Our take on a chicken divan recipe will take you down memory lane with an easy and classic chicken casserole.
This appealing dish has been around for a long time and there are numerous takes on the undisclosed original recipe. Our take on a chicken divan is a straightforward casserole with chicken breast, broccoli, white sauce, and breadcrumbs. Give this recipe a shot for a restaurant-quality comfort meal.
What Is Chicken Divan?
Chicken divan gets its name from its birthplace, Divan Parisien restaurant in New York City. Despite the name, it is far from a fancy French dish.
Details of the original recipe were never revealed, but we know the base ingredients. Chicken divan is a hearty and fulfilling chicken casserole accompanied by broccoli and creamy white sauce.
The dish was lauded for its simplicity, appearance, and flavor, making it a perfect casserole.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
Yes, chicken divan can make a healthy addition to your menu.
Milk, cheese, and heavy cream may suggest otherwise, but this dish has only 471 calories and 7.9 g of saturated fat in each serving.
There are 45.3 g of high-quality lean protein in each serving, thanks to the use of chicken breast.
Broccoli is considered a nutrition powerhouse, with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, especially vitamin C.
Chicken: Chicken breast is one of the best choices for casseroles because it is lean and versatile. We sauté the chicken before baking with the other ingredients to ensure it’s cooked evenly with broccoli.
The seasoning for chicken is also simple: pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
Broccoli: Aside from being a nutrition powerhouse, broccoli is also a tasty vegetable. The contrasting textures of the crunchy stem and soft floret mixed with its bittersweet flavor profile create a unique dynamic with chicken and white sauce.
Sauce: The base of this white sauce is chicken broth and a roux made from olive oil and flour. Milk, cheddar cheese, and heavy cream are combined to make the sauce rich and creamy. We add Dijon mustard and salt to give the sauce more flavor.
Toppings: Panko breadcrumbs make a perfect topping balancing the creaminess of the whole dish with their crispiness.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Chicken divan should last for 3 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. You can cut the casserole into separate individual portions and transfer them to airtight containers, or refrigerate it whole in the original baking tray.
To reheat, cook the portions or casserole in the oven at 350 °F for 30 minutes. Using the microwave will suffice. Reheat in 30-second increments to avoid drying the casserole out.
What to Serve With
Here are our favorite side dishes to serve with this delicious casserole.
Just juicy thighs in a rice casserole, this recipe is an easy one. Minus the aromatics, seasonings and fats, it has just six ingredients, which combine into a hearty meal in just a few steps.
In this recipe, our chefs combine aromatics, spices, and a velvety cream sauce with spaghetti, chicken breast, and mushrooms. This chicken Tetrazzini has a crispy outer layer and a warm, luscious interior that will melt away all your stress.
24 oz skinless boneless chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
10 oz broccoli (cut into florets)
1/2 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
1 oz cheddar cheese (grated)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic (minced)
4 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup unsalted chicken broth
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp traditional Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
Cut the chicken breasts: Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise into strips and cut the strips crosswise into 1-inch cubes.
Cut the broccoli: Place the broccoli on the cutting board with the stem facing upwards. Cut the florets away from the large stem with your knife. Cut the florets in half or quarters to get even pieces.
Mince the garlic: Slice off the root part of the cloves and bash them with your knife to peel off the skin. Mince the cloves with a mincer or knife.
Grate the cheese: Place the grater firmly on the cutting board and press the block of cheese against the grating surface. Push the cheese downwards steadily to grate.
Chop the parsley: Bunch the parsley into a small mound on the cutting board and chop finely.
Caramelize the garlic: Prepare a hot pan, then add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp garlic. Stir for 30 seconds to caramelize.
Cook the chicken: Add 24 oz chicken breasts to the pan. Season the chicken with 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Stir-fry the chicken with the seasoning for 4 minutes, then remove from the pan.
Make a roux: Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp all-purpose flour to the same pan. Stir thoroughly for 1 minute.
Start the sauce: Add 1 cup of unsalted chicken broth to the roux and mix for 30 seconds.
Cook the sauce: Add 1/2 cup milk, 4 tbsp heavy cream, 1 oz cheddar cheese, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix for 1 minute to combine.
Prepare the breadcrumbs: Prepare a small bowl. Combine 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs with 1 tbsp olive oil.
Prepare the baking dish: Prepare a baking dish. Add the cooked chicken and 10 oz broccoli then spread them evenly in the dish.
Pour in the sauce: Add the sauce to the tray. Mix it with the chicken and broccoli to fully combine.
Add the breadcrumbs: Sprinkle the prepared breadcrumbs on top of the casserole.
Bake the casserole: Preheat the oven to 375 °F and bake the casserole for 25 minutes.
Garnish and serve: Remove the casserole when cooked and sprinkle with 2 tbsp parsley. Enjoy.
How to Make Chicken Divan
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 471Calories from Fat 220
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 7.9g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Vitamin A 958IU
Vitamin C 67mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.
Chicken Divan is a classic comfort food made healthier with fresh ingredients and easy preparation.