Chicken Divan

Delicious, made from scratch, Broccoli Chicken Divan with Curry Cheese Sauce and mushrooms. A comforting chili-night Chicken and Broccoli dinner that whole family will love. Must try!

Chicken Divan

This Chicken and Broccoli Divan recipe is easy to prepare, use rotisserie chicken (can use fresh or leftover cooked chicken) and is baked coated in a delicious cheesy creamy Curry Mustard Sauce. All the flavors go so good together, this will become your favorite Chicken and Broccoli Casserole of all times! 

Oh, if you still have some leftover thanksgiving Turkey in refrigerator? Substitute chicken with cooked turkey to try Turkey Divan. It tastes equally divine and comforting. Honestly since recipe calls for cooked chicken breast.. any kind of cooked chicken or other leftover proteins will work. I only recommend to make the curry sauce recipe as-is and please add the broccoli. Broccoli tastes unbelievably addictive with the lemony creamy cheese sauce. You will love all the flavors.

Chicken Divan

Classic Chicken Divan is a comforting chicken and broccoli casserole often made with rotisserie chicken, and broccoli baked in a cheddar cheese and mayo sauce. Curry powder or mustard are used in sauce to cut the richness of sauce and give depth of flavor.

Since Chicken Divan is a rich and comforting recipe but made from scratch. I have developed this recipe such a way that:

  1. Tang and Spices balance the richness of cheesy sauce.
  2. There is flavor in each ingredient so that sauce tastes as if worked on for hours.
  3. Makes a approachable meal which you can make and serve in just two dishes - pan to make sauce, casserole to bake and serve. 

Chicken Divan Casserole with Curry and Broccoli

Let's make Chicken Divan today!

What Do You Need for Chicken Divan Casserole?

There are three main ingredients of Chicken Divan Casserole i.e. chicken, broccoli, and curry sauce. 

Ingredients Chicken Broccoli Divan with Curry

Here is the list of the ingredients for curry sauce of chicken divan:

  1. Onion
  2. Garlic
  3. Cheddar Cheese
  4. White Wine
  5. Butter
  6. Flour
  7. Lemon
  8. Curry Powder
  9. Mustard
  10. Chicken Stock
  11. Cream

Ingredients for Chicken Divan

Chicken

For this recipe, I use leftover rotisserie chicken - white and dark meat. Sliced in big chunks so that chicken stays moist while baking with the sauce. I If using skin-on chicken, I recommend to remove and discard the skin before adding to the casserole.

Broccoli

Broccoli Casseroles are our family favorites. I love the serving of vegetable in meal as it is good source of fiber and vitamins. My family loves it because you know, who does not like cheesy baked broccoli!? 

Follow these suggestions to keep broccoli perfectly al-dente even after baking:

  1. Cut broccoli into large florets. Small florets can get easily overcooked in the sauce.
  2. Microwave broccoli just until it is partially cooked i.e. only 1-2 minutes. If broccoli still looks almost raw after microwave then it the perfectly cooked for the casserole. In 20 minutes with sauce in oven, it will get perfectly cooked yet not at all overcooked or mushy.

To make Chicken Divan, I start by working on preparing the curry cheese sauce. Next mix in partly-cooked broccoli and diced cooked chicken. Transfer to the casserole. Bake until sauce is bubbling on the side, cheese has melted and slightly browned on the top. Let casserole rest for 10-15 minutes before garnish and serving.

Assembled Chicken Divan from Scratch

When making Chicken Divan

When making Chicken Divan, a few important things I've learned with experience:

  1. Use good quality grated cheese. I prefer Tillamook's Grated Sharp White Cheddar. Even though you can use yellow cheddar for this recipe but the flavor of sharp white cheddar is exceptional.
  2. Let sauce cool down slightly before adding cheese. This way cheese does not curdle and melts nicely to make a creamy sauce.
  3. Cut broccoli and chicken into large pieces. Microwave broccoli only briefly for perfect cooked broccoli in the casserole.
  4. Don't garnish until ready to serve. Hot out-of-oven casserole will quickly wilt the fresh herbs.

What to Serve with Chicken Divan

In our home, we love to eat Chicken Divan with side of rice, or naan to scoop the creamy sauce. You can also serve Chicken Divan with fresh boiled egg noodles, seasoned white rice, or flat bread such as naan, pita bread.

Serve Chicken Divan with zucchini noodles (zoodles) or cauliflower rice for a low-carb chicken dinner.

Chicken Broccoli Divan Casserole

What makes this Recipe Special?

This Chicken Divan recipe offers right balance of rich sauce and flavor. Let me summarize why should you try this recipe:

  1. It is easy to cook and assemble.
  2. Recipe uses pantry and fresh refrigerator ingredients. Ingredients are adjustable yet recipe is all made from scratch. There is no soup, no pre-mixed sauces or no mayo used in the recipe.
  3. Flavor is addictive and delicious - a rich and creamy cheddar cheese and cream sauce balanced with curry powder spices and lemon.
  4. Also sharing tips to make broccoli casserole where broccoli is al-dente (crisp and tender) even after baking in the casserole (no at all mushy or undercooked).
  5. Adapt recipe to what you have in pantry/fridge by checking substitutes below.

Pantry Substitutes

I love trying a recipe if all ingredients are in my pantry and fridge. Here are few of my favorite substitutes when I don't have all ingredients I need to make Chicken Divan.

  1. If can't find cheddar cheese, use any good quality aged cheese that melts well. 
  2. Use your favorite vegetable. If you are not fan of broccoli and mushrooms, use zucchini, cauliflower. Even sautéed spinach will bake well in this casserole.  
  3. Use any kind of cooked meat - rotisserie, leftover cooked chicken breast or thigh meat. You can also make Chicken Divan with turkey or ham.
  4. If can't find wine, increase lemon juice by half quantity.
  5. If don't have chicken stock, use warm water mixed with bouillon cube. 

Make Ahead

To make ahead, assemble the casserole up-to step 5 in the Recipe Card. Don't bake. Cover tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate up-to 2 days in advance. Or assemble casserole in a freezer safe casserole, wrap tightly and freeze.

On the day of cooking, bring to room temperature, then bake as suggested in Recipe Card for a comforting Broccoli Chicken Divan dinner!

Pairing Ideas:

Instant Pot Garlic Brown Rice Cloud Bread Apple Chickpea Salad

Chicken Divan

5 (5 reviews)
Chicken Divan
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: European () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 2.5 Quart Casserole - Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • Chicken Divan
  • 3 Cup Chicken (rotisserie chicken, diced. See Note 2)
  • 12 Oz Broccoli (about 4 cups, See Note 1)
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 8 Oz Mushrooms (thin sliced)
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Creamy Curry Cheese Sauce
  • 2.5 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 2.5 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1.25 Cup Chicken Stock (low sodium)
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Cup Cheddar Cheese (sharp cheddar, shredded)
  • 1 Cup White Onion (small diced)
  • 2 tbsp White Wine
  • 1 Garlic (clove, thin sliced)
  • 2 tsp Mustard (dijon)
  • 1/2 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp Lemon (juice)

Directions

  • 1. Sauté Onion Preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter in a large heavy bottom skillet. Sauté onions and garlic in melted butter until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until most water from mushroom evaporates. (3-4 minutes)
  • 2. Cook Flour Add wine and cook until most liquid evaporates. (2 minutes) Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and cook stirring often for one minute.
  • 3. Simmer Sauce Add chicken stock, milk, cream, salt. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook stirring occasionally until sauce thickens to coat back of a spoon. ( about 6-7 minutes)
  • 4. Mix in Cheese and Spices Take mixture off heat. Add all but 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, curry powder, mustard, lemon juice, and black pepper. Stir mixture until cheese melted in the hot sauce.
  • 5. Assemble Stir in broccoli florets (see note 1) and chicken. Transfer mixture to a 3 quart casserole. Top with any remaining sauce in skillet. Sprinkle remaining cheese and parmesan on the top.
  • 6. Bake and Serve Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until sauce is bubbling on the sides, cheese has melted and slightly brown on the top. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs (optional) before serving.
Savita's Notes:
  1. Cut broccoli into large florets. Small florets can get easily overcooked in the sauce.
    Microwave broccoli just until it is partly cooked i.e. only 1-2 minutes. If broccoli still looks almost raw after microwave then it is perfectly cooked for the casserole. 
  2. Use any kind of cooked meat - rotisserie, leftover cooked chicken breast or thigh meat. You can also make this Chicken Divan recipe with leftover turkey or ham.
  3. To make ahead, assemble the casserole up-to step 5 in the Recipe Card. Don't bake. Cover tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate up-to 2 days in advance. Or assemble casserole in a freezer safe casserole, wrap tightly and freeze.
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7 Responses

  1. I love all these flavours! This looks scrumptious. I love broccoli too.
    Thanks Sherry.
  2. Such a comforting recipe, Savita! Love the use of curry and mustard. Its snowing outside and I want a big bowl of Chicken Divan. :) Will sure try it this weekend. Thanks for the recipe and details.
  3. This is one of my favorite chicken dishes thanks to that little bit of mustard. Love the flavor and makes a great weeknight dinner option.
  4. This is such a great, flavor-packed, version of chicken divan!
  5. I love how you add a little white wine and curry powder to this recipe. The sauce is amazing.
  6. This looks so darn creamy and inviting - comfort food at its finest!