Chicken Divan is a rich and creamy broccoli and chicken casserole with a boldly curry seasoned sauce and a buttery crispy topping. Serve over rice or potatoes for a full, delicious family meal.
Chicken Divan (with Curry)
This Chicken Divan features all fresh ingredients and NO cream soups. Chicken and broccoli are covered in a rich creamy sauce seasoned with curry and cheese. Then baked to gooey casserole perfection with a buttery crunchy topping.
Instead of cream soups, like a traditional Chicken Divan, this one features a homemade sauce, richly seasoned. Curry powder is added for some bold flavor, which makes brighter and more flavorful than your average chicken casserole.
It's a super delicious, family-friendly casserole that even makes a great freezer meal too!
What Is Chicken Divan?
Chicken Divan is a classic chicken casserole with broccoli and a creamy sauce. It is also usually topped with a sort of crunchy topping made from cracker or bread crumbs.
Why Is It Called Chicken Divan?
Despite its name, chicken divan is not a French dish. It is named after the place of its creation, the Divan Parisien Restaurant located in the Chatham Hotel in New York City, where it was invented and served as the signature dish.
Chicken Divan Variations
While altering the ingredients in this recipe much would result in it not being a true chicken divan, cooking to your own tastes is much more important. Try these substitutions and variation ideas.
- Chicken: Any kind of chicken can be used including chicken breast, chicken thighs, or a chopped rotisserie chicken.
- Broccoli: Frozen broccoli can be used here, however, it will be much softer, teetering on mushy, than fresh broccoli. So if you use it, be aware of the texture difference.
- Other Veggies: The flavors in this casserole are so versatile, so adding in extra leftover veggies or just your favorites is a great way to add something extra! Try cauliflower, peas, green beans, carrots, sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, or sauteed greens like kale or spinach.
- Cheese: It is my belief that everything is better with more cheese. If you're looking for something different, I would recommend a smoked gouda for a super, creamy smokey flavor or Swiss for a light, nutty flavor.
- Spice: Add a little spice to this dish by adding some crushed red pepper flakes or a few dashes of hot sauce to the sauce. Or you can also add some crushed red pepper flakes right into the crispy topping mixture.
- Cracker crumbs: I love the buttery texture of the crackers, but you can also use panko bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes.
- Curry: While the small amount of curry in this recipe is not too overpowering and does add a definite flavor boost, which I love, you can also just skip it if you are not a curry fan.
- Gluten Free: Use gluten free measure-for-measure flour instead of all purpose flour and gluten free cracker crumbs to make this recipe gluten free. Also double check your chicken bouillon as sometimes that can have gluten.
What to Serve with Chicken Divan
Chicken Divan is typically served over rice. White or brown will both work, what your preference is. Another option is to serve the casserole over a bed of warm, creamy mashed potatoes or lightly buttered egg noodles.
You can also include a nice fresh green salad, which is probably my favorite side dish for rich casseroles as it adds a fresh element.
Make Ahead, Storage, And Freezing Directions
To make Chicken Divan ahead of time, prepare the casserole. Then cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. You can prepare it up to 2 days before baking. Bake for an additional 10 minutes to account for the cold dish.
For crispier topping, keep the topping separate in a baggy and add it just before baking.
Store leftover chicken divan covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days. To reheat, place in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for about 2 minutes, until heated through.
Prepare the casserole fully up to step 11. Instead of sprinkling the cracker topping on the casserole, you can put it in a sealed baggy, and store it in the freezer container with the casserole. This will prevent it from getting soggy.
Allow the casserole to come to room temperature. Then cover and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Sprinkle the cracker topping on top, and then bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly (it may need additional bake time to account for the cold baking dish).
More Warm Chicken Casserole Recipes You'll Love
- The BEST Chicken Pot Pie - our entire family's favorite food, and THE BEST pot pie you will ever eat.
- Chicken Nacho Bake - creamy, cheesy casserole with Tex-Mex nacho flavors and topped with tortilla chips.
- Chicken Bruschetta Bake - bites of chicken with homemade bruschetta and a crunchy, cheesy topping.
- Rotel Chicken Spaghetti - a creamy and easy spaghetti casserole with lots of gooey cheese, tender bites of chicken, and just a hint of spice from the Rotel.
- Ritz Chicken Casserole - an easy and creamy chicken casserole with a crispy, buttery cracker topping that is amazing served over rice, soaking up all that creamy sauce.
Chicken Divan Video
- 2 cups cooked chicken chopped or shredded
- 5 tablespoons butter divided
- 16 ounces broccoli florets
- 2 cups chicken broth divided
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1½ cups shredded cheddar divided
- 1½ cups grated Parmesan divided
- ½ cup butter cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9"x13" baking dish.
- Spread chicken in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add broccoli, and saute for about 1 minute. Add ½ cup chicken broth. Cover and steam until tender but not limp, about 2 minutes. Drain and spread broccoli in a single layer over chicken in the baking dish.
- In the same, now empty, skillet, melt remaining butter.
- Stir in flour. Allow to heat through.
- Slowly add remaining chicken broth, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring between each addition.
- Stir in milk and white wine.
- Add bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, and curry powder, and stir until combined.
- Bring to a simmer, and allow to simmer until sauce is thickened.
- Remove from heat. Whisk in sour cream then stir in ½ cup cheddar and ½ cup parmesan, until melted.
- Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli layers. Top with remaining cheddar and parmesan.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir to combine, and sprinkle on top in the baking dish.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving.
- Use a rotisserie chicken to save time!
- Use fresh broccoli because it stays a little crisper, whereas frozen broccoli will become too limp and soft.
- Switch up the cheese! Try Gruyere, Gouda, or any of your favorite cheeses.
- To omit the wine, just add the same amount of chicken broth.
- If you're not used to curry flavor, omit it or add only half the amount, as it is a strong and prominent flavor (although delicious!)
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. To reheat, place in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for about 2 minutes, until heated through.
- Freezer Directions: Prepare recipe up to step 11. Then cover and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly (it may need additional bake time to account for the cold baking dish).
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