Easy Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan is an easy, delicious dinner casserole recipe made with juicy chicken, broccoli and a creamy sauce baked under a crisp topping. Great for weeknight meals or for preparing ahead.

Easy Chicken Divan

What is Chicken Divan?

Named after the restaurant it was invented in, Chicken Divan is an American comfort food classic. Chicken and broccoli are combined with Mornay sauce (Béchamel sauce with cheese) and baked topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

Ingredients

Many recipes for Chicken Divan call for canned cream of mushroom soup/cream of chicken soup and mayonnaise for the creamy sauce but to be honest, that isn’t all too appealing to me. Making your own sauce with a simple flour and butter roux, milk and good cheddar cheese adds so much flavor to the finished dish.

  • Chicken. This recipe works well with boneless chicken breast or chicken thigh meat. You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken for a quick substitute.
  • Olive oil.
  • Salt and black pepper. Other seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika or cayenne pepper can be used too. Curry powder can be used for curried Chicken Divan.
  • Fresh garlic cloves. 
  • Broccoli. Fresh broccoli is going to work much better than frozen broccoli here. The frozen broccoli will release too much moisture and will cause the finished casserole to be watery.
  • Butter. 
  • Flour. 
  • Milk. 
  • Cheese. I used mature/sharp cheddar cheese. Gruyere, Swiss cheese, Monterey Jack or Comte are all good substitutes.
  • Parmesan cheese. 
  • Panko breadcrumbs. Panko creates a super crisp crust but can be substituted with fresh or Italian bread crumbs. Ritz crackers can also be used.
  • Dried oregano.
Easy Chicken Divan with broccoli

How to make Chicken Divan

  1. Cook the chicken and broccoli: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces then add to a bowl. Drizzle over a few teaspoons of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet or frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken in batches and sear until golden brown on all sides. The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked here as it will continue cooking in the oven. Remove and set aside. Add the broccoli to the same pan, add a splash of water and cover with a lid. Allow to steam for 3 minutes until the florets are tender-crisp then remove and set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: In the same pan you cooked the chicken and broccoli, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute then slowly whisk in the milk. Allow the sauce to simmer, whisking regularly, until the sauce is thick and smooth (approximately 5-7 minutes). Remove from the heat then stir in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Assemble the Chicken Divan: Add the chicken to a casserole dish or baking dish and top with the broccoli florets. Pour over the cheese sauce. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, a tablespoon of olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Scatter the crumbs over the cheese sauce.
  4. Bake: Place the casserole in the oven and allow to bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven, top with chopped parsley and serve.

Can I make this in advance?

Chicken Divan is great to prepare ahead. Assemble the dish (without the breadcrumbs) then cover well and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Top with the breadcrumbs and bake. Alternatively, add the breadcrumbs and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen until hot throughout. Any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

What to serve with Chicken Divan

This Chicken Divan recipe is a great dinner on its own but if you want to add side dishes, I would suggest a simple salad or mashed potatoes.

  1. Easy green salad with lemon Parmesan dressing
  2. Sour cream cheddar mashed potatoes
  3. Easy tomato feta green bean salad
Easy Chicken Divan

FAQ

What does Divan mean in chicken divan?

Chicken Divan is named after the Divan Parisienne restaurant in New York City where it was created.

Can you make chicken divan without broccoli?

Yes, instead of broccoli try using asparagus, peas, mushrooms or cauliflower.

How much protein is in a chicken divan?

Per serving, this recipe contains 36g of Protein, 18g of Carbohydrates and 28g of Fat

Chicken casserole recipes

  1. Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  2. Chicken broccoli rice casserole
Easy Chicken Divan

Easy Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan is an easy, delicious dinner casserole recipe made with juicy chicken, broccoli and a creamy sauce baked under a crisp topping.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Divan, Chicken divan casserole, Chicken divan recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 467kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1lb) Chicken
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3 cups Broccoli florets (Approximately 1 medium head of broccoli)

For the cheese sauce

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1-2 cups Milk
  • 3 cups Cheese grated
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated

For the topping

  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks then add to a bowl.
  • Drizzle over a few teaspoons of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet or frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken in batches and sear until golden brown on all sides.
  • The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked here as it will continue cooking in the oven. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the broccoli to the same pan, add a splash of water and cover with a lid. Allow to steam for 3 minutes then remove and set aside. 
  • In the same pan you cooked the chicken and broccoli, melt the butter.  
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute then slowly whisk in the milk. Allow the sauce to simmer, whisking regularly, until the sauce is thick and smooth (approximately 5-7 minutes).
  • Remove from the heat then stir in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F.
  • Add the chicken to a casserole dish and top with the broccoli.
  • Pour over the cheese sauce.
  • In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, a tablespoon of olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Scatter the crumbs over the cheese sauce. 
  • Place the casserole in the oven and allow to bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven, top with chopped parsley and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1432mg | Potassium: 611mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1217IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 522mg | Iron: 2mg