for 2-3 months. Thaw before heating.

Reheat in the microwave or oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the Chicken Divan in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 8-10 minutes or until heated through.

To crisp up the breadcrumbs, remove the foil and broil for a couple of minutes. 

Chicken Divan served on rice on a white plate.

Recipe FAQ

Can this be made ahead of time?

Of course, just place the covered casserole dish in the fridge for up to 2 days or until you’re ready to bake. Keep in mind you may need to bake it for an extra 5 minutes if it’s super cold from the fridge.

What do you eat with chicken divan?

Traditionally most people serve this over rice, but we also love serving it over mashed potatoes or even egg noodles for a twist!

Can I use leftover chicken to save time?

Always! We love using leftover rotisserie chicken for this dish or the shredded chicken we use for our chicken tacos and chicken broccoli casserole.

For more chicken casseroles:

4.97 from 31 votes

Chicken Divan Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Easy Chicken Divan is loaded with chunks of tender chicken and broccoli and smothered in a cream sauce. It is perfect to freeze for later!
Servings: 8
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

Ingredients 

for the casserole:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 cups cooked chicken cut into bite sized pieces

for the topping:

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F, and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat, until melted. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, followed by the milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook the sauce until thickened and bubbling. Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the sour cream and salt.
  • Add the broccoli to a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until softened slightly but not fully cooked. Drain well.
  • Add the broccoli and chicken to the skillet with the sauce, and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the chicken mixture.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown and crispy, and the sauce is bubbling. Serve hot with cooked rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 322kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Sodium: 893mg, Potassium: 346mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 730IU, Vitamin C: 34.7mg, Calcium: 141mg, Iron: 1.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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Thank you Alicia from The Baker Upstairs!!

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




24 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    The sauce is too thin. Cut back on the broth to one cup. You can add a little garlic powder and onion to the sauce with a touch of Dijon mustard for extra zip. We used leftover rotisserie chicken with fresh broccoli. I do not like canned creamed soups and this fit the bill. If you are watching your carbs, make the sauce thicker and you will not need to serve it over rice or anything else, which is what we did. You can serve with a side salad or another vegetable.

  2. 5 stars
    THIS WAS DELICIOUS!!! In my younger years, I mostly made the soup variation, but this is the best scratch Divan I’ve had!! I did add lemon juice & curry, b/c I love curry in Chicken Divan. Really great recipe – could have licked the dish!!!

  3. Good proportions & was very good sauce consistency! Worth the effort to avoid the “canned” taste.
    I did add 1 Teaspoon of curry to the sauce. Then a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice divided over the chicken bc I preferred
    just seared chicken breast and the effect makes the sauce cling to the chicken while it is in the oven!

  4. 5 stars
    The sauce was really tasty. I like it better than the traditional mayo and soup based sauce. I would probably make the sauce a little bit thicker by reducing broth or adding a small amount of cornstarch but that is just personal preference.