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The ultimate chicken and broccoli casserole! Chicken Divan is a classic, easy dinner recipe that’s ready for the oven with just 15 minutes of prep. Pair it with rice, mashed potatoes, noodles, or cornbread for a weeknight supper that the whole family will love!

Close overhead image of a serving spoon in a pan of chicken divan casserole

Of all of the casseroles that I make, this easy Chicken Divan recipe ranks up there as one of my top 5 favorites. It’s just perfect in every way! Easy to prepare, creamy, warm, flavorful, and filling. What more could a busy mom ask for?!

Chicken Divan Origin

Chicken Divan is a chicken casserole traditionally prepared with broccoli and Mornay sauce. Mornay sauce is a béchamel sauce with shredded or grated Gruyère cheese added; however, modern versions of Chicken Divan use shortcut ingredients like condensed cream of chicken soup and grated cheddar cheese instead of the traditional Mornay.

Chicken Divan gets its name from the Divan Parisien Restaurant in the New York City Chatham Hotel, where the recipe was originally created.

What does Divan mean in chicken divan?

In French, the word “divan” means a meeting place or a great hall, but the dish itself is not actually French.

Stirring together cream sauce in large mixing bowl

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pan of chicken divan with curry. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Cooked, diced chicken: you’ll need about 6 cups of cooked, shredded or diced chicken. I use a store-bought rotisserie chicken for great flavor and quick-prep, but you can boil your own chicken at home, if you prefer.
  • Frozen broccoli florets: you can also use fresh broccoli florets, if you prefer. Just parboil or steam the broccoli until it’s crisp-tender before adding it to the dish.
  • Condensed cream of chicken soup: the base of the easy cream sauce. You can substitute with any combination of two condensed soups. For instance, try cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup.
  • Mayonnaise: adds so much flavor to the cream sauce.
  • Milk: to thin the cream sauce.
  • Cheddar cheese: or substitute with another good melting cheese, such as Colby, Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Gouda, Gruyere, or mozzarella.
  • Kosher salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and curry powder: the curry powder is optional, since some folks don’t care for the flavor, but it’s a classic addition to this old-fashioned casserole.
  • Crushed Corn Flakes cereal and melted butter: create the buttery, crunchy, flavorful topping that’s a hallmark of any good casserole.
Adding chicken to a bowl

How to Cook Chicken for a Casserole

While it’s possible to cook a casserole with raw chicken, you’ll need cooked chicken for this recipe, and a variety of options will work. Pick the most convenient method for you:

  • Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil about 3 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken. You’ll need a total of about 6 cups shredded. I find that 3 lbs. of chicken breasts yields about 6 cups of shredded or bite-sized pieces, but there’s some flexibility here — it doesn’t need to be exact.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: This is a great shortcut! Purchase a couple of rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, shred the meat, and use in the recipe as instructed. Each large rotisserie chicken yields about 3-4 cups of shredded meat.
  • Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover grilled or baked chicken from a previous meal, put those extras to good use in this casserole.
  • Canned Chicken: Yep, even canned chicken from the pantry will work in this recipe.
Sprinkling corn flakes crumbs on top of a casserole

How to Make Chicken Divan

As usual, I’ve taken inspiration from the classic recipe and created my own tasty quick-prep version. This chicken divan may remind you of your childhood, and is sure to be a hit with your kids and grandchildren today!

  1. Prepare the Broccoli. You want the broccoli cooked just until it’s crisp-tender — but not mushy. Drain off any excess liquid. The broccoli will continue to cook in the oven, so you don’t want it too soft when you add it to your dish.
  2. Assemble the Casserole. Once the ingredients are prepped, whisk together the condensed soup, cheese, mayonnaise, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and curry powder in a very large bowl. Stir the broccoli and chicken into the mayo mixture, and then pour everything into a large casserole dish.
  3. Prepare the Topping. It wouldn’t be a true casserole without a crunchy topping! I love the flavor and crunch of coarsely crushed Corn Flakes cereal, but you can also substitute with crushed Ritz crackers, potato chips, or plain buttered breadcrumbs or Panko bread crumbs. Simply toss the crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over the dish.
  4. Bake the Casserole. Bake the chicken divan in a 350°F oven (uncovered) for about 25-30 minutes, so that the cheese can melt, the filling becomes bubbly, and the topping is golden brown.
Close up overhead shot of chicken divan with mayo

What to Serve with Chicken Divan

Chicken divan with rice is a classic combination, but there are many other options to serve with the dish as well. Keep it light with cauliflower rice, quinoa, or garlic and Parmesan cauliflower mash. Here are some more great sides that pair well with the easy chicken divan:

Square shot of a bowl of chicken divan served with rice

Preparation and Storage

  • This is a great make-ahead dinner. You can assemble the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and keep it covered with foil or plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to bake. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes. Wait to add the chips on top until it’s ready to go in the oven.
  • You can freeze the casserole before baking. Wrapped tightly, the assembled casserole will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Leftover chicken divan will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • How to Reheat: If reheating an entire casserole, cover the dish loosely with foil and bake in a 350°F oven until warmed through (about 20-30 minutes). Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

How many calories does chicken divan have?

With a cozy, creamy casserole, you’re probably wondering whether or not this meal is healthy. Each serving (1/8 of the dish) has just 300 calories and 30 grams of satisfying protein! It’s also full of nutritious broccoli.

To keep it light, pair the casserole with a simple side salad, mashed cauliflower, or riced cauliflower. The casserole is not particularly low-carb or Keto-friendly, because it contains about 14 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

Square overhead image of a serving spoon in chicken divan with curry

Chicken Divan Casserole Recipe Variations

  • Use fresh broccoli florets instead of frozen. Start with about 8 cups of fresh florets. Steam or boil them until the florets until crisp-tender before adding to your dish.
  • For a shortcut and fewer dishes, purchase the frozen broccoli florets that you can steam in the bag in the microwave. To avoid cutting the broccoli into smaller pieces, I often use two bags (12.6 ounces each) of baby broccoli florets.
  • Feeding a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan.
  • I prefer the flavor and great crunch that you get from coarsely crushed Corn Flakes cereal on top; however, you can substitute with an equal amount of crushed Ritz crackers, potato chips, or plain breadcrumbs.
  • Sauté onions to add to the casserole, or add onion powder to the creamy sauce.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a bright acidic touch.
  • Lighten it up a bit with Greek yogurt instead of mayo. You might need to add some extra salt or other seasoning to account for some of the missing flavor in the mayonnaise. A dash of Worcestershire sauce would give it a nice salty, umami flavor.
Overhead image of a bowl of chicken divan on a dinner table

Tips for the Best Chicken Divan Recipe

  • You can cook your own chicken to use in this recipe, or take a shortcut! I like to use store-bought rotisserie chickens or purchase pre-cooked, diced chicken such as Tyson Grilled and Ready (often found in large bags in the frozen section) or Perdue Short Cuts.
  • Before assembling the casserole, the broccoli should be crisp-tender (but not too soft). It will continue to cook in the oven. To cook the broccoli, I place the frozen florets in a microwave-safe dish, add about 1-2 tablespoons of water, cover, and microwave on high for about 4 minutes (or until the broccoli is crisp-tender). You can also steam or boil the broccoli on the stovetop, if you prefer. If the broccoli florets are very large, you may need to roughly chop them before adding them to your casserole. Otherwise, you can also purchase “baby” or “petite” broccoli florets in the frozen section.
  • Some traditional Chicken Divan recipes include a dash of curry powder in the sauce, so I’ve included that as an optional ingredient. Some folks love the taste, while others definitely do not. Similarly, you may also want to add a splash of sherry to the sauce.
  • Garnish the finished casserole with fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, or basil, for a bright, fresh flavor.
Overhead shot of a pan of chicken divan

More Chicken and Broccoli Casserole Recipes to Try

Square shot of a bowl of chicken divan served with rice

Chicken Divan

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings 6 – 8 people
Calories 304.1 kcal
The ultimate chicken and broccoli casserole! Chicken Divan is a classic, easy dinner recipe that's ready for the oven with just 15 minutes of prep.

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups cooked, diced chicken
  • 1 (24 ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, cooked just until crisp-tender and roughly chopped if the florets are very large (or about 8 cups of fresh broccoli florets, cooked until crisp-tender)
  • 2 (10.5 oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup, not diluted
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (I use Duke's brand)
  • ½ cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder (optional)
  • ½ cup coarsely crushed Corn Flakes cereal (or sub with Ritz crackers, potato chips, or plain breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
  • Optional, for serving: cooked rice; mashed potatoes; buttered noodles; chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together condensed soup, cheese, mayonnaise, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and optional curry powder.
  • Stir in chicken and broccoli. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, stir together Corn Flakes and melted butter. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over top.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and topping is golden brown.

Notes

  • You can cook your own chicken to use in this recipe (you’ll need about 3 lbs. of raw boneless, skinless breasts or thighs), or take a shortcut! I like to use store-bought rotisserie chickens or purchase pre-cooked, diced chicken such as Tyson Grilled and Ready (often found in large bags in the frozen section) or Perdue Short Cuts.
  • Before assembling the casserole, the broccoli should be crisp-tender (but not too soft). It will continue to cook in the oven. To cook the broccoli, I place the frozen florets in a microwave-safe dish, add about 1-2 tablespoons of water, cover, and microwave on high for about 4 minutes (or until the broccoli is crisp-tender). You can also steam or boil the broccoli on the stovetop, if you prefer. If the broccoli florets are very large, you may need to roughly chop them before adding them to your casserole. Otherwise, you can also purchase “baby” or “petite” broccoli florets in the frozen section.
  • Some traditional Chicken Divan recipes include a dash of curry powder in the sauce, so I’ve included that as an optional ingredient. Some folks love the taste, while others definitely do not. Similarly, you may also want to add a splash of sherry to the sauce.
  • Garnish the finished casserole with fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, or basil, for a bright, fresh flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casseroleCalories: 304.1kcalCarbohydrates: 13.8gProtein: 29.8gFat: 12.7gSaturated Fat: 5.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 89.3mgSodium: 1064.2mgPotassium: 423.1mgFiber: 2.7gSugar: 3.6g
Keyword: chicken and broccoli casserole, chicken casserole, Chicken Divan
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in January, 2020. The photos were updated in September, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

    1. Hi, Kim! Yes, I think the sour cream would work. The sauce will be a bit thinner when it cooks, and the flavor will be different, but it will still give you that creamy sauce.

      1. Blair, this worked out perfectly and WOW was this delicious! I’ll be lucky if I get any because my husband is going crazy for it.

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Blair! I made this recipe and we really liked it, so it’ll be going into my “keeper” file! Thanks again for another great recipe! 🙂

    1. That’s awesome, Tess! Thanks so much for letting me know. I’m glad that you enjoyed it as much as we do! 🙂

    1. Hi, Christina! Absolutely! It will have a slightly different taste, but the mushroom soup should still work well. 🙂

  2. Hi, Blair. Looks like another yummy casserole.
    I thought I’d send along this barbecue recipe that I believe mother used when she made barbecue chicken which, in our Yankee household in the 1970s and 1980s, meant baked chicken with barbeque chicken! I didn’t encounter ‘real’ barbecued chicken until I moved to Texas. That is I was about 12 and my parents bought the chicken at a charity barbecue for a so-called treat. Understand that I was squemish at that age. I was horrified at my first sight of my half chicken. Still with the skin on, no sauce decently covered it, and worse of all, I was expected to disjoint it myself. It was good chicken but that treat kind of backfired! I remember I kinda picked at it. I’ve come a long way in 50 years!

    This sauce came from the same cookbook I referred to yesterday and the recipe was contributed by Lady Bird Johnson (Mrs. Lyndon Johnson) herself! The page is thoroughly spattered which is testimony to how much we enjoyed it! The sauce is super simple calling for 1/4 cup EACH melted butter, vinegar, catsup, lemon juice, and worcestershire. Salt, pepper, hot pepper, and tabasco to taste and it is suggested that onion and garlic are also good in it. The cooking instructions are just to combine ingredients and bring to a boil. Now, there is a penciled note to reduce an ingredient, either the lemon juice or the worcestershire, to 2T. I’m not sure which but my guess would be the lemon juice since the recipe also contains a 1/4 vinegar.
    Hope you have fun with this!

  3. This recipe sounds great, as so many of your recipes are great, but my problem is how to interpret 6 cups of chicken. could you please put weights instead of cup measure for solids. And here in Australia we don’t get butter in sticks. Again, could I have a weight?
    Thanks, Ann from Aus.

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I love reading your blog. I always have the ingredients in my pantry and freezer. This was a delicious casserole for our Sunday dinner. Many thanks.